LAIRD OF BALLANCLAIRE
Ivie’s newest novel is something of an enigma. While well written and enjoyable, it suffers from uneven pacing due to the hero and heroine’s forced separation and the gaps in time. And it reads like a condensed saga, with its sweep and triumph-over-tragedy theme. Ivie’s fans might well miss the Scottish setting of her previous tales and more traditional romances, while Colonial readers will find this refreshing.
At the orders of his despised father, Kameron Ballan has been made a member of a troop of Scottish soldiers sent to the Americas to quell rebellion. He’s attacked at a tavern and nearly killed when he escapes and is found by a patriot’s daughter, Constant Ridgely. Despite where her loyalties lie, it is impossible for her not to try and save Kameron’s life. During his recuperation, they fall in love and come to believe their bond is unbreakable — but fate has other plans. A rushed marriage, a childhood betrothal and political games are just a few of the obstacles they must overcome to reach their happily ever after. (ZEBRA, Oct., 416 pp., $6.99)