Genre: historical romance
Maya Banks, the New York Times bestselling author of erotic romance, romantic suspense, and contemporary romance, has captivated readers with her steamy Scottish historical novels, perfect for fans of Julie Garwood. In Bed with a Highlander is the start of a beguiling trilogy featuring three unforgettable brothers risking everything to save their clan and their legacy - and to surrender their hearts to love.
Ewan McCabe, the eldest, is a warrior determined to vanquish his enemy. Now, with the time ripe for battle, his men are ready and Ewan is poised to take back what is his - until a blue-eyed, raven-haired temptress is thrust upon him. Mairin may be the salvation of Ewan's clan, but for a man who dreams only of revenge, matters of the heart are strange territory to conquer.
The illegitimate daughter of the king, Mairin possesses prized property that has made her a pawn - and wary of love. Her worst fears are realized when she is rescued from peril only to be forced into marriage by her charismatic and commanding savior, Ewan McCabe. But her attraction to her ruggedly powerful new husband makes her crave his surprisingly tender touch; her body comes alive under his sensual mastery. And as war draws near, Mairin's strength, spirit, and passion challenge Ewan to conquer his demons - and embrace a love that means more than revenge and land.
I have to say it right away: this was the best Highlander story I have read in a long time. I just loved it.
The story starts with Mairin being abducted from the convent she has been living in for a long time. Duncan Cameron is after the dowry Mairin will bring him, and his men sure are not careful of their prisoner on the long road to his keep. Mairin has heard of the ruthless Duncan Cameron before, and she is very afraid of him. But not too afraid to try to save a little boy who tries to steal one of their horses. The men want to kill him, but Mairin throws herself over the boy to protect him. At a stalemate, they decide to bring the boy with them, as a means to keep Mairin from escaping.
When Mairin flat out refuses to marry Duncan Cameron, he flies into a rage, and almost beats her to death. Thrown into a tower room with little Crispen, she is almost unconscious. That night, a servant helps them escape the castle, and a soldier puts them on a horse. They have no idea where they are, or how to get Crispen home, but they have to leave. Mairin is unable to ride the horse herself, and it is up to Crispen to lead the horse up north. He promises to keep Mairin safe, as she saved him. Lucky for them, upon the second night they come upon a party of men looking for Crispen. One of his uncles is leading it, and they take the couple safely home to Laird Ewan McCabe. Ewan is very happy that his only son is home safe again, but he has no idea what to think of the lass. She refuses to tell him her name, and is adamant on leaving again. She is in no state to ride a horse, and he has no intention of giving her one. Crispen has sworn to keep her name a secret, but when one of the serving girls helping Mairin sees the brand on her hip, she tells the Laird.
And even though Ewan has sworn never to marry again, he wants to dowry and security Mairin will bring to him and his clan. After the woman who betrayed his brother, and got his parents killed and their Keep burned, he was determined never to trust a woman again. The keep is still not fully rebuilt, he has enough soldiers, but his larders are empty, and so are his coffers. He needs gold to buy cloth for clothes and food for his people.
Mairin is not happy, and refuses to marry him, but Ewan leaves her little choice. And she does love Crispen dearly. She has always longed for a home and a family of her own, and why not Ewan? He is handsome, and kind, and a good Laird to his people.
Too bad her wedding day is interrupted by Duncan Cameron coming to battle, and Ewan has to consummate the marriage at once, leaving her in their bridal bed to go off to war. Luckily, the McCabe’s quickly defeat the Camerons, and Ewan can prove to his bride that their marriage bed will be a good one, and that he is a better lover than she might think of this one encounter.
But this battle also proves, that they need allies, and Ewan sends his brothers to his neighbours to negotiate.
And just when it seems everything is going allright, they are summoned to appear before the King, as Duncan Cameron has laid claim to Mairin, telling the King they were wed and bedded, and Ewan stole her from him …
I loved this story. I loved the characters, the setting, the story line. Of course it sounds like dozens of other books, but Maya Banks gave it her own twist and to me it felt original and kept me engaged for hours. Mairin is strong and determined, but not stupid or naïve. She knows that marrying Ewan is her best choice, especially as she has nowhere else to go. Court is certainly not an option, nor is the property that makes her dowry so valuable. The one that her son will inherit. She loves Crispen, and she organises the servants quickly to get the keep up to standards. They all soon love her.
I loved the part where Mairin goes to Abby to ask for advice on how to please her husband. She does not want him to stray, ever!.
Ewan is of course handsome and big and brawny, but he cares deeply for his son and people, and soon falls in love with Mairin. He is determined to keep her safe, and chooses her over her dowry.
If you haven’t read a Maya Banks book yet, and you do love historical romance, you really need to try this book. It is totally worth your time and money.
(in this genre)
© 2013 Reviews by Aurian