X Marks the Scot
by Victoria Roberts
- Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (February 5, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1402270097
- ISBN-13: 978-1402270093
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0
Release date: February 5, 2013
"An exciting Highland adventure with sensual and compelling romance."—Amanda Forester, author of True Highland Spirit on Temptation in a Kilt
He was a Highland Rogue Wicked with a Bow and Just as Wicked with the Ladies.
Declan MacGregor hadn't a care in the world beyond finding a soft bed and a willing woman...until he had to escort Lady Liadain Campbell to the English court. The woman needles him at every turn, but he can't just abandon her to that vipers' nest without protection.
She Never Asked for a Bodyguard...
Liadain wasn't thrilled to be left in the care of her clan's archrival. It was as if the man never had a lady tell him no before! And yet as whispers of treason swirl through the court and the threat of danger grows even sharper, her bitter enemy soon becomes the only one she can trust...
Liadain is the sister of a clan leader who was an enemy of the MacGregors and who has been killed for treason. She is at court waiting for the king to decide her fate. As a healer she is always quick to help others but whispers of witchcraft begin to place her life in danger.
Declan is a rascal and a lady’s man. He escorted Liadain to court and now feels responsible to remain and watch over her until a decision is made regarding her future. She is lovely but her independent nature and resistance to his obvious charms has him rankled.
While passing time, Declan is approached by several other men to participate in friendly games, particularly archery where his skills lie. The men talk and pose questions that could raise issues of treason. Declan dances a fine line away from the political and religious pitfalls that surround the court.
Liadain’s first love, who abandoned her without a word, suddenly appears at court with a very pregnant wife. Liadain is stricken to see Robert but can’t turn away when his lady wife needs assistance. The King throws a celebration to honor Robert and an archery contest, with a fine purse prize, is part of the festivities. But Robert whispers to the King who adds a greater prize for the winner – the forfeited lands of Liadain’s brother.
A twist of fate, through whispered hints, result in forcing Declan and Liadain to wed. Neither is pleased to be hastily pushed into marriage and anger, resentment, frustration and misunderstandings mar their mutual attraction. Liadain particular despairs of winning Declan’s heart.
When the King is nearly assassinated by a long distance arrow, Declan is the prime suspect. With the traitors using Declan as a pawn how can Liadain save the man she has come to love?
There is fun banter between Liadain and Declan but I had some difficulty with Declan’s character which is mercurial as he runs from playful and tender to angry and outright cruel. There are, somewhat usual, conflicts associated with insecure emotions from a forced marriage. The romance is written nicely with good tension. I enjoyed the intrigue in the traitors’ plots that adds some substance beyond the romance.
I think I am losing taste for highland stories. The story is enjoyable but I just didn’t find it special. Still, if you enjoy Highlander stories I think you would enjoy this.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~I felt Liadain’s frustration:
Living most of her existence with Archie, unnoticed and alone, had been difficult, but how cruel it was to have the second part of her life beginning very much the same. She and MacGregor had to find a way to reach a compromise. Page 116.
I received this title from Sourcebooks for an honest review.
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