Bride Of A Scottish Warrior
Newly knighted Sir Ewan Gilroy needs a dowry and a wife, in that order. Though the widowed Lady Grace plans to enter a convent, squandering so much lush beauty - and such a fortune - would surely be its own sin. Grace will not be easily wooed, despite her family's urging and Ewan's famed charm. She challenges him as no woman ever dared, proving his equal in spirit and in passions...
Forged by desire...
To atone for her past, Grace vows to never remarry - least of all a brash and reckless warrior. Yet whether defending her honor or stoking desires she hardly knew she possessed, Ewan is a man beyond compare. And as their fragile trust is threatened by treachery, Grace must decide whether to reach for the happiness within her grasp - and fight for the love of her bold Highlander...
Rating: 3.75 stars
Another richly detailed and vividly beautiful portrayal of the lives of historic highlanders, full of intrigue, drama, passion and beauty, Basso takes us through the highland season and the troubles and issues faced by all clans big and small and all members of the clan from the lowliest farmer to the leaders of the clans. I am a big fan of historicals, especially anything set in Scotland, but I have found that I love the richness of Basso’s writing and the way she always shows the day to day lives of her characters, not just the drama and passion. This story, while not connected to other series, is the second book of hers I have read and gives me the same feelings and enjoyment.
This story is about the lives of two people who both swore to never fall in love again, never risk the danger to their hearts, but sometimes fate steps in. Ewan has been given the great honor of becoming a landowner and leading a small clan to a new start, but he is rather short of supplies and needs a rich bride to make the lives of his new people better. Grace has just returned to her family home after becoming a young widow under slightly suspicious circumstances when Ewan arrives seeking advice from his old friend Brian, who just happens to be Grace’s older brother. Though there is an immediate connection between Grace and Ewan, she is determined to return to the convent where she was raised and live out her life in solitude. Ewan sets about winning her hand, but her resistance makes his quest futile. Only when the sisters who have given her sanctuary are put into danger by her presence does she relent, agreeing to marry Ewan in exchange for his keeping her safe. But as their passion explodes in their marriage, it becomes less likely they will be able to keep their hearts from falling to one another. With danger around every corner the only chance for them to maintain their happiness is to trust one another explicitly and work together to overcome all odds.
I liked Grace very much when she finally stopped being so self-deprecating, but I did wish she had let go of her guilt for something beyond her control much sooner. Being a very religious woman she is a bit more pious than I would have been able to handle in person, but when she finally allows herself to be free and to love Ewan with all her heart and body I found myself liking her much more. It was nice to see a woman with more of a brain than many women in historicals, but her stubbornness in resisting Ewan was incomprehensible to me. I would have given in five minutes after meeting him! Ewan was a sexy, chivalrous, sweet and gorgeous knight. A man with the skills to lay siege to one’s body and heart with very little effort, one that could find any weakness and make you life better with very little true effort. He treats Grace like a queen, even when she resists that role, and does everything he can to make sure she never regrets becoming his bride. When he is facing his enemies he is strength personified in all ways and you never have any doubts that he will prevail no matter the circumstances.
I found myself engrossed in every second of this novel, never doubting that it would end well for both Grace and Ewan, but traveling with them on their journey brought tears and laughter as they grew together and separately. Grace was a pretty decent character once you got past the overly pious nature to the core of the woman underneath all her religious training. She is obviously a care-giver, a woman meant to be the center of her family with those around her leaning on her for all their emotional and many of their physical needs. Ewan, a man that really has no reason to believe in love, is a man that knows what he wants and will go to any length to get it, slowly convincing Grace that she belongs with him and no outside forces will ever tear them apart. There was a lot of drama and danger returning from Grace’s past, but Ewan is more than up for the challenge of protecting her and their people. I am looking forward to the chance to read more by this author and would love to see a good series come out of some of her books. Definitely adding Adrienne to my list of historical authors to watch out for.
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review. No compensation was provided.