Title: The Frost Maiden’s Kiss True Love Brides, book 3
Author: Claire Delacroix
Genre: Historical Romance/Fantasy Romance
Story Setting: 1427, Scotland, mid-winter; 1428
Published by: Deborah A. Cooke; 1.1 edition
Published Date: August 26, 2014
Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
Length: 11 hours, 56 minutes
Released Date: November 24, 2015
Published by: Deborah A. Cooke
Publisher’s Summary: She enchanted him with a kiss – but winning her love would demand all he possessed.
After eight years abroad, Malcolm returns to Scotland with a fortune, a companion even more hardened than he and a determination to restore his inherited holding. But when that companion falls into peril, Malcolm seizes the chance to repay an old debt, trading his own soul for that of his doomed comrade. Knowing his days are limited and determined to leave a legacy of merit, Malcolm rebuilds Ravensmuir with all haste, though he fears he will never have an heir.
A night of violence has left Catriona with no home and no faith in the honor of men. She expects little good from a visit to her lady’s brother, Laird of Ravensmuir, a known mercenary. But the handsome laird challenges her expectations with his courtesy, his allure – and his unexpected proposal. Knowing it is her sole chance to ensure her child’s future, Catriona dares to accept Malcolm’s hand. She soon realizes that this warrior fights a battle of his own and that she holds the key to his salvation. Little does she realize her past is in hot pursuit, seeking to destroy all she holds dear – including the laird who has thawed the frost of her reluctant heart.
©2014 Deborah A. Cooke (P)2015 Deborah A. Cooke
My Thoughts: I was so happy to be listening to the rest of this series so soon after I completed The Highlander’s Curse. It is a compelling story and deeply entertaining.
Author Claire Delacroix puts to pen a place so real and rich with character conflict, a reader cannot put it down, and when it is so expertly narrated by Saskia Maarleveld, the experience totally satisfies my adventurous spirit. In this telling, Ms. Maarleveld’s voices for Catriona and Raphael add to the mystic, Catriona is from Inverness and Raphael is from Spain. You won’t be disappointed in this listen. The difficulties each of these siblings find themselves, have me indulging yet again, in the next read of the series.
This is the story of the prodigal brother, Malcolm, who left his family seeking his fortune beyond Ravenmuir. When the caverns collapsed under the holding, portions of the keep slide into the North Sea. Malcolm had no way to rebuild his inheritance. He sold his sword as mercenary for eight years to achieve the riches he now has. His brother, Alexander, was angered by his departure, and not much changed apparently with his return. With the hard work and years away he has returned to rebuild. He brings to Ravensmuir, Raphael, a mercenary with questionable character. Frankly, I did not much like him at the beginning of the story. He was a good man to have as a friend, not foe. To me his loyalty was questionable and certainly he was very opinionated, particularly about Catriona—a man to keep an eye on. His presence added depth to the telling, giving the reader insight into Malcolm and Catriona’s characters.
Malcolm had learned much from his travels. His instinct was to protect women, children and animals and it had grown stronger through the years. When Catriona, a woman, very much pregnant, came to Ravensmuir with Vivian, Malcolm’s sister, we watch his interest grow for this woman, for she was a very beautiful woman. Every word she uttered only made him more interested in knowing her past and how she came to the predicament she was in.
Love, respect and admiration blossom between the two, yet both hold secrets. Would Catriona be able to save this man she holds such feelings for? Could Malcolm turn the clock back making different to ? And even if he could, would he be able to live with himself, knowing Raphael had watched his back for years, saving him many a time?
I simply love this series, learning how each brother or sister find the love they seek as man brushes up against the realm of the Fae. Returning to Ravensmuir was not an easy return for the Fae were yet again afoot. The Ravens had not returned. Was this place to be doomed forever?
If man conquers the Fae, what will become of the realm? What can the Fae King do? How will Elizabeth be involved? Next in the series is The Warrior’s Prize.
Note from the Author to the Reader:
The Renegade’s Heart was a milestone for me because it was my first indie-published original title. I created the fictional holdings of Ravensmuir and Kinfairlie in my medieval romance The Rogue, which was the first book in my Rogues of Ravensmuir trilogy. The Scoundrel (book #2 in that series) further explored the history of those two sites, and also added the highland keep of Inverfyre to my fictional version of Scotland. The Warrior, book #3, was set primarily at Inverfyre, and at the end of that book, the family from Kinfairlie comes to Inverfyre at midsummer to celebrate the wedding of Aileen and the Hawk. There is one line in The Warrior about Roland and Catherine having eight children, which gave me the idea to write a linked series of eight books, each one telling the story of one of those children. I published the first three stories of these siblings in my Jewels of Kinfairlie trilogy (The Beauty Bride, The Rose Red Bride, and The Snow White Bride) but could not place the others with publishers. There was a conviction in 2005 that readers only wanted to read Regency-set historicals, not medievals. I knew otherwise from my reader mail, but until portals like KDP opened, there were few options for authors. I was (and am) very excited to have the chance to finish what was begun. Not only was I able to continue the series and tell Isabella and Murdoch’s story, but I could include the paranormal elements I love. The True Love Brides series begins after Alexander has decided to let his younger siblings marry for true love. These stories also occur when the portal to the realm of the Fae is wide open, and the Fae are prepared to make trouble for mortals in their vicinity. In The Renegade’s Heart, Isabella must save Murdoch from the Elphine Queen, who has no intention of surrendering him. The True Love Brides series continues with The Highlander’s Curse, which is Annelise’s story. Next up will be Malcolm’s story in The Frost Maiden’s Kiss. I hope you will return to Kinfairlie and Ravensmuir with me, and read about true love conquering all obstacles.
All my best – Claire