Among The Muses's Reviews > A Hint of Rapture

A Hint of Rapture by Miriam Minger
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** spoiler alert ** Twenty-one years ago today, A Hint of Rapture hit the shelves, giving readers a love adventure with life and death risks of two people, who, by political standards, should be sworn enemies, but only found love in one another.

It's 1746, in Farraline, Strathherrick, Scotland, and Madeleine (Maddie) Fraser is awakened by her maidservant with England's 'redcoats' advancing on her home. Two months had passed since the Battle of Culloden. Two months since she became the Mistress of Farraline, and of Mhor Manor, following the death of her father, baronet Sir Hugh Fraser. Prior to his leaving for war, he bid her to take care of the people. An obligation she'd since held fast to.

At only nineteen, Maddie was forced to bear the weight of the survival of her people as the redcoats plundered and burned homes as well as sought out any and all men that may have survived Culloden and went into hiding deep within the mountains. When the redcoats destroyed what little precious memories she held in family heirlooms, she decided to start fighting back.

Dressed in all black, mens clothing, with only four additional village men to aid her, she begins stealing back food and supplies in order to keep her people fed and alive. The biggest problem she failed to take into account was that the goods she was stealing along the main road belonged to the cruel military General Cumberland, known as the Butcher, himself. All this did was throw fuel on the already burning fire of tension between the Scots and England.

Captain Garrett Marshall is a unique kind of officer; With a smidgen of Scots blood running through his veins and his aristocratic background, he doesn't exactly adhere to many of the beliefs and actions of his peers -- especially his General. This also makes him the perfect person for the Butcher to send in to capture the infamous Black Jack.

Captain Marshall and his loyal and more civilized unit of men set up base inside Mhor Manor right along side Maddie. You can only imagine that this does not bode well. Maddie despises and abhors the English -- and makes no effort to hide the fact. But, along the way, much to her irritation, Maddie starts to notice that Garrett is nothing like the redcoats that she's familiar with, which only causes her solid guard to be cracked and slowly crumbling.

However, that doesn't stop Maddie from hating the English, continuing her raids, and taking every chance she can get to put down and shut down Garrett and his advances. What surprises her (and me) most is that she's able to continue the raids right under Garrett's nose without him or his men noticing.

But, as Black Jack continues to allude the English, tension arises, and with her people's safety being put into jeopardy, Maddie realizes that the only thing left to do is surrender herself. The only problem is, both Maddie and Garrett have much to loose when Garrett finally realizes who Black Jack really is and is forced to turn in the person he's fallen in love with.

In this turn of the twentieth-century historical romance, you see a lot of the characteristics of those early novels. A little bit of an info dump at the beginning (although in its defense it does make for setting the stage for a necessary background of Maddie and the Scottish people), an annoying heroine, and repetition of the word bastard *lol*.

One of my biggest qualms I had was with the heroine. Maddie Fraser is young, thinking that she's pretty much invisible, and so head strong that she continuously makes annoying choices. I get why she was doing what she did, I think it showed great character, and at the moments when she did let down her guard, she was a very likable person. But, as the book progressed, I just lost my rooting for her. She was always up-down, hot and cold, with her feelings towards Garrett. For someone who didn't seem to care about anything but doing what was best and right, she sure did have issues with the image of what it would look like to her people if she let them know what Garrett was starting to mean to her, as well as admitting it to herself. In fact, her denial and immaturity eventually almost cost Garrett's life, when all he wanted to do was prove to the Scots of Farraline that he was sincere in their cause and in love with Maddie.

Garrett pretty much does everything he possibly can to demonstrate that he loves her -- even risking his own neck and sacrificing so much in order to save not only her but her people as well. I couldn't help but really, really like Garrett. But the poor guy was in love with a woman who just couldn't see past his "redcoat" (pun intended) until it nearly cost him his life.

The plot of the story was pretty believable -- at least in terms of historical considerations. I don't exactly find it believable that the heroine could sneak out of the same house, while living on the same floor as the hero, and having guards surrounding the house and adjoining areas, without having any suspicions whats-so-ever.

Ms. Minger did a great job at including a lot of historical facts and using consistent Scottish brogue. I enjoyed the setting, loved the hero Garrett, and also enjoyed the unique plot line and secondary characters. There's some smexin' scenes that were really good! Garrett could be an alpha when he needed to be but also knew when to hold his tongue.

Overall, I'd say I enjoyed this book despite my issues with the heroine. But, just FYI, the Kindle version of this story is a mess. As the story progressed there was a lot of formatting issues and grammatical errors.
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