What a great read! Maggie Sinclair breaks all the rules! A highland hellion raised by her brother, schooled not in traditional womanly arts but sword fighting, cussing and beer drinking. Disguised as a lad, Maggie fought at Culloden iand s imprisoned by the English in Fort Augustus. Fortunately her masquerade holds. She and we dread to think of her fate if her gender had been discovered! Maggie avoids detection by clinging to the shadows of her cell. That is all jeopardized when she's joined by another Scot, the injured Colin MacLean. Colin is painfully aware that he isnnow his clan's chieftain, his brothers having been slain during the battle before his very eyes. His sorrow over their deaths rather than his runs deep. Nursed through a fever by his cell companion, Colin manages to escape the dreaded fortress and takes the lad with him. Only on the journey does he discover she's a lass. And what a lass! Feisty, spirited, unconventional. Colin is a successful smuggler, playing a game at first to tweak the English captain Abbot. Later it became a fully committed endeavour to help his clan and his country. Despite this, he doubts his abilities as a clan leader and is reluctant to return, but with Abbot having taken the keep and his people under English rule he must return. And here's where the pairing between Maggie and Colin becomes so perfect. This combination of determination and innocence that is Maggie is just the thing Colin needs to spur him on to take his place as Laird. Maggie's strength supports Colin in making his decisions. I love that Colin lets Maggie do what she is good at. He worries but he doesn't tie her down. Theirs is an unconventional relationship. But then are both far from the norm. They are very different from their peers. Each has doubts that the other helps conquer and as Colin knows down to his bones and Maggie has promised, Maggie is 'a fine warrior, and there wasn't anyone he wanted at his back more than Maggie Sinclair--Maggie MacLean.' They have each other's backs. Their unlikely enforced marriage gives Colin the companion of his heart and Maggie the same. A love story from beginning to end.
A NetGalley ARC