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The Beltane Choice (#1, Celtic Fervour Series)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  67 ratings  ·  41 reviews
The Beltane Choice “…combines a very human and personal story with a very believable vision of Late Iron Age society in Northern Britain.”

AD 71 Northern Roman Britain
Lorcan of the Brigantes knows that unity of the northern tribes is essential when the Ancient Roman legions advance northwards to Brigantia. Yet, everything comes at a price. Using his captive, Nara, as a poli
Kindle Edition
Published April 2018 by Ocelot Press (first published August 28th 2012)
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4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  67 ratings  ·  41 reviews

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Mark Patton
Sep 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nancy Jardine is best known as a writer of contemporary romantic fiction. She has even described herself, in the past, as a writer of “light-hearted contemporary romance novels” and “womens’ fiction.” In The Beltane Choice, she moves far beyond these categories, whilst building on the strengths of earlier work. It is a work of serious historical fiction which will certainly appeal to women but which, I believe, will appeal equally to men. If, as a child, you enjoyed the works of Rosemary Sutclif ...more
Reviewed By BlackTulip for Confessions from Romaholics

I'll be perfectly honest here, though the blurb of The Beltane Choice caught my eye, I never expected to be swept away by that story as I have been. So far, this period in history had never really interested me. But as soon as I began to read the book, magic happened ... It was decidedly unusual, unique, a total change of scenery and how I loved this completely new feeling !

The novel takes place in the border area between England and Scotland
Kate Robbins
Sep 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Book to Savour Like Sticky Toffee Pudding

When Lorcan finds her scaling a tree and pursued by a wild boar, he has no idea Nara is the princess of Tarras and eldest daughter of a chieftain with whom he seeks alliance against the invading Romans. He has no idea who she is when he succumbs to her enchantments and tries to seduce her on the forest floor.

Nara fears Lorcan learning her identity for surely he will use the knowledge to his advantage and to her detriment. Yes, keeping him at arm's lengt
Feb 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In ancient Britain bitter weather, harsh conditions and tribal inter-fighting conspired with other elements to make life difficult and cumbersome. Beltane, therefore, was a welcome diversion, certainly for many reasons, amongst them the community-wide celebration of oncoming summer and the freedoms it ushered in. Occurring in May, modern peoples could relate to the anticipation and joy of the season, replete with symbols of new life, light and plenty. Lovers united, the sun waxed its power and p ...more
Mar 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When The Beltane Choice begins we find, Nara, Princess of the Selgovae, stuck up a tree threatened by a wild boar. As she cries out for help, an unknown rescuer comes to her aid and kills the boar. When Nara sees that her rescuer is actually a warrior from a rival clan she resists but is drawn to him in ways no other man has ever drawn her. Lorcan, Prince of the Brigantes, sees the beautiful mysterious Nara and realizes he can’t let her go like he should. Lorcan takes Nara prisoner and drags her ...more
Jeff Gardiner
Nov 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Full of sensual descriptions and evocative vocabulary, ‘The Beltain Choice’ explores the role of a strong, determined female in a patriarchal culture. Nancy Jardine’s disciplined prose expresses sexual repression and dramatic tension in its well-focussed narrative. I was fascinated by the reconstruction of Celtic tribal life, leaving me wanting to discover more about the culture and beliefs.
Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)
See more of my book reviews on my blog, Literary Flits

I was intrigued by Nancy Jardine's Celtic Fervour series being set towards the beginning of the Roman occupation of Britannia. I haven't read any novels set in this period since Skin by Ilka Tampke, set three decades earlier, and it is a time of great social change across what would become Britain so ripe, I think, for a stirring historical fiction series. Jardine has researched and envisaged various tribal communities across the country. The
Kelly Bedford
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed The Beltane Choice a lot, it was a very pleasant read. The story is set during a brutal war, though nothing was too shocking or disturbing, which was a nice surprise. I loved the relationship development between Nara and Tully, and the romance between Nara and Lorcan was very sweet.
Grace Elliot
Oct 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nara is hunting wild boar when she is captured by a warrior, Lorcan, from a rival clan. With her as his prisoner, they travel back to his home but on the journey find themselves fighting mutual attraction. But when Lorcan makes the unexpected discovery that his beautiful captive is a virgin, the only explanation he can come up with is that Nara is more important than she pretends.
Nara is a princess and as such, untouched by the warriors of her own tribe. She has had a vision that the man she ch
Seumas Gallacher
Jan 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
...'The Beltane Choice' is a 'belting' good story... much enjoyed...

...Nancy Jardine has created a well-woven story, the kernel of which is a powerful romance, developing between unlikely partners... a chieftain to be, and the daughter of a chieftain of an opposing clan in 1st century Celtic Scotland... the backdrop of realism, the clothing, the village compound dwellings, and the use of language draws the reader in immediately to another age... compare the the dignity and honour (or lack of it)
Aug 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Beltane Choice" is the story of two Celts from different tribes: Nara of the Selgovae and Lorcan of the Brigantes. The two tribes are rivals themselves, but both face the threat of Roman invasion.

The story follows a rather typical romance novel track: man and woman meet and hate each other, then fall in love eventually and live happily ever after. Unfortunately, for this aspect of the story, I simply did not feel any kind of real chemistry between the two -- despite the author telling reade
Miriam Drori
Oct 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm so glad I took this plunge into a genre I've avoided up to now - ancient historical fiction. School had made me think of this period as boring, but Nancy Jardine showed me how wrong I was. And of course love is the same in the 21st century as it was in the first.

