Title: My Highland Spy
Series: Highland Spies #1
Author: Victoria Roberts
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Published: September 2nd 2014 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Kindle | B&N | ARe
This Highland Laird won't bow to the Crown
Laird Ruairi Sutherland refuses to send his only son away to be educated by the English. And he most definitely will not appear in Edinburgh to pay homage to a liege who has no respect for Scotland. So he does what any laird would do—he lies to the king. The last thing Ruairi expects is a beautiful English governess to appear on his doorstep.
But this lady spy might make him...
Lady Ravenna Walsingham is a seasoned spy who is sent to the savage Highlands to uncover a nefarious plot against the Crown. Playing the part of an English governess—a job easier said than done—she infiltrates the home of Laird Sutherland, a suspected conspirator.
If she doesn't betray him first
Ravenna soon discovers that the only real threat Sutherland poses is to her heart. But will the proud Highland laird ever forgive her when he discovers the woman he loves in an English spy?
She was a stubborn English lass, but he was a clever Scot.
MY HIGHLAND SPY by Victoria Roberts is an outstanding sweet and hot historical romance. I was first drawn to the book by the stupendous cover; I'm a sucker for purple and the gown pictured on the cover is beyond GORGEOUS! Victoria seamlessly blends history, Scottish lore, witty humor, intrigue, passion and sensuality into this highly entertaining tale. It heralds a great start to Victoria's new Highland Spies series. This particular tale is the story of Scottish Laird Ruairi Sutherland and English Lady Ravenna Walsingham.
The characters were well-drawn and drew me in right away. Ruari, our hero, was commanding, handsome and darkly sexy; Ravenna, our heroine, was responsible, feisty, independent and strong. As the story begins, we learn that the King of England has required Scottish Lairds to make an appearance at his court and to send their children to his court to be tutored in English. Ruairi has said he and his son can't travel because of his wife's illness, so the King sends Ravenna to tutor Torquil and to discern if Ruari is speaking the truth and not plotting a rebellion against the crown. Ravenna is not happy that her new assignment as the crown's spy has placed her far from her family and squarely in the midst of Ruari's barbaric Highland stronghold. She soon finds out that all is not as she believed and, despite her mindset against it, Ruari pulls at her heartstrings as no one before. Together their charisma was sizzling. Throw in some twists and turns that I never saw coming and this story riveted my attention from the beginning to the end.
I want to share three of my favorite quotes illustrating our hero's and heroine's combination of playful bantering and sexual chemistry:
She cleared her throat. "It's quite unfortunate that you do not speak English." When she saw a slight hesitation in his hawk-like eyes, she added, "Praise the saints. I don't know what's wrong with me. You stand there, so handsome, sporting your kilt. Frankly, I don't remember any of my other assignments being quite so... desirable."
The smoldering flame she saw in his eyes startled her.
"Ye are my son's governess, but I would take ye verra willingly to my bed."
"I am here for the sole purpose of educating your son. I assure you that I have absolutely no intention of sharing your bed." The woman turned on her heel and walked along the stone wall without him.
He couldn't help it when his lips lifted into a roguish grin. "We'll have to see about that," he said under his breath.
"I am not chaste."
Ruairi paused. She hadn't noticed the strained tone in her voice, but an inner torment began to gnaw at her. The harder she tried to ignore the truth, the more it persisted. She lowered her eyes and waited to be judged.
He lifted her chin with his finger and his eyes captured hers. "Then ye are in luck... because neither am I."
"Come now, Laird Sutherland. Do not make me force you to bed."
"Ye've ne'er had to force me to bed, Ravenna. I assure ye I went verra willingly."
One of my favorite scenes took place in Ruari's library... on his desk. Since I read that steamy scene, I haven't looked at desks the same. :-) I also thoroughly enjoyed the scene when Ravenna first realized that Ruari understood English after all. What a hoot! Secondary characters were wonderful: Angus, Torquil, Elizabeth, Grace, Fagan, Kat and more... The villains are wicked to the core and made the hair on my arms stand on end.
Victoria's writing is first rate as she brings these characters and their time in history to life. If you are looking for a book with yummy kilted Scotsmen, lots of humor, smokin'-hot chemistry and a happy ever after that will leave you with the warm fuzzies, look no further than MY HIGHLAND SPY! Fans of Victoria Roberts will not be disappointed. I would highly recommend this tale to anyone who loves a spicy historical romance! I can't wait to read more in this series!