The Heroine: Finnula Crais, a young maiden in the small village of Stephensgate, England in the year 1291 AD. Known as an eccentric in her town for her habit of wearing breeches instead of gowns and her considerable talent with a crossbow, Finnula is forced to step even further beyond the boundaries of proper behaviour for a young woman when her sister falls pregnant out of wedlock and asks Finnula to kidnap a soldier for her in order to collect the ransom to use as a dowry. Loyal and courageous, Finnula captures the good-looking and charming Sir Hugh – who, unbeknownst to her, is actually her vassal, Lord Hugo, on his way back from the Crusades in the Holy Land. Enraptured by Finnula, Hugo decides to play along with Finnula's scheme and sets them off on a journey full of humour, unexpected twists and of course, love.
The Highs: Though set in the Middle Ages, Meg Cabot's signature light and comedic style is still present in Ransom My Heart. Funny and endlessly entertaining, the novel is a light-hearted romantic comedy that is made more charming by its unlikely setting. I really appreciated the author's commitment to staying true to the time period, including such details as the proper historical terms for clothing to the lifestyle of the illiterate peasants the period is known for (at least, if you've been watching any Monty Python lately).
The romance between Finnula and Hugo is at times sweet and tender and at others, fraught with sexual tension. Stubborn, brave and loyal Finnula is the perfect match for the headstrong, noble and kind-hearted Hugo – the pair seems destined to end either in a wedding or murder (though this novel includes both!). Their fiery romance leaps off the page and Meg Cabot is no amateur when it comes to penning steamy sex scenes!
I really loved the plot twists in this novel. Featuring many small subplots within one story – you've got the classic romance, the murder mystery and the historical drama – plot twists are abound and just when you feel you have found the conclusion, another plot emerges. I especially liked how the story doesn't climax at a wedding; not all is resolved when the couple ends up together. This novel features a many-layered plot to appeal to a wide audience.
The Lows: I felt that a few things in the story came almost out of nowhere, when I thought that perhaps their importance warranted at least a mention earlier in the story. For example, Finnula's dog Gros Louis (a little joke for anyone familiar with Meg Cabot's Princess Diaries series!) is quite important to the plot of the book, but is brought in rather abruptly near the conclusion of the book without a single mention at the beginning. It could show a lack of planning on the part of the author when an element of the story seems added as an after-thought.
I should also warn any readers who may object to scenes of a sexual nature that Ransom My Heart is full of sex scenes that are fairly graphic in nature. Personally, I'm all for it, so this was a high for me!
Final Thoughts: Ransom My Heart is an adorably funny historical romance, perfect for anyone looking for an uplifting read.
Rating: Ransom My Heart earns eight barrels of brew out of ten.
Buy 'Ransom My Heart' on the Book Depository here
Connect with author Meg Cabot here
Photo from here