A WOMAN WITH ONLY HER BEAUTY TO OFFER…
Anice Barrington has always been known as the prettiest of the Earl of Werrick’s five daughters. Years of trying to prove she’s more than beauty has failed, not only with others, but also with herself. When their mortal enemy is laying siege to Werrick Castle, Anice does the only thing in her power to keep her family safe: she offers herself as bride to her enemy. She swears she will not lose her heart to him, but soon discovers that may be impossible when he stokes her curiosities toward intimacy and lights a burning desire within her.
A MAN WITH A DANGEROUS PAST…
James Graham has grown weary of a life of destruction and longs for peace. However, deciding to change does not mean there are opportunities to do so, at least until the lovely Lady Anice offers herself in marriage, bringing with her wealth and land that will insure a new beginning for his people. James knows she is far too beautiful for the likes of him and that comely appearances can hide the ugliest of hearts, but he cannot seem to stop himself from wanting, and awakening, the passion that flares between them.
A BARGAIN THAT CHANGES IT ALL…
When love takes root, betrayal runs that much deeper. Will old hurts and new betrayals crush all their hopes and dreams, or will love truly conquer all?
Madeline Martin is a USA TODAY Bestselling author of Scottish set historical romance novels filled with twists and turns, adventure, steamy romance, empowered heroines and the men who are strong enough to love them.
She lives a glitter-filled life in Jacksonville, Florida with her two daughters (known collectively as the minions) and a man so wonderful he’s been dubbed Mr. Awesome. All shenanigans are detailed regularly on Twitter and on Facebook.
Madeline loves animals in sweaters, cat videos, and working out (to support her love of wine and Nutella). As she is unable to have pets herself due to allergies, she has acquired a plastic Halloween skeleton named Nick and a small robot named Meccano – both of whom are dressed up regularly by the minions.
She loves connecting with her readers, so feel free to follow her on any one of her social media platforms or send her a message.
Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: The Borderland Ladies, #2
Release Date: June 25, 2019
When a siege at Werrick Castle lasts for months and food stores begin to diminish, threatening to starve the inhabitants, Lady Anice Barrington takes matters into her own hands and makes a bargain with the Graham reivers. In exchange for an end to the siege, Anice will marry Laird Graham’s son James. Her father, the earl refuses, there is bad blood between the Barringtons and the Grahams going back years to an attack that lead to Lady Werrick sacrificing all to save her family. But Anice knows that they will all die if the siege doesn’t end and since she believes that her beauty is all she has to offer, she agrees.
James Graham is tired of war and reiving, he longs for a stable life and security for his clan, such as the life he experienced with Lord Bastionbury, the honorable man that saved his life and nursed him back to health when his fellow reivers left him for dead. Lord Bastionbury taught James there is a better way to live and care for his clan. James has tried and failed to convince his father to stop reiving, so he knows marrying Anice will give him land and a chance to start fresh, but her beauty terrifies him. James has a deep mistrust for beautiful women, having been used and betrayed in the past, but there is something about Anice that calls to him and he tries to but his past hurts aside and befriend his new wife.
Anice doesn’t want to marry a Graham, but decides to try and accept James’ overtures of friendship, she knows he doesn’t trust her, but when he makes the effort to be a better man for his clan, she can’t help but admire him, despite Leila’s grave predictions and when they move to her dowry property – Caldrick Castle in Carlisle, she believes that this marriage may just work. But when she overhears James conspiring with his father, she wonders what to believe, is James the kind, passionate lover she has begun to love or is he an evil deceiver bent on destroying everyone she loves?
I loved James with every beat of my heart, he is perfectly imperfect and beating within this fierce warrior is a heart of gold which earned him a place on my all-time favorite heroes list. Anice is a wonderful heroine, who underestimates her own value and I loved watching her find herself with James. Their love is definitely put the test more than once and their road to happily ever after will not be smooth, they will each have to overcome their personal demons, betrayal, jealousy and mistrust before they can fully accept the gift of love that the bargain has given them and I loved that no matter what was thrown at them, they never truly lost faith in each other. This book is a well-written, fast-paced, non-stop adventure from the first page, filled with action, betrayal, battles, wonderful secondary characters, a very protective dog, steamy love scenes and a heartwarming romance.
This is the second book in the series and while it can be read as a stand-alone title with no issues, I personally would recommend reading the books in order for maximum understanding and enjoyment.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me.*