A Bound Heart

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 15 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

Laura Frantz’ “A Bound Heart” is the story of childhood friends Magnus MacLeish and Lark MacDougall who grew up together on the charming and beautiful isle of Kerrera (off the Scottish coast). 

Although they had many of the same opportunities as children, they lead quite different lives as adults; Magnus is Laird of Castle Kerrera and Lark is the Keeper of the Bees. Lark has always been quite fond of Magnus and was heartbroken when he returned a few years ago to the isle with a wife. So, she busies herself taking care of her elderly Granny and her beloved bees. She also has a flirtatious friendship with the handsome captain of the Merry Lass, Rory MacPherson.

The inhabitants of the isle soon learn that Magnus’ wife, Lady Isla, hates the isle and living there. She is mean, rude and often physically ill. Furthermore, she does not like “the help” to be seen (including Lark). Matters only worsen when she is unable to produce an heir. Lady Isla is desperate to have a child and dies after ingesting one of Lark’s potions. Lark is soon tried and found guilty or murder. Lark and Magnus’ trials and tribulations and ensuing love story comprise the rest of the book.

Both Magnus and Lark are Christians and Frantz reminds us that it is “better to dwell in the wilderness than with a contentious and angry woman” and also that “husbands, love your wives.” She also reminds us that “the true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good!”

If you require a lovely historical romance, this is for you! Frantz describes the isle of Kerrera so beautifully you will feel as if you are there. This book is great for any age reader.

Hoping that this may become a series (although the cover did not designate as such). I would love to read more about their lives after the ending of the book.

#ABoundHeart #NetGalley

Publication Date: January 1, 2019
Genre: Romance, Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Scottish
Cover: Stunning and absolutely perfect!
Rating: 5 stars
Source:  I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review. Thank you for the opportunity to read this great book!
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I have never read any books by Laura Frantz previously, and I am so happy to have found a new favorite author.  This novel was captivating from start to finish.  It indeed was not an easy one to guess how the story would end - it kept me puzzled all along the way.  Though,  near the end,  I wondered just how many twists and turns were there going to be in the story and how is the author going to solve this latest one?!

This tale takes one to historical Scotland in the 1700s with a castle, and it's Laird Magnus and a young heroine called Lark.  The concept of a "Stillroom" was new to me, and as a former nurse found this part of the story fascinating as Lark formulates different herbal concoctions suited to various illnesses.  Both Magnus and Lark have excellent qualities, and it's plain that they hold to Christian values.  They both have a sincere desire to follow God's commands, and they hang onto their faith amidst much struggle and hardship.   As a reader, I sincerely appreciate when Christian faith is made clear in Inspirational or Christian fiction instead of merely alluded in the novels.

I received an ARC from NetGalley for this my honest review.  I recommend this book and look forward to reading more by this author!
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Set in the 1700s, first in Scotland along the sea, then America. Lark is descended from a fierce warrior clan whose laird was killed and their castle destroyed. She and her Granny lived and worked at the castle nearby, in the stillroom. Which means they gathered plants and tended bees, for medicinal and other uses, preparing medicines for the Laird and his people. She grew up with Magnus, the current Laird, learned with him. He is a good and handsome man, but forced by his father married another woman - and it didn't go well.  Rich, deep Christian historical fiction. I want to spend more time with these people. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher and NetGalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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A Bound Heart by Laura Frantz was such an intriguing novel. I was quickly absorbed into the story and enjoyed following the characters along their journey. 

The writing was fantastic. I felt like I was transported back in time and it all felt so real. I wasn't sure about the romance at first, but in the end I loved it. 

All in all, A Bound Heart was a lovely read. It was realistic and told a great story. I loved it and recommend it.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*
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Magnus is the laird of the castle and Lark the stillroom maid and beekeeper. They care for each other very much, as they took their lessons together at school and have been friends for so long. But their stations keep them from being more than friends. When Magnus’s wife falls ill and dies, accusations arise and Magnus and Lark become indentured servants sent from their beloved home in Scotland across the Atlantic to Virginia. Along the way Lark becomes the caregiver to an orphaned child and Magnus and Lark become separated. What does the future have in store for them? Will they have a chance to be together at last? This book had me turning pages from the start, from the descriptions and language of Scotland, to the adventures of travelling to Virginia and Jamaica. As a fan of historical fiction and Christian fiction as well this novel was well written and the language of the time was easy to follow. I enjoyed this book very much and highly recommend it. 4/5 stars.
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With vibrant storytelling, believable characters, and epic settings, I didn’t just read this book, I LIVED IT. This is beautifully crafted historical fiction and it completely immersed me in another world.

