Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: Midsummer Knight, #2
Release Date: April 28, 2020
Lady Isolde Maxwell has been wronged and her brother Gilbert, the Earl of Easton refuses to fight for her honor, instead he has betrothed her to the cur! Isolde decides that if Gilbert will not defend her honor, she will have no choice but to do it herself! She ensures her brother is not able to attend the tournament at the Rose Citadel, steals his armor and sets out, once there she plans to impersonate her brother and challenge Brodie Ross, fight him, restore her honor and dissolve the betrothal – what could possibly go wrong?
Chieftain Cormac Sutherland is out of options, his crops have failed again and his people are starving, he petitioned the Ross clan for help, but learned that they made a deal with the English. He knows he needs a bride that will bring coin and farmable land – but heiresses are not exactly falling in his lap. When his twin brother Graham suggests they attend the Rose Citadel tournament and steal the brides intended for the Ross brothers – Cormac is at first against the idea – but he soon decides that he owes it to his clan to try.
Upon arriving at the Rose Citadel, the brothers meet Alan, a mercenary and his dog Pip – Alan is looking for work and even though Cormac makes it clear they are not hiring, Alan becomes an invaluable asset. Alan points out Isolde to him and Cormac is immediately sure the plan is a bad idea – he is not comfortable wooing women and Isolde is lovely which will make it even harder for him to talk to her. But thanks to Pip, Cormac gets to speak to Isolde.
Isolde doesn’t have time to be charmed by the handsome highlander, she needs all her wits about her to convince people that both she and Gilbert at in attendance and can’t be distracted. She brushes off his attempts at flirtation and returns to her room. The next day she spars with Cormac as Gilbert and challenges Brodie. She beats Brodie, but it becomes clear that there is something more between Gilbert and Brodie. Brodie issues a counter challenge for the broken betrothal and insists that Gilbert fight his champion – a huge man that has never been beaten.
Cormac and Isolde have formed a friendship and it soon develops into deeper feelings – so when Cormac learns Isolde’s secret, he asks her to marry him and offers to fight in her stead – she will marry him, but will not let him sacrifice himself for her! It seems that fate is working against them – they find love, but happily ever after doesn’t seem possible.
This was an amazing story with a heroine that will not meekly allow herself to be used as a pawn and a hero that will do anything to protect her. This book has a little of everything, great leads, lots of action, steamy love scenes, secrets, deceptions, betrayal, some amusing moments, an adorable dog and a very hard won HEA. This book is part of an author collaboration series, but it can easily be read as a standalone title. I loved this story and am happy to recommend it!