Series: The Warrior Daughters of Rivenloch #2
Publication Date: 11/17/20
Number of Pages: 416
** 3.5 Stars **
This book takes place at the same exact time as the first book in the series, Bride of Fire. I haven’t read that book, but I imagine that the opening scene in that book is likely the same as this one – but with the focus on a different heroine. I don’t feel that I was ‘left out’ because I didn’t read that first book – this one is totally standalone. Although, having read that book might have helped me to understand why a Highland Laird would want to move his clan to a lowland castle on the border with England.
Hallidis Cameliard is the future Laird of her clan – and she’s currently acting as Laird during her parent’s absence. Hallidis’s clan has a long-standing claim against Creagor and was surprised when it was granted to the nephew of the last Laird at Creagor. While Hallidis’s parents were petitioning King Malcolm to grant Creagor to them, her cousin Jenefer snuck out via the secret entrance to lay siege (or something) to the newly arrived Laird Morgan Mor mac Giric whose uncle was the former Laird of Creagor. Hallidis and another cousin, Feiyan, left Rivenloch to stop Jenefer and return her home. Except – all three of them end up captured. Hallidis manages to escape and also manages to capture a prisoner to use to bargain with Morgan Mor mac Giric to get her cousins released. That prisoner turns out to be Morgan’s right-hand-man, Colban an Curaidh – which means Colban the Champion.
During his ‘imprisonment’ (which consisted of being held in the Lairds chamber), Colban soon endeared himself to Hallidis’s three brothers and her sister Isobel. Her siblings took great delight in thwarting Hallidis’s plans to treat Colban as an enemy prisoner. Of course, he soon endears himself to Hallidis as well. They come to love each other and commit to marriage. Then, the unthinkable happens and she ends up having to marry another. How can they ever get to a HEA with her married to someone who is not The One? There are lots of twists and turns before they ever make it.
I went into this book thinking it was going to be filled with action – LOTS of sword fights, sieges, and battles – I mean – the series is WARRIOR Daughters of Rivenloch, so you’d expect lots of ‘warrior-ing’ and I didn’t see as much of that as I’d expected. The first 65-70% was much slower paced than I expected, so I found myself putting it down frequently and not being in any hurry to pick it back up. The book picked up after the 60% or so mark and I enjoyed it much better. It was well written, just, to me, overall, slower-moving than I expected. However, what really got me – and it isn’t mentioned anywhere in the book blurb – is that there is a serious, active, sexual deviant in the story – in a pivotal role. It doesn’t matter to me if he got his punishment or not – his proclivities had too much page time for my taste – at least his activities did. A mention of his ‘ways’ would have been sufficient; I didn’t need to see them all in print. I was happy to have met Hallidis and Colban – and I LOVED Ian, Isobel, Brand, and Gellir.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.