Blue Bonnets: Dancing for the Devil Trilogy, Book 2 / Sword Dance: Dancing for the Devil Trilogy, Book 3

Written by Marie Laval
Review by Mary Fisk

These sequels to The Dream Catcher, which I reviewed in HNR 76, are set in Scotland in 1847. To tell the truth, I was looking forward to finding out what happened to Bruce McGunn and Rose Saintclair after she fled him to seek a reunion with Cameron McRae, who had married her in Algiers. Needless to say, after Bruce catches up with her, she soon comes to realise she has been deluded about McRae and really loves McGunn! Someone, however, is determined that neither Bruce nor Rose should reach the McRae estates, and that might have something to do with the contents of Rose’s father’s diary and promises he had made to carry out the last wishes of a dying Scottish officer, Niall McRae, in 1815.

The tales gallop along, flinging the hero and heroine from one predicament to the other – with a few pauses for passionate lovemaking – before the skeletons cascade from closets, and dramatic accusations and revelations are made. These elements combine to make enjoyable page-turning adventure-romance, but I stand by my original criticism that this does not work as a trilogy. Rose also turns out to be the sister of Lucas Saintclair, the hero of The Lion’s Embrace (also reviewed independently in HNR 76) and some of the events in that novel are referenced.

It feels like a full-length novel has been split randomly into three. Coming to Blue Bonnets after a break, and in spite of “the story so far” preface, I found myself asking, for instance, exactly who was Morag, and what was the relationship of MacBoyd to McGunn? These last two volumes were also beset by sloppy textual and typographical editing – mainly along the lines of random missing words and letters. I wondered in particular about the “simmering tapestries” on page 132!