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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Forbidden love

Highland Heat (Highland Knights #2) by Jennifer Haymore

Lady Grace Carrington had no idea when she strode the battle lines after Waterloo looking for survivors, that the injured soldier (with the startling, blue-green aquamarine eyes) she finds will become more important to her than breathing.

Duncan Mackenzie, enlisted soldier, little knows as he gazes upon Grace, that his heart is about to be lost to this determined, titled lady.      
Grace's sister Claire has come to Waterloo on the eve of the battle to try to mend the rift with her husband, Major Sir Robert Campbell, and Duncan's superior.
A love affair that stretches from Waterloo to Scotland is born. Along the way these two have to cope with Grace's testy father, the Earl of Norsey, a member of the older aristocracy. (That line says it all) A commoner is not the match for the daughter of such an Earl.
After the battle Duncan returns to London having been reassigned to a newly formed, internal elite force, The Highland Knights, that includes Campbell. Their task is 'to work at home in the interests and protection of the crown.'
This story of love across the classes has much to recommend it. I cannot help but think that the post Waterloo scenes are not as gripping as could be. The picture of Grace trudging the fields encrusted in mud is realistic, the scene at the medical tent has merit, but when I compare this to the time honoured images from Georgette Heyer's, An Infamous Army, the picture is left a little wanting. Maybe an unfair comparison, but I expected more of what was a horrifying scene.
I was somewhat shocked at how quickly Duncan and Grace leapt into a physical relationship, but then war has a way of having those effected focus on just being alive. The scenes are filled with the unbearable sweetness of newly awakened feelings and the growing love between the Grace and Duncan is well done. Duncan is rather magnificent in his care for Grace and likewise Grace in her care for him. I did rather enjoy their wicked banter about the advantages of kilts over trews. Haymore leaves us in no doubt that these two are indeed soul mates. 
I must say that the Earl of Norsey surprises.
I can see that I will want to know the stories that come set around this band of men, The Highland Knights, survivors of Waterloo, who are forging stronger bonds of brotherly support,  joined as they are already by the experience of war and the devastation of that final battle.
An enjoyable read. I am looking forward to more. 

A NetGalley ARC


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