We begin the story in 1752 on the Scottish Isle of Kerrera where we meet Lark and her friends, including Magnus, her childhood playmate of long ago who is now “laird” (lord) of the castle and the island.  The friendly affection of their childhood has never waned, but now that Magnus has inherited his estate and Lark is one of his servants, there is an insuperable social gulf between them that restrains their conversations and dealings with each other.

After Lark and Magnus are imprisoned on false charges and condemned to indentured servitude in the New World, we follow them to a plantation in Virginia (and later, to Jamaica), where they work alongside African slaves.  Although the book is sobering in the parts that reference slavery, the story never becomes brutal or gory. 

I enjoyed the vivid sensory details about Scotland, Virginia, and Jamaica that painted each scene so clearly that it became a movie in my head.  I loved the omniscient third person narrator that gave me access to the thoughts of Lark and Magnus and a few of the other principal characters; it was done so well that each character had a very distinctive “voice” and stayed true to themselves.  And I absolutely adored the complex relationship between Lark and Magnus and the subtle deepening of their love over time.

Thanks to NetGalley and Revell for a digital advance review copy.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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This book was a solid read. I found parts dragging, but that could just have been that I was reading at 11:00 pm rather than how it was written! The plot was unique. The characters were solid, but I just didn't get into it. I had a really hard time getting to like the main characters. As mentioned earlier, it might be me! I really didn't care about the characters until almost the half way point. I wanted to love it, but I just liked it. If I reread it with fresh eyes, I might like it more.

I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own, and I was not required to leave a review, positive or otherwise.
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Frantz's latest offering has all of the elements of a great read- danger, adventure, the warmth of family and friendship, exotic settings, and of course a beautiful love story. Early in the story the personal, emotional and class struggles experienced by Magnus and Lark are evident. He is bound by the obligations his title requires. She struggles with the ethical implications of her fellow countrymen's "Robin Hood" raids and the formality imposed on she and Magnus's once cherished friendship. As both are accused of wrongdoing and face the journey to their exile in the colonies, the backstory of Magnus and Lark's ill-fated friendship-turned-romance are exposed. Their heartbreaking story persists through the devious actions of others, physical separation, fear of death, and unanswered questions about their future. This adventure carried me eagerly from page to page! Satisfying story with a soul-warming ending!

​I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. A review was not required but was voluntary and contains my own thoughts and opinions regarding this literary work.
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A story that travels from Scotland right across different continents.
Absolutely beautiful. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend it. 
Thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for allowing me to read this book.
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Drawing from her personal heritage, Laura Frantz weaves a tale that begins in Scotland and carries the reader to colonial Virginia and Jamaica. The main characters are people who rely on their faith to give them courage to endure, even during the harshest circumstances. They each demonstrate great strength of character, both individually and together. The romance is clean and even appropriate for young adults.
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In customary Frantz tradition, A Bound Heart is a lush portal to a historical time period explored with supreme poetic confidence. 

The depth of painstaking research is paid off in the immediate immersion of the reader into a world rift with problems of ownership and tradition. 

A unique heroine with a fascinating gift and a hero who is binding his life back together intersect at the crux of hope and despair. 

The slow burn romance most perfectly suited to a night by the fire: Frantz never creates the same experience twice and, thus, A Bound Heart is wrought by an achingly familiar voice but is a completely unexpected, surprising and wonderfully thematic journey.
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A breathtaking, beautiful story! While not my typical genre, I decided to take a chance on it as one of my favorite authors raved about it. She was not mistaken! This book holds it all- a beautiful setting beginning in Scotland, danger on the seas, heartbreak, and young love to name a few. 

You quickly become endured to Lark MacDougall. She is a sweet soul her loved her granny and tending the stillroom and her bees. She has a big heart and tries to do what she knows is right even when it is not the popular choice. Her friendship with the laird, Magnus MacLeish, goes back to their childhood as they grew up running the castle crowds together. Even with a difference in social standing, their bond is strong. 

Through unfortunate events, Magnus and Lark find themselves indentured and forced to leave their beloved Scotland and Kerrara Castle for American and Jamaica. We follow them as they travel the seas full of exciting and dangerous adventures before they ever set foot upon the new lands and all that awaits. 

I found this book difficult to put down as I longed to know what Magnus and Lark were facing next. I found myself rooting for them to see what lies beyond their friendship. They both show that despite all the adversity thrown at them, you can stay true to your faith and believe in God to take care of you.

