The Highlander’s Bride by Amanda Forester
Overview by Amazon:
Their attraction is forbidden
All Highland warrior Gavin Patrick wants is to get back to his native Scotland. But before he can leave the battlefield, he’s given a final mission-escort Lady Marie Colette to her fiancé. Under no circumstances is he to lay hands on the beautiful, clever-tongued heiress…no matter how desperate the temptation.
Their desire, undeniable
Forced to pose as a married couple to make their escape from France, Gavin and Marie Colette find themselves thrown into peril…and each other’s arms. As the danger mounts, so does their forbidden passion. But it isn’t until Marie Colette is taken from him that Gavin is forced to decide-is he willing to lose the woman who stole his heart, or will he jeopardize his honor, defy his promise, and steal her in return?
I love a good story where the action takes place on the road. The journey starts in war torn France. The English are terrorizing the region and the intrepid Scots have come to help even up the fight with them. Gavin saves the life of a duc in battle and is rewarded. There is some confusion as to the reward. Gavin hopes for gold, but then thinks he is being given the most beautiful woman he has ever seen. Then he finds out that he is being rewarded with the honour of escorting Lady Marie Colette to Scotland to meet up with her betrothed.
And so begins the awesome adventure! I loved how they started out with pretty much everything that was not nailed down in the castle. Gavin’s frustration at the travelling conditions made me laugh. I liked that this book have such moments of brevity. Because on the flip side, we read about the devastation that war brings to the local people. The travelling party is slowly decimated in order to evade the English and that is when the romance gets started.
I found Lady Marie Colette to be fascinating. She has lived an extremely sheltered life. She has been in the company of her maids; funnily all named Marie, for her whole life. The expectations of Colette are extreme. She is to be composed at all times. She should not read, she should not laugh, not display emotions or happiness. An example of the constraints of her life would be that she has never touched a man, nor been embraced in a hug or worn her hair uncovered. While she must maintain this lifestyle in France, the journey with Gavin provides her a freedom she has never imagined in her wildest dreams.
While she is travelling to meet her intended, the relationship between Gavin and Colette develops from travelling companions to love. Gavin gets to know the real Colette and admires her fortitude, her strength, her intelligence and her beauty. He knows that she is meant for another, but he can’t help but long for her. She feels the same way, but the responsibilities that she bears stop her from running away with her desires.
Through a comedy of errors, they are forced to pretend to be married. This forces them into the company of each other in private. For two people who lust after one another so fiercely that it’s palpable, it’s tantamount to torture.
Sir Gavin was a fantastic character. To be honest, he completely reminded me of Jamie Fraser from the TV show Outlander. He was genial, caring and even tempered. He also was a strong warrior who regularly used his skills along with his ingenuity. Gavin was somewhat unflappable. Whether it was a squalling infant or rude maids or travel plans, Gavin handled it all with aplomb. I liked the smirks he made and the forthright manner he spoke to Colette with. He was clear about his desires and interests.
Throughout all the action and adventure, the weight of the impending betrothal hangs over the reader and the couple. It was so hard to imagine what would happen to keep the couple together. They pick up a stray named Pippa along the way and her observations about the two were hilarious. She was a great source of perspective and comedic relief.
I enjoyed this book. I liked learning about the history of the times and how France and Scotland were allies. The adventure that they undertake was great! The story is well developed and written. The characters are likeable and the romance just leaps off the pages.