Tuesday, March 15, 2016

"When A Laird Loves A Lady" by Julie Johnstone 5 Kilts TBR 3/22/2016

Fascinating heartwarming and emotional story that I simply could not put this book down! This was a first novel I ever read by the talented Julie Johnstone, but it certainly won't be the last as I whole heartedly absolutely loved this book! The author did such impressive and remarkable research on the Clan MacLeod history and as they did reside at Dunvegan Castle which is on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. Now if ever visiting Scotland, they do offer tours to visit this beautiful castle surrounded by water! I just love when authors weave true factual history and an exceptional fictional historical tale. Beautifully done!

England and Scotland 1357

Marion de Lacy, who was born of an English titled father, Baron de Lacy  and her Scottish mother who died when she was just a child. It was an arranged marriage which is not unusual for titled royals or for this time period. Her father is as evil power hungry, brutal, abusive,tormenter, and dictator whom has never given Marion any praise, encouragement, love or attention! Well the right kind of attentions anyhow  and no love at all, being ignored most of the time in her lonely existence of except by his severe punishments and personal humiliations! He has been both mentally and physically abusive to her and anyone else whoever questions his authority, in his way or he just plain feels like it for no given reason! Beside the beatings, his other specialty is humilation, he is an extremely evil man! He just see's her as a means to use her for his personal greed advantage in status and now has an insane, deceitful and unscrupulous plot to overthrow and take over the English Crown!

All Marion's wants is acceptance, respect, love and a sense of belonging, she feels that will only happen through a love match! The only one who person to ever has treated her like a true daughter is the beloved servant. The elder, Scottish stable-master Angus, who came over with her mother from Scotland when she married and then stayed on to protect Marion. He is the only real father she has ever known and sole person to give her praise has taught her many skills her father would not allow in protecting herself with daggers throwing, horseback and archery. Probably the only reason she turned out to be a good hearted sensitive and caring lass like her Mother had been.Marion has never had any friends her own age living in isolation as everyone is so fearful of her cruel wicked father nor we he allow her any bit of happiness in her twenty years of life.

Now due to for her fathers thirst for greed, power and control  he wants to marry her with this monster, the most shameless, wicked and cruelest Knight in England, William Froste! He is known for his severe cruel, violent and dishonorable behavior on the battlefield and enjoys to torture those weaker then himself and wants the title and the land and title he can get through thie match. Plus the fact Marion is extremely beautiful too. Of course this is as they continue with this devious evil plan to overthrow the English government! So desperate times call in for desperate measures!  Marion comes up with crazy idea and she decides to fake her own death and return her mother's homeland in Scotland! Angus helps her succeed in this plan until she is caught!

King Edward of England suspects duplicity from Baron de Lacy and Froste and suspects he might try to forge an aliiance with Froste and the last thing he wants is match with de Lacy's daughter . So he issues a summons to Chieftain and Laird Iain MacLeod to marry Marion,  a man still grieving his dead wife Catriona who died two years ago. Iain is still heartbroken and hasn't even looked at another women plus making a sacred promise he will never forget her his beloved wife. To say he isn't thrilled is an understatement, but he being the honorable warrior he honors this agreement. It is the only way King Edward will open talks to speak officially of releasing King David's from the English prison,  where he is being held.The catch is he must marry and and consummate the marriage before the talks will open.

So Iain had no MacLeod choice but to marry Marion de Lacy!  There is one wee problem, when he goes to fetch his bride her he finds out out he has another dead wife and he hasn't even married her yet! He suspects foul play and tracks her down. Iain will give his new wife everything protection, clothing, honor, everything but the thing she wants most love. So how will Marion be able to thaw this handsome Lairds cold heart?  Danger is at every corner as they are also being chased by Froste and His men as he want those lands and titles and even Iain and Marion's marriage does not stops Froste to go after this couple with a vegence!

Froste just needs to kill Iain and capture and marry Marion and then kill a King easy as that or is it? Will Marion have another twenty years of misery with a man in love with a ghost? Plus even at when they read Dunvegan Castle the MacLeod lands life if not easy for an Outlander and already some clan member are not happy with an Iain's choice of a Sassenach wife! Will Marion ever feel she belongs anywhere? Plus Iain still being in love with his deceased wife will he ever have room for Marion? Will she be able the thaw this Lairds cold heart? Will Froste catch up and murder Iain and make Marion a widow?  Will Iain use the Fannie Flag a third time and if so to save his clan or Marion? So many twists and turns in this action packed captivating highland tale ! You will have to read this riveting, emotional break neck speed adventure of these passionate two star crossed lovers whose characters seem so real you can't help but root for this couple and hope they get their happily every after!

The secondary characters in this book were also fascinating too and so much fun to read about that kept this book exciting with such a wonderful flow too! The beautiful neighboring clan, Laird MacLeans's younger sister - Bridgette, who ends up being a very close and protective friend to someone Iain cares about. Also both Iain's brothers Lachlan and Graham are in love with the same woman. I sure hope there is a future book for this trio as I am dying to see how it plays out! I loved old Angus of course and Iain's dearest friend Rory Mac was hilarious! Also my heart went out to earless Neal too, you will have to read to find out MU meaning. Iain has another brother Cameron too I hope to find more about in future books beside being interested in very fast boats. Of course this book has more then one villain in it too!  This does not necessarily mean they are all men either which made this novel so interesting and fascinating to read and keeps you on your toes guessing who the villain might be! What  will happen next making readers turn the pages that much faster! Lots of shocking surprised and oh no, he or she didn't! Which made "When a Laird Loves a Lady" by Julie Johnstone such an exhilarating read!  I can't recommend it enough! Bravo Ms. Johnstone this book had me totally melted my heart, left me breathless and wanting more! Spectacular!

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