Highland Spy by Madeline Martin
Tracy’s rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: The Mercenary Maidens, #1
Release Date: March 14, 2023 – This is a revised & edited re-release
I liked this book, I was expecting a sort of “Point of No Return” type story and while there were some similar aspects between this book and that movie, this was definitely it’s own story. This is a very hard book to review without totally spoiling the story, so I am going to just give the basic premise of the story.
Ariana has been supporting herself by cheating at cards since her parents and her brother passed away, and up until she met Connor Grant she was getting away with it.
Connor is a displaced laird of a decimated clan, he runs a spy ring for King James and acts as his personal assassin. He has an agreement with the king, 10 years of service to the crown and then he will be free and his holdings returned to him. Connor uses women as his spies and believes he has found the perfect candidate when he catches Ariana cheating and blackmails her into joining his “girls”. Connor and Ariana share an instant attraction, but neither is in a position to act upon it. Connor never dallies with his “girls” and Ariana is noble born and therefore off limits as he has nothing to offer her.
Ariana reluctantly agrees to work with Connor and soon finds herself and another new recruit (Liv) sent off to the wilds of Scotland with Sylvi (one of Connor’s girls) for training. On the way to the castle, Liv becomes ill and Ariana fears for her life. Once they reach the castle, Ariana meets the other “girls”, Percy and Delilah. Percy is for lack of a better description – their “Q”. She comes up with gadgets and potions for the team and acts as the team’s healer. Percy immediately takes charge of Liv and with Ariana’s help, they slowly set her on the road to recovery.
Ariana begins her training and soon realizes that each girl has her own story and reason for being there. She takes well to the training and is soon ready to take on her first mission.
What follows is a mass of twists and turns in the plot, betrayal, secrets, more betrayal, more secrets, some steamy moments, followed by the hero acting like a jerk, followed by the heroine acting like an idiot, followed by the hero redeeming himself and the heroine learning what love really is. As always, the writing is impeccable and the story is gripping.
I would recommend this book and I am looking forward to reading the future installments featuring the rest of the “girls”.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review of an eARC that I received from NetGalley and the publisher*