Wednesday, February 4, 2015

#Review: Knight in Highland Armor by Amy Jarecki - 4.5 Wine Glasses

Title: Knight in Highland Armor 
Author: Amy Jarecki 
Format: ebook
Published: January 1st 2015 by Smashwords Edition
ISBN: 139781310831294
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Reviewer: Linda
Source:   Netgalley
Rating:   4.5 out of 5 Wine Glasses

Grieving from the death of his wife, Lord Colin Campbell listens to the cries of his newborn son whilst penning a missive to the king. With no marriage prospects, Colin petitions his majesty for help in finding a stepmother. Never again will he fall in love—the death of a woman brings more pain than losing a whole contingent of men on the battlefield.

Feisty, quick tongued and smart, Margaret Robinson is delighted when her father receives a messenger from the king…until she discovers what news he brings. In a sennight, she will wed the notorious Black Knight—her life is about to end.

Tension builds during the wedding and deteriorates from there…until an accident draws them together. Just when their love begins to blossom, a dire request arrives from the Pope. Colin must join the Crusades at once.

Their fragile love is forced to withstand the seductions of hell—Margaret tempted by a scoundrel laird—Colin courted by Satan himself. Aye, the war for Christendom could very well ruin their dreams forever.

Linda's Thoughts:
"Mo leannan. You are sweeter than honey to a black-hearted knight." - Colin

KNIGHT IN HIGHLAND ARMOR by Amy Jarecki is a wonderful historical Scottish romance and the first book in her brand new Highland Dynasty book series! I loved Amy's Highland Force series and was thrilled to find out that she had inaugurated a new one. I was certainly not disappointed!

This story opens as our hero, Colin Campbell, Lord of Glenorcy, a Knight of the Order of St. John, is reeling from having lost his beloved wife in childbirth. Left with an infant son to care for, the timing couldn't be any worse when he receives notice that he's being summoned to rejoin the Crusades for a third time to fight the Turks. Of course, he cannot go until he makes satisfactory care arrangements for his son. Feeling that he has no choice, Colin petitions the King for a suitable mate. Vowing never to involve his heart again, he believes the King will match him with an older, matronly widow. He does not want a woman to fall in love with; Only one to care for his son who is capable of producing more heir. 

Not long after the King receives his petition, it's decreed that Colin will be married forthwith to Margaret Robinson, our heroine and the daughter of a wealthy Scottish Lord. Margaret is vivacious and well-schooled in handling an estate as she has been managing her father's. At first, she is thrilled to see the King's men ride into her family's castle keep as she believes that they are carrying news of her impending betrothal to the Prince Charming she dreams about. However, she quickly discovers that she is to be married - but to the dreaded Black Knight. She knows she must obey because of the Royal command, but she is beyond consoling.

Colin isn't the best at niceties and the couple has a rocky beginning to say the least. He was not prepared for Margaret's youth and beauty; More like he was blown away and doesn't handle it well. But... slowly, the couple begins to form a truce which evolves into an alliance. With the care of his son in good hands, the Pope is adamant that Colin must do his duty. So... Colin unhappily leaves for the Crusades. Will Margaret's fierce determination to make her marriage work and to stay true to Colin be enough? Would Colin die in this third Crusade? If not, would he return in time to save his family and lands?

I loved both Colin and Margaret. Colin had been so in love with his first wife. Falling in love with another made him feel like a traitor to her memory. He was the epitome of a tortured hero and my heart went out to him. Margaret was smart and strong at a time that women were not thought of being capable of being so. But she was also innocent and trusting... not good traits when there were such villainous characters who would take advantage. 

The Church does not come across well in this story. I wanted to shake the Pope and the other power-hungry, callous Catholic dignitaries that broke up families, kept so many men away from those who loved and needed them and was responsible for the deaths of too many... and for what?

Following please find a few of my favorite quotes from this lovely romance:

The great man seemed so peaceful. Margaret studied his face. His eyebrows were darker than his hair, arched boldly above his eyes, masculine yet not too thick. Due to the lateness of the hour, a dark shadow deepened the angular contour of his jaw, surrounding his perfectly formed lips. Oh how she remember kissing those lips. Not brutally, but softly, reverently, with passion. What could she do to entice him to kiss her again? ...
Swallowing, she studied his lips, then kissed them - warm, ever so soft, disappointingly unresponsive. 
"I want to kiss you. Only you, husband. Will you ever let me in?" she whispered.

Colin moved between her legs and kneeled. His eyes flashed with his rapturous grin. "I want to take you to a place you've never been." He dipped his chin, staring at her womanhood, his face only inches from her sex.
Was he going to kiss her there? She tried to close her legs, but met with hard shoulders. "Colin. You mustn't." She could scarcely utter the words, her body so inexplicably aroused.
"Close your eyes and give into the most erotic kiss of  all."

“Tis as if the blow to his head is what Colin needed to set himself to rights."
Effie laughed. "I wish it were that way with every man. Then all we women would need do is carry around a wooden club.”

This is a story of epic romance and of heinous treachery. It's rich with complex emotions, titillating sex scenes and gripping intrigue. I loved the historical aspect. It is obvious that Amy extensively researched the period and the people. The story is beautifully written and I would bet that, once you start this tale, you won't want to put it down. I highly recommend KNIGHT IN HIGHLANDARMOR to anyone who loves historical romances. IF you also love your Highlanders, it's a must-read! AND, when you find yourself hooked on Amy's storytelling skills, go check out her Highland Force series - it's awesome too!

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