Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Honor Bound: A HIGHLAND ADVENTURE By Laura Strickland 5 Kilts. Made Celtic Barb's Jacobite heart SING!!! Loved it!

Culloden Battlefield, Drummossie Moor,
Inverness, Scotland
April 1746

This delightful story is about the aftermath of the devastation from the defeat from the Battle of Culloden, plus a deathbed promise that our hero Diarmad Ramsey, makes to his father and Ramsey Chieftain. To help Bonny Prince Charlie's escape The Highlands several men with similar looks are to act as decoys to help the Prince escape the country. As he is now wanted to by the English as a  traitor, no one doubts if captured he will be executed shortly afterward. They want to confuse the English, having different and various sightings of the Bonny Prince all over Scotland at the same time. Of course there is a lot of mixed emotion with so much devastation and death. Some feel the great pretender was a coward and running away as the Scottish men were butchered on the fields for his cause, to put his exiled father King James back on the throne. As Diarmad had mixed emotions himself and his eldest brother was still missing who would now be the next Laird of Ramsey. Of course being the dutiful and honorable on he accepts this mission though is not happy about it as he must go on the mission immediately not even allowed to being father's body home for burial. His father was a big supporter of Prince Charlie Stuart and will do anything to support and honor him to his last dying breath.

Mara MacIvor is Diarmad’s guide and can sense he has no loyalty to the Bonny Prince,  nor does Diarmad knows how to act or dress the part of the Prince. Mara shows him he must wear the fancy Stuart’s plaid and garments and act Lordly as a monarch would. Mara is a big believer in the cause and holds the Bonny Prince in high regard. So they have a conflict in beliefs right from the beginning. Then when confronted in a dangerous near death situation Mira is impressed  see's that Diarmad can act and  play the part perfectly. Soon an attraction develops between the two and as feelings grow they both have lots of insecurities too. He wonders if he’s  just a poor substitute for the Bonny Prince? The one Mara truly desires. Mara questions if he wishes she was his brother's betrothed, the one woman he has always dreamed about but could never have? The one Diarmad truly desires.

On top of their growing affections for each other and insecurities plus personal heartaches from lost loved ones at Culloden many are hunting them down. Of course there are those honorable Scots willing to help them being big supporters of the Stuart Jacobite cause. The  English are hunting them as even some Scottish outlaws who are hunting them too! As their is huge reward for the capture of Prince Charles Edward Stewart! This would lead to his execution and of anyone helping and abetting him in any way. So if captured both Diarmad Ramsey and Mara MacIvor would both in dire straits and be executed if captured!

This is a marvelous read that warmed my Jacobite heart from start to finish! Bravo Laura Strickland, for penning such an action packed riveting adventure full of drama, factual historical facts mixed into a fictional romance, mystery, suspense, betrayal, heartbreak, miscommunication, passion and love. Plus any fans of Scottish history and myself who feel so much empathy and heartbreak about the forty-five rebellion,”’ also called Battle of Drummossie. As we all know this end the Clans way of life, not to mention the clearances and new English laws forbidding them to wear kilts. I love the factual history in this author's fictional romance story about the young pretenders escape from Scotland as many Scottish were either dead or dying on the battlefield as he ran. As even today their are many rumors about the Bonny Prince's escape. I have even heard he dressed as a woman as was aided by one of his mistresses to escape to France. I suppose we'll never really know how he escaped, so I applaud this author's wonderful insight and imagination.  This book is totally a brilliant tale with s with wonderful plots and magnificent dialogue.

I highly recommend this spectacular read!  It is one you definitely don't want to miss especially if you love history weaved into a delightful fictional romance! One of my favorite reads for 2016!  It made my Jacobite heart sing as I could not put this book down!  Absolutely and unequivocally loved Honor Bound: A Highland Adventure by Laura Strickland!

***I was given this ARC from the publisher, The Wild Rose Press for an honest review through***

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