Feature book: By the Sword
Kate Ashley lives in England during the Civil War in 1650. These are very tough times where families and neighbours fight against each other, and Kate has been widowed at a very young age because of the war. She has a young son, Thomas. The Ashleys are loyal to the Parliamentary cause known as The Roundheads. She lives in Yorkshire with her son and is very close to her sister and her husband, and they are doing okay after the deaths in the family. Kate is a very strong woman and runs the home very well. Then a letter arrives from her late husband’s estranged grandfather, asking her to bring his great-grandson to meet him. Kate is wary, but after talking to her son, Tom, they decide to make the long journey.
Jonathon Thornton is a royalist and a colonel in their army. Things have not gone very well for the Royalists. He is living his life in exile, travelling incognito, when he needs to pass on letters. Of course, he is always in danger with a price on his head. He tries to visit any family who are left when he gets the chance. The family home is called Seven Ways and is suffering badly because of the war, but his grandfather, sister and niece are still living there. He is close to them. He really is such a caring, loyal hero. On one of his trips back home, while delivering important letters, he meets his estranged cousin’s widow and her son at Seven Ways.
When Kate and Jonathon meet, there is worry that Kate will get in touch with the local troops, but she is trustworthy. Thomas’s great-grandfather is dying and setting it up so that Seven Ways is left to young Thomas, which means that Kate will become responsible for the home. This is a hard and dangerous task in itself. Kate and Jonathon are drawn to each other, and this starts a very dangerous journey to a HEA. Jonathon starts to think about his life and the danger in which he puts himself and his loved ones. Kate and Jonathon are getting closer, and Thomas is very fond of Jonathon, but danger is brewing as men pursue Jonathon.
This is a story that is beautifully written. It brings to the reader so much historical knowledge and an understanding of the hardships of this era. Even with so much fighting and mistrust, love blossoms between people on opposite sides of the fighting, despite the constant threat of death and pillaging of properties. This Civil War brings out the best and the worst in people, who are trying to stay alive while keeping strong throughout. Jonathon is such a caring person, and he is an honest and strong hero. With twists and turns throughout the story, Jonathon thinks about life and whether he can ever be a free man and have a happy life with Kate. But Kate is very strong, and the belief and help of people will make sure that they have a wonderful HEA. There is so much strength and character in these people. It is a story that will have you turning the pages. I highly recommend it to people who love a good romance (chock-full of history and graced with a wonderful hero in Jonathon and such a strong heroine in Kate). Don’t miss this one. It is such a moving and sensual story.
Reviewed by Helen S
A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.