Title: Between a Highlander and a Hard Place
Author: Mary Wine
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publish Date: October 30th 2018
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
*I received this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review*
Once again, I have found a new author to fangirl over thanks to NetGalley. Mary Wine created something beautiful with this book. Beyond the plot and sizzling romance, she added a touch of real history that I loved! You can tell that she did her research for this book. From the chill of the highlands to the drafty corridors of the Laird’s keep to the hearty food that they ate, I was able to see it all and experience it all with the characters and I was thrilled!
The plot itself was one of a noblewoman, Athena, on the run for fear of ending up in prison after slighting a lord of society who had esteemed to make her his mistress. While she makes her daring escape dressed as a boy working for a cloth merchant traveling through Scotland, she is unable to resist letting her hair down for one night to revel in what it’s like to be a woman free from rules. It’s there that Laird Symon Grant first sees her for the first time and quickly determines he wants her as his wife.
I loved the dynamic between these two characters. Though Athena found it hard to resist, I like that she put in the genuine effort to try. And I like that she was resisting based upon her very real past with the opposite sex, and not just because of insecurities or because it “isn’t proper”. Her resistance gave Symon a reason to put effort into wooing her. The only thing that kind of irked me with Athena was she kept getting in to trouble! I mean it was great that she wasn’t a damsel in distress and she kept saving herself, but either it would have been nice for Symon to full on be the hero and save her or her not to be so stupid as to get caught every single time. And it was because she kept running away! She was her own worst enemy in those instances.
Speaking of Symon, if there is one weakness that I have, it’s a man with bit of scruff. Add those wickedly intense eyes, the kilt, the accent, and the promise of seduction, and Symon Grant is my type of man! Though he was every bit the alpha male in this with his quest to seduce Athena, his soft spot showed in how he interacted with his cousin. Treating her like a little sister, I thought it was adorable when he went to her for advice on how to win over a lady’s affection.
What I didn’t like……..
When it came to the parts concerning King James and the many players in that court, squabbling about land and marriage ties, that part became a little muddled for me at times. I often lost track of who was being mailed a letter and for what reason they were sticking their hands in Athena’s relationship. In my mind, the author could have erased that completely from the book and I would still have loved this.
Would I recommend?
Duh! I loved this! Though I was head over heels for this couple, I am still fawning over the small historical details that the author put into this. And the promise of seeing Symon’s cousin, Brenda, in her own story soon is an added bonus as I love spin-offs for really strong characters.