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.
Though the illegitimate daughter of the king, Mairin possesses prized property that makes 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 finds her craving 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.
In Bed With A Highlander is the first book of Maya Banks’ that I’ve read. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. This book had been sitting in my to-be-read pile for quite a while, and I’d sort of forgotten about it. When I got around to it and saw the title and the cover, I was like, “Oh, boy. It’s going to be one of those.” You know the ones I’m talking about: those types of romance novels that make some of us embarrassed to be caught reading the genre. Luckily, this was not the case.
The story is set in the Highland’s of Scotland. Our leading lady is Mairin Stuart, the Scottish king’s illegitimate daughter. Traditionally, illegitimate children get diddly squat from their father. However, Mairin is an exception to this rule: her father has given her one huge ass dowry, and it’s made her a hot commodity for Scotland’s eligible bachelors. I was a little bit… dubious when Mairin first came onto the scene, She seemed a little to damsel-in-distressy for me. The fact that we first find her hiding in an abbey until she could decide on Mr Right just had me a little, “Meh”. Unfortunately for Mairin, though, she doesn’t actually get the chance to make the decision because she’s kidnapped by the dastardly Duncan Cameron’s men. I find that sometimes authors go out of their way to make the villain as obviously evil as they can in all the cliche-ridden ways they can think of. Thankfully, Ms Banks refrained from doing this. Still, Duncan Cameron was evil and I wanted to stab him.
Enter our hero, Ewan McCabe, a man fully capable of making Cameron a bad memory. Ewan is the dashing laird of his keep and he has a major ax to grind with Cameron. So when Cameron’s would-be bride ends up on McCabe property after escaping from being forced into marriage, Ewan can see the merits in marrying the young lady himself. His way of giving Cameron the finger, I suppose. I know this makes it sound like Mairin was this passive lump just going along with whatever the men decided, but this was not the case. Granted, she didn’t have much control over the circumstances that were turning her life upside down but at least she was smart about how she reacted. She could have put up more of a fuss about marrying Ewan, but she knew that, at that stage, he was her best bet. But after the I-do’s are said, Mairin does not hesitate to give her new husband the what-for. An example of Mairin speaking her mind? The consummation of their marriage was quite a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am affair, one that Mairin has absolutely no desire to repeat. When Ewan broaches the subject of doing it again, Mairin very firmly puts him in his place:
” ‘Tis a well-known fact that a man is either skilled in matters of loving or matters of war. ‘Tis obvious that fighting is your skill.”
Ouch! All in all, I really enjoyed this book. It took me by surprise a couple of times and reminded me that the adage “don’t judge a book by its cover” really is true.