Published by Grand Central Publishing on January 1st 2010
Genres: Historical Romance, Medieval Era, Scottish Highlands
A fair-haired beauty at 19, Lady Mairi is heiress apparent to her father Lord Dunwythie's rich barony. He has carefully taught her how to manage their estates, but a feud between his clan and the Maxwell clan is brewing as the two families edge toward a clan war - their dispute over money owed. Mairi's father believes he owes nothing, and of course Mairi sides with him.When the impulsive and blue-eyed Rob Maxwell chances to meet Mairi in a barley field, they feel instant attraction, despite their families' antagonisms. Knowing he must put his clan first, Rob enacts a plan to force Dunwythie to pay his debt: Rob kidnaps Mairi, making the abduction appear the work of a stranger; then he and his sheriff-brother offer to help Dunwythis rescue his daughter IF, and only if, he will pay them the monies due. Yet after Rob captures Mairi's body, she captures his heart. When Dunwythie summons the aid of the most powerful clan in all Scotland (the Douglases), clan-tensions rise to a fever pitch. Love takes its own feverish course, as Mairi and Rob join forces to prevent a clash between hot-headed clans, and to protect their budding love.
Robert Maxwell, on errand for his brother comes to Lord Dunwythie to try to convince him to submit to the sheriff’s demands, who happens to be very powerful as well as his older brother, whom he owes his allegience to. On his way however, he comes across Mairi, and young woman that captivates him like no other woman has. Mairi, daughter of Lord Dunwythie, and the one to inherit, unless her father bears a son, which he has yet to do. Mairi learning how to run his estates, however feels like she is not part of his inner circle, despite the fact that she is his heir. When she meets the handsome rogue Robert Maxwell, despite her better judgment, finds herself drawn to this stranger. After he leaves however, being rejected by her father, she is a bit disappointed. But she is shocked when taking a walk comes face to face with Robert again, and is then taken captive away to a tower on his land by the sea, with no safe way to escape. At first Mairi is outraged by what he has done, but there is a sizzling attraction between them that no matter the circumstances is alive and growing into a ascending flames closely resembling flames. But the longer they spend in each others company, Mairi realizes that she would rather stay at his side, than go home. Mairi, never feeling wanted or loved at her home, feels that way in Rob’s presence, like she could talk or laugh with him about anything and feel a strong bond with him. Robert, knows that there is something strengthening between them, and he knows that he loves Mairi. However, he knows that with Mairi’s father, he could never marry her, it would be impossible. Where he knows he will have to choose between his love for Mairi and his loyalty to his clan and brother.
This is the first that I have read from Amanda Scott, and as I love Scottish romances, I was glad to discover a new talented romance author. I loved the plot to this story, where Robert feels he has no choice but to kidnap her hoping that it will force her father to see reason. Mairi knows her father, and knows what his reaction will be and that his land and plans for the future mean more than she does. But after she spends time with Robert and comes to the point of where she would rather be with him, she knows that she is in love with them, even though she knows that she must cherish the time they have together, because she won’t be able to marry him. The other thing that I loved about these characters, is how despite what Robert feels he has to do, they get along after the anger and tempers are spent, and a intense desire flares up between the two. Even though it was a good story with some strong characters, there was something off about this book. It felt like at times it flowed smoothly, but at other times it didn’t flow like I felt it should have. Also I felt like there was something missing, pretty much all throughout the book. But for the most part I did enjoy this book, and I do plan on reading more of this author.