Ensnaring the Dove
by Jayne Castel
“Ensnaring the Dove” is a historical romance set in 2nd Century AD, during the Roman occupation of what is now Britain and Scotland. It’s part of the ‘On the Empire’s Edge’ series by Jayne Castel, although you need not have read the first book in order to enjoy this one. Don’t worry if you haven’t read a book set in this time frame because the author does a wonderful job setting the scenes so that you can envision everything, without slowing down the pace of the story at all.
Columbia is a Roman noblewoman traveling a great distance to where her father and fiancé are stationed in their high-ranking positions with the Roman army. She hasn’t seen either of the men in years, and they have no idea she’s on her way to them. When violent rebels attack the convoy with which she’s traveling, it’s not going to end well for her. One of the rebels turns out to be Aedan, who rescues her. He’s not a typical member of the rebel group; he was born the eldest son of a chieftain, but ended up traveling a complicated and unwanted path in life that left him on his own and fighting for survival. Columbia and Aedan end up on the run together, and experience that changes both of their lives.
Cultural differences, class differences, language barriers, and assorted other obstacles face the couple as each is forced to go on with their own respective life. But as they say, true love finds a way … right? Aedan and Columbia are likable characters, and the connection between them is simultaneously sweet and steamy. There are a good number of interesting secondary characters, whose roles add additional dimensions to the story, and help bring the time period to life. I thought this book was well-written, thoughtfully researched, and wonderfully entertaining.