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PHOTO CREDIT: Above photo by John Rickman Photography, San Jose, California.

A Review of

Love Wild and Fair

by Bertrice Small

 

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Summary

A spoiled teen-ager named Catriona runs into trouble when she and her nobleman husband go to live at the court of the king in Edinburgh, Scotland. When she runs from her problems, a series of misadventures lead to her finding herself trapped in a Turkish harem. Love Wild and Fair

 

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Fact Sheet

Title

Love Wild and Fair

Author

Bertrice Small

ISBN

0-380-40030-8

Publisher

Avon Books

Category

Historical Romance Novel

Rating

Star

Number of Pages

662

Published In

1978

 

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Description

This book is the sequel to The Kadin. I would urge you to read The Kadin before tackling this one, because the plot of Love Wild And Fair depends heavily on the characters and events of the earlier book.

At the beginning of the book, Janet Leslie's rather bratty teen-aged great-granddaughter Catriona Hay displays the not-so-noble trait of deciding to run from her problems. Every time something displeases her, off she goes. Despite all of this, her fiancé Patrick Leslie manages to wind up married to her. Although I'm not quite sure why he still wanted her after her frequent temper tantrums...

In any event, after their marriage Cat persuades her gallant husband to take her to the Scottish court in Edinburgh. James Stewart VI was king, and Queen Elizabeth was reigning in England. Patrick Leslie had severe misgivings about spending time at court and attracting the attention of spoiled James Stewart, but of course his beautiful wife got her way. Cat quickly discovered that her husband was right to mistrust a Stewart.

Due to assorted misadventures, which I won't reveal because I don't want to spoil the story, Cat finds herself trapped in a Turkish harem, which is naturally why I decided to include a review of this book on this web site.

 

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Is It Right for You?

 

You Will Probably Enjoy This Book If...

  • You are an intense fan of Bertrice Small and would enjoy anything she wrote, even if it's not her best effort.
  • You appreciate authors who work hard to research the historical eras and locations in which they set their characters.
  • You enjoy historical fiction.

 

This Book Probably Isn't Right for You If...

  • You want to read books whose main characters are people you can relate to and encourage through their adventures.
  • You don't particularly like romance novels.
  • You aren't a fan of books whose plots are fairly predictable.
  • You're looking for a book that prominently features dancing. (It's not mentioned at all in this book.)

 

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What I Liked, What I Didn't

 

What I Liked:

  • This is an action-packed book. The plot is much more complex than the usual run-of-the-mill romance novel plots.
  • Bertrice Small clearly did extensive research when preparing this book. Although I certainly would not encourage anyone to think of a romance novel as being a legitimate source of historical or cultural information, I nonetheless was impressed at the overall use of historical detail in this book. I'm not an expert on either James Stewart's Scotland, but the detail appearing in the book was consistent with what little I did know.

 

What I Didn't Like:

  • Bertrice Small sometimes puts her heroines through excessive amounts of hell. In this book, she took it so far that it made the book tedious to read instead of fun.
  • I'm happiest when the romance novel that I'm reading features characters whom I can admire and encourage. The characters in Love Wild And Fair fell short for me. The heroine is a self-centered, spoiled brat even into adulthood. She is an annoying character, not someone I could feel empathy for.
  • This book lacks the rich tapestry of historical information about Turkey that appears in The Kadin. If you treasured the extensive information about life in Ottoman Turkey from The Kadin, you'll be disappointed by Love Wild And Fair.

 

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Conclusion

Bertrice Small is capable of writing better books than this one. I'm a fan of many of her books, but this one falls short for me.

If you're the kind of person who enjoys historical romance novels with a hefty dose of passionate sex scenes, then you'll probably like this book very much. However, if you've never appreciated romance novels, and if you are squeamish about books with large amounts of explicit sex, this is not the right book for you.

I probably wouldn't recommend reading this book even though it has ties to The Kadin, which I had enjoyed very much. Skip this one, and spend your reading time elsewhere.

 

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Related Books

After finishing this book, if you'd like to read other books by Bertrice Small presenting other adventures in the Middle East and North Africa, there are many available to keep you reading for some time to come. Here is the order I would suggest reading them in, with links (when available) to reviews of them elsewhere on this web site:

  • The Kadin. This was Bertrice Small's first book, and everything else follows it. It is the first in the Leslie Famly series, sometimes called the Cyra Hafisa series.
  • Skye O'Malley. This is the first book in a series about a strong woman named Skye O'Malley and her extended family. Her adventures take her to Algeria at one point.
  • All The Sweet Tomorrows. This is the sequel to Skye O'Malley. Although I was a bit disappointed with this book, I would still recommend that if you liked Skye O'Malley enough to read more in the series, then you should read this before the others. Otherwise, you'll find some of the references to past events and characters in the later books confusing. Part of it takes place in Algeria and Morocco.
  • A Love For All Time. This one comes third in the Skye O'Malley family of books. Part of it takes place in Turkey, and it makes some references to characters who were originally introduced in The Kadin.
  • Love Wild And Fair. This is the sequel to The Kadin and part of the plot takes place in Turkey. It is the second in the Leslie Famly series, sometimes called the Cyra Hafisa series.
  • This Heart Of Mine. I don't plan to review this one for my site, because the heroine's adventures take her to India, which falls outside my geographical scope. But if you've enjoyed the other books about Skye's family so far, you'll want to read this one, which is number four in the series.
  • Lost Love Found. Bertrice Small takes you back to Turkey in this one, the fifth book in her story about Skye O'Malley and her family. Don't tackle this one unless you've read everything above. I made that mistake, and felt entirely confused at all the flashbacks explaining what had gone before.
  • Wild Jasmine. This is the natural sequel to This Heart Of Mine. I don't plan to review this one for my site, because the heroine's time outside of Europe takes place in India, which falls outside the geographic scope that I focus on for this web site. But if you're hooked on the Skye O'Malley series, you'll want to read this one, which is the sixth book in the series.

 

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Disclosures

There is nothing to disclose. I have never had any contact with anyone associated with this book.

 


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