Promised to the Highlander by Kate Robbins
Overview by Amazon:
Nessia Stephenson’s world was safe until a threat from a neighbouring clan forces her to accept a betrothal to a man whose family can offer her the protection she needs. The real threat lies in her intense attraction to the man who arranged the match—the clan’s chief and her intended’s brother, Fergus MacKay.
When powerful warlord Fergus MacKay arranges a marriage for his younger brother, William, he has no idea the price will be his own heart. Fergus is captivated by the wildly beautiful Nessia, a woman he can never have.
When the feud between the MacKay and Sutherland clans escalates, Nessia, William, and Fergus all must make sacrifices for their future. Longing and loss, honour and duty. How can love triumph under such desperate circumstances?
I was provided with a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for a review.
This is the first book I have read by Kate Robbins and all I could think about is WHY have I not found her before? This book is so amazing! I looked at other reviews and it was unanimous that this author and this book are amazing!
I adore books set in the Highlands of Scotland. It’s set in the time period of Stewart reign, so not as common as most Highland books which tend to focus on Robert Bruce and William Wallace. I found the historical plot points interesting and the clan way of life to be well explored.
The heroine Nessia is a treasure. She’s bold and strong and loyal. I totally enjoyed how she was developed as a character. The only challenge for me was that I couldn’t figure out how to pronounce her name accurately and it kind of irked me as I went along, but I appreciated that she wasn’t named something modern in order to make the story more palatable to current trends.
When we meet the hero and heroine they are immediately taken with each other. It’s that visceral pull between two people that is rare and breathtaking. Alas, she has been secured as a wife to Fergus’s younger brother William, who is very pleased with the match. I kept expecting the betrothal to be broken in order to get the romance going between Nessia and Fergus, but I was quite surprised that she did marry William. Immediately I though two things. One, William’s fate was not good. This is a romance novel and clearly Fergus is the hero, so something was going to happen to William. Second, this book was unusual in the fact that most romance novels don’t have the heroine marry someone else and have sex with them. So if you want a tale about virgins slaking their lust with the hero, this story is different than that common recipe.
However, Nessia’s lack of virginity allows for her and Fergus to explore each other without the hold up of maidenly qualms. He’s a brawny man who burns to be with her. Nessia can taste how passionate their encounters will be before he has even touched her. The sex scenes are really well done and very vivid. The book is not over run with smutty embraces, but their lovemaking ties together their relationship and the plot points.
Since there is clan warfare, we get to read about battles and alliances. This isn’t the usual description of practice with a claymore on the tiltyard, but real battles with subterfuge and intrigue. The enemy is evil and his treachery knows no bounds. The secondary characters enhance the plot and play pivotal roles in moving events along.
I still can’t believe I have never read one of Kate Robbins books before. This book is part of a series with more to come. I stayed up way past my bedtime, telling myself just a few more minutes to read, but in the end I couldn’t put it down until I knew how it ended. I was sure there would be a happy conclusion, but I just had to know!
I heartily recommend this book and author. I’m so happy I had the chance to discover her work and will definitely be reading more.
Reviewed for Kiltsandswords