This book had me engrossed from the first chapter when, in 1478, Lady Meg is kidnapped as part of the ongoing feud between the Douglas family and the Earl of Northumberland. Plotting & Vengeance is the name of the game that is viciously played by Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland. But it is a game that Arthur Douglas, Meg's brother, is not interested in playing. To avoid an escalation of conflict which could destroy the truce between Scotland and England, Douglas hires the Scottish King James' Enforcers to rescue his sister while avoiding a war.
Duncan Campbell, head of the Enforcers, leads the effort to rescue Meg. Like your typical Highland hero, Duncan is big and strong and brave and not to be trifled with. Instant attraction between Meg and Duncan occurs when their eyes first meet. And when Duncan discovers Meg's feisty personality, all is lost.
While there is plenty of action in this story, first and foremost, there is romance. Duncan considers the life of the leader of the Enforcers to be, necessarily, an unmarried life, since he would be away from home so much. But in Meg, he sees a feisty, beautiful woman that makes his poet's heart warm. And he begins to think about a possibility he had never considered. I would have liked to have seen more of Duncan's poetic side, as the little bit in the story seemed almost out of place. But it was pleasant to read of a warrior with a talent that did not involve steel weapons.
Like Duncan, Meg never imagined herself married. Her deformed claw-like hand had her making plans to become a nun many years ago. But in the meantime, there is Duncan with his shoulders and his backside and his sweet talk and his kisses. What is a girl to do? Meg is a woman of decision, whether she has all the facts or not. This trait comes through in her relationship with Duncan in a deliciously sexy way.
I was delighted when this same forcefulness had Meg dealing with uncertain and dire situations by barking out orders to strangers. This led to tense, but funny situations. Who needs force when a show of authority will do!
The rescue of Meg is the first of many escapades in A Highland Knight's Desire. Duncan is always up for adventure. And when Duncan's life is endangered, Meg does not back down from the action either, much to the dismay of Duncan. From Meg's rescue, to another Enforcer mission and a false accusation of murder, the action is plentiful. And if you are wondering how all these things tie together, think 'bad guy'. Henry Percy is a mean, devious and vindictive and always plotting. I do so like a good 'bad guy'.
Many of the characters in the book are based on real people, though most of the story is fictional. Actual historical events lay the foundation for the setting of the story. A Highland Knight's Desire is the second in the Highland Dynasty series. The first book, A Knight in Highland Armor is about Duncan's father. Each is a standalone story tied together by the characters and can be enjoyed without reading the others.
If you enjoy history and romance together in Scotland setting, I think you will enjoy Amy Jarecki's A Highland Knight's Desire.
**ARC provided by Kindle Scout Program**