The Rose and The Thistle by Laura Frantz

Thank you for joining me today as I feature The Rose and The Thistle by Laura Frantz on my blog, on tour with Austen Prose Tours!

Book Details

  • Title: The Rose and the Thistle: A Novel
  • Author: Laura Frantz
  • Genre: Historical Romance, Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction
  • Publisher: Fleming H. Revell Co
  • Publication Date: January 3, 2023
  • Length: 416 pages
  • Format: Hardcover, Trade paperback, & eBook 
  • ISBN: 978-0800742669
  • Tour Dates: January 2 – 16, 2023

Book Description

In 1715, Lady Blythe Hedley’s father is declared an enemy of the British crown because of his Jacobite sympathies, forcing her to flee her home in northern England. Secreted to the tower of Wedderburn Castle in Scotland, Lady Blythe awaits who will ultimately be crowned king. But in a house with seven sons and numerous servants, her presence soon becomes known.

No sooner has Everard Hume lost his father, Lord Wedderburn, than Lady Hedley arrives with the clothes on her back and her mistress in tow. He has his own problems–a volatile brother with dangerous political leanings, an estate to manage, and a very young brother in need of comfort and direction in the wake of losing his father. It would be best for everyone if he could send this misfit heiress on her way as soon as possible.Drawn into a whirlwind of intrigue, shifting alliances, and ambitions, Lady Blythe must be careful whom she trusts. Her fortune, her future, and her very life are at stake. Those who appear to be adversaries may turn out to be allies–and those who pretend friendship may be enemies.

About the Author

Christy Award-winning author, Laura Frantz, is passionate about all things historical, particularly the 18th-century, and writes her manuscripts in longhand first. Her stories often incorporate Scottish themes that reflect her family heritage. She is a direct descendant of George Hume, Wedderburn Castle, Berwickshire, Scotland, who was exiled to the American colonies for his role in the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715, settled in Virginia, and is credited with teaching George Washington surveying in the years 1748-1750. Proud of her heritage, she is also a Daughter of the American Revolution. When not at home in Kentucky, she and her husband live in Washington State.


Click here for an exclusive interview with Laura Frantz!

Advance Praise

“A masterful achievement of historical complexity and scintillating romance sure to thrill readers with its saga of love under siege.”— Booklist, starred review “A deeply atmospheric story of faith, love, and sacrifice that is as captivating as it is enthralling.”— Sarah E. Ladd, bestselling author of The Cornwall Novels “Marked by majestic Scottish scenery and a memorable trip to Edinburg, The Rose and the Thistle is a delightful historical romance set during a tumultuous time.”— Forward Reviews

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My Thoughts

This novel was so well written with fantastic descriptions that I felt myself swept away to eighteenth century Scotland and immediately immersed in a culture of religious uprisings, daring romance, and threats of war.  I was so impressed with the amount of history the author poured into this novel; a bonus is knowing the author is distantly related to the characters and events in the story.  I was also impressed with her ability to weave Scottish Gaelic and other phrases authentic to that time period flawlessly into the plot.  I did reference the glossary at the beginning several times but I did not find that this detracted from the story but only made it richer.  I loved Blythe from the first page, her steadfast compassion, kind mannerisms, smart intellect, and unshakable courage made it easy to me to feel invested in her story.  Everard is initially mysterious but soon becomes the perfect hero to compliment Blythe’s personality.  I loved the unexpected twists their story took and I also had a hard time putting the book down.  I hope there is a future novel with more of Blythe and Everard as there were a few details I would love to know more about, but I don’t think this detracted from a satisfying ending.  I cannot recommend this book; I absolutely loved it!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers, courtesy of Austen Prose Tours with Laurel Ann Nattress.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

Favorite Quotes

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A Heart Adrift by Laura Frantz

About the Book

Esmee Shaw has settled into her single life after a failed decade-long relationship, surrounding herself with perfecting the art of chocolate.  Captain Henri Lennox is glad to be home again, hoping to focus on working on a lighthouse in Chesapeake Bay, a dream he once shared with Esmee.  However, war between France and America is looming and the colonial government is asking him to lead a secret naval expedition.  With war determined to keep them apart, Esmee and Henri must work against all odds to heal from the past and survive an uncertain time.

About the Author

Laura Frantz is a Christy Award winner and the ECPA bestselling author of a dozen novels, including An Uncommon WomanTidewater Bride, The Frontiersman’s DaughterCourting Morrow LittleThe Colonel’s LadyThe Lacemaker, and A Bound Heart. She is a proud mom to an American soldier and a career firefighter. When not at home in Kentucky, she and her husband live in Washington State. Learn more at

My Thoughts

One of my favorite aspects of Laura Frantz is her amazing character development, and this book did not disappoint as we read about Esmee and Henri.  The depth of their individual growth and their relationship is something to savor as you read.  The setting is also fascinating; I love historical fiction but I do not frequently read books set in the eighteenth century and it was easy to be transported back in time with the fantastic descriptions.  The integration of faith in the story is well done.  This novel is well written and definitely worth the read.  Highly recommended!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Publishing.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

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An Uncommon Woman by Laura Frantz

An Uncommon Woman book cover

Tessa Swan is strong and independent, traits she developed from growing up on the Virginia frontier with five brothers.  She is thrilled to find her old friend Keturah at the settlement, brought by the quiet and elusive Clay Tygart after he returns from the French and Indian War. Clay is initially hesitant to interact with Tessa as he wants to avoid romantic connections, but soon they may have to face some trials ahead together or risk losing it all.

Laura Frantz is a master at weaving historical details among a plot that will grip you with its depth and complexity!  The scenes and their descriptions are vivid and the characters are rich and compelling. I liked how the story had twists and unexpected turns that kept it interesting.  I love historical fiction but I must admit I haven’t read a lot of books in this time period and I was fascinated with the historical details and the research the author put into the story.  I also liked the rawness and the messiness of the plot that made the story believable and realistic.  I enjoy anything this author pens and definitely recommend this book!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

A Bound Heart by Laura Frantz

A Bound Heart book cover

Magnus MacLeish, laird of the great house on the Isle of Kerrera, remembers fondly her childhood friendship with Lark MacDougall, now keeper of the bees on the land.  When Lark’s wife dies suddenly, Magnus and Lark find themselves accused and expelled across the Atlantic.  They are faced with what seems like insurmountable challenges but as the Virginia colony begins to grow on them, they realize that this may be the new beginning that both of them need.

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.

The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz

The Lacemaker book cover

Lady Elisabeth Lawson has lived in a sheltered world her whole life, enjoying the opulence provided to her from her father’s connections as British lieutenant governor of the Virginia Colony. She is duty bound to marry Miles Roth, a man of little character. However, the tensions leading up to the Revolutionary War are mounting, and Elisabeth suddenly finds her comfortable world turned upside down. She forms an unlikely friendship with her fiancé’s cousin, Noble Rynallt, whom she soon discovers is one of the radical revolutionaries. As the war looms ahead, Elisabeth must make a choice between her family’s English roots and her heart’s stirring for freedom.

Laura Frantz does such a wonderful job of crafting emotionally stirring novels, and this one is no exception. I was immediately drawn to Elisabeth’s character and loved watching her growth throughout the novel. I like reading about determined, independent woman and Elisabeth remains strong despite multiple trials. The romance is rich and endearing and the history is a perfect blend of interesting and engaging elements woven throughout the story without bogging the plot down. The story flows naturally with its delicate style and is effortless to read. This truly is a wonderful novel and I cannot recommend it enough!

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

The Mistress of Tall Acre by Laura Frantz

Sophie Menzies is relieved the American Revolution is finally over. Facing the shame of having a Tory father on American soil, she wants nothing more than to welcome her brother home from war and move on with managing the family estate. Noticing the return of her neighbor, General Seamus Ogilvy, the officer in command of her brother’s unit and the master of Tall Acre, she hopes for good news. But when Sophie’s brother remains missing and General Ogilvy also has no information, she spends her days connecting with the General’s small daughter, the bond between them soon strongly forming. Yet as Sophie slowly becomes aware her affections extend to more than the widowed General’s daughter, she decides to risk it all, only to have a woman from the General’s past arrive – a woman who may ruin her newfound happiness forever.

If I had one word to describe this book it would be captivating. The scenery was painted with vivid and descriptive words, drawing me into its setting. The characters were troubled, realistic, and lovable, inviting me into their story. And the tension and romance of their relationships, the tenuous hope, the suspense from dangers not yet past, all flowed into a plot that was so well written it was easy to spend hours engrossed in the details. There were plenty of surprises to keep the reader guessing, including one shocking secret I personally never anticipated, adding to the complexity and interest of the novel. In addition, I particularly enjoyed the heart-wrenching aspects and emotional turmoil of the characters, which made their story that much more alive and believable. A most highly recommend historical novel!

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

Love’s Fortune by Laura Frantz

Rowena “Wren” Ballantyne enjoys her simple life in Kentucky, where she and her father work to create beauty through fashioning and playing violins. But when her father receives an unexpected letter from his family in Pennsylvania, she suddenly finds her world turned upside down. After she realizes her arduous journey to visit her relatives is a one-way trip, Wren is thrust into a lavish society with virtual strangers, her past life only a memory. She does not care much for the rules of the rich, however, and is drawn to the quiet, mysterious James Sackett, a steamship pilot of the Ballantyne’s shipping line and a long-time friend of her grandfather. James is able to serve as an escort and assist Wren is navigating the demands of high society, drawing their relationship closer together. But James is more than simply a pilot for the Ballantyne’s, and his other responsibilities may jeopardize their growing relationship.

Love’s Fortune is beautifully told. Laura Frantz possesses such a wonderfully rich and deep manner in which she writes that the words simply flow from the page in delicious phrases. Her descriptions are captivating and meaningful and her writing style is unique and enthralling. Wren is a gentle and sweet soul, willing to support her father’s need for family despite her desire to return to her comfortable and familiar home. She strives to form relationships with those around her in spite of the difficult society. James is a man of deep morals, willing to work for what he knows is right, despite the cost. The storyline is interesting and told at a pleasant pace. A few plot points felt frustrating, such as Wren’s father’s disregard for her feelings and James’s inability to appreciate Wren’s friendship. Overall, however, this novel is recommended for readers who enjoy a book with interesting history, good character depth and development, and fantastic writing style.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review.