I loved this book and am a new fan of Laura Frantz! I look forward to reading more of her books. I was given a complimentary copy of this book through Revell and NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.
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Laura Frantz pens and develops such deep and emotionally stirring characters that have flaws and realistic struggles but also become such strong and faith-filled personalities.  I liked the backdrop of this book and appreciated the detailed history.  Some of the verbiage, true to the historical setting, breaks up the flow of the story, but I think it ends up contributing to the overall novel.  I liked the romance, wrought with tension, and the ending was perfectly satisfying.  I enjoyed this sweet story and recommend it to those who love historical fiction!

I received an e-copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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A Bound Heart
by Laura Frantz



Pub Date 01 Jan 2019

I am reviewing a copy of A Bound Heart through Revell and Netgalley:

Despite the fact that Magnus MacLeish and Lark MacDougal grew up on the same castle grounds, Magnus has now become laird of the great house and the Isle of Kerrera. Lark is now but the keeper of Magnus MacLeish’s bees and the woman he is hoping will provide a tinicture that may help his wife who is unwell conceive and give him an heir.

After his wife dies suddenly, Magnus and Lark find themselves being accused of many things, kicked off their beautiful island and sold as indentured servants all the way across the Atlantic.

Even as all Hope seems dashed against the rocky coastline of the Virgina Colony they discover that maybe the two of them can have a chance at a life together.

I give A Bound Heart five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!
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I like the story line, the writing was good too. I'm not sure this type of fiction is my thing. I'm not much on castles and lords and maidens. It was still a good story.
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I enjoyed reading this book by a new author (to me) and some of the evocative descriptions of the landscape of the Western Isles of Scotland.  I even realized I might have travelled past Kerrara on a holiday years ago. 

I also liked the characters especially Karl and appreciated the spiritual messages, genuine without being too heavy handed. The story was also quite  on romance. 

The reason for the lower rating was that I felt the Scottish characters were a little on the stereotypical side. Red hair for example not just a Scottish 'thing'.  Its fairly common in Wales, Ireland and even some parts of England too. Not all Scottish people say 'ken ' meaning ' know ' and some Scottish terms are actually used in northern England too. 

There were also some inaccuracies. One which bothered me was the talk of Magnus and his father fighting on the Jacobite side at the battle of Culloden. Magnus and Mark were meant to be Presbyterian, and as such would have been unlikely to support the Catholic Bonnie Prince Charlie and his cause.
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I like a good book with a Scottish setting and characters. Laura Frantz penned both. The story of Magnus and Lark spans two continents. The Isle of Kerrera seems like a beautiful place that fairy tales are set in. While the ship ride across the Atlantic is filled with danger, excitement, and a few unseemly characters. Then to the land of hope, America in its early stages. As beekeeper and botanist on the Isle, Lark is quite content. But as her world is turned upside down, she not only depends on what she knows, but Who she knows. The story is filled with twists and turns. I felt like a few ends needed tied up a bit neater. But overall, I enjoyed Lark's story. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell via NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Digging into a Laura Franz book is always a treat. From her use of language and colloquialisms to her depth of historical research, I always come away enriched and feeling as though I have journeyed to long ago and far away. A Bound Heart is no exception. I love pretty much anything set in Scotland so I was drawn into the setting right away. Looking forward to the next one!
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So finely crafted. The heart is a complex being. It's myriad facets are bold yet nuanced, so intricately detailed. Laura Frantz seems to actually capture these complexities. Her characters lift from the page living and breathing. Magnus, Lark, Rory, Mistress Flowerdew, and more become people I can see in my mind's eye. More, they become people whose hearts I can feel. I become transported to walking the cliffs above a beloved Scottish shore, navigating life aboard an immense sailing ship, or stepping in the rhythm of paths at a plantation in Virginia or Jamaica. The immersion is complete. I love Lark and Magnus' story. I do hope we get to learn more of their story.
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Ms. Frantz’s books are always a delight to read. She creates a perfect balance between romance and an intriguing plot line with a perfect amount of history thrown in. I always learn something about history I didn’t know when I read her books. A Bound Heart is a must-read for fans of Poldark, as some elements at the start of the story are similar. I enjoyed Lark’s profession and her beekeeping, and learning how many of the insects and plants we have in America today came from other countries. I also enjoyed how not every element of the plot was tied up with a pretty bow, as it was written realistic to the time period. I look forward to this author’s next book.
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