Book Review: Within The Veil

1 Sep

51qjZMe3LcL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_They never should have met. But they might be made for each other.

Feya Broon, a Scottish half Gypsy, knows what it is to go hungry. Trapped in the Edinburgh tenements with a father lost to his past and only the faded memory of her mother’s faith, Feya is desperate to provide for her siblings. When an ill-conceived plan leads to thievery, she finds herself in the last place she’d ever want to be–captured by a palace guard. But there’s something about this man that tears at every preconceived notion she’s ever had about the haughty English.

Alasdair Cairncross never dreamed he’d be forced to transport a Gypsy woman halfway across the wilds of Scotland. The timing is disastrous, considering his fiancée’s imminent arrival and his father’s political goals. Not only that, but the fiery young woman threatens to lay bare secrets Alasdair would rather keep hidden. And yet the farther they travel together, the less concerned he finds himself with duty–both to the crown and to the plans his family has for him.

As their walls begin to crumble, Feya and Alasdair must fight to survive a decades-old feud, a Highland kidnapping, and the awakening of their own hearts.

81ysurEvtnL._UX250_Brandy Vallance fell in love with the Victorian time period at a young age, loving the customs, manners, and especially the intricate rules of love. Since time travel is theoretically impossible, she lives in the nineteenth century vicariously through her novels. Unaccountable amounts of black tea have fueled this ambition. Brandy’s love of tea can only be paralleled by her love of Masterpiece Theater Classics, deep conversations, and a good book. Brandy is the 2013 Operation First Novel winner and the 2012 winner of the ACFW Genesis Contest for historical romance. Her critically acclaimed novel, The Covered Deep, has been featured in USA TODAY and Writer’s Digest. You can connect with Brandy via her website http://www.brandyvallance.com, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, YouTube, or Twitter @BrandyVallance.

 

My Impressions:

Brandy Vallance is an author to be reckoned with. Her outstanding debut novel, The Covered Deep, announced that she was one to watch. In her sophomore offering, Within The Veil, Vallance proves that she will be a permanent fixture in the historical romance genre of Christian Fiction. With multi-dimensional characters, a plot that will appeal to those who love adventure and intrigue, rich historical detail, a uniquely fresh story, and a romance for the ages, this novel is a welcome addition to any book shelf. I highly recommend this one!

Feya Broon is a young woman of the tenements in Victorian-era Edinburgh. She is desperate to save her siblings from sure starvation and death, so desperate that she is willing to risk her honor and her life to save them. Alisdair Cairncross, Queen’s Guard and recipient of the Victoria Cross, knows only honor and duty. When their paths cross all they have come to know and expect is thrown to the wind.

First let me say that Vallance’s writing is lyrical. She gives her reader depth and texture as she relates the rough streets of Edinburgh, the rugged terrain of rural Scotland and the opulence of the seats of the wealthy. The poverty and disease of the poorest is contrasted with the sensibilities of the upper class. Characters’ motives and emotions are slowly revealed as the story progresses forcing the reader to reassess her feelings toward them. I know that I, like Feya and Alisdair, had to change my position on the worthiness of various characters. And worth is a powerful theme. Prejudice and pre-conceived notions had to be dealt with by all the characters. And while a modern reader may be tempted to be judgmental about Victorian beliefs, they are not so different from the prejudices held today. The spiritual journey of the characters was poignant and powerful. Alisdair must come to terms with God’s purpose for his life versus what society and family want. Feya has to overcome the sense that no one cares, let alone, loves her. As she soon finds, God is closer than her own skin

This God she didn’t know.  . . . This was personal. And raw. And terrifying.

Alisdair explains the nature of belief in a beautiful way —

He put his hand over his heart. ‘Felt Him here.’ He moved his finger to his forehead. ‘And I knew things here.’ He slid his finger to his temple . . . .  I also recognize Him in the things I see.’

Feya and Alisdair fight off brigands, societal expectations, prejudice and temptation to achieve an ending any hopeless romantic will love. Within The Veil is a great read. I’m looking forward to more of the same from this talented author.

Note: Alisdair has an unusual gift that Vallance explains in her afterword. I loved that she incorporated something very personal within the context of her novel.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to the author for a review copy of this book. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

 

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