Highland Spitfire by Mary Wine
Overview by Netgalley:
Passion flares between enemies
Two hotheaded Highlanders, the offspring of feuding lairds, are tricked by the King’s Regent into a desperate choice: marry or die. Bhaic MacPherson is more disposed to lead his clan into battle than stay married to the daughter of his enemy. But perhaps the intensity of his feelings has more to do with desire than hostility.
And the Highlands ignite
Ailis Robertson wanted a husband, not a savage—but when her family was faced with a deadly ultimatum, she had no choice. The union of a MacPherson and a Robertson could end three generations of hostilities between the two families, but can bitter rivals truly become lovers?
This book was amazing! I have been contemplating all day long what is the difference between a strong story and one that has a lot of flaws. As the reader, when you start that book that is solid, well developed and written, it is all about how you feel. I feel safe while reading it. That may sound silly, but I know that my time is going to be well spent. I enjoy what I am reading and not having to fill in gaps or make conjectures about what I am reading. It’s the excitement of giving yourself over to a competent author who weaves a magical story.
This story reminded me a lot of Monica McCarty’s writing. Obviously they both feature Scots, but the similarities continue with strong male characters and feisty women. I think the female leads were just amazing in this book. Ailis has been dealt a tricky hand and forced into marriage. It wasn’t that she was perfect, there were times that she wanted to gnash her teeth or just give up and cry, but she was so strong. I loved that she had a strong perspective and an understanding of the collective good. It wasn’t that she was sacrificing her life, but rather taking charge when the men had their heads up their backsides.
Bhaic is trapped just as much as Ailis. Things are easier for him, as Ailis joins his clan, so his life is not as disrupted. There is a strong Romeo and Juliet feel to the story. The two of them seemed to be the voice of reason in a mad world. Bhaic was a treasure because he recognized the value of Ailis. Not just as a wife, but as a partner, a lover and a political ally. It definitely didn’t hurt that Bhaic had the patience of a saint and the lips of a sinner.
The clan politics were really interesting. I think this is why it reminds me of Monica McCarty’s books. She explores some of these issues in her series, but Mary Wine takes it deeper. The stubborn Scot mentality of generational feuds is deeply explored and the impact on the average person.
The secondary characters were excellent. Ailis’ guards reminded me of Angus and Rupert from Outlander. The relationship between Helen and Marcus was so interesting and engaging. I really hope that Mary Wine writes their story next!
I think the word ‘engaging’ is the best to describe my experience with this book. I found it highly interesting, emotional and rewarding. The passion between Ailis and Bhaic was a large part of the story and it was exceptionally well done – don’t worry – if you like your historical romance with time in the bedroom, you won’t be disappointed. It was a really great love story full of politics, romance and challenges. A definite must read!