A Woman of Honour
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Pages: 58
Goes Well With: A hearty meat-and-potatoes lunch

The Scottish Highlands of romance novels are generally home to strong, bekilted men and rugged, headstrong women. And when the two come together—as in author Marlow Kelly’s short e-book, A Woman of Honour—the sparks begin to fly.

A Woman of Honour finds love on the Highlands with rugged warrior Duncan Campbell. After he’s captured by his family’s rivals, the MacDougalls, he wakes to find himself held in the dungeon with a woman who’s disguised herself as a boy.

Isabel Douglas is on her way to become a nun, carrying a secret message that she’s promised to deliver to the king. But after she’s imprisoned with Duncan—and they’re forced to escape and go on the run together—she’s surprised to discover that he has feelings for her. And it makes her begin to rethink her plans for the future.

As far as plot goes, A Woman of Honour generally fits into the usual romantic formulas. Duncan and Isabel get off on the wrong foot—he’s too forward, and she’s too prickly—and they end up bickering right until they figure out that they might just care about each other (and, in Highlands style, well after that, too).

Along the way, the face their share of conflicts. They’re imprisoned, humiliated, and hunted—and they quickly discover that they have some differing viewpoints. While the personal conflicts between the two often seem rather weak and underdeveloped and the romance feels rushed, that’s to be expected from such a short story; there simply isn’t enough time to develop a layered storyline. Still, it’s more developed than the average short novel—and the characters seem stronger, too.

Duncan, especially, is a likable hero—a strong warrior with a softer side. Once he surprises himself by falling in love with Isabel, he’s persistent—but not too persistent, taking the time to keep her needs in mind as he sets out to win her over.

Isabel, on the other hand, isn’t quite as easy to like. She’s insecure about her looks—convinced that no man will ever be interested in her—and she absolutely refuses to believe that Duncan could be sincere, no matter what he says to try to change her mind. She’s stubborn, too—a trait that can be both a virtue and a vice. Still, despite her rougher edges, she’s a strong character—a woman who fights to keep up with Duncan and fulfill her mission, no matter how difficult it may be.

It may not tell an especially original story, but A Woman of Honour is still an enjoyable short read—a romantic lunch-break-length adventure back to a time when men were tough...and women were, too.

Ed. Note: For more on A Woman of Honour, visit The Wild Rose Press.

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