Title: Kilty Secrets Clash of the Tartans, Book 1
Author: Anna Markland
Genre: Historical Romance, Scottish Medieval
Story Setting: Scotland, 1666 AD
Published by: Dragonblade Publishing, Inc., 1 edition
Published Date: October 10, 2017
Highlander adventure. Highlander Romance. Kilty secrets abound in this romantic comedy!
As the chief’s second son, Ewan MacKinloch resents being offered up as the sacrificial lamb in a marriage arranged to end a 300-year feud with the MacCarrons.
Ewan trades places with a one-armed clansman in the hopes Shona MacCarron will refuse to go through with the wedding, but unbeknownst to him, Shona, too, has traded places with an aunt known as Lady Lazy-Eye so she can avoid the marriage arranged after the recent death of her father.
Confusion reigns when alchemy draws them to each other and they risk aiding the cause of factions ambitious to usurp the hereditary MacCarron chieftaincy.
Will each discover the other’s KILTY SECRETS?
My Thoughts: Shona and Ewan, each from clans who’ve been feuding for hundreds of years have met their match. They must marry to mend the animosity between the clans, a bridge to peace.
Luckily, so thinks Ewan, he must only hand-fast the woman for one year and one day and his commitment is over. Who wants to marry the enemy, anyway? Shona isn’t willing to contemplate such a union. She’d just be spoiled goods after all is said and done. Neither want to do their duty.
No one from the MacKinloch clan wants to accompany Ewan to clan MacCarron. The only two who will, are Fynn Macintyre, who is minus one hand, and David, a stammering young man. Lest you forget, men are not, necessarily, what their appearances lead you to expect. Fynn and David are no exception. They lend a lot to the story.
Ewan and Shona come up with a plan. Shona will have her Aunt Jeannie (almost the same age) impersonate her, hoping her lazy-eye (the only flaw she has) will put off her suitor. Ewan decides to have his clansman, older and with a stump on his arm, impersonate him—uh, hoping the same as Shona.
Author Markland’s scene building is marvelous. She keeps me laughing through about half of the book with the silliness of the whole situation. You see, Ewan, is drawn to Shona, who is impersonating her aunt. He wishes life were not so cruel. Mayhap, she could be his leman? Ha!
Shona isn’t at all interested in Fynn, Ewan’s clansman, impersonating Ewan, of course. She’s drawn to the real Ewan. She’s thinking it might be nice to sample the stud before she has to hand-fast with her intended.
The story, at least this part, is hysterically funny. Ewan and Shona are so evenly matched and really perfect for each other. The “Fates had persevered to bring two reluctant soul mates together.”
Something bad has to happen, right? It does! Jeannie’s first husband, Ailig, banned from the MacCarrons’ land has a mission to accomplish. He wants the land and keep for himself. He will attempt anything and with his brother’s access to the keep, he could get away with murder. Shona explains it this way to Ewan.
“Ailig was a snake lying hidden in the grass, waiting to strike. The news ye were coming might have prompted him to act against Kendric sooner, but it’s evident he and his brother have been plotting to usurp the lairdship for a long while. They murdered my father before our betrothal was settled.”
The story turns from silly to horrifying. Ewan, Fynn and David take up the task to scour the keep and eliminate danger. A mangy dog and child do their best to help them.
It was a pleasure reading about Ewan, his growth in filling the shoes of a laird. Fynn, not only is loyal to Ewan, but a big asset in protecting the MacCarron clan. I loved how David became a man to respect and the comradeship which grew between Fynn and him, where none existed before.
An easy-read with plenty of page-turning action, and scenes where I felt the fear pump off the page, made this sweet, sexy, humorous romance the perfect read. Make sure to check out the ‘Historical Footnote’ section found at the end of the story. I suggest you read it first.