TBR Day. Fallen / Emma Jensen. 2001

This month's theme is "series catch-up" and Fallen is book 2 in a trilogy by Emma Jensen (no website found) that also includes the titles Entwined and Moonlit. Ironically, Entwined was my June 2010 TBR read. The heroes of these 3 books were spies together during the Peninsular wars and carry various physical and emotional scars from their time there.

Fallen takes place almost entirely on the island of Skye in 1812. Our hero, Gabriel, the Earl of Rievaulx, has been asked by his friend Nathan (and hero of Entwined) to go to Skye and track down an elusive traitor.

A SIDE NOTE: I think the fact that an Earl was running around Spain spying on French troops and is now free to go to Scotland to find a traitor causes this book to meet the definition of a "mistorical." I try not to get caught up in the finer points of what constitutes a mistorical because I am no expert. But Gabriel's "profession" did not ring true and in the end did a lot to detract from the better parts of the story.

When Gabriel arrives on Skye, he introduces himself to Maggie MacLeod and her family who are in-laws to Gabriel's friend, Nathan. Maggie's father insists that Gabriel stay with them and Gabriel spends his time getting to know the locals so he can find the traitor he seeks. And over the course of the book he gets to know Maggie and the two fall in love. Jensen is a fine writer and the book is peppered with interesting characters and wonderful descriptions of the island. Both Gabriel and Maggie are likeable people. Gabriel made a serious mistake while in Spain that dearly cost the British war effort. He is trying to atone for that. Maggie is a caretaker. She watches over her alcoholic father and cares for her teenage sister. She's an herbalist and provides her friends and neighbors with all manner of tinctures and salves. Maggie is also a bit heart-sore from a previous relationship. So both Gabriel and Maggie are nursing their wounds when they meet. I enjoyed the chemistry between the two of them.

Ultimately I found this a pleasurable read, although not stellar. And thanks to the various quotes from "Scarbro Fair" to lead off many of the chapters I experienced Simon & Garfunkel's "Scarborough Fair/Canticle" as an earworm as I read. How bad can that be?

Comments

  1. Phyl! I was confused for a minute when I saw Simon & Garfunkel's Scarborough Fair at the bottom of the review before reading it, and then saw "Earl" and historical. LOL!

    Mistorical: Funny... it's great how these Earls didn't have to take care of their properties, tenants, or other responsibilities. They could spend YEARS running around the Continent or elsewhere spying or "whatever." LOL! I gave up getting upset about that a while back too. Now I just turn a blind eye unless it's TOO darn obvious to do so -- mistoricals abound these days. :)

    At least you enjoyed it to some extent. ;P

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    1. Ha! Sorry I confused you. And, Yes, mistoricals do abound; I try to stay away from the obvious ones. But a good story will trump all. This one came close and as you say, I did enjoy it.

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  2. I love Skye. It's one of the most beautiful places on earth. I can understand wanting to set a romance novel there.

    Now I'm thinking of this book as the Spy on Skye book!

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    1. That's so funny! Spy on Skye. I love it. And now I really want to visit there. A personal testimonial to its beauty from you is an added incentive.

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  3. I never heard the term 'mistorical' before. Is that basically an historical fiction with mistakes in the history or setting or what not?

    Sounds like a cute story nonetheless.

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    1. I think I first saw the term "mistorical" over at Dear Author. There was a discussion a while back, although I didn't take time to follow it fully. I'm not sure everyone even agrees about the definition, but I think it includes mistakes in the history as well as characters who think and act in ways that would have been highly unlikely for the historical period in question (like an Earl going off to war, thus ignoring his responsibilities at home).

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