From Shana Abé, author of The Truelove Bride and A Kiss at Midnight, comes this exquisitely emotional, beautifully written novel about two warring clans on a Scottish isle united by a fragile pact... and the hearts of two unforgettable lovers.
Lauren MacRae is only a woman. But her father's death has left her the leader of the Clan MacRae. Now it is up to her to defend her beloved Isle of Shot from the invading Northmen, even if it means going to her clan's sworn enemy, the powerful English overlord, Arion du Morgan, for help. But Arion's raven hair, green eyes, and smoldering