A Splendid Defiance by Stella Riley

Publication Info: Audible Audio edition published December 19th 2016 by Stella Riley. First published April 11th 1985 by Fontana. I listened to this book through my Audible Escape membership.

Summary: After Justin Ambrose, a cavalier loyal to King Charles I, annoys a superior officer, he finds himself stuck in a crumbling back country castle. His job consists of rounding up supplies for the Royalists at the front lines and fighting off boredom hanging out with the rest of the officers and soldiers assigned to the garrison in Banbury.

One evening, Justin rescues a young woman being accosted by two drunken soldiers. He offers to escort her home, but she balks, knowing that her Puritanical, overly pious, bigoted older brother, Jonah, would punish her for even crossing paths with a Royalist soldier. Justin forgets about Abby until he enters Jonah’s fabric shop to purchase material for uniforms and finds her hiding in the corner. One thing leads to another and the two of them begin to form an uneasy friendship. When the battle reaches Banbury, Abby helps heal Justin’s wounds, putting both of them in danger from more than just the war.

Comments: The quality of A Splendid Defiance was quite a surprise! The author really brings the period of the English Civil War to life. The main characters are well drawn against a highly detailed period backdrop. I knew absolutely nothing about that particular period in British history until I read this book. The author has several other titles that take place during this time, including the “Roundheads and Cavaliers” series.

There is more emphasis on history than romance in this book, which appealed to me, but some readers may find it less satisfying.

Highly recommended for readers of Historical Fiction and Historical Romances.

My Rating: 4.5 STARS

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