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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Book Review and ARC Giveaway: The Highlander's Prize by Mary Wine

This story has likeable and passionate characters struggling to find love through an interesting political intrigue.

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca; Original edition (April 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402264712
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402264719
Also Available in Kindle and other ebook formats.
Genre: Historical Romance
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0

Book Description
Publication Date: April 3, 2012

Sent to Scotland to be the king's mistress and produce an heir, Clarrisa of York has never needed a miracle more. But the brusque Highland laird who kidnaps her is a bit too rough to be considered divine intervention.

With rival lairds determined to steal Clarrisa from him and royal henchmen searching for her all over the Highlands, Laird Broen MacNicols has a mess on his hands. Worse yet, there's a magnetic attraction between them, although he's betrothed to another. But even an independent–minded lady like Clarrisa knows that a Highlander always claims his prize...

Clarissa of York is an illegitimate but acknowledged daughter of a King. She is raised with no fondness but rather as a pawn for a power trade in marriage. Her choices seem to be risking being killed as a threat to the throne or to be obedient and provide a royal blooded heir to the King of Scotland.  When she is kidnaped she is frightened for her future but relieved to be out of the immediate trap.  As time goes by she begins to hope that she might have another choice - a chance at a life with freedom and happiness.

Laird Broen MacNicols volunteered to steal the English ‘princess’ from the spineless King James to trade her for a favor. The King has failed to resolve disputes among the clans leaving the likelihood of clan battles that will kill many good men.  The Scots are dividing between the Royalists who support King James and those who want to replace him with his son in hopes he will be a better King for Scotland.

Broen found it fairly easy to snatch Clarissa but he finds it much harder to keep her as others seek to kill her or seek to take advantage of the political power she might bring.  Broen starts out with a promise to deliver her alive and he is intent on keeping that promise... or at least half of it. He wants her alive but now he doesn’t want to deliver her to anyone else. But Broen is betrothed to another and how can he keep Clarissa against the orders of his superiors?

I like how Ms. Wine has shown Clarissa as a lonely girl who isn’t allowed a normal life with friends but certainly was never given the life of a princess either.  Clarissa does have a wonderful fiery personality and I enjoyed the simmering distrust and tension that slides into a different passion between Clarissa and Broen.  I also liked several of the secondary characters, especially Broen’s outspoken and brave mother, Edme, his clever but reluctant betrothed, Daphne, and his friends who step forward to help him win the woman he has fallen in love with. 

I liked the historical background and the visual settings of the story.  The romance is prominent but there is an underlying intrigue and political circumstance that add an extra obstacle of interest. This is an easy read and I recommend it to readers who enjoy passionate romance with a strong-willed and confident Highlander hero.
A few quotes to give you a flavor:
He wanted her.  Plain, simple and blunt.
He was one, indeed, and his fiery English captive liked that quality best of all. Page 123

“I’m sorry ye do nae know what a home is, lass.”
... “Maybe you can teach me.” ...
“I’d like to lass.” Page 275
“They love each other. Parting them is a sin against the heart God gave us to feel love with....” Page 309 

Thank you to Sourcebooks for providing this book to read and review.
I will add this to my ARC challenge.

 1. Visit the Author's website and tell me something that interests you there. This is required for entry.

2.  For an extra entry, become a follower on any media (GFC, Twitter @MSEREADS, Facebook fanpage: , Goodreads or Linky - links on right sidebar) or tell me if you are already a follower.

It isn't necessary to use separate entries unless you want them in different chronological order.
(Two total entries possible.)

* This contest is open US and Canada only.
* This contest will close 10 PM (Central) on May 4, 2012.
The winner will be randomly selected from all entries and announced on May 5 with 72 hours to complete the winners' form.


  1. Mary sews her own Historical garments which are beautiful when you see her wearing them in her pictures. She's also an avid student of the Martial Arts. Linky follower and email subscriber.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  2. I love being able to browse the author's other books. GFC Krystal Larson edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom

  3. Mary Wine sews historical costumes.
    GFC: Lauren Mackesy
    Twitter: @mommabearsbooks
    Linky: Lauren Mackesy

    Lmackesy @

  4. Wow I loved the excerpt for My Fair was so hot!!! Going to Amazon when I'm done here...I'm hooked!!!
    Linky follower Andie Wardlow

  5. I went to the author's website and found out she makes historical garments as a hobby..even corsets. Now that's an impressive, not to mention unique, hobby!

    GFC follower: Lilian Cheng

    Many thanks,
    Lilian @ A Novel Toybox


  6. I learned that Mary’s a student of martial arts, and has earned a second degree black belt.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com
    GFC & Linky follower: Barbara E.
    Goodreads friend

  7. I learned that she likes to make historical garments.

    I follow via email.


  8. checked out the reviews and Rachelle — Fallen Angel Reviews said
    Picture a large grin and warm fuzzy feelings!! That is how I felt while reading this historical treasure from Mary Wine. Let Me Love You was a sweet and special story that just made me feel good while reading it.


  9. I like being able to browse the author's other books.


Your comments are always appreciated!


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