Wednesday, August 17, 2016

4.5 Wine Glass #Review of Highland Knight of Rapture by Amy Jarecki

23202245Title: Highland Knight of Rapture
Series: Highland Dynasty #4
Author: Amy Jarecki
Narrator: Dave Gillies
Format: Unabridged Audiobook, 10 hours and 37 minutes
Published: November 19, 2015 (Amy Jarecki)
ISBN: ASIN:B018615W70
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Audible
Reviewer: Linda
Source: NetGalley (Kindle) and Author (Audio)
Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5 Wine Glasses

After five years of marriage, Lady Helen has failed to produce an heir. Giving birth to a lass, Helen’s husband rejects her and openly takes a lover while she endures in silence.

But war is brewing. The MacDonald feud with the crown comes to a head and with it arrives Helen’s childhood friend, Sir Eoin MacGregor. Eoin and his men join with the MacIain Clan to quell the rebellion. But when he witnesses Helen suffer undue humiliation, his troubles escalate tenfold.

If Eoin helps the lady escape, he will break the sanctity of marriage. Worse, the king has commanded Eoin to fight beside her barbarous husband. To rescue Helen from tragedy worse than death, will the gallant knight find the strength to mask his deepest desires to save the woman he’s always loved?

Linda's Thoughts:

Blessed desire gripped her nether parts as her passion inflamed. Helen shamelessly rocked her hips from side to side. "My, you have turned me into a wanton woman."
"And that's a bad thing?" His voice grew deeper with each word.

HIGHLAND KNIGHT OF RAPTURE by Amy Jarecki is the fourth engrossing installment in her extraordinary Highland Dynasty series. Amy is one of my favorite authors. She writes amazing, addictive, well-researched historical Scottish romances.

In the previous book, A HIGHLAND KNIGHT TO REMEMBER, Duncan, Lady Helen's brother betrothed Helen to Chieftain Aleck Maclain to solidify an alliance with Aleck's clan. I feared for Helen then.; Those concerns were validated in this book. I'm grateful that Amy did not make readers wait long for Helen's story. This is the story of Lady Helen and Sir Eoin MacGregor.

Unfortunately, Aleck is a despicable, vulgar, uncouth brute. Even so, Helen tries everything in her power to get her husband to care for her. After Helen laboriously births a girl at the start of this book - not the boy that Aleck wanted - things go from bad to worse as Aleck shows, without a doubt, that he's a low life of the highest degree. Aleck refuses to acknowledge their bairn, man-handles Helen leaving her with cuts and bruises and humiliates Helen in front of their clan by openly dallying with his leman, the buxom widow Mary.

Sir Eoin MacGregor is a Clan Chieftain who has sworn fealty to Duncan and the Campbells of Glenorchy. He's also one of the King's Enforcers. Eoin has never forgotten Lady Helen. He has loved her since he was fourteen and regrets not asking for her hand before she was married off to Aleck. Eoin has not seen Helen in five years. Now, the King has directed Eoin to take charge of Aleck's forces at Mingary as the MacDonalds prepare for a revolt. Aleck never could stand the boar that Duncan betrothed Helen to, but he never expected to find Helen in such a bad situation. Eoin is in a quandary as he greatly respects the sanctity of marriage, yet he also fears for the life of his childhood friend, Helen and that of her bairn. Being the gallant knight that he is, Eoin vows to do what he can to protect her.

Some of the physical and verbal abuse that Lady Helen was subjected to was difficult to listen to at points. Helen was small of stature, feisty, strong-willed and loyal to her family and duties, but I was glad when she finally came to the unpleasant realization that enough was enough and allowed Eoin to help her. I'm glad that Eoin and Helen found each other again even though it was, at times, a painfully onerous path. Sir Eoin is not only Helen's hero, but mine also.

The following snippet is pulled from one of my favorite scenes which occurred after Eoin had asked Helen to read to him. Still my beating heart!

He kissed her temple. "Would you read to me?"
"You wouldn't grow bored?"
"Not if you were reading, my love."
Helen slipped off the bed, tiptoed into the main chamber and retrieved the book from the table. When she returned, Eoin had situated the candelabra to provide good light, and arranged the pillows for comfort.
How wonderful it was to be with a man who actually cared enough to do simple things like fluffing the pillows.
He opened his arms and beckoned her to him. "Come and tell me what this story's about."
"It would be my pleasure, sir knight." Helen climbed up and snuggled into his arms. She opened the cover and read the title. "'The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnelle'." She looked at Eoin and grinned. "The story begins when the mystical knight, Sir Gromer Somer Joure, challenges King Arthur to discover what women desire most, or face dire consequences."
He rested his chin on her shoulder and peered at the pages. "You have me entranced already."

Following please find two more of my favorite quotes from this read:

Helen slipped her fingers into the top of his breeks and pulled on the cord holding them up.
An infant's cry squealed from inside the cottage.
Eoin touched his forehead to hers and chuckled. "It appears we timed things a bit late."
Helen took in a ragged breath. "Will you remember where we are until we're alone this eve?"
He nuzzled against her ear. "I'll be thinking of it every moment until then."
Maggie's cries rose until they bordered on panic stricken.
Helen gave him one last kiss. "Then I shall hold you to it."

Duncan grasped Eoin's shoulder and pulled them apart. "You'll not be touching my sister again until you are properly wed." He reached for Helen's left arm. "And you will go home with me."
Eoin grasped his lady's right hand. "Oh, no, I'm finished with waiting."

Dave Gillies is the phenomenal narrator for this book. I can't get enough of listening to his clear, sexy voice. He seamlessly differentiates between the characters voicing both the male and the female voices realistically. His dramatization is the perfect pairing with Amy's Scottish tales and his delivery is nothing short of polished perfection.

Even though this is the fourth book in this series and there are interconnected characters, it can be easily enjoyed as a stand-alone if that is your preference.

This tale is captivating and teeming with history, betrayal, conflicts, action, passion and love. I highly recommend HIGHLAND KNIGHT OF RAPTURE to anyone who enjoys historical Scottish romances! Actually, you cannot go wrong with any of Amy's books!

Suggested Reading Order: 
The four-book Highland Dynasty series is set in the glory of Kilchurn Castle and follows the family's story.
Knight in Highland Armor (Book 1)
A Highland Knight's Desire (Book 2)
A Highland Knight To Remember (Book 3)
Highland Knight of Rapture (Book 4)

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