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Title: Border Wedding
Author: Amanda Scott
Genre: Historical fiction
Rating: 1/5
# pages: 387
Date read: February, 2013

Captured in 1388 in the act of stealing back his own cattle, young Sir William Scott faces hanging, then gets one other choice--to marry immediately his captor's eldest daughter, the lady Margaret Murray, known by all as Muckle-Mouth Meggie. With the line between England and Scotland shifting daily, the Earl of Douglas wants to win back every inch of Scotland that the English have claimed; whereas the equally powerful English Percies (under Hotspur) want to win back the land between Northumberland and Edinburgh; and the Murray family is caught in the middle, shifting its alliances to try to survive. Uncertain whether she is English or Scottish and abruptly married to Sir William who is staunchly loyal to the cause of Scottish independence but who also has promised he'll never take up arms against her family, Meg Murray learns two things: first, Will's word is his bond; second, her favorite brother is spying on Douglas for Hotspur. As Sir Will faces the dilemma of honoring his word to the unscrupulous Murray without betraying Douglas, Meg must choose between betraying the husband with whom she is rapidly falling in love, or betraying her own family and best-loved brother.

Wow.... that was a decidedly terrible book.

The first proof that something was wrong came when I discovered that the main character's name was different on the dust jacket than in the book itself (copied in full above - his name is actuall Wat/Walter. I'm not going to blame the author for that one though, as it's probably more likely to be the fault of her editor/publisher than of herself.

I started this book almost 3 months ago. It's not a long book - just under 400 pages in fact - but just utterly uninteresting. I liked it well enough while reading it, but never disappeared completely into it, and it was far too easy to put it down and pick up something else instead. It was as if it couldn't figure out what kind of book it wanted to be. Was it a period romance? Erotica? Period suspense? A spy novel? Or something else entirely?

I could have forgiven it for all of that though, and fully intended to give it 2 stars for being "OK" until the big reveal 50 pages before the end.

Cutting the rest for spoilers...
That the big reveal was rape I had already figured out long ago. That in itself didn't bother me. It would be totally true to the time and characters. That it turned out to be incest threw me for a loop. And that nobody seemed to think it was a big deal that it was incest made me want to throw the book against the wall. There's something seriously wrong when a man, charged with the crime of raping his own sister, replied "She wanted it!" and their other brother accepts that!!!

The father's reaction to his sons being spies and his daughters calling them out on it was completely unrealistic as well. The big climax of the book, and even the characters themselves seem not to care? Yeah...

I seldom give out 1-star ratings to books, but unfortunately this one really deserved it. And it's the first in a trilogy? Spare me.
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