Padyn MacLaren is a Highlander who was betrayed by his French fiance' to the English. Now wearing a scar across his face from that fiasco, his heart bruised and swearing to never trust another woman again, Padyn makes his way back home to the Scottish Highlands. He had fought for five years.
On his return to his home, he finds devastation. His crops are fallow, his land has been raided and most of his clansmen have left. He immediately submerges himself into hard work to rebuild his home. But when he returned, he brought his warriors with him and Padyn knows he must have more land.
Dundaff Castle has had their crops burnt repeatedly recently and if it continues, they will starve through the winter. Laird Graham does not have the warriors to defend his land, so he sends a proposal to Sir Padyn. If Padyn marries Graham's daughter Aila, then he will inherit Graham land, and help defend it. It seems like a wonderful business transaction to Padyn and he readily agrees.
But unbeknown to Padyn, Aila was bound for the Church. She was raised to be a nun, but marries Padyn as her father orders. But when Padyn doesn't visit Aila on their wedding eve, Aila is devastated and runs away to the Church to beg an annulment. Before she gets there, she is kidnapped by McNab, a clansman who wants Dundaff Castle for his own.
Padyn and Aila are two diverse characters who emotional well being are comprimised. Their love story unfolds against the beautiful backdrop of Scotland and it has it's humourous moments, and it's ups and downs, much like any relationship. Ms. Forester does an excellent job of keeping the plot going and you don't figure out who is the perpetrator until the final pages. Romance, humor and a Highland mystery all rolled into one. I'm looking forward to reading more from Amanda Forester. Her writing just warms the soul.
I'm giving my gently read ARC to one lucky reader! USA Only.
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Winner announced on March 8th.