Catriona’s Secret by Madeline Martin

Catriona's Secret (Borderland Ladies #4)Catriona’s Secret by Madeline Martin
Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Borderland Ladies, #4

Release Date: August 27, 2019

Lady Catriona Barrington reveled in her time at court, as a younger sister in a family of beautiful women, Cat often felt overlooked and gloried in the attention she received from the courtiers, but when one flirtation goes too far, Cat is eager to return to Werrick Castle and try to keep that awful night a secret.

But now that she is home, she soon learns her secret is even bigger than she thought and will not remain that way for long. But in the midst of her despair, her dearest friend Geordie returns after four long years away on campaign with the King. But the man who has returned is no long the young boy she has always loved as a friend, no this is a man who inspires deeper feeling, feelings that she has no right to feel for him. So when he is called to court by the king, she thinks may have found a solution to her woes, by returning to court with him, under the pretense of meeting a suitor.

Geordie has loved Cat for as long as he can remember and that love prodded him to “prove” himself worthy of her, first by earning his knighthood and hopefully soon, by being awarded a holding of his own, then he will declare himself and ask for her hand, but his dreams are crushed when she makes it clear that she hopes to marry the son of a Baron and asks Geordie to take her to court when he goes.

As they travel, Cat knows that her feeling for Geordie are true love, but deems herself unworthy, especially after Geordie’s contempt for unvirtuous women is made known. And when he learns her secret, she is sure she has lost him forever. But when they reach court, she realizes she underestimated Geordie’s love for her and just when it seems like HEA is within reach – the unthinkable happens and Cat only has a matter of days to save the man she loves from death and dishonor.

This was my favorite book in the series (so far), and as much as I loved James (and still do) Sir Geordie Strafford embodies everything a hero should be and he is exactly what you would picture a knight in shining armor to be – handsome, heroic, honorable, brave, self-sacrificing and steadfast – my heart broke for him so many times in this book and while it is technically Cat’s story, Geordie has been such a vital part of the series, that I felt like it became “their” story. The book has a bit of everything, some action, some heartache, some steamy love scenes, bad guys getting their due, wonderful secondary characters, both old and new, a heroine who saves the day and a hero who’s love has no equal and finally a HEA. This story touches on some sensitive/trigger issues and I think Ms. Martin handled them with both empathy and compassion, none of the traumatic events actually take place on page and when they are recounted it is done mildly and without overly graphic detail.

I just loved this story and can’t recommend it highly enough. This is the fourth book in the series and while I suggest reading the books in order, this book could easily be read as a stand-alone.

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Avid reader (and reviewer) of historical romance.

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