Title: THE SOLDIER'S REBEL LOVER
Series: Comrades in Arms
Author: Marguerite Kaye
Format: Kindle, 283 pages
Published : Harlequin Historical (October 1, 2015)
ISBN : ASIN:B00WAUW4AW
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 4 Wine Glasses
A hero…a rebel…a desire worth fighting for!
When Major Finlay Urquhart was last on the battlefield, he shared a sizzling moment with daring Isabella Romero. Two years later, Finlay has one final duty to perform for his country—one that reunites him with this rebellious señorita!
Except Isabella has her own mission, which means that no matter how much she craves Finlay's touch, she can never tell him the truth. But she's underestimated Finlay's determination to protect her, and soon she finds herself letting her guard down, one scorching kiss at a time!
"What the hell do you think you are doing, creeping about in the night in woman's clothing? I could just as easily have killed you?"
The sheer audacity of her remark rendered him speechless for a moment, and then Finlay laughed. "This, senorita, is a kilt, not a skirt, and you did not for a moment come close to killing me, though I don't doubt that you'd have tried if I'd given you half a chance."
THE SOLDIER'S REBEL LOVER by Marguerite Kaye is an excellent addition to her Comrades in Arms series. This is the story of Major Finlay Urquhart, a brawny Highlander soldier for Wellington, and Isabella Romero, a feisty Spanish resister. It's set mostly in Spain in the early 1800s although there are a few scenes in England.
The couple first met in a Basque trench and the quote that opens my review is pulled from that scene. It was one of my favorite scenes from the book and, while there was danger surrounding them, there was also much humor in that scene. Their meeting stretched to include the whole night. Before I go any further, please know that this particular scene is sweet and clean - there was chemistry galore but no hanky panky that night.
Over the ensuing two years, Finlay doesn't forget Isabella - but he never expected to see her again. Then he was assigned the task of finding El Fantasma, The Ghost, who, if captured, would cause problems for Wellington's political aspirations. Finlay's first thought - because Isabella had professed to knowing El Fantasma - is to locate her and request her assistance. He sets out to do just that and is surprised to find her so easily - though she is not the person he expected her to be.
I connected easily with both Finlay and Isabella. Both were accustomed to action and not sitting on the sidelines. Finlay, the son of a Scottish farmer, had been nicknamed "The Jock Upstart" by Wellington as Wellington believed that Finlay did not know his allotted place in the scheme of things. The army has been the only life Finlay has ever known and he doesn't believe he can ever settle down.
Isabella could also be said to not accept her place in the scheme of things as women were normally constrained by the rigid rules of Spanish society and not allowed to voice their opinions. During the war, she was not watched closely and wartime can serve as a catalyst for change. However, since The French had been defeated, she had reverted to hiding her real self behind a demure countenance - unfortunately, she was not as good at hiding as she believed. Thankfully, Finlay had her back. But... would it be enough to save her?
Each of the books in this series can be easily enjoyed as standalone reads if that is your preference even though there are interconnected characters. This is the final book in the author's Comrades in Arms series. That said, the author has shared that SCANDAL AT THE MIDSUMMER BALL, a duet release next summer with Bronwyn Scott, will feature the story of Fergus, another Scottish soldier and friend of Jack's from the first book. So, although SCANDAL AT THE MIDSUMMER BALL is not technically part of the author's Comrades in Arms series, another comrade's story is still scheduled to be told.
Following please find a few of my favorite quotes from this read:
"I must confess, your gown does not do justice as your trousers did to your delightful derriere."
Colour flamed in her face. She ought to be outraged, but Isabella was briefly, shockingly inclined to laugh. "A gentleman does not remark on a lady's derriere."
"I seem to recall telling you when last we met that I am not a gentleman, senorita. And now I come to think of it, I recall also that you took umbrage at being called a lady."
"I kissed you," Finlay said roughly. "for the very simple reason that you are irresistible."
"I think that is what is known as serendipity," Isabella replied, "for it's the very same reason I kissed you back."
"Serendipity," Finlay said, sliding his arm around her waist. "I've always wondered what it tasted like."
"Strawberries, and lavender, and vintage wine, I believe is how you described it."
"No," he said decidedly. "It tastes of nothing other than essence of you. The most intoxicating and delicious taste imaginable."
"A man who is born to be hanged can never be drowned."
This book was just as good as the first book in this series. Marguerite is a very talented storyteller who transports the reader to another era with her intensely intriguing tales of passionately compelling romance. If I had any complaint about this book at all, it would be that I'd hoped that the epilogue would have given us more of the couple's happy ever after. Regardless, I highly recommend THE SOLDIER's REBEL LOVER to anyone who enjoys historical romances.
Suggested Reading Order:
THE SOLDIER'S DARK SECRET (Book 1)
THE SOLDIER'S REBEL LOVER (Book 2)