"An Intriquing Historical Romance by the author of the fantasy/time travel NIGHT VISITOR"
Anticipation for the 5th Outlander novel had me salivating
for a romance with a true Scots hero. I loved Melanie
Jackson's fantasy/time travel romance NIGHT VISITOR and
thought I'd try her latest historical AMARANTHA. I
was not disappointed.
The story is set in the mid-eighteenth century as many of
the best Scottish historicals are, however it is not
actually set in Scotland. The plot however is driven by the
aftermath of the rising of '45.
London life had palled for Amarantha Stanhope. The weather
had turned poor, illness was pervasive, and her melancholy
over her recent losses had not abated. It had been a mere
two years since she'd lost both her parents and the man
she'd hoped to spend her life with. Death had claimed Ian,
but in truth she'd already lost him to 'the cause' long
before. She been further aggravated by insincere suitors,
more interested in her inheritance than in her heart. It
only served to reinforce her conviction that man would
always put other matters before love, if not money, then
honor and duty. She had become determined never to marry,
and so it is with some relief that she accepts the
invitation of her uncle Cyril, to join him at his home on
the remote Cornish moor.
Society is scare with their nearest neighbor being the
village rector, Tamlane Adair. Though not particularly
pious, she had looked forward to making his acquaintance.
His is not at all what she had expected. He is young
handsome, and his conversations are most exasperating. She
both suspects and fears that the man is involved in the
local dangerous pastime of smuggling. Not a very good
example to his parish.
Amarantha both irritates Tamlane with her prying questions,
and fascinates him with her beauty and spirit. He suspects
early one that their fates are inextricably intertwined and
reconciled himself to the inevitable.. If only he can keep
her suspicions at bay until he concludes his unusual
transaction, his life would be hers to shape.
Amarantha's sleuthing turns her suspicion from smuggling to
a far more dangerous endeavor. Before his calling to the
cloth and a life dedicated to peace, Tamlane had been a
Jacobite warrior, an angry young man dedicated to the
Stuart cause for the integrity of his people. He had put
all this aside when he'd come home to Cornwall. Or had he?
Had she lost her heart to another man who already served
another mistress? All she knows is that she is willing to
kill or to die to keep him safe. But marriage to a man who
would put politics before her? That was too fearsome to
While Tamlane is a dashing hero, it is Amarantha's journey
of discovery that fuels this wonderful plot. She must put
the hurts of the past behind her and really look into the
heart of the man she has come to love, and she must find
the courage within to risk her own. She is quite a unique
individual, strong in her convictions, loyal, and daring. I
highly recommend this suspenseful tale and look forward to
Ms. Jackson's next heroine BELLE, and her historical
romance by the same name which will be released in March
2002. I will definitely be digging into my TBR pile to
unearth her previous historical novels, IONA and MANON.
Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted April 1, 2002