I did find the beginning a bit slow, but Jardine's wonderful writing continued to beckon me in and I was well rewarded with some lovable and hatable characters, and a story of which the ending was never clear until it came. I particu
Nov 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
That is a powerfully sensual opening chapter, and the richness of the prose draws even this reader, unused to this era, into the story.
Who is Nara, and how will Lorcan, her bitter enemy win her over?
The captive inevitably comes under the spell of her enemy, learning to seek his protection, intensely aware of the forbidden passions he awakes in her.
And she discloses her identity, but there is still a mystery, and the Beltane fires are approaching. Who will Nara choose at this ritual?
Impeccable p
Kathy Sharp
Oct 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An intense love story set among warring Celtic tribes, and their incipient unity in the face of invading Romans. A brisk pace throughout matches the romantic urgency with the growing threat surrounding the lovers. Lots of historical detail (I’m still thinking of ‘yesterday’ as ‘yestreen’) draws the reader into a distant past where things are done differently, yet where loyalties of love, family and nation remain very recognisable. A romantic, exciting and very enjoyable novel, with a dash of hum ...more
Roland Clarke
May 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was swept up in this Celtic romance that needed to survive tribal conflict, personal suspicions, and the growing threat of the encroaching Roman legions. Vivid characters with realistic feelings and fears. The wild setting lived for me. I feared that the desired outcome was impossible and... well that is a spoiler so read this recommended novel and get wrapped up in Celtic culture.

Need to read more in this enthralling series.
Rob Godfrey
Mar 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this a lot. Ok its not a classic but there are believable characters, the storyline is plausable and the sense of the passion between the hero and heroine tangible (if sometimes repeated a little too often).
For the most part this is a well-written story although the bad guys are as usual ugly and the good rugged/handsome.
I do like reading stories based on pre-Roman Britain and this is worth a read.
Cameron Lawton
Oct 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A love story, but one in a very unusual setting which the author brings to life with stunning acuracy. The Celtic tribes are warring amongst themselves but will have to face a common enemy as the Roman invasion starts. How will the two lovers ever overcome the obstacles put in their way by tribal devisions and war?
Carmen Pacheco
Nov 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow!!! It was challenging, but totally wonderful. All due to my lack of 1st century Scotland knowledge, but thanks to my handy Kindle, I understood it just fine. ;)

I was sad to let the book go. Full review to come on The Reading Cafe!!!
Laura Nelson (Tangents and Tissues)
I must admit to a hint of trepidation about starting The Beltane Choice. As followers of my reviews will know, I’ve been on a bit of a historical romance fiction addiction of late, but I had yet to dip my toe into the realm of first century Britain.

Just picture it – priests and priestesses, feuding clans, sacred rituals, alliances, and marauding Romans. This was no easy time in which to live, that’s for sure!

Nara of Tarras, of the Selgovae, inadvertently finds herself a pawn in game where she
Michelle Whitham (curled_up_with_a_good_book)
Nara is out hunting when she is captured by Lorcan, a warrior from an enemy tribe. But what they don’t anticipate is that there is something deeper between them already that neither of them understand. Despite being the person that captured Nara, Lorcan feels protective of her and won’t let anyone touch her….and then he finds out she is actually a princess from another tribe. So he hatches a plan…..

With the Roman’s having killed Boudicca in the South, the northern tribes must come together to pr
Lynn (Ellesea Loves Reading)
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
This first book in the Celtic Fervour series is an action-pact filled novel with intrigue in what promises to be an addictive series. 

AD 71 and the northern tribes must work together to stop the Romans from entering their territory. When Lorcan of the Brigante people meets Nara of the Selgovae, there's a reason for both to be suspicious of each other. Yet in time, they find a common attraction. however, fate has other ideas for these warriors who face making personal sacrifices for the clans the
Jessica Belmont
Whoa. I was really interested in reading The Beltane Choice, but I was not expecting to be so caught up in this story. I have been really into Historical fiction lately, and this novel is a fantastic reason why.

Taking place in the border area between England and Scotland, AD 71, it is impressive how much research Nancy Jardine must have done to make this feel so realistic. I love the world-building…Celtic Tribes and Roman legions…it is really beautifully written, I felt like I was transported ba
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
The beginning of this was given almost entirely to emotions between the two main characters, their journey to the village and the immediate happenings. The end was almost glossed over completely leaving as an almost non event.
ChillwithabookAWARD With
The Beltane Choice by Nancy Jardine has received a Chill with a Book Readers' Award.

"The book is well written and I would definitely recommend it."

Pauline Barclay
Founder of Chill with a Book Awards
Easy pleasant read about celtic life, although a bit racier than I bargained for.
Cherime MacFarlane
Solid read with a good plot. I enjoyed it.
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites-books
*** Review To Come Up Soon! ***
A pretty straight forward and standard romance. The protagonist, Nara, is rejected from her home and destined way of life because of a prophesy. Then she meets Lorcan, a chieftain's son of an enemy tribe, and they become reluctant friends. Eventually they fall in love and team up to get their tribes to join forces against the might of the Romans, who are invading their territory, which never ends well for anyone.
Feb 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, fiction
That I title this review about love, is I think the theme and plot of our tale. Those who have taken the effort to investigate Nancy Jardine's tale will find that they are in the midst of the turmoil attraction fosters in two souls caught up in a dangerous game and time. Our tale is set in an era where much is going on, and generally it is told from the Roman Conquerors viewpoint. Even now with the man movies we see released about the era when England was invaded by the Romans, we only see the v ...more
Robin Levin
May 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beltane was a Celtic festival practiced in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man, and in more ancient times in Celtic Britain. It took place on the eve of the first of May and celebrated the marriage of the Goddess Rhiannon and the God Pwyll. Celebrants lit bonfires and marched their livestock through them and practiced other rituals to ensure fertility of animals and crops. Human fertility was also promoted as couples paired off and went off to frolic in the woods. Nine months later the populac ...more
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