I was very pleasantly surprised with this Scottish medieval romance. I really enjoyed the story, strong characters and the romance. The book manages t...moreI was very pleasantly surprised with this Scottish medieval romance. I really enjoyed the story, strong characters and the romance. The book manages to show realistic historical details of the time period but still include a very romantic love story.
Alexander Fraser is a Scottish lord fighting for Robert the Bruce along the Scottish/English border during the fight for Scotland's independence. His younger brother is taken hostage by the English during a border fight by the cruel Earl of Warfield. Alex knows his brother will die unless he can convince Warfield to ransom his brother or allow an exchange of prisoners. Fate smiles upon Alex when he stumbles upon Catherine, Warfield's daughter, alone outside her family's keep. He kidnaps Catherine and takes her back to his lands in Scotland, intending to ransom her back to her father in exchange for his younger brother.
Catherine is a nice young woman who was always sheltered from the harshness of life. Her father was a hard, cold man who saw her only as a means to acquire more influence with a strategic marriage. Catherine wanted more for herself than to be wed to some man she had never met, but she has no say over her life. The only real bright spot in her life is her brother Nicolas, as her mother is also a cold person. When Alex kidnaps her, she is scared to death but faces her captor with courage. He does not harm her but she doesn't trust him because she knows how the Scots hate the English. She is also certain her father will not trade valuable hostages for her, a mere daughter.
Alex and Catherine slowly get to know each other as she stays in his keep. There is an instant attraction between the pair that grows during the story. Nothing about their situation is easy. Alex is fighting the English and faces death constantly. He cannot keep Catherine forever because she is the only leverage against his brother's life. His people hate the English after losing many relatives to English battles and raids. Catherine's father is especially hated for his brutality, so that hate extends to Catherine. Yet somehow, these lovers are able to overcome all of the obstacles against them but not without some heartbreak and loss of people they care about.
The story was very realistic but still a very enjoyable to read. Alex was a good man who never mistreated Catherine. He loved her strength and courage, while she came to admire him as an honorable and just man. She had more freedom at his keep as a captive than she ever had at her father's castle, which gives her the ability to grow into a stronger person. Their love grows despite all the odds stacked against them and we see a very satisfying ending. The historical facts and setting were very accurate and blend seamlessly into the story. You feel like you are truly in 1300's Scotland and not just reading a history lesson.
If you enjoy Scottish historical romance, I very highly recommend you read this book to enjoy a great romance!(less)
In Bed with a Highlander was a great surprise! I really enjoyed reading this sweet and sexy Highland romance.
Mairin has spent years at a nunnery because she is the illegitimate daughter of the former King of Scotland and has a generous dowry that would tempt men to force her into marriage. She is abducted from the nunnery by bad men loyal to Duncan Cameron, who tries to get her to marry him then beats her when she refuses to say her vows. Along the trip to Cameron lands, her kidnappers find a young boy who she takes under her wing. She escapes the Cameron holding along with young Crispin McCabe, who she helped to save from Cameron. The boy's family finds them, as they were out looking for the missing Crispin, and bring them to McCabe land where Mairin meets the intimidating Laird, Ewan McCabe who is the father of Crispin.
Ewan McCabe is intrigued by the beautiful Mairin, who refuses to give her name or any information. But Ewan is a smart stubborn man and eventually figures out who she is. He proposes that she marry him because he is able to keep her safe from men like Cameron and can offer her a home and family. In return his clan will get her badly needed dowry. So their marriage starts out as a convenience but these two quickly start having deeper feelings for each other. Ewan enjoys his new wife's happy personality, though her impulsiveness gives him some heartburn. Mairin loves finally having a home, while Ewan's protective but caring actions help her fall for him.
This was a really enjoyable romance! The tone really reminded me of Julie Garwood's The Secret, Ransom and Honor's Splendour, so if you are a fan of those I highly recommend it. I like the fact that there were no big misunderstandings or hurtful behavior, just a good love story about two people who appreciate each other. The story was really good, it really held my attention. I love that the heroine was a nice person, but she also would stand up for herself. Ewan was a good alpha hero who learned that it was okay to show softer feeling for his beloved wife. I loved seeing the progression of their feelings as they slowly fell for each other. The ending was really sweet, but I wanted an epilogue! The younger two McCabe brothers will be having their own stories soon and I am excited for them! For those afraid of this book because it's by Maya Banks, I would say it's nothing like her romantica books. The steam level is normal for mass market paperback - but still nice. I like her writing much better in this (and the KGI books) than her romantica, so give it a shot even if you don't like those.
Highly recommended if you enjoy a good medieval Scottish romance!!
My Loving Enemy was a good medieval romance set in France in the 1300's. The story was well-written and had good historical detail. The romance was pr...moreMy Loving Enemy was a good medieval romance set in France in the 1300's. The story was well-written and had good historical detail. The romance was pretty good, the author made the story seem accurate for the setting and time period. I would recommend this to readers who enjoy medieval romances that show the time period well and still have good romance between the leads.(less)
His Enemy's Daughter was an interesting medieval story. The first half was harder to read because the hero is very tortured and angry because the hero...moreHis Enemy's Daughter was an interesting medieval story. The first half was harder to read because the hero is very tortured and angry because the heroine's father tried to kill him and disfigured his body and face. Soren is gifted the lands of the man who tried to kill him and goes to kill all of his relatives and raize the land. He attacks the keep and during the attack the heroine, Sybilla, is injured in the head and goes blind. Soren almost kills the heroine but gives a last minute reprieve when her people try to save her. Instead he marries her against her will while she is injured. The first half of this book is full of the hero acting angrily toward the heroine but he does not actually abuse her. She takes a long time to recover from her head injury and it takes her even longer to come to terms with the fact she may be blind for life.
The second half was easier to read as Soren let go of some of his need for vengence toward Sybilla and her people. He is very tortured by his mangled looks and thinks Sybilla might be a perfect wife because she can't see how horrible his scars look. They slowly get to know each other and start to care about each other as their relationship turns physical. Soren was able to become a better man once he let go of the darkness and anger he carried. Sybilla seemed like a nice woman who struggled realistically with the horror of losing her sight. It was hard to see the hero treating her meanly when she was hurt and blinded but he soon realized she was a good person who didn't deserve his vengence.
This was an interesting read that was hard to read at first but got better as the characters learned from their pain. Soren was able to help Sybilla through her grief and anger at being blind because he too had to relearn how to live after his horrible injury that took one of his eyes. Sybilla was able to fall in love with Soren for who he was and he allowed himself to relax around her because she couldn't see him and be horrified about his looks. Overall, not bad for a Harlequin historical especially if you like tortured heroes.(less)