Highland Ruse by Madeline Martin

Highland RuseHighland Ruse by Madeline Martin

Series: Mercenary Maidens, #2

Release Date: November 14, 2017

Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Great follow up to Highland Spy!

Delilah is the middle child of fifteen and was sent to work for a relative in the English court. Soon after arriving and losing her virtue, Delilah is approached by a woman named Sylvi and offered the opportunity of a lifetime. With no options, Delilah agrees to work with Sylvi.

After years of training and working to prove herself, Delilah is finally embarking on her first solo mission. Her job is to act a decoy and apprehend the people who are trying to abduct Lady Elizabeth and to ensure that Lady Elizabeth reaches her betrothed without incident.

All goes according to plan and Delilah is taken captive by Kaid MacLeod, Laird of the MacLeod’s. Kaid mean Elizabeth no harm, but her betrothed, Seamus MacKenzie is another story. Haunted by the savage attack that left many in his village, including his father dead, Kaid needs a bargaining chip. He plans to ransom Elizabeth back to MacKenzie in exchange for his father’s sword and the hope of peace.

Delilah employs several tactics to delay their journey and tries to harden her heart against Kaid. But when one of her plans goes awry and Kaid cares for them and then later she witnesses his nightmares and learns the truth, she begins to have doubts about Elizabeth’s safety. Kaid tries to comfort Delilah and things start to heat up, but Kaid refuses to go any further. Kaid decides to leave the coach and travel on horseback, forcing Delilah to leave most of her possessions.

Worried that they will arrive too soon and ruin the plan, Delilah takes action and turns the tables on Kaid. Delilah tells Kaid who she is and proceeds to take him to Sylvi, but soon they cross onto Kaid’s lands and Delilah realizes she has lost her advantage.

Kaid approaches Delilah with a new plan, asking her to impersonate Lady Elizabeth and help him find the lost MacKenzie heir, Torra. He feels that if Torra is restored to her rightful position, there can be peace between the clans. At first Delilah refuses, but when she meets a young orphan girl named Claire and learns the horrors the MacKenzie brought to the MacLeod’s, she knows what she must do.

When things start to go bad, Kaid rushes to rescue the woman he loves. And Delilah turns to Sylvi for help. Things go from bad to worse and just when it seems all hope is lost, Ms. Martin is able to work a miracle and give Delilah and Kaid the HEA they deserve.

This book was well written, flowed non-stop from the first page until the last, there was action, sword fights, steamy love scenes, secrets, betrayals, heartache and moments when it seemed there was no way this was going to end well. There are cameos with Sylvi, Percy, Liv & Isabel as well as the introduction of several secondary characters that add so much depth to this story. This is the second book in the series, but it could easily be read as a standalone title. I am happy to recommend this book and look forward to the next book in the series Highland Wrath (Sylvi’s book!!!!)

*I am voluntarily leaving a review of an Uncorrected eARC provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher*

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