HIGHLAND HERO – Amanda Scott
The Scottish Knights Trilogy , Book 2
Grand Central's Forever
As kings go, Robert III is a good man but weak, often under the thumb of his younger brother, the Duke of Albany. Albany resents being third in the line of succession after the king's two sons, David, now Governor of the Realm in Albany 's former place, and seven-year-old James. But now the King must assert himself to follow the wishes of his beloved Queen Annabella, who warned him before she died to protect their sons from the ambitious Albany . Robert sends for Sir Ivor Mackintosh, the hot-tempered warrior knight known as Hawk. Hawk's mission is to secretly escort seven year old Jamie to Bishop Traill of Saint Andrews , where he'll be protected by the premier churchman of Scotland .
When Hawk arrives to fetch Jamie away, he's importuned by a lovely young lady who wishes to accompany them. Lady Marsaili Drummond Cargill, cousin of the late Queen and one of her ladies, heard that the Duke of Albany is on his way to Turnberry Castle with plans for her. Lady Marsi is a considerable heiress and Albany wants her to wed one of his boot-licking lackeys. Hawk gives in to her persuasion and four people set off for St. Andrews : Hawk; Jamie Stewart, a precocious boy who grew up surrounded by adults; Hetty, Henrietta Childs, mistress of the royal nursery, and Lady Marsi. The idea is to travel as ordinary people. To that end, Marsi is to pretend to be a common nursery maid, and common is something she has a difficult time being. The quartet begins their long dangerous journey by leaving the castle by a little known sea gate and boarding a ship flying a Dutch flag but captained by Wolf, another knight belonging to the Brotherhood of St. Andrews along with Hawk.
In HIGHLAND HERO, Ms. Scott again combines romance and adventure set in a background containing real people and authentic times. Her colorful characters and their inter-relationships will absorb readers, while her plotting, dialogue and narration are also excellent. She's a true master of the Scottish historical romance.
As the second in this trilogy, readers may have already met another of the Brotherhood, Fin of the Battles, along with his bride, the Mackintosh Wildcat, in HIGHLAND MASTER. We can all look forward to Wolf's tale in HIGHLAND LOVER. Judging by the first two (and other of Ms. Scott's fine series), I'm confident enough to highly recommend all three books.