One is his first love.
The other is his best love.
Which will be Walter’s true love?
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 romantic 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?
I received a free advanced copy to review. While romance isn't my top genre, I really enjoy historical books. For a work of fiction, this was well-researched, complete with historical notes, and a timeline of the author's life. The story itself was very compelling and the history added spice. The book revolves around the three people, Walter Scott and Mina Stuart in the fascinating eighteenth-century Scotland, and Charlotte Carpenter who lives a quiet life with her guardian in England. The fates of these three characters are played out, and the story is made all the more interesting because it's based on real people and situations.
The book spends a lot of focus on "first love" versus "best love" which makes a good point, especially for a romance. Walter is consumed by a fiery passion for Mina, but her regard doesn't burn as brightly. He learns some good lessons, and comparatively his relationship with Charlotte is much more realistic. The book also does a great job of showing, historically, how limited women's choice could be, and the real struggles Scotland faced to forge an independent identity.
Dialogue, setting, and characters were all true to the period and resonated with truth. I had a hard time distinguishing between what was pure speculation and what was fact. The ending was a little quick but worked. I was really impressed when I read the historical notes with how dedicated Sir Walter Scott was to family and home, and loved getting to know him and Scotland a little better.
Great read for lovers of both romance and historical fiction.