Clara’s Vow by Madeline Martin
Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: Borderland Rebels, #3
Release Date: March 16, 2021
When Clara Fletcher’s brother Drake and her mother begin arguing about her future, she is troubled, she has no desire to be a burden to her family, so she decides to take matters into her own hands and runs away with the intention of taking her vows as a nun at the Paisley Abbey. Clara is a skilled healer and longs to help people, so she knows she will be welcomed at the Abbey, but a small part of her grieves the death of her secret dream to have a family of her own.
Reid MacLeod is on his way to see Lord Tavish in Dumbarton Castle with a missive from the King warning of an impending attack by the English when he comes upon a cottage being set alight by English soldiers and it sparks memories of his own childhood tragedy – he intervenes and as he is fighting, he is struck in the back with a dagger. When he wakes, he finds himself in the care of the one woman he has never forgotten – Clara, the sister-in-law of his friend and former commander, Sir William.
Clara was horrified to realize she attacked Reid by mistake and knows she can’t leave him injured. She takes him back to the cave she camped in and discovers it is not just the wound she inflicted that has brought him down, but a previous injury that has become infected. Reid insists that he can’t stay and be treated, that he has an important mission to complete. A mission that Clara decides she will complete on his behalf.
Reid refuses to give up his mission and grudgingly agrees to let Clara accompany him, but plans to leave her at the Abbey and keep her well away from the trouble coming to Dumbarton. Being with Clara makes Reid long for a life that he swore he would never have. After losing his entire family, Reid lives in the hope of avenging them and decided long ago that he would never place his heart in danger of being broken again, but Clara tempts him like no other.
Clara finds herself falling for Reid and begins to hope for a different future, she knows that Reid has closed his heart to love and wonders if she can breach the walls he has erected – but before she can even think of that, they need to complete his mission – a task that seems nearly impossible when Reid is injured again.
This was a well-written, nicely-paced story filled with action, emotion, and steamy love scenes. Clara and Reid are wonderful characters, who each have their own crosses to bear and their journey to HEA is not without challenges. The book delivers a story filled with action, heartache, loss, revenge, surprises, steamy love scenes, a heroine who can hold her own in battle, a hero that will have choices to make, and finally, a HEA that brings a sigh to your heart and a smile to your face. I highly recommend this title, it is definitely my favorite of the series (so far) and while it is the third book in the series, it could easily be read as a standalone title.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that I requested and was provided to me by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.*