Title: The Captive Heart
Author: Bertrice Small
Ideal Age Range: Adult
Mass Market Paperback: 405 Pages
Copyright Date: 2008
Blurb: It's 1461, and the winds of war rage across Englad, up-rooting Henry VI's court- including Alix Givet, the daughter of Queen Margaret's physician. Alix's plight becomes bleaker still when a Northumbiran baron gains her hand for his cruel son. Duty to her queen and to her sickly widowed father forces Alix into a loveless marriage. But when her husband unexpectedly dies, Alix once again flees- this time to save herself. Escaping over the border into Scotland, she throws herself at the mercy of a dark and brooding laird, who-if she can warm his cold heart-might provide the everlasting love of her dreams.
My Rating: (★)
I don't have a lot of experience reading Bertrice Small's romance novels. The only other one that I have read was "The Love Slave" when I was in middle school because my mother told me that I couldn't. And while her books always have plenty of sex scenes for the harlot within us all, I did not like "The Captive Heart". It took me quite a while to read because I put it down about half way through and a month went by where I had no desire to pick it back up, but it was keeping me from moving on to reading something else, so I finished it.
Now, I don't normally write about SPOILERS in my reviews, but I am going to make an exception with this book, because otherwise, I would have to be incredibly vague as to my reasoning why I didn't like it.
Main plot point, Alix is married to the cruel son of a baron that is spoken of in the blurb, the son is in love with the miller's daughter, so much that he has no care with Alix's body when he lays with her, how's that for a first time? Anyway, so the son's mistress dies in childbed with her child, son goes crazy with grief and commits suicide. Alix is like, "Yay! I'm free!" but then her father in law takes the idea into his head that he needs a new heir and Alix should be his new wife to beget him upon. She runs away while he gets a special dispensation from the Bishop.
Here's where one of my gripes comes in, Ms. Small writes out the entire story every time Alix has to explain why she ran away from the baron. It's written a little differently every time, but still, it's written out. That's about 6 pages of the novel I didn't have to read.
Back to the story, the laird that she runs to in Scotland, has a little daughter whom she becomes step mother to. They are all a big happy family, BUT because the laird didn't kill his adulterous wife like he had the right to, the little girl ends up getting killed at the end of the book with about 8 pages to what should have been the happy ending.
I was LIVID. Maybe because I am a newish mother, and anything about babies/kids lately has really irritated me lately, especially anything on the news relating to children being abused/neglected/killed. I do not like to watch the news. I like to read romance as an escape from that kind of stuff. I do not read romance novels to be depressed.
I cannot bring myself to give this book a good review. She's a talented writer and obviously spends time on her research for the time periods that she writes in and all that, but wasn't my style. Sorry about that.
Better luck next time around! Happy reading to you.