Friday, 6 February 2015

Ransom My Heart by Meg Cabot

Ransom My Heart (2008) (Macmillan)
Meg Cabot
Grade: B--
Genre: medieval romance
Sex scenes: mild
Source: own
TBR RBC 2015: A book by Meg Cabot 

Finnula Craig is the youngest of five sisters and their long-suffering brother, and quite the handful. After their parents died several years ago, Robert has been the head of this family of millers and Finn has only grown more difficult to deal with. A talented archer and hunter, she is a thorn in the local sheriff’s side as she continues to flaunt the law and poach upon the local Earl’s game.

When Finn’s only other unmarried sister lands in trouble, Finn reluctantly agrees to help her out. The local women have taken to ambushing young men and demanding ransom from their families in order to fund local beer-making activities. Finn has no other choice but to take a hostage and hope he’s from a rich family. What Finn doesn’t expect is for her captive to be none other than Hugo Fitzwilliam, the new Earl of Stephensgate. Having just returned from the Holy Land, fighting for King and country, Hugo is sorely tempted by this feisty and audacious slip of a girl who isn’t afraid to sass him. For her part, Finn is just as afraid of losing her freedom as losing her heart …

Ransom My Heart has the honour of being the first book I finished in 2015. Meg Cabot cleverly wove this story into her best-selling Princess Diaries series, under the premise that Princess Mia, being an aspiring writer, wrote this historical romance novel as her final project for her Gifted and Talented class in her senior year. Like a lot of my intended reading material this year, I’ve owned this book for a great deal longer than it took me to read it.

This was really funny and I wouldn’t have expected otherwise. I have only read one of Meg Cabot’s historical romances (written under the pseudonym ‘Patricia Cabot’) and while it was an ok read, I haven’t picked it up again since. I’m not sure how quickly I’m likely to pick up Ransom My Heart again, but I found it similar parts endearing and outrageous as the story progressed only as a book by Meg Cabot would. Finn is fiercely independent and stands up for the villagers who don’t dare to do it for themselves, yet can also doubt her own abilities and suffer bouts of insecurity. So far, Hugo has been an absentee landlord and what he finds when he returns home both surprises and humbles him. Finn satisfies his baser urges as well as provides a much needed link to his community that need to learn how to trust him. As time progresses, both Finn and Hugo come to realise that they complement each other in the best ways.

Yes this could be a little cringe-y and a lot predictable, but I love Meg Cabot for it. She’s one of the authors I’ve been reading for the longest and if I’m honest, I don’t think I’ll ever stop: I just can’t get away from the lives of Mia and Michael, Suze and Jesse and Jess and Rob, who I count amongst my favourites. So Ransom My Heart wasn’t Ms Cabot’s best work, but I’ll always remember it for the way that she entwined it into Mia’s storyline and made it Princess Mia’s as much as her own. It might not be the cleverest or most sophisticated plot twist, but Ms Cabot has ensured that a whole generation of Princess Diaries enthusiasts will remember it for years to come. 

Image courtesy of Book Depository.

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