Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Highland Resurrection by BJ Scott, 5 Kilts

Highland Resurrection ( Blades of Honor, Book 2) by BJ Scott

Berwick-upon-Tweed, Scotland, 1318

Lazarus the hero of this story is a monk who never took his vows, but did pledge his allegiance to the holy Knights of Jerusalem.  The vows are piety, poverty, secrecy, humility, dedication to prayer, chastity plus dedication to the laws of the Catholic Church. He was found at the young age of 16 summers after Brother Simon, of Ayton Abbey found him as a teenager.  He had a broken body piled up with the dead at the massacre at Berwick-upon-Tweed, Battle of Berwick which was the first significant battle for the Independence of Scotland.

Since found Lazarus  has had no memories of himself, not even his own name! Brother Simon named him Lazarus. He has been more of a father caring for him ever since for these past twenty years. Lazarus escaped from a French Prison living hell two years ago and  is now a wanted fugitive and hiding in the Ayton Abbey.  He had been brutally beaten and tortured in al French prison as a member of the Knights Templar. Plus forcing him to watch them execute his fellow Knights for fabricated charges of heresy. This was a living hell for Lazardus turning his heart cold as ice living with many demons and nightmares!

’’The evil French King who ordered so many deaths of the Knights when Knights who were only sworn to protect the pilgrims only to escort them to the holy land. The French King is now dead but his son now sits on the throne and is his father's Devil's spawn!

The French believe the Knights that escaped made off with church’s treasures and artifacts he accuses them of stealing. The King wants to retrieve the Knights that escaped the French prison, being returned to France to be executed!  He demands these treasures returned and the missing Knights are still hiding.

Lazarus has no idea where the other Knights are as they all went their separate ways after escape and only left with the clothes on his back. Now he is being hunted by French agents and Robert the Brus never who actually supported never openly  the French in the execution of the Knights Templar, but to keep the peace with his country by giving permission to arrest the escaped convicts and returning them to France for execution. This even includes the Scottish Knights!

Lazarus believes The Brus is looking the other way to keep his French alliances peaceful. Lazarus still has many nightmare from prison, especially about a tragedy from one woman who had given him sanctuary. He fears for Brother Simon and the Brothers and is making plans to leave the Abbey as he fears a past tragedy may repeat itself.

The heroine of this story is  Sheena MacLean a lass who was brutally raped and marked as whore by the evil spoiled Laird's son Roderick Morgan.He was to be married in a few days, but wanted the beautiful innocent teenage maiden, Sheena, who was only a merchant's daughter.

When Sheena refuses Roderick offer he then brutally rapes her and  marks her as a whore. If he can't have her no one else will want her now, so he ruins her from any man wanting her, This puts her life in a downward spiral as her unfeeling  father disowns her throws her out since she is ruined and marked a whore. Her step-mother died giving birth that night and she took her brother Quinn and has raised him since birth. Sheena and her brother never stay in one place for long always fearing Roderick will find them one day and force his will again.

Then one day she is spotted by two drunkards who plan on raping her and Sheena fights them off. Lazarus walks by and saves her though he could not escort her home luckily Ian Fraser happens by and agrees to escort her home, Sheena has been brutally beaten by the brutes her be rapists. Lazarus hears French agents are nearby,looking for him and he is so easy to be spotted in his robes of the brotherhood and ring of the Knights Templar he can't bear to remove.

He knew he had  to run but has much guilt not being able to return Sheena or treat her wounds as the Brothers are trained in the healing arts. Lazarus has so much guilt about leaving and running away when Sheena needed him and sets out to find her and see if she has recovered. When he finally discovers Sheena realizing she is extremely terrified of men when she is found!

 With this reaction he does not believe she is a woman of ill repute. Believing most likely someone markedly her that way for punishment or torure. Lazarus had found Sheena delirious with fever, broken ribs, sprained ankle, abrasions and near death. He sees they are near starving and set out to heal and care for Sheena and her young brother, Quinn.

Sheena’s brother Quinn take to him immediately, but it takes awhile fo Sheena but just as she starts to open her heart and trust him he decides to leave and she feels betrayed. Lazarus feels things too even though he is virgin but knows he can't offer her  anything. Also fears she will be punished for harbor ing a fugitive reason he never tells her the truth and keeps her in the dark. Just in case me he is caught so she could not be charged not knowing the truth, mBeing a hunted man, is this couple ever able to let their secrets go and open their hearts!  Both have had  so much sadness and tragedy in their loves and have a hard time trusting others. Quinn like any child wants to a family, will warm your heart as he cling to a father figure.

Will Lazarus true origins and memories ever return? Will the French finally capture him and cart him off to France for execution? How are the Frasers involved in this story? What about Sheena will she be able to share her troubled past with Lazarus and start to trust a man? Will Lazarus ever tell Sheena the truth about his troubled past? Something she has feared for over seven years? Will these two ever get a break and able to find happiness with both having  such troubled and tragic bleak pasts?

Readers will have to find out though I don't think we will truly find out until the next installment, Book 3 of ‘Blades of Honor series is released. That will be the next book in the series, as the wonderful cliff hanger ending that will just make readers yearn for more!

Ms. Scott does it again with another fast moving, powerful, emotional book that is layered with bits of true history and her signature style  fictional romance. I really enjoyed Highland Resurrection and can't wait for the next book to see how this fabulous story resolves and hopefully gets the overdue-delayed HEA this couple definitely deserves!

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