on May 17, 2013 :
Summary (unspoiled): In this novella a young educated woman, Selina, aspires to attend a convention of scholars in a far city. Unfortunately, the way is treacherous and her father can spare no men from the harvest to accompany her. He laments this fact and is guided to the acquaintance of a solitary traveller, Bill, who is also making the same journey.
Bill, a tall, handsome gentleman vows to assure Selina's safe transport to and from the conference as a matter of honor. Selina is disagreeable and downright insulting for the bulk of this trip, at least outwardly. Inside, she begins to feel an attraction, yet she refuses to acknowledge it as she believes Bill to be a fighter, not an intellectual.
What I liked about this story:
A good mix of internal reflection and action, which carried the plot forward at an acceptable pace.
A likable heroine who recognizes her folly and experiences anguish accordingly.
A believable climax that was appropriately foreshadowed and realized.
What I felt could have been done better:
The setting seems Old World Victorian, yet the language is occasionally anachronistic to that. A cultured young woman, however sheltered, would not tell a man to "shut up".
I think the time-frame of 100 years of border battle is lengthy. It was a little jarring to read.
For romance, this is very innocent. The main characters do not share an embrace until the final page. The title was more suggestive (to me) than the story. It was a rapid casual read, and entertaining, but predictable in all other regard. I don't say this as a detractor. I am accustomed to genre romance, and the predictability of those stories is one reason I read them. However, I felt a little let-down by the virtuous passion here.
In all, you can let your tween daughters read this with no worries.
(reviewed the day of purchase)