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A Bound Heart by Laura Frantz
Published by Revell (January 1, 2019)

I always buy Laura Frantz’s books as soon as they are released. Always. Because I’m always sure they will be a fabulous read. She is one of my favourite authors, and has been for many years now!

Even though I always buy them when they are released, it doesn’t mean I read them straight away. This book, I’m almost embarrassed to say, sat on my shelves for an entire year before I picked it up.

That might seem like some strange contradiction. Why would I wait to read something I know I will love?

But because I know I will love it, I save it for a time when I need it. And for a time when I can savour it. That way, I maximise my enjoyment!

Generally speaking, I don’t have as much time to read as I’d like. (I run a web development business and have 3 children – need I say more?). I had been slowly making my way through a 6 book series (Jess and I were doing a series swap – we’ll chat about it some time!). This was not the style of book I normally read. By the 6th book, my interest was waning. I picked it up to continue one night, and threw it back on the shelf. I was NOT in the mood for that genre.

Suddenly, I knew it was time. Time to pull out the Laura Frantz.

In A Bound Heart, Laura takes us to Scotland for the first time. Many of her characters in her previous books have hailed from that gorgeous land, but now we got to visit there!

This has an unusual beginning for a romance – with the hero – a Scottish Laird – married, and the heroine – the castle bee keeper and his childhood friend – unaware of her feelings towards him. But there is no sordid affair – we can trust Laura to keep integrity and decency at the heart of her books.

Which may sound to you like a boring beginning. But I can assure you, this book is anything but boring.

There is an almost undetectable suspense that winds its fingers around you as you read this book. Set in the 1700s, rich with detail and historical context, we’re caught up with Lark and her struggles with her feelings for a roguish ship captain, all the while knowing something is going to happen to Magnus’ wife. I read with baited breath as I watched the story unfold.

The story takes a huge and dramatic turn at the death of the Laird’s wife. With lies and conspiracy tearing both Lark and Magnus’ life apart, we suddenly see them aboard a ship bound for Jamaica and America.

I almost couldn’t stand the suspense towards the end of the book! It had slowly built the entire novel and had a strangle hold on me late into the night. My husband was subjected to frequent exclaimed outbursts as he tried to sleep!

Suspense, intrigue and scandal, spell-binding locations, a melodic Scottish lilt, all mixed with the beautiful, delicate imagery so characteristic of Laura’s writing, made this book well worth the wait. And it was certainly the remedy and escape I was needing!

If you love beautifully written historical settings, a strong hero with great love and integrity, and suspense to boot, give this book a go!

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