This is how I like to get my history lessons: alive and breathing in historical fiction, characters jumping off the page and into my heart.
Laura Frantz is particularly adept at bringing history and characters to life—I know—I’ve read all ten of her books. Her last three books, A Moonbow Night, The Lacemaker, and now, A Bound Heart, are as much Historical Fiction as Historical Romance, her primary genre to that point.
I love her romances, and the heroes are really swoon-worthy, but her last three releases have a maturity of historical theme that has given even more depth to the stories. Others must agree since The Lacemaker won the big deal 2018 Christy Award for Christian Historical Romance.
I get the sense that Laura Frantz has really hit her stride in her writing. But what I find extraordinary about that is that Frantz was such a good writer from the start. I put off reading The Frontiersman’s Daughter for a bit because the cover looked too young adult for my reading tastes. It’s not. I really enjoyed it.
Open the beautiful cover of A Bound Heart, and the story begins in 1752 on the western Scottish island of Kerrera six years after the Battle of Culloden, where Magnus MacLeish fought and his father died. Injustice in the wake of the attempted annihilation of the Scottish economy and culture is a theme of the story. Forgiveness by God’s grace makes life bearable for Magnus the laird and Lark the beekeeper at Kerrera Castle.
One aspect of Frantz’s treatment of this time period in Scottish history that I appreciate is that she doesn’t vilify the English. She lets the events speak for themselves and shows us the living history in the effect on the characters’ lives.
Though I would have preferred the action to stay on Kerrera, since Scotland is my heart’s home-away-from-home, sadly, true to history, Magnus and Lark are transported for their “crimes.” They’re taken to Virginia and Jamaica, where life could have been so much worse for them than Frantz writes—and separated—having finally figured out how much they want to be together!
From this point, the reader rides the inevitable romance roller coaster, waiting and hoping for the couple. And just when you think it will all work out…you feel that anxious drop in the pit of your stomach. Ah, but remember, it is a romance.
She fingered the borrowed cameo at her throat, her heart so full her mind was empty.
A Bound Heart by Laura Frantz