Opening Line:“The weather for her first wedding had been a splendor of nature.”
This one picks up directly after (Seduction Of A Highland Lass) with sacrificial lamb Rionna finally (finally) getting her McCabe man. This poor girl has really had the run around but Caelen, the last remaining brother steps up, takes one for the team and Rionna actually gets her wedding, bringing an alliance to the McDonald and McCabe clans once and for all.
Caelen may put loyalty above all else but he trusts no woman, hardening his heart after a prior betrayal ended in the murder of his father and brother’s wife. This is to be a marriage of convenience for him, nothing more. This couple butt heads almost immediately upon return to the McDonald grounds as it becomes apparent that Caelen’s new bride is no wallflower. He of course tries to put her in her place, which would be inside the castle walls, running the staff and household not out leading the men in swordplay wearing trews which is where Rionna is happiest.
Who knew Rionna was a “warrior Princess” it sure melts Caelen’s defences watching her in action. Initially Caelen’s character confused me (or should I say was realistic) as he was all smooth words, white hot longing and gentleness in the bedroom when they’re alone but outside of those stone walls and fur bedding he is gruff moody and harsh almost to the point of being cruel to his new bride.
There is a lot of action in this one and I particularly enjoyed the scenes where Caelen is training Rionna in combat skills. She also has some great scenes with Gannon the 2nd in command who I’ve enjoyed in all 3 books.
Maya Banks surprised me here with a fade-to-black love scene. What?! She makes up for it with plenty of others though. I felt that Caelen went a little soft towards the end spouting mushy nonsense in front of the King and his clan and the last battle had a few silly moments however the epilogue which has been taken from Caelen’s diary is so freakin good it will bring tears to your eyes as it is signed; Caelen McDonald laird of the McDonald clan. You’ll have to read it to find out the significance. Cheers.