The Reiver - Jackie Barbosa My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts as I went with the book...

The Reiver was really short. I mean, only about 16 pages or so. I liked the story and all, but it was so short that I’m not sure what to comment on. JB is a new-to-me author and so, reading this was sort of a prelude to try her other books, which I’ve been meaning to read for sometimes now. I can honestly say that I’m not disappointed.

The story takes place in the Scottish borders of late 1500s. Duncan, the Laird of Lochmorton, comes to confront a reiver who was caught by his men. At first, he mixed up the scrawny thing as an adolescent boy, with his dirty garb and defiant behavior. But soon, the truth is out – holy crap, it’s a girl! drunk Now, the only thing Duncan doesn’t know is how to make his prisoner speak something about herself. She doesn’t tell him anything about her name or clan etc. Duncan decides that he doesn’t wanna execute her because he’s suddenly interested in his little prisoner, so, he makes her his guest instead.

The Next is straight two months later, Reva (as Duncan calls her) has spent the time trying to hate Duncan and his people, but only ended up being charmed and accepted by them. It’s revealed soon that the clan Johnstone (Reva’s clan) and Maxwell have had their share of extreme enmity and Duncan’s father was killed in one of those fighting a few years earlier. Reva (we still don’t know her name) is scared that she’s falling in love with the Maxwell laird and she’s unsure of what to do about it because it’s obvious that this kind of feelings won’t stand a chance the way their clans are going.

It’s not really hard to fall in love with Duncan because I found him absolutely funny in some places. I don’t know if it was just me or something but some of his dialogues and actions made me laugh. It was also plain that he was a big, loveable cuddly bear. He’s the one who gives in first actually and never punishes Reva for something she did in the end.

Well, as I said, good little short story but things, of course, felt rushed overall. I also wish there were more on Reva’s family, who, it seemed, were very uncaring of her safety and all.

3.5 stars.

PS: Reva’s real name was Jamie (yes, shortened for James after one of her ancestors) but I absolutely refuse to call her that. Manly names for the heroines are a big NO in my book. Sounds just so... plain weird! eyeroll

“The Reiver” can be downloaded from smashwords. This novella is also available in The Mammoth Book of Scottish Romance.