Amidst the turmoil of the battle for the Scottish throne, bonny red-haired Meghan Innes and darkly handsome Black William meet at a Mayday celebration. They delight in the blush of newfound love until Meghan learns that Black William is actually William Bruce, cousin to the self-proclaimed king of Scotland, and enemy to her own clan. But when Meghan’s father is captured by the English, she must swallow her pride and appeal to King Robert and his cousin William for help in freeing her father.
Forced into each other's company, can they conquer their differences and rekindle their love?
War disrupts their tenuous bond as they find themselves pawns in the deadly battle between Scotland and England.
Writing has always been a part of Michelle's life and it was love of writing that led her to graduate magna cum laude with a degree in Professional Writing which she then used to write and edit technical manuals and reports for Los Alamos National Labs and Sandia National Labs. Needless to say, such writing left her craving something....juicier. Around this time, she read her first historical romance and she was hooked! Her first novel (which you will NEVER read!) was soon followed by other, much better manuscripts (which hopefully you will read!).
A love of history led to two medieval romances and a fictionalized book of one of England's kings. Medieval times changed and so did Michelle's interests. She moved on to Regency and Victorian historical romances and continues to write stories set in the 19th century and has now ventured into the realm of mainstream.
Excellent First Novel, A Tale of Medieval Scotland
Though the note on the author at the end says Morrison has written several novels, this is the only one I could find, so perhaps it’s her first, self-published novel. It’s a good story. It’s clear she is a storyteller who can weave a tale from old Scotland in a way that will hold your interest. She incorporates historical events and real life people that make the story more real. Early in the book, she brings the hero and heroine together as young lovers, and I thought she did it very sweetly, very convincingly.
Set in early 14th century Scotland, it tells of red-haired Meghan Innes and handsome Black William Bruce, who meet at a Mayday celebration. They quickly fall in love and he proposes marriage. However, Will fails to tell her he is a Bruce, the enemy of her clan that is aligned with the Comyns. When Meghan’s father learns that Black William is pursuing his daughter, Meghan spurns Will’s offer of marriage and her father quickly takes her home. Later, Meghan’s father is captured by the English while stealing sheep, and Meghan must seek help from the only one powerful enough to convince the English to let her father go—Robert the Bruce, King of the Scots, and his cousin, Black William.
I did think Will was a bit too quick to accept that Meghan herself (as opposed to her uncle) was a traitor when she’d been honorable. And I wondered if the Scots would really let a female lead a clan into battle against the English, but perhaps they did. Anyway, these were minor “improbable” moments. All in all, the story was a good read and I can recommend it.
I do think the book would have benefitted from another look by a copy editor. There were several small errors and, unless I misread, the heroine’s eyes are gray when she first meets the hero; at King Robert’s castle at Dumfries, they are hazel; and when she arrives in London they are gray again (or as the author spells it, the English way, “grey”).
Meghan Innes was the older teenage daughter of Oengus Innes, head of a small clan in Scotland. He was a rough, severe man, having become more so after his wife and two sons died and no matter how Meghan tried, she could not live up to his demands. After her mother died, Oengus removed anything from the premises that resembled civilized living and taught his daughter to oversee raising of the crops and sheep and various tasks normally performed by a son.
At this time the King Edward ruled England and he had removed King John of Scotland for failing him. Then Robert Bruce of Scotland declared himself King of Scotland and attempted to gather all of the Scottish clans behind him to fight King Edward and win Scotland’s freedom. However, Oengus supported the head of the Comyn clan who denied Bruce as King, claiming a right to the Scottish throne. And such was the setting for this romantic adventure which encompassed Meghan falling in love with Black William, not knowing he was a cousin to Robert Bruce. Black Williams had a reputation for taking advantage of women, but Meghan was swayed by his looks, his charm, and he became the knight of her heart. He intended to ask her father for her hand in marriage, but when Meghan approached her father about it, he told her that William was a Bruce and he would not allow it. However, he had been pressing Meghan to marry so he would have a grandson to lead the clan.
While raiding sheep from the English, Oengus was captured and Meghan went to Robert Bruce pledging their clan to him if he helped her get her father released. William was sent with her to London to talk to King Edward and the rest of the tale is filled with an off and on again passionate romance, daring and dangerous escapes, wars and treachery with enough Scottish brogue thrown in to make it live for the reader. It is a page turner and I liked it. I recommend it for interesting, fast, light reading.