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tender feud

Historical Romance Review: Tender Feud by Nicole Jordan

Tender Feud, Nicole Jordan, Harlequin, 1991, Pino cover art


4 1/2 Stars

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The Book

Nicole Jordan’s Tender Feud is an engaging Harlequin Historical where the enemies-to-lovers trope is used against the backdrop of 18th-century Scotland.

The Plot

Katrine Campbell has left staid England behind for adventure in her ancestral Scottish homeland. Unfortunately, her Campbell relatives are feuding with the Macleans. On her first night in her family home, Katrine gets caught in the middle of it all and is kidnapped.

Her captor is hunky Raith Maclean, leader of his clan. Maclean is a widower, not looking for remarriage, and certainly not looking for love with his half-Scots-half-English enemy.

There are tons of sparks flying between the fiery Katrine and stubborn Raith. They argue lots but are secretly attracted to one another. The romance takes time to unwind, as Katrine is one of those “spunky” heroines, and Raith is determined to “dominate” her by his will.

Instead, the two learn to build a relationship on trust. Raith has a young female relative with whom Katrine builds an endearing friendship. Raith’s sexy cousin Callum flirts with Katrine. Although she’s not interested in him beyond friendship, Raith glowers and disapproves.

A romance begins to unfurl between our protagonists in due course, as they always do in these books. Katrine finds herself falling deeply for Raith.

Eventually, Katrine is finally released. But is that what she wants?

Final Analysis of Tender Feud

Tender Feud is one of the better Scottish clan feuding and kidnapping love stories I’ve read. Or maybe it only seems that way since I read it when I was young, and other books with similar plots seem to be derivative.

(Side note, just to point out how old I am, every time I think of this book, I recall at the time also listening to one of deceased Spanish crooner’s Camilo Sesto‘s Greatest Hits albums, which was filled with so many romantic songs. Solo Tu (Only You) is my favorite. So perhaps the music swayed my tastes about this book a teeny bit.)

Still, I consider this a more than satisfying read, as I would always contrast books with comparable plots to Tender Feud and find them inferior. There are many romances with this same story and setting, but to this day, this one still holds a certain charm for me. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Nicole Jordan is quite a talented author.

I wish Raith’s sexy cousin Callum had gotten his own book. It doesn’t seem to me that he did, but I’d love to be updated if anyone knows for certain.