Prepare for a Rising – “The Gathering Storm” by Julia Brannan

It is now 1744 and Beth and Alex, in the guise of Elizabeth and Sir Anthony, are walking a dangerous tightrope, circulating among English society while surreptitiously gathering information to benefit those who are planning a Jacobite rebellion. A trip abroad has convinced Beth that Scotland is not only Alex’s home, it is the home of her heart. It’s the only place she has ever felt an easy sense of belonging. But that sense of belonging is threatened as the war drums beat louder with gathering support for the Jacobite cause. Can Prince Charles garner enough support from France to shore up his army of Scots and take on the English troops? Even with the clans that have pledged their support, without French forces the Jacobites will be seriously outnumbered. As distasteful as they find their role playing, Beth and Sir Anthony must maintain their charade a while longer in hopes of preventing a massacre.

“The Gathering Storm” is the third book in The Jacobite Chronicles by Julia Brannan. While it covers a great deal of necessary background it lacks the intensity of the first two in the series. That said, the historical detail is significant and necessary for the reader to understand the gravity of the political climate of this period and its adverse effect on the Scots, especially the highlanders. Brannan’s portrayal of the period is obviously well researched and her characters are so well drawn that I feel like I know them personally. Even though not as compelling as books one and two, book three is still worth four stars.

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