Once Upon a Plaid by Mia Marlowe
Overview by Amazon:
A wife may be courted, too. . .
Many would count Katherine Douglas fortunate indeed. Laird William Douglas is broad-shouldered, gentle-handed, everything a lass could dream. But after four years of marriage, Katherine still knows little of what goes on in his heart. And she has yet to bear him an heir. The distance between them is too great–and so she flees over the snowy highlands to Glengarry Castle, home of her childhood, to set her husband free.
But William won’t let his wife slip away without a fight. Before long, he’s at her father’s threshold himself, witness to the rumbles of discontent in Glengarry, the bright joy of Yuletide at a family hearth, and the hidden needs of his own beloved. . .
This story starts with Katherine returning home, abandoning her marriage to William after a still born birth and many miscarriages. Infertility must have been very common in historical times, but it’s not always the main plot of a historical romance novel.
Through the telling of the story, you get to know that William and Katherine love each other deeply. The main problem besides the infertility is an inability to communicate. For a modern woman, this was a very relatable plot point. William can’t understand why Kat has left him and longs for her to be his wife again. Kat despairs at not giving William his heir and grieves deeply for her lost children. We discover through the book that the two were married for four years and had a passionate marriage. They were each other firsts and delighted in exploring the intimacies of marriage.
When William returns to Glengarry to retrieve Kat, it is Christmas time, so it adds that element of hope and renewal to the story. William is dogged in his attempts to woo back Kat, but she is so conflicted. She longs to go back to her husband, whom she loves deeply, yet she can’t help but feel like a failure. Her failings are what keep her from reuniting with him and telling him she loves him.
These two are very passionate. Through flashbacks, we learn about how steamy and sexy their bedroom adventures were before the pall of miscarriages and a still birth change their relationship. Once they are reunited at Glengarry, William not only voices his love and desire, but he shows her as often as he can. It isn’t a simple story of him chasing her to just get under her skirts. There is love and desire to have an emotional connection. In one encounter, when he realizes she has been faking orgasms, he is angry, yet determined to put her needs above his own. There are quite a few steamy scenes in this book, but they work toward repairing the relationship and are well placed within the plot.
William has not grieved for his still born son, and when he finally does it felt so cathartic to the reader that you knew there was more than hope for this couple. His grieving helped Kat heal emotionally and it was what she needed all this time, instead of careless comments people make when they don’t understand the emotional trauma of infertility.
The reunion between the two is not the only story happening. The castle fool, Nab, has quite a story line of his own. In modern times, I would hazard to say he has Aspergers Syndrome. He has accepted his lot in life, for it is not a bad one, but just limiting to his hopes and dreams. He meets a kindred spirit in Dorcas, the maid. The story between the two was sweet and hopeful. It was the perfect balance between the heavy emotions of William and Kat. Sometimes I am frustrated as a reader when a secondary plot takes away time from the main characters, but I greatly enjoyed seeing Nab’s life take a wonderful turn.
When William arrives at Glengarry, there is the matter of the bully Ranulf. Ranulf is the Laird’s nephew who openly has designs to take over the castle and rule. With Donald, the heir away at court, there seems little challenge as the current Laird is suffering from strokes. With cunning and brute force, Ranulf makes his stand and the battle for the castle is fast paced and an exciting read. Ranulf has discovered a trebuchet and uses the siege engine to attack the castle. The author is very descriptive and skilled at detailing the elements of war. I actually read as fast as I could to see what would happen. The battle definitely kept me on the edge of my seat!
This book was a great read. I wanted to shake Kat at times for being so uncommunicative to Will. I wanted to shout at her to just tell him how she feels instead of being silent and avoiding the topics at hand. I also liked how this book didn’t follow the typical recipe for sexual encounters. It was refreshing to see a married couple learn to love one another again and to rekindle the sexual heat they once had for once another.