Kaye's THE SOLDIER'S REBEL LOVER is very political in its storytelling but also has an unexpected steamy side. We are given background on both Isabella and Finlay along with their families and beliefs. He is a career soldier and she comes from a privileged Spanish family but doesn't act it for most of the story. She is too feisty to exist quietly and not be seen or heard. Her relationship with her brother, Xavier, and his wife, played out the way I expected given the timing of the story but it was heartbreaking to watch them squelch her lust for life and her thirst for politics because of the times she lived in. She and Finlay did the two step back and one step forward dance and didn't know what to do with their attraction since he was helping to keep her safe and out of trouble and was actually on a military mission. Watching her realize that she was in danger was heart-wrenching and the emotions played out felt real.
The descriptions of the lands, the home and winery along with places they traveled to were vivid and made me feel that I was there. There were family and friends, ramifications from the war, loss, fear, tears, heartache, love, protection, laughter, happiness and love in different forms. There are several loose ends since the epilogue which takes place six months after the story ends left me wanting more and I didn't feel there was adequate closure. The historical note at the back of the book was once again interesting to read.
Kaye is a new to me author only having read book one in this duet, THE SOLDIER'S DARK SECRET. Although I originally thought this was a series the book states it's the second installment of this fabulously intense and dramatic duet. I look forward to reading more books by Kaye and was happy to find out that there's another duet coming out next year.