Young Scottish writer Walter Scott quietly courts the lovely Williamina "Mina" Belsches for years and expects to marry her, but the disapproval of her family threatens his dreams of a romantic happy-ever-after.
After meeting Mina at a church service, Walter falls in love with her at first sight, and the two begin a quiet courtship that includes a romantic correspondence of letters and poems. While never establishing an official understanding, Walter believes Mina is as devoted to him as he is to her despite warnings from friends and family that the match might be out of his reach, since her titled family is far above his own solicitor roots. Plus, a childhood illness leaves him with a disfigured leg and a limp that keeps him from dancing, so even that social interaction with his beloved Mina is denied to him. After five years, Walter is devastated to learn that Mina is considering another suitor, and then, when she accepts him, Walter is hurt, furious, and brokenhearted, unsure how to move on. When he takes a trip to England and meets a lovely French expatriate who is trying to find her own place in the world, they may find that love can grow from regard and respect. Historical romance author Kilpack moves into romantic biographical fiction with this title that traces the early love life of Sir Walter Scott through his disappointing courtship of his first love and then the subsequent meeting of the minds and hearts he finds with Charlotte, the woman he marries. The story is interesting but slow-paced and without the intense conflict most fiction thrives on. The limited historical facts are fleshed out successfully, though stretching the tale out sometimes makes it lag.
A low-key, slow-paced romance that may engage readers looking for a sweet, chaste historical read.