on November 6, 2018
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A fierce Englishwoman on the runA Highland Laird who needs a proper wifeAnd a desire neither can resist
Athena Trappes thinks she's in love...until she discovers the scoundrel only wanted her as his bit on the side. Enraged, she does what any spirited Englishwoman would do: set fire to his belongings, incur his dangerous wrath, and flee—immediately. With nowhere else to turn, she seeks freedom in the wilds of Scotland.
Highland Laird Symon Grant lost his wife years ago, and it's his duty to find another. Athena is not exactly what the clan has in mind for him, but Symon's heart burns with unexpected passion for the woman who would risk everything to be free.
~~Reviewed by Amy~~
There’s not much better than a highland romance. I love the strong women who stand up to and challenge the burly Scottish Laird. And there’s nothing sexier than a Scottish brogue and a kilt that makes you wish for a stiff breeze. Aside from those physical elements, what I love most is the loyalty and duty to clan in these stories. Between a Highlander and a Hard Place has all that and more wrapped up in a fast-paced, action-packed historical romance.
After her betrothed, Galwell turned out to be a smarmy little shite who intended to bed her and not wed her, Athena Trappes had no alternative but to flee England as quickly as possible. Galwell vowed to use his noble connections to destroy Athena and her family if she didn’t submit to his demands. With no other options, Athena, dressed as a boy, joined a merchant traveling through Scotland, until her uncle could contact help beyond Galwell’s reach.
Laird Symon Grant needed to secure the bloodline and produce an heir. Since the death of his wife in childbirth, his clan had simply existed. His clan needed life breathed into it again. Hope. To do that, Symon needed to find a wife. But his heart wasn’t in it. He knew he needed to move on but past events just wouldn’t let go.
After weeks of masquerading as a boy, Athena took advantage of the Mayfair festival to let her hair down and sneak a dance by the bonfire. When Symon saw her moving among the flames, he thought she was a vision. She was magnificent. Just the sight of her made him feel things he’d not felt in a long time. Unfortunately, Symon wasn’t the only one who spied Athena that night. Will Tinker, who also worked with the merchant, spied her as well. He saw Athena’s beauty as a means to turn a profit and abducted her. Symon had no choice but to abduct Athena from her abductor.
And so Athena found herself living among the Grant clan. She felt welcome and safe there, even if the entire clan seemed intent on seeing she and Symon wed. Symon was more than eager to make Athena his, but Athena wasn’t so sure. After Galwell, she was afraid to trust any man with even friendship, much less act as a wife. Yes, she was attracted to Symon. He was all the things Galwell was not. Where Galwell was sly and callous, Symon was a man of honor and integrity. Though he looked like a savage, she felt she could trust him. Unlike Galwell who’d wanted her only as a mistress, Symon had offered for her after the first time he’d kissed her. And oh what a kiss! “He was a flame, and she went toward him as happily as a moth, her fascination leading the way.” She found herself anticipating each time he might kiss her again. There was definitely passion between them, but Athena had learned what trouble passion could lead to.
What follows is a delightful tale of Symon trying to seduce Athena, and her trying and failing at not giving in. Athena wanted time to come to terms with her feelings for Symon. He wanted to give her that time to make the choice on her own. But outside threats start closing in and Symon must use both seduction and sword if he wants to keep Athena.
I loved both these strong characters. Though they came from different worlds, they were perfect for one another. They were both spirited, passionate, fearless, and loyal to those they loved. I loved watching their romance evolve as they got to know one another. Symon was more certain in his feelings for Athena. And while Athena knew she had feelings for Symon, she was afraid to trust those feelings since she’d been mistaken before. The secondary characters were just as intriguing. I adored Brenda and the advice she gave Symon and Athena. I laughed out loud each time she thwarted Symon’s attempts to get Athena alone. Since this book ends with a cliffhanger where Brenda is concerned, I’m anxious to see what happens. I hope Bothan Gunn plays a big part in her story, and I’m really hoping Will and Galwell get what they deserve.
Mary Wine writes beautiful characters who are proud, fearless, and loyal. I enjoyed her clever, witty writing style laced with darker elements. The sexual tension, daring escapes, and political machinations kept me turning the pages, afraid that Symon and Athena might not get their HEA after all. This 5th book in the Highland Weddings series proves that although the road to love isn’t always easy, it’s always worth the journey.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.