Sunday, 16 December 2012

Love in a war zone

It is true that the Border feuds lasted nearly three hundred years and they interfered with love lives and marriages in a way that is hard to comprehend today. Cross-border marriages did take place, but sometimes feuds interfered with a love match. It all depended on the strength of feeling - be they friend or enemy - between the families.
When Alina's father discovers Harry one fateful day in 1543, he condemns him simply because his family name is Scott. Harry's misfortune is that Scott is an alias he chose at random, but he cannot confess it without betraying his father's mission. Alina fears that their love is destroyed before it really began.


The kitten’s pale claws flexed against the rounded curve of her breast. The court ladies wore stomachers of wood to give a straight line to their expensive gowns, but not so this girl. Harry swallowed. She must be aware of the effect she had on him.

“A stallholder warned me I may lose my life on the road to Edinburgh. Are things so bad in the Borders?”

Alina’s smile faded. “Yes.”

“I must go,” he said. “The journey is one I…it is important.”

She sighed. “Then go if you must, but it is a bad road and you must take care.”

“Then I shall take another road.”

Her smile held condescension. “Whichever road you take through the Borders will be dangerous, sir.” The kitten, tucked in beneath her chin, stared at him, too; both pairs of eyes so serious Harry couldn’t help smiling. “That creature’s probably got fleas, you know.”

“Will you tell me your name?”

“Harry Scott at your service, lady.”

A fine gold chain supported a gold cross at her throat, and it twinkled in the sunlight as she sucked in a sharp breath. “Your family name is Scott?”

He had chosen the surname at random. Why did she look at him as if he was an enemy? Perhaps he should have chosen a decent English name like Smith or Wilson.

He nodded, determined to make nothing of it. Scott was a common enough name, after all. “And your name, lady? I may pass this way on my return.”

“My name is Alina Carnaby. I live at Aydon Hall now. But before you visit, you should know that my father hates every member of the Scott family. So much so that he may kill you the moment you declare your name.”

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