Fair is the Rose
Higgs’ romantic saga, based on the Leah-Rachel-Jacob biblical triangle, continues in this sequel to Thorn In My Heart. It is 1789 in Galloway, Scotland, and we pick up the story with the same scene that ended the previous book. Little did we know, as Leana and Jamie McKie took the first steps toward a true and loving marriage, that Leana’s jealous younger sister Rose eavesdropped on their conversation. This sets the tone for this beautifully written, emotionally wrenching novel. Leana’s greedy father Lachlan still refuses to let her and Jamie return to his home to start a new life, but Lachlan is not their biggest problem. Rose’s selfishness, borne of a legal loophole, ultimately causes her sister and Jamie more pain than they can bear.
Describing this book as a tearjerker is an understatement. Unable to endure more heartbreak, I kept putting the book down for a breather, yet the storyline pulled me right back in. Characterization is wonderful, and the lilting dialect feels spot on. Bits of Scottish folklore weave their way into the story, giving it a truly authentic feel; the glossary at the end completes the picture. We all know the biblical tale, yet I couldn’t help but root for Leana. And can Rose ever redeem herself? I can’t wait to see how Higgs ends the trilogy.