Title: Kilts and Daggers
Series: Highland Spies #2
Author: Victoria Roberts
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Published: May 5th 2015 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 4 out of 5 Wine Glasses
Ever since Lady Grace Walsingham discovered her uncle and sister are spies for the Crown, she has yearned for adventure. She's counting the days until she can leave barbaric Scotland behind, even if she must endure Highland captain Fagan Murray's company for weeks.
Fagan has a simple mission: escort the haughty Lady Grace back to England. But nothing is ever easy. The sharp-tongued woman needles him at every turn. But when a menacing threat follows them on their journey, Fagan's grudging tolerance for Grace turns to respect...and into a perilous attraction that could seal their fate.
"Truth be told, I've seen ye watching me, staring. Your eyes tell me what ye are thinking." When she stiffened, he leaned in closer. "I think ye wonder what lies beneath my kilt. If ye ask me nicely, mayhap I'll show ye. But ye'll have to say please." - Fagan to Grace
KILTS AND DAGGERS by Victoria Roberts is a delightful, action-packed Highlands romance replete with a good dose of espionage, a steamy romance and a good dose of humor ! It's the second book in the author's Highland Spies series. I was thrilled by the return of favorite characters from the previous book, but, no worries, this book can be fully enjoyed as a standalone. So if you haven't read the previous book, don't worry that you'll be lost, as you won't be.
This is the story of Lady Grace Walsingham and Highland captain Fagan Murray. Grace is the younger sister of Lady Ravenna Walsingham who is marrying Scottish Laird Ruairi Sutherland as this story begins. She is betrothed to an English nobleman. Fagan is Ruari's friend and right-hand man.
Grace is a snobby, strong-willed, headstrong, barbed-tongue lass. She has learned that her sister and her uncle have both served as spies for the Crown and, craving some excitement in her life, desires to follow in their footsteps, However, before she can concentrate on her spy training, she must survive her sister's wedding. It's quite a trial for Grace as her tolerance level for the plaid-kilted, barbaric Scots is almost non-existent. She only barely puts up with them for her sister's sake. She finds Fagan Murray especially irksome; In her opinion, he is a Scottish miscreant and the epitome of a kilted barbarian. As a matter of fact, he unsettles her - makes her question how she feels about her betrothed - and she doesn't like that feeling at all.
I have to confess that Grace got on my nerves for the first half of the story, but, if you find yourself feeling the same, I can happily report that Grace has her comeuppance... and it's a whopper. Victoria pulls a miracle out of the hat, because, by the end of the book, I really liked Grace. So... don't give up on her!
Fagan was a saint - tolerant, honorable, brave, loyal and blessed with a powerful awe-inspiring body. Ooh la la. I loved him from the very beginning. Any man that lets a woman blacken his eye, and then finds nothing but humor in the episode, is a treasure. Don't get me wrong. He gives as good as he takes - but his retribution is in his words - and they're good-natured, not cut-throat like Grace's. Fagan really tries to avoid Grace so as not to cause trouble for his friend, the Laird, but he just can't stay away from Grace.
I have to share that many of my favorite scenes involved Grace's dagger. She had quite the talent for throwing it and not hitting her intended target. LOL! Fagan was assigned to protect Grace, but, in truth, he needed protection from her. You'll have to read this engrossing tale to find out why!
Following please find a few of my favorite quotes:
"I know you don't like me very much."
He pulled back, and his smile turned into another chuckle. "Now I wouldnae say that. Donna get me wrong. Ye have a way about ye that drives me completely mad, and your sharp tongue grates on my nerves, but... 'tis apparent that I hold something for ye because I havenae yet run my sword through ye."
"What if the rat returns? I donna think ye'd want to be lying flat on the pallet if he does."
She swatted at him. "That's why I have you and my dagger to protect me."
"Me, aye. Your dagger, nae so much."
"What am I going to do with ye, Grace? First, ye blacken my eye, and then ye slice me in the thigh." He chuckled. "I bet ye ne'er knew I was a poet, did ye?"
When he felt her hand pat him, he chuckled. "Ye cannae get enough of me, can ye?"
"Och, lass. That isnae my thigh."
Victoria's writing is an enchanting treat. Her writing paints each scene with a life-like touch. I highly recommend KILTS AND DAGGERS to anyone who loves their Highlanders set in a rich storyline with complex characters who are fated to be together - even if they are kicking and screaming along the way, I'm already looking forward to the next book in this series, HIGHLAND PLAIDS AND PETTICOATS, set to be released in early 2016!