Abducted Heiress
Border Moonlight
Dangerous Lady
Hidden Heiress
Highland Master
Highland Treasure
Lady's Choice
Lord of the Isles
Tamed by a Laird

 
Highland Hero
by Amanda Scott
(Forever, $7.99, G) ISBN 978-0-446-57430-3
***
Highland Hero is a beautifully detailed Scottish romance set in the 14th century. The love story is set amid a background of a king’s court intrigue which adds richness to the tale.

Lady Marsi Cargill is a ward of the crown, a cousin to the young Scottish price James and niece to the current King. She was one of the Queen’s ladies until she suddenly died. Now, Marsi is left living fairly aimlessly at the palace, a little bored and wondering what to do with her life.

Sir Ivor Mackintosh is suddenly called by the King to guard his young son Jamie from his unscrupulous, power hungry brother Albany. Ivor arrives at the castle, not knowing what he has been called for, and quickly learns that he is to take a small contingent of men, James and his nurse Hetty, and travel to a safe location until the royal threat blows over.

Marsi is also set to be married to an old, nasty contemporary of Albany’s, and when she finds out that James is leaving the oppressive royal court, she decides to go with them, whether or not Ivor approves. She wants to keep an eye on Jamie, help Hetty, as well as get away from Albany and her humdrum life. What could work out better than that?

Well, Marsi doesn’t count on the very strong attraction between herself and Ivor, or the desperation of Albany to find both James and herself. As their enemies close in on their whereabouts, Marsi and Ivor are forced to make difficult decisions to save their lives and their budding relationship.

Amanda Scott’s prolific writing experience shows in her gently weaving tale, the descriptions of everything from Highland dress, food, language, and daily life is beautifully realized in Highland Hero.

Lady Marsi is not your typical heroine of this age, she is very outspoken, spoiled, and headstrong. Her overbearing temperament makes her harder to read, while she does have a few endearing moments, I sometimes wanted to reach through the pages to shake her as she seemed to think that she was impervious to danger as well as any type of hard work.

Sir Ivor is a compelling hero. He started out as a complete stranger, both to Marsi and to the reader. As he’s slowly revealed throughout the tale, he becomes more interesting and attractive at each turn. However, this made it a little mysterious as to why he was so attracted to Marsi. I would think that a man who makes a living by his wits would see through her coy charm and her pretty hair fairly quickly.

Despite the lovely background and the wonderful hero, the sadly lacking heroine and the weirdly constructed bond between Ivor and Marsi left Highland Hero as a solid three heart read.

--Amy Wroblewsky


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