Review: Highland Hero by Amanda Scott ★★★★

Highland Hero by Amanda Scott
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Scottish Knights Trilogy #2
Publication Date: October 1st 2011
ISBN: 9780446574303
Page Count: 400 pages
Summary: 

LADY IN DISGUISE Lady Marsi Cargill refuses to marry a man who wants her land rather than her love. To escape her arranged betrothal, she disguises her noble lineage and accompanies her young cousin--the future King of Scots--on a secret journey across the Highlands. Their guide is a mysterious knight known only as Hawk. Heat flares between the beautiful maid and the brooding warrior, but when Marsi's true identity is revealed, Hawk's desire gives way to fury... KNIGHT AT THE READY Summoned by the King to guard his son, Sir Ivor "Hawk" Mackintosh now has two royals to protect. This daring, willful woman has invaded Hawk's every thought, and laid siege to his heart. Soon the solitary soldier is yearning for a life with Marsi at his side and in his bed. But as their passion grows, so too does the danger surrounding them. Powerful enemies watch their every move, and to survive, Hawk and Marsi must fight for Scotland's future-as well as their own new-found love.

REVIEW
This was a really enjoyable highlander tale. As a background to the romance storyline, which was very sweet, the main plot is based on the political manoeuvring and power plays of the royal family, and it was interesting to read. After the death of Queen Annabella, Scotland is left with a King in rule who has no interest in doing so. But a brother with other ideas, who seeks to implement his wants and wishes through his weak-willed sibling. Including marrying off his niece if it furthers his political ambitions.

I was drawn initially to this book by the prospect of the subterfuge mentioned in the blurb. And indeed, our heroine, Marsi, does try and pass herself off as the nursery maid in order to escape a planned wedding to a repulsive man three times her age, who only covets her inherited lands. She is...unsuccessful at impersonating the help, shall we say?

Our hero, and the man she is trying to fool into protecting her, is known initially only as The Hawk. A warrior and strategist, he makes the perfect bodyguard. I found his character a little boorish at the beginning, especially when he thought her only a maid. But in reality I don't doubt his actions and opinions are only reflective of the times. Indeed, I believe the author tried to be as authentic as possible in most areas. Including the bedroom scenes. It was a refreshing change, in a way, to see a sex scene involving a virgin that was believable and not totally romanticized and perfect. But then, on the other hand, I wouldn't have minded a few more scenes after that that upped the heat a little. On a smut scale, this was maybe a two out of five, but the lead up and tension was nice and I believed that they cared about each other.

And I really liked both main characters, which, in the end is the most important thing in a romance novel for me. If there's an overbearing hero or a TSTL heroine, it's game over, so I am happy to report that both characters were very endearing.

I plan on reading the rest of the books in the series (including going back to read book one).

4 Stars! ★★★★

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