Once Upon A Romance

Once Upon A Romance's Review Of...
The Border Vixen by Bertrice Small

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Cover art: The Border Vixen Reviewer: Danielle Mason
Title: The Border Vixen - 5th in the Border Chronicles series
Author: Bertrice Small
Publisher: NAL
ISBN-13: 978-0-451-23122-2
Release Date: October 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: Historical Romance
Year/Setting: Scotland, Mid 1500s
Overall Rating: 5.0
Sexual Content Rating: Sexual
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: Moderate
Violent Content Rating: Intense
Bertrice's Website: www.bertricesmall.net


All Dugald Kerr wants is to find a husband for his strong willed granddaughter Maggie Kerr before he is too old to help take care of the Asir nam Breug (pronounced Asher name Breg) anymore. The Asir nam Breug is a narrow passage through the border hills between Scotland and England, it is used by merchants and messengers to get between the two countries without any trouble. The Scottish side is run by Dugald and Maggie while the English side is ran by Dugald's brother and nephew, Edmund and Rafe Kerr.

To find a husband for his Maggie one night at dinner Dugald sets up a challenge to the other men. If they could outrun, outride and outfight Maggie to earn her respect then he may have her hand in marriage. Many men tried and many men failed. That is until King James V found out about the Asir nam Breug and sent his cousin Fingal Stewart to marry Maggie by a royal decree. King James wants to start procuring some of the money from the tolls paid to go through the passage. King James hopes to get his fingers into the pie by forcing Maggie to marry because of the royal decree. Fingal, by the royal decree, will take over the Scottish side of the passage when Dugald retires or dies. Dugald takes no time in teaching Fingal everything that needs to be taught so if something does happen, the passage is safe and in the hands of someone capable of handling things.

When Fingal arrives Maggie is not at all happy about it but knowing it is of royal decree she really cannot do a thing about it. So together (Fin, Dugald and Maggie) decide that they will be married on paper as soon as possible but Maggie is to set the date as to when Fin will fulfill the original challenge to be her husband. December 5th is when Fin undergoes the outrun, outride and outfight challenge with Maggie. He ties Maggie in the running and riding but it is the fighting that eventually becomes Maggie's downfall. Dugald declares Fin the winner and not long afterward Maggie and Fin are officially married.

This is when the trouble somewhat starts. Ewan Hay is the first man that challenged Maggie and lost embarrassingly. He is also the one that tipped James V off about the Asir nam Breug situation hoping he would be awarded Maggie as his wife so he can beat her into submission and compliance. It is when Fin is away at war and thought to have been killed in action that Ewan takes things into his own hands.

I end my review here only because the rest is so great to read I can't give it away you have to read it yourself. I completely disliked Ewan by the end of this book though and let me just say Bertrice Small definitely knows how to keep you reading. There were times I was so mad at what was going on that I couldn't have put the book down had my life depended on it.

Danielle

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