Good Sunday Evening,
It’s a new year and I have a lot of plans for it particularly in the reading area. Last year I was six books short of my seventy five reading goal and this year I hope to go past it by at least five books. I also plan to try to keep up with blogging more and not overloading myself with too many books to read at once. We shall see how the last goal goes and for now, I’m going to talk about a book that I just finished and gush a bit about the author too.
Julia London has a way with words that always draws me in especially when it’s a book about the Scots. I love imagining seeing Scotland in all her glory when there were endless blue skies, fragrant heather and horses were the main way to get around.
Margot is a young spoiled English lady who is used to balls, fancy gowns and generally living a life of luxury. In the space of a month, she finds herself married to Arran who is Laird of Clan McKenzie and lives up in the Highlands where there aren’t fancy balls, many wear plaids and life is quite a bit different than what she’s used to.
After being fed up with how things are going, she leaves with her things and Arran has to watch her go in a coach while most of his clan is watching. Margot spends the next few years going back to balls, wearing gowns and doing most of the things she did before her marriage though it all seems empty at times. Her father pulls her aside one evening and says she must return to Scotland to find out whether her estranged husband is a traitor to the crown and though she is reluctant, when she learns that her Father could possibly hang if it’s true, she agrees to go. Little does she know how much it will change her view of things including her feelings for her estranged husband and show her how sometimes age can put a different perspective on a situation.
As Margot tries to learn of the truth, she finds herself drawn to her husband, realizing how naive she was as a young bride, the misunderstandings she had with some of the clan and that things aren’t always what they seem. While there’s no problem for her and Arran in the bedroom, trying to move past hurts and understand each other is another matter entirely. Just when it seems like things are slowly falling into place and Margot realizes that her husband is an honorable man, word comes to Arran about a spy in their midst and it rocks the foundation of their relationship. There’s also another twist that comes about that will leave Margot reeling and wondering which path to take in such difficult times.
Margot did start out in the book as a spoiled young girl who seems only concerned about the next ball or suitor to flirt with and makes some bad choices when it comes to the marriage that she was forced into. I liked her character though even when she wasn’t aware of the world outside her bubble because as Margot ages, her view on things change quite a bit. As she finds herself back with her husband and his clan, she’s under a lot of pressured but tries to make the best of it and refuses to back down on most things. They often say that with age comes wisdom and I think it’s very true in this case. Where she used to pout and generally throw a fit if things didn’t go her way, she tries to stand up for herself and communicate with her husband while also realizing just how different she felt about things when they were first married. Margot has her faults as any person does but eventually she realizes what is really important and embraces her husband’s side of the family.
I also like Arran because he took their marriage vows seriously and did not stray even when they were estranged. It’s understandable that he’d be leery of her showing up out of the blue and also wondering what his wife is really up to. He may be a traditional Scots in many ways but he also tries to communicate with his wife and deal with the every day things that come with being a laird. In his own way, he’s a romantic and eventually realizes that sometimes you have to let some of the things in the past rest and sometimes giving someone another chance can turn out better than expected.
It was such a pleasure to read this book and I found myself sitting in one spot for hours, wanting to know what would happen next. This book was an interesting mix of adventure, romance, passion, the power of family and unexpected twists. Also, I loved the fact that Margot eventually didn’t mind having the dogs sleep in the bed with her. I am eager to get my hands on the next book in the series and seeing what next will happen with the McKenzie Clan!
I’m really hoping to stay on task and be more serious about being a book blogger. In the past it’s been sporadic especially this past year after taking on a second job but I’ve realized that I can be just as passionate about book blogging as I am reading and just need to find a way to juggle things. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my bookish ramblings and I will be back soon with more to come. I have quite the long reading list to get through and since it’s one of the coldest months of the year, a perfect reason to stay in with my books!