This book delivers on one of my favorite tropes: a hero so beneath the heroine in social status, they believe they can never make it work. Duncan is a Scottish soldier, injured at Waterloo. Lady Grace is sister-in-law to his superior officer. They are light years apart in station, but from the moment she tended him on the battlefield, they were like moths to a flame.
Grace doesn’t consider herself “too good” for Duncan. She is attracted to him and is fascinated by every word he says and every action he makes. She thinks she’ll never see him again after that first day –that first kiss– but circumstances bring him into her life over and over again. And she couldn’t be happier. Stolen moments grow into heated touches and a real emotional connection… all while reality insists they can never have a future.
Duncan knows society will never accept him in Grace’s life, but he can’t force himself to stay away. I really love the way he sees her, especially when juxtaposed with how Grace sees herself. She thinks she is plain and boring. But in Duncan’s eyes, her blonde hair is spun gold. Her height makes her statuesque. And the shyness she feels around the ton, disappears with him. She is everything to him, and yet everything that is out of his reach.
I enjoyed the forbidden element of the romance. There is such longing and real hopelessness between these two. The sexual tension and physical relationship are hot and believable. I was rooting hard for these two, while truly enjoying their uphill battle to be together. I especially enjoyed watching Grace take control of her own future, when it finally occurs to her that she can.
There is a b-plot going on at the same time involving the relationship between Grace’s sister and her husband, which is covered in the novella, “A Highlander’s Heart.” While the romance between Duncan and Grace works easily as a standalone, the references to Claire and Major Campbell did make me feel the lack a little for having not read their story. You can definitely get the jist, but the holes are obvious. There’s also a bit of action thrown in at the end regarding Duncan’s mission with the Highland Knights, though it felt more like an afterthought or maybe a plot device than something really organic to the story.
All that said, I really enjoyed the book, because I liked the romance at its core. It looks like this series will follow all the different members of Duncan’s band of knights, and based on this story, I would definitely give the next installment a try.
*ARC provided by publisher
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Jennifer Haymore
Release Date: November 24, 2015