Walter Scott has three passions: Scotland, poetry, and Mina Stuart. Though she is young and they are from different stations in society, Walter is certain their love is meant to be. For years, he has courted her through love letters. She is the sunshine of his soul.
Though Mina shares Walter’s love of literature and passionate temperament, it’s hard for her to know if she truly loves him or if she has only been dazzled by his flattery. When she meets the handsome and charming William Forbes, her heart is challenged. Who will she choose?
But as every poet knows, “The course of true love never did run smooth,” and on a windy morning in the lake country, Walter meets Charlotte.
At twenty-six, Charlotte Carpenter believes she will never find love. After all, she is a Catholic-born Frenchwoman living in London with a family history shadowed by scandal. Though quiet, practical, and determined to live a life of independence, her heart longs for someone to love her and a place to call home.
Passion and promises collide as Walter, Mina, and Charlotte must each decide the course for their futures. What are they each willing to risk to find love and be loved in return?
Classics live Ivanhoe and Rob Roy fueled my love for history and deep tempestuous romance. Imagine my delight to see the author of such favorites is the hero of this sweet historical romance. I had no idea the man, Sir Walter Scott, had his own unrequited love story only to get a new chance so when I saw this one I just had to read it. It was a lovely story and the author did a fantastic job marrying fact and fiction.
The story begins with young nineteen year old Walter Scott falling in love at first sight with Mina Stuart. She was even younger and was from a class above his own middle class roots. Walter is a romantic and courts Mina with poetry and heart-felt letters for four years. He thinks she is ‘the one’ and is forced to re-evaluated love before he can find the love of his life.
Mina delights in the romantic gestures of Walter and tries to match it, but her feelings are changing as she grows into womanhood. Now that she is older, she can see the differences in their situations and temperaments. Her father wants her to allow another man of her station to court her. Mina is torn between her conflicted desires, her family expectations, and tendres toward two very different men.
Charlotte grows up with the stigma of her nationality, the reputation of a mother run off with a lover, death of her father and care of a guardian. As a Frenchwoman living in an England at war with France, no dowry or status, and reliant on a guardian, she never sees herself being the object of someone’s love and having her own family for her future.
Alright, this is a story told by three different narrators with Walter Scott being the central figure. I thought the attention to historic detail particularly that of Georgian era Edinburgh and the border country to be well-drawn. I liked how the author portrayed the characters. She was sympathetic to Mina, Walter, and Charlotte weaving a plausible tale of how things came to be. I liked how she had her characters grow and come into their own.
The story hits on Walter’s writing talent, but the focus is on his romantic relationships and his incurably romantic personality. He really came alive for me. I liked both the ladies and was glad to see things sort out the way they did.
All in all, this was a lovely sweet romance about a very romantic famous author. Those who enjoy equal parts historical and romance with real-life characters should give this a try.
I received this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.