Lady Margaret, has returned to her mothers home, at Castle Fyne, which is now part of her dowry. With Margaret betrothed to a Englishman, she knows she has little choice in the matter. She only hopes she will have a good match like her parents did. Right before she heads south to get married, she wants to visit her lands, remembering her childhood there. She and her brother arrive, and get a welcome she hoped they would receive. But shortly thereafter a army of hundreds come upon the Castle, and their leader Alexander MacDonald, "The Wolf" demanding she surrender herself in order to save her people which are few and don't stand much chance. However Margaret, knows her mother would defend it with her life, so Margaret knows she has no choice but to defend it herself. After battling and fighting, her people are injured and dying, so she raises the white flag and surrenders herself, her people and the Castle Fyne into the hands of Alexander MacDonald, knowing she doesn't have any choice. Her people are her top priority. When she meets Alexander face to face, a beautiful specimen of a man, she is intrigued by his manner toward her. He is hard, and unrelenting, but there is a certain desire that builds between them. Margaret feels herself slowly switching loyalties, when she begins to give her heart away to this warrior, who is fierce and protective, and wants only her.
A Rose in The Storm is the most recent release from Brenda Joyce, and is the first in her newest series, which is set in the medieval era in Scotland. I have enjoyed Brenda Joyce, and she has done fabulous work, and I do love it when she does historical's, especially with the Medieval sub genre. When I saw that this was finally available at my local library, I snatched it up. I have been reading quite a bit of regency's so its refreshing to read something different and from a different time frame. A Rose In The Storm is set in the early 1300's in Scotland, when amidst fighting the English, the different clans were having to decide where their loyalties lie. This story does involve Robert Bruce, whose goal was to take over the Scotland throne. In the beginning it starts with Bruce building up his army and followers, and Alexander is one of his top warriors. Alexander is well known for never having lost a battle, a fierce warrior and passionate lover. His goal is to capture the Lady Margaret but more importantly seize the Castle Fyne, due to its strategic location. He has no wish in harming Margaret, just the opposite. Even though in the beginning they are enemies, and Margaret will do anything to escape or try to find information that would be useful for her family. We see that Margaret starts to develop feelings for Alexander, and he returns them, both are a bit stubborn in being fully honest with each other, although Alexander is more upfront with Margaret. There is quite a bit of conflict that rises up in this story, and the more you progress in the story, the higher the intensity level.
The characters both the main and sub characters were vividly etched into the story, and written in such a way, that you can't help but feel enthralled by these in depth characteristics that captivate you. Alexander was a wonderful hero, tough, masculine, sensual yet very protective and passionate. He was great to get to know, War is life for him and he loves a good battle. It is a part of who he is and Joyce definitely writes him well into the story he comes to life in the readers eyes. Margaret I had no complaints about. I think I enjoyed her tenacity and strong willed personality from the first chapter. At first you see that she doesn't seem to be a fighter in any way, since she just accepts a match she doesn't want. But when she refuses to surrender to the "Wolf" and fights and works with her people to save her home, you can see that although she is stubborn and doesn't think things through, she will fight for those she loves at any cost. I really enjoyed how this story turned out in the end, even though there were a few sub characters I really fell in love with, and didn't like their ending, it does go with the history books. You can tell that Joyce has definitely done her homework, and I love how she brings this era of Scotland to life with the details and intensity of the time period. So if you are a history buff like myself, this type of book is one of the reasons I adore historical romances. You learn so much about the history and life of these people who had a passion for life and to fight for what they believed in, and there is much evidence of it in this story.
Overall I fell in love with the drama and passion of the time setting, the lively character, the escalating intensity of the plot that seemed to carry you away back in time. There was so much packed in this story that it overwhelms your senses, guaranteed to require a tissue or two or three. It will enthrall you from the first page to the last. EXTRAORDINARY!!!