As a young girl, Alaina Claiborne witnesses a the murder of her parents…..an event that she doesn’t fully understand.
At ten years old, Alaina remains in her parents estate with her guardians, her aunt Charlotte and her uncle Sebastiaan.
As she grows older, she only minutely remembers the murders and she only finds comfort when riding her horses.
One afternoon she is out for a ride, she stops at her favorite spot on the lake by her property.
There she runs into her new neighbor, Tristan Sheffield. She is frustrated that this man has intruded on her favorite spot but yet she is oddly intrigued by him.
He is handsome to be sure, and arrogant but friendly enough. Suddenly he starts turning up at at her house and spending a great deal of time with her. What Alaina doesn’t know is her life is in serious danger.
The person who murdered her parents now has Alaina in his sights and time is of the essence. Tristan will protect Alaina at all costs, and he will even enlist his best friends to protect the woman he loves.
I literally read this book in a day. I loved the setting and the main characters. Tristan was a courageous and heroic love interest and I adored how much he loved Alaina and that he was willing to do anything to keep her safe.
Alaina was also a worthy heroine. She was strong and equally as courageous as strong in her own way but she was also willing to submit to Tristan’s better judgement in some cases which I also liked.
The story was very strong in the beginning, but somewhere around 60% through I was thinking that there was a little too much going on. What I loved in the earlier parts of the book was the neighboring estates and the two lovers facing an unknown assailant. Where things got weird for me was when they took the boat to America. After that things just got all kinds of convoluted.
I think this story could have been just as good without the whole boat/journey sequence. It almost seemed like McClintock wanted to incorporate more ‘adventure’ to the story and thus added the America journey and some other adventure like sequences (I won’t spoil it for anyone!) and for me, I thought staying put and focusing on some of the suspense building would have worked a little better.
I also thought there were about two kidnappings too many for my taste. I think McClintock could have built the suspense up more in other ways than using a redundant plot device. I don’t think the additional kidnappings really propelled the story forward any more really and I would have liked to have seen more plot development or maybe more secondary character development since the other books in this series are about some of Tristan’s friends.
A stylistic preference, with this being a historic romance, I wanted the character names to kind of match the period and/or setting. Tristan and Alaina seemed more modern or at the very least exotic names. But at the same time, it was nice to have period main characters that weren’t the quintessential period British names like “Charles”, “James” or “Elizabeth”, “Catherine” etc. In the end, it didn’t bother me too bad, just a personal preference.
So, all that said, I thought there were enough things in the book that I loved for me to wholeheartedly give it a 4 star review. The beginning was very strongly written and the love story completely hooked me. I loved both main characters and I loved the premise of the story (spies, love, murder mystery etc). Tristan and Alaina had chemistry and their romance was believable and tender. I loved seeing them develop into something more than just neighbors.
I also loved how McClintock incorporated horses into the setting, at least in the beginning. I thought it added a romantic element to the story and gave Alaina this air of wild, raw mysteriousness which clearly captivated Tristan.
It’s clear that McClintock loves this period in English history and the wild terrains of England. Well done with the setting and historic premise.
This is a series that I would gladly read more of. I was hesitant to commit to reviewing the entire series, but now I am excited to read the second book! They are quick and easy reads with wonderfully written romance and intriguing characters! Sign me up for more of this series!
Please check out other stops on the tour for author interviews, giveaways, and guest posts as well as a number of other reviews! The schedule is listed below! For details please see the end of this post!
Kindle Edition, 2nd edition, 277 pagesPublished January 7th 2013 by Trappers Peak Publishing
- Review copy provided by: Publisher as part of the HFVBT book tour in exchange for an honest review
This book counts toward: NA
- Hosted by: NA
- Books for Challenge Completed: NA
Recommendation: 4 out of 5
Genre: Historic fiction, romance, adventure
Life is a circle and in the circle exist hate, love, happiness, sorrow, and death, and in order to appreciate one, we must experience the others.
Monday, May 18
Review at Flashlight Commentary (Alaina Claiborne)
Tuesday, May 19
Spotlight at View From the Birdhouse
Thursday, May 21
Review at Layered Pages (Alaina Claiborne)
Tuesday, May 26
Review at Quirky Book Reviews (Trilogy)
Wednesday, May 27
Review at The Lit Bitch (Alaina Claiborne)
Thursday, May 28
Blog Tour Wrap-Up at Passages to the Past