Elizabeth English is a RITA Award-winning author and that with her first book. The Linnet is her third release and I admit to having been a little apprehensive when picking it to read. Too much praise for a new author and resulting high expectations do that to me. I shouldn’t have worried. Elizabeth English delivers what she and her supporters promised.
The border between Scotland and England 1379, Lady Maude Darnley of Aylsford Keep is not a woman much loved or cared for. Hiding a painful past behind a controlling and cruel façade she is barely holding herself together. When instead of the promised return of an old healer his young and handsome apprentice, Irishman Ronan Fitzgerald, shows up she reluctantly suffers his company. Not realizing that it would take a healer and minstrel to reveal her voice of pain and love.
While Ronan is loyal to the Kirallens, mortal enemies of every Darnley, he is bound by his code of honor to stay at the keep. Schooled to listen carefully though he soon discovers Maude’s pain and finds himself caught in an old feud in his efforts to help and love her.
The Linnet is a strong and mesmerizing tale. A beautiful tale, unique and daring in its characters, rich and thorough in its setting, fast-paced and intriguing in its voice and most importantly caring and courageous in its love story. The story is linked to Elizabeth English previous two books but it stands alone just fine. Not that it really matters as it is a given that her readers will want to read and own all of her books anyway.
A touch of spiritual teachings, a dose of pagan rituals and the healing power of music and love ought to propel this page-turner of a romance novel onto many a keeper shelf.