by Amanda Forester
Series: Highland Trouble #1
Pub. Date: Sept. 1, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Critically acclaimed author Amanda Forester entertains readers with a new, romantic Scottish Highlander series…
After years of fighting in France, Sir Gavin Patrick longs for his Scottish home and for an easier life off the battlefield. However, laden with a shipment of orphans, a massive treasure to transport, and Lady Marie Colette—a sharp-tongued French heiress—Gavin realizes that the real battle is only beginning. Colette expects a painless trip as Gavin transports her to her Highland fiancé, but their relationship takes an unexpected turn…
Forced to pose as a married couple in order to sneak out of France, Gavin and Colette fight against their developing, forbidden attraction…all the while yearning to fulfill their pent-up desire.
I totally got sucked in by this cover. I can't point to one thing that sticks out, but it just caught my eye and put me in the mood for a story about a man in a kilt. Yum.
In the midst of fighting among the French and English, Sir Gavin Patrick (a Highland mercenary) saves the life of the duc de Bergerac. In thanks for this great feat, the duc decides that his daughter, Marie Colette, shall be given over to Gavin... to be escorted to her betrothed in Scotland. Tricky duke, tricky. I'm so glad we don't have to deal with these issues today as I don't think I could go through with marrying some unknown stranger who is likely an old man shopping for a young wife.
Marie Colete is a renowned beauty, and she has been strictly raised to be seen and not heard, and to serve her father in the only way a daughter can - with her beauty, poise and decorum. Colette has been raised by her four ladies maids who are all approximately twice her age. They constantly chastise Colette and she is never allowed any freedom or spark of life. I cannot imagine a life such as this and my heart went out to Colette because she must have been screaming on the inside. I mean good grief, she wasn't allowed to laugh or show any facial expression! I definitely don't have the temperament to deal with that! Colette's greatest desire in all the world is freedom, but she remains steadfast in her duty to her father and people to travel to a new land and marry the unknown Baron Kintail.
Sir Gavin is instantly struck dumb by Colette's beauty. Though her decorous behavior quickly leads him to believe that she is cold and unfeeling. However once Gavin and Colette set out on their adventure, their growing attraction is hard to fight. Sir Gavin sees the strength and character beneath Colette's beauty and his honest admiration of something other than her looks is something new for Colette. I quite liked Gavin - he was protective, honorable, and not afraid to voice his feelings. The struggle between duty and emotion was felt by Gavin and Colette in different ways - but both deeply troubled by their situation. While Gavin was trying to push past all Colette's defenses, she was worming her way into his heart.
Fate and religion played a great role in this story - the perils of the journey that brought the couple closer and closer together were well-written and integrated into the plot quite well. And the religion aspect was subtle and well-placed with a few prayers, and the Book of Hours (the story of which is included in an author's note at the end). While I don't usually read romance books with undertones in religion, this one was not overpowering so I didn't mind.
I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.