Review: Spirit of the Highway by Deborah Swift

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England has been engaged in a bitter Civil War for nearly ten years. Ralph Chaplin, a farmer’s son, has fallen for beautiful copper-haired Kate. There is only one problem – he is a Roundhead soldier and she is a Royalist lady.
Tired of bloodshed, Ralph volunteers to fight, sensing that the Battle at Worcester will be a chance to finish the fighting for good. He longs for peace, so he can forge a secure future and find a different, more equal way of life for himself and Kate.
But War is not what he imagined, and soon he has made a deadly enemy; one who will pursue Ralph and those he loves, and wreak vengeance. What’s more, Ralph finds he has as many enemies at home, as on the battlefield.

While this is possibly a better written novel than the first in the series, I actually liked the first novel more. Maybe it’s because Abi is a more likable main character than Ralph is. This books shares the same issue I had with the other in that there’s a lot of build up, but the actual action seems over very quickly. And the whole thing reads more like a novella than a whole novel. I was able to finish the book in a day simply because it read so fast. It’s hard to really classify this as a romance since it’s more a historical novel than anything else. It is a novelty to have the male character being the narrator in a “romance”, but Ralph was already set up as rather a knob in the last novel so I wasn’t disposed to be too generous to him in this one. It’s not a bad way to spend a couple hours, but I still find a lack of advertised highwayman action.

3 out of 5

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