Within the Veil
Brandy Vallance, author
They never should have met. But they might be made for each other. Feya Broon, a Scottish half-gypsy, knows what it is to go hungry. Trapped in the Edinburgh tenements with a father lost to his past and only the faded memory of her mother’s faith, Feya is desperate to provide for her siblings. When an ill-conceived plan leads to thievery, she finds herself in the last place she'd ever want to be—captured by a palace guard. But there's something about this man that tears at every preconceived notion she's even had about the haughty English. Alasdair Cairncross never dreamed he’d be forced to transport a gypsy woman halfway across the wilds of Scotland. The timing is disastrous, considering his fiancée’s imminent arrival and his father’s political goals. Not only that, but the fiery young woman threatens to lay bare secrets Alasdair would rather keep hidden. And yet the farther they travel together, the less concerned he finds himself with duty—both to the crown and to the plans his family has for him. As their walls begin to crumble, Feya and Alasdair must fight to survive a decades-old feud, a Highland kidnapping, and the awakening of their own hearts.
Vallance (The Covered Deep) combines unique characters, historical facts, and powerful writing to transport readers to 19th-century Scotland. Since her mother’s death, Feya Broon has been trapped in the tenements of Edinburgh caring for her siblings and drunken father. She is willing to do whatever is necessary to keep her family alive, and a petty crime lands her in the custody of palace guard Alasdair Cairncross. Considered a Gypsy by the English, Feya is looked down upon as lower class and isn’t the most important prisoner for Alasdair to transport across the countryside. Along the way to her new prison, Alasdair must confront the past he thought he had left behind, as his affections grow for the strange girl. Alasdair and Feya will need to trust each other more than expected to survive this journey, which is fraught with danger at every turn. Vallance’s spunky characters must battle their for their faith and overcome systemic barriers, including poverty and discrimination. While the ending is expected, the journey is wonderful, and Vallance uses an engrossing narrative to speak about delicate social issues in this impressive tale. (BookLife)