Of the historical romances I’ve read recently, and there have been many, this one strikes a cord with me and will definitely be remember. Perhaps a top 10 of the year read…-Fly Girl
Lady Aileana Grant just wants to help her starving clan at Christmastide. So she pilfers some vegetables from the bastard Laird James MacDonald–the Devil, they call him. When the Devil shows up and demands marriage as recompense for the thievery, Aileana can’t believe it when her brother agrees. Even if she’s able to negotiate a severance on Twelfth Night, that’s still two weeks to put up with the laird in enemy territory. She’s counting down the days, even if James isn’t quite the disgusting cretin she’d imagined.
James needs to marry an enemy bride in order to inherit his fortune. Cursed restrictions. He’d been unable to look away from Aileana’s untamed beauty ever since she squared off with him. He might as well handfast with the infernal lass. He’d get his money and perhaps some peace among the clans. He has a fortnight to win the heart of the lady with the voice of an angel despite her sharp tongue.
Twelfth Night is merry and bright as Aileana and James realize a true connection between them. But when Aileana discovers the reason the Devil forced her into marriage, how can she ever believe he truly wants her?
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Fly Girl’s Review:
This story had me from the get go. Nothing like a good winter historical romance, when work was slow and there was more time by the fires. This one takes place around the Yuletide Holidays so it is even more festive. She really amped it up with sharing a lot of Scottish traditions with us and it was eye opening.
Aileana and James couldn’t come from more different places in the world even though they are considered equals in the social status. Aileana has lived a very hard life for many years due to the skirmishes with James’ family and the bad crop harvests. There has been little to eat and no extra money for the finer things afforded a nobleman in her life. This hasn’t dampened here ability to live life to the fullest and try to extoll any goodness from it or to explore new things. Her heart hasn’t been hardened.
James on the other hand has had things pretty good. Although he’s been hit with raids by both Aileana’s clan and others he’s been able to recover quicker. His harvests have been good. He’s had the coin for finer things. But not all has been good for him. As a bastard, he’s lived with hate and doubt his whole life from his step-mother. This has made him leery of relationships and trust has been tough.
When James finds himself in a position to win the rest of his inheritance and gain a comely wife, he jumps on it and handfasts with Aileana. She thinks she’s saving her family and especially her sister when she agrees to the handfasting. Good for her there is a twelfth night clause in it so if she doesn’t find peace with James it will be annulled.
James actually takes the time to listen to her grievances and learns to understand her perspective of the life she’s had because of the raiding. She learns to listen to James and his people about their grievances and between the both of them, they start to forge a friendship based on trust and hurt, and a willingness to see they are not their parents and the raiding has been for naught. Now they have to figure out how to get their families to do the same.
What stands out to me most in this novel is the sense of cooperation and the understanding that an individual should not be held responsible just because of their last name and what their brothers or fathers did. Also, James’ generosity towards Aileana’s family and her, even when she was thought of as the enemy. James treats her with care and compassion and he has a sense of honor based around his unfortunate birth so he never forces Aileana. The emotions were so true to my soul that I think in many of the situations I would have responded exactly the same whether it was a smile, laugh, or a tear. This one really touched my heart and if you love high emotion, this book is perfect. The Scots are known for high emotion and E Elizabeth doesn’t disappoint.
This is the first book I’ve read by her and I’m in love and will definitely be reading more of her. Because it touched my heart, this will most likely make my Top 10 list for the year. I’m giving it 5 of 5.
5 of 5 Propellers
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