Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Highland Sword by May McGoldrick
Series: Royal Highlander #3
Published by St. Martin's Press on March 31, 2020
Genres: Historical Romance
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A VOW FOR VENGEANCE
Fleeing to the Highlands after her father’s murder, fiery Morrigan Drummond has a score to settle with Sir Rupert Burney, the English spymaster responsible for his death. Trained to fight alongside the other rebels determined to break Britain’s hold on Scotland, she swears to avenge her father’s death—until a chance encounter with a barrister as proud and principled as she is presents her with a hard choice…and a bittersweet temptation.
A PLEA FOR PASSION
Aidan Grant has never encountered another woman like dangerous beauty Morrigan—and he has the bruises to prove it. Yet she could be the key to defending two innocent men, as well as striking a death blow to the reprehensible Burney. Convincing Morrigan to help him will take time, but Aidan is willing to wait if it means victory over corrupt government forces and freedom for his people…and Morrigan’s hand in marriage. Can two warriors committed to a cause stand down long enough to open their hearts to a love fierce enough to last…forever?
May McGoldrick is a husband wife writing duo, I picked up the Highland Sword because there is another husband and wife writing duo I adore and wanted to see if they could do for me in Historical Romance, what Ilona Andrews does for me in Urban Fantasy. They fell a little short, not really their fault as the bar is extraordinarily high. Which means Highland Sword is a good read but from this one book I’m not running out to buy their entire catalogue, which seems pretty expansive.
Highland Sword is the third book in the Royal Highlander series. I have not read any of the other books for the series and don’t think you need to in order to be able to enjoy this book. There do seem to be quite a few characters from the first few books and even cameos from characters in other series written by May McGoldrick. I felt like I didn’t need to know any of those stories to be engaged by this one.
Morrigan blames Sir Rupert Burney for the murder of her father; he is also guilty of a few other crimes against her. When she sees him walking on the street, naturally she tries to kill him but ends up meeting a man that might be able to love the fighter of a woman she is. She might also have given said man a few bruises, accidentally of course.
Aiden needs Sir Rupert if he is going to save a few fellow Scottish men from being tried and executed. He wasn’t expecting to get jumped in broad daylight by a woman, let alone that she would fight so well. Even worse, he needs her to help him get information out of Rupert if he wants to have a chance of winning the trial.
Morrigan and Aidan definitely take their time circling one another. It takes a long time for them to agree on the attraction between them. Morrigan’s past leaves her feeling like no one will ever accept her. Her present makes her feel like a man will never want a woman more interested with training in the yard with weapons than being at his beck and call. Aidan plans on being a politician and should really pick a wife with some social status to help his future career. He just can’t get the fiery Morrigan out of his head and tries to spar with her both verbally and in the yard in attempts to win her heart.
This was the last book in this series so there is the culmination of bringing down a bad guy mixed in with everything else. This is a time of transition when Scotland and trying to earn a voice in English politics instead of waging another war. It is based in a lot of historical facts with fictions blended in. It did make me want to know a little more about this time in history.
Unfortunately, because I didn’t know any of the other characters or story lines from prior books it seemed to take a little while for anything to really develop in the story. I also struggled with Morrigan and never really connected well to her. I did love Aidan though and he carried a lot of the story for me.
Overall, it was a decent read with a strong heroine and a man willing to take a woman as she is.
“Family can inflict the deepest cuts and the sharpest pain. Disloyalty. Jealousy. Vindictiveness. The marks they leave rarely show to those on the outside. If you can survive, you become hardened to the world perhaps, but stronger.”
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