To fulfil his father’s dying wish, border laird Jamie Graham must marry and sire a legitimate heir. But his marriage will be one of convenience, for he has vowed never to open his heart to betrayal. While guarding his cattle from thieves, Jamie catches the spirited daughter of a neighbouring laird stealing his horse.
Despite viewing an arranged marriage as a death sentence, feisty Kenzie Irvine has no choice but to wed the domineering Jamie. But she has sworn an oath never to bring a child into an uncaring world. And Kenzie also has a dark secret she has no intention of giving away – even if she finds herself her on the wrong side of the law…
I am really enjoying the books that are being released by Destiny Romance, and Allison Butler’s debut The Border Laird’s Bride is no exception. It has the right mix of action, romance, intrigue and betrayal to make a good historical novel.
Kenzie is exactly what the cover blurb says she is – feisty. She’s strong and brave, despite her treatment at the hands of her father and sister. She had that whole female Robin Hood vibe going on, which I enjoyed. Jamie’s loyalty to his father’s wishes is leading him into a situation that he doesn’t necessarily want to be in but feels he must be. His desire to look after his people is admirable. Kenzie and Jamie are quite similar people – neither wants to open themselves up to heartbreak, both are champions of those who don’t have a strong voice (although their method of championing those people varies in terms of legality). This is why I thought they made a good couple.
Heat-wise, this delivered nicely. They didn’t fall instantly in love, but they also didn’t drag out the process of admitting their feelings, which I appreciated.
I’ve got to mention this – I am so glad that Allison Butler didn’t go super crazy on the Scottish dialect – aye and nae are fine, but I am happy enough to imagine a Scottish accent when I am reading a story set there. I’ve often spent more time deciphering what the hell is being said as opposed to actually paying attention to the story. So, thank you, Ms Butler for that!
A little gripe…the cover is maybe a little too modern for the story inside. Not that I was thrown by this, but when a story is set in the 1400s, girls in black blazers don’t usually spring to mind. But, hey! If that’s my main problem with the book, that’s not too bad.
My rating: 4 out of 5 (originally 3.5, but I upped it upon further reflection)
Release Date: 10 February 2013
Note: I was provided with an advanced reader copy of this book by Destiny Romance, an imprint of Penguin Australia via NetGalley in return for an honest review.