Friday, January 28, 2011

Hugh and Bess by Susan Higginbotham

Forced to marry Hugh le Despenser, the son and grandson of disgraced traitors, Bess de Montacute, just 13 years old, is appalled at his less-than-desirable past. Meanwhile, Hugh must give up the woman he really loves in order to marry the reluctant Bess. Far apart in age and haunted by the past, can Hugh and Bess somehow make their marriage work?

Just as walls break down and love begins to grow, the merciless plague endangers all whom the couple holds dear, threatening the life and love they have built.

I've heard much about Susan Higginbotham's books but I had never tried any when this Hugh and Bess attracted my attention. I know that it is not her first book and that the first - The Traitor's Wife - is a sort of prequel to this story but since I already had this one I couldn't resist picking it up.

I did find it a nice, fast read. It is mostly a romance but with a strong historical background that gives you an idea of what was happening in England at the time. Besides the main families here - Montacute and Le Despenser - we see bit of the king, of Joan the Fair Maid of Kent and even of Isabella, the She-Wolf of France. Those parts were interesting and I was sorry not to have more historical detail.

Still, this is a sweet story of two people falling in love after they marry, much against the bride's wishes. How they get to know each other and start trusting each other before they manage to make their marriage work.

After reading this one I got curious about The Traitor's Wife and I have now added it to my WL.
Grade: 4/5


  1. I really like what I've read of her so far. I really liked "The Traitors Wife" b/c it's from a POV that a reader usually doesn't usually see.

  2. I'm finally reading my first Higginbotham book now, The Stolen Crown, and am enjoying it quite a bit. I'll have to read more!

  3. I really enjoyed this book, too. The evolution of Bess' character and the sweetness of their relationship was a real treat.