I loved this book from the start. I have to admit that I’m an uber fan of marriage of convenience and force marriage so of course I jumped (quite literally) at the chance to read this book. However I was not very happy when I realized there were secrets involved and that the final outcome would depend on how the main characters would react to the discovery of those secrets. I just don’t like romances that start off on untruths or half truths, I just don’t.
But the feels; THE FEELS, I tell you!!
Samantha is an American spitfire with plenty of wit and determination, used to do whatever necessary in order to survive. When trouble arises in America she sees no other choice but to travel to Scotland. There Gavin awaits for her, and true to his rakish reputation, he will attempt anything even seduce her if that would sway her to relinquish her land to him.
Ok, so one thing that had me laughing – and rolling my eyes- at the beginning was the fact that she would not stop admiring his good looks. It was paragraph after paragraph of her mentioning how well sculpted and how “magnificent” he was. She even called him a Celtic god! I just thought goodness, it’s this how it’s going to be? Thankfully it wasn’t. Sam proved to be no push-over. She took the reins of her new life and show no fear in the face of trouble. I specially loved that even though she was a foreigner in a new land, she easily made new friends, knew who to contact, where to go, and what to do. She was a woman with a mission and was determined to see it through. Gavin was a little on the obstinate side. Not that that was a bad thing, I mean, who can say no to a Scot’s charm, am I right? But when a man kisses a woman without asking permission first, then let’s just say I was verra, verra happy that said woman always carried her precious guns with her *happy face* I loved how Sam put him in his place every time he wanted to be all charm and temptation.
When someone from her past attacks her, Gavin offers to marry her in order to protect her but also to gain access to her land. They do marry but their relationship was complicated to say the least, what with Gavin’s reputation, his infamous father and family, and the initial enmity between them. They want to see their nuptials as a business transaction only so they really don't want to confide each other with their dark pasts.
As the story unravels and they get to know each other better, Sam understands why her husband has led the life of the notorious libertine and affable womanizer he’s always been. And then she wishes to tell him everything because she’s only told him bits and pieces of her life but not the entire truth. And the one time she had the chance to tell him EVERYTHING… she discloses another secret but not what he needs to hear! It was kind of frustrating, actually. And Gavin feels there is still so much in her heart that's yet to be to discovered but is afraid to ask because he believes it may have to do with him, his flaws, his past, his own desires, and AGHHHH!!! In the end so much grief would have been avoided if a hard but simple truth was told when they had the chance.
So generally speaking, I still think this was an awesome read because despite my peculiar dislikes I thought the romantic arc hit all the right cords. All the characters were very well defined from start to finish, from the rambunctious old couple of Calybrid and Locryn, who sort of became Sam’s two right hands, and who had me laughing at their bickering and inappropriate comments, to Gavin’s own mother, who grew out of her shell with Sam and other loving character’s help. All in all it was a lovely read, which can be totally read as a standalone, and I absolutely recommend it.
** I received this book from the author at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.***