“ Understand this…Elizabeth is a Walsingham, and we Walsinghams chase no man.”
Ian, Lord Munro, neighboring clan’s laird, airs his general thoughts on women and Laird Sutherland’s, in particular:
“Women are like damn midges, naught but pests, and I’m afraid ye and your lands are sorely infested.”
This remark from our hero, Fegan Murray, the captain of the guard at Sutherland castle, spoken with great sarcasm to Lady Grace Walsingham:
“Earlier on the beach, ye didnae want my help. Do you need my Scottish hands to assist ye, bhanaphrronnsa, or are ye capable of placing your English arse in the saddle yourself?”
Title: Kilts and Daggers, book 2 of Highland Spies series
Author: Victoria Roberts
Genre: Historical Romance
Story Setting: Sutherland, Scottish Highlands, 1610
Published by: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Published Date: May 5, 2015
About the Story: Ever since Lady Grace Walsingham discovered her uncle and sister are spies for the Crown, she has yearned for adventure. She’s counting the days until she can leave barbaric Scotland behind, even if she must endure Highland captain Fagan Murray’s company for weeks.
Fagan has a simple mission: escort the haughty Lady Grace back to England. But nothing is ever easy. The sharp-tongued woman needles him at every turn. But when a menacing threat follows them on their journey, Fagan’s grudging tolerance for Grace turns to respect…and into a perilous attraction that could seal their fate.
My Thoughts: Funny, suspenseful, sarcasm at its best, wickedness and passion. All found in this second book of Victoria Roberts’s series, The Highland Spies. Ms. Roberts satisfies the Scot in me drawing a great plot with a wholly fulfilling tale. She’s quite a bard!
Grace had her life all planned just like her parents wanted. She’d do as they’d requested and make them proud. She’d marry the extremely handsome Daniel Casterbrook, a very proper, titled gentlemen. She wanted to take up spying since her sister had recently retired once married to a Scottish husband. She thought she’d be very good at it. But first things first: visit her sister for a couple of weeks who was insane enough to marry a Scot. Whatever could she see in him? English men were so proper, not wild like these “barbaric miscreants”.
Grace follows her sister, Ravenna, to Scotland, thinking she’s been ruined, having prostituted herself as a spy and then kidnapped by the man who saves her. By the time she arrives to Sutherland, she’s so full of pent-up anger she pops the captain of the guard in the eye, blackening it and also starting a rather sarcastic relationship, full of delightful scenes. And here she thought the Scots were barbaric!
The Walsingham sisters all seemed to be under a spell once in Scotland. Grace couldn’t keep her eyes off the barbaric Fagan Murray, and eventually her hands! (a fun story in the making) Fifteen-year-old Elizabeth had already set her eyes on Ian Munro, laird of the neighboring clan. (note the quote from him at the top of the blog). And Kat, the youngest of the Walsinghams couldn’t seem to stop following Torquil, driving the young lad mad. He is the son of Ruair, Laird Sutherland. With Ravenna, coming to the Sutherlands, she was also bringing her two youngest sisters, Elizabeth and Katherine (Kat).
But this is Grace and Fagan’s story and what a story it is. Throughout, Grace proved beyond a doubt she would not be a proper spy, but she was brave, smart, loyal and quick-witted. Her actions, however, did not always have the desired outcome. There was not a women who could be more sharp-tongued. But somehow, her true colors came through. She was lovable and Fagan could not look away.
But everything was wrong about this relationship. Fagan was not titled. He was barbaric, albeit brawny and handsome, he didn’t have anything to offer Grace, she would soon be betrothed to another.
Living in Scottish lands wasn’t always safe. Clans needed to support each other and there were remnants of Ravenna’s past life which may follow her. Also Scotland wasn’t stable. When Grace saw someone in the forest watching her she was angry because she thought the man was guarding her. She needed no guard. In reality, the man was a menace. They just didn’t know what he wanted. Great suspense works itself into the read.
I highly recommend. Once again, Victoria Roberts as an awesome author of Scottish Highland bards.
About the Author: Award-winning author Victoria Roberts writes Scottish historical romances about kilted heroes and warriors from the past. She was named by RT Book Reviews as “one of the most promising debut authors across the genres” and was also a 2013 RT Reviewers’ Choice award winner for X Marks the Scot.
Represented by Jill Marsal of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, Victoria is a member of Romance Writers of America® and several local chapters, as well as a contributing author to the online magazine Celtic Guide.
Victoria lives in western Pennsylvania with her husband of twenty-one years and their two beautiful children—not to mention one spoiled dog. When she is not plotting her next Scottish adventure, she’s dragging her clan to every Scottish festival under the sun.