Tracy’s rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Series: Prince Charlie’s Angels, #1
Release Date: June 30, 2020
Jenny Mackintosh is a fierce supporter of Prince Charles Stuart and leader in the Jacobite cause. Known only as Mistress J, she is amassing troops and supplies for the Prince’s return, which is no small feat as her brother Hamish is a staunch supporter of the English King George. She walks a fine line of discovery between obedient sister to an Englisher support and Jacobite rebel – but so far, she has successfully been able to keep her secrets. She is out on a recruiting mission when she comes upon two men and offers them aid.
Toran Fraser is aiding the English commander Boyd with capturing rebels when he realizes his cousin Archie is among the men and that Boyd plans to kill them. He makes a choice and saves his cousin, but in the process makes Boyd his enemy. He is a man on a mission, he sided with the English in an effort to bring down the rebel known as Mistress J who killed his mother. But when he meets Jenny, he is not sure if he believes her capable of the horrific murder of his mother. He leaves Archie in her care and flees the safe house and returns to his uncle’s home – where he learns his uncle, the chief of the clan Fraser AKA the Fox has once again changed sides – now he says he is on the side of the rebels. Toran takes his cousin Simon, his younger brother Camdyn and little sister Isla and returns to find that the safe house is no more, but he finds one of her men and convinces him to take them to Jenny. The more time he spends with Jenny the more he can’t believe she killed him mom. And when he learns the truth, he will do whatever is necessary to gain her trust.
Jenny is attracted to Toran, but she isn’t sure she can trust him, even when he time and again proves himself worthy. She tries to ignore what is happening between them, but when he saves her from a fate worse than death, she can no longer deny her feelings or her faith in him. But Jenny is a woman in power and she isn’t sure she can have it all – will Toran be a true partner or will he try to control her?
I have read almost all of Ms. Knight’s Indy publications and love her work, so I was super excited for her first big publishing house offering, but sadly, this book just wasn’t what I was hoping for. She picked a very hard era and setting for a HEA and I truly wish she had added an epilogue set years later – because I know how the return of Bonnie Prince Charlie is going to play out and as a Jacobite – a long-lasting HEA is not likely! I liked the story and the historical facts were well researched and incorporated well – but I did have a bit of a hard time with Jenny’s character – she came across as a very strong woman, but a bit power-hungry and not willing share her power with a partner, it was almost like she wanted a consort, which would have been fine, but to make it work, Toran had to conform, so he went from being a strong warrior to her lap dog – I just wish there had been a better balance of power between them. Overall, the writing is good, the story is interesting and well-paced, but most of the “romance” and the mild /warmish love scenes don’t take place until almost the end of the book, so the romance did take a back seat to the historical fiction. This is the first book in the series and we are introduced to the other two “angels”, but this book stays completely on point and doesn’t even hint at Annie & Fiona’s stories.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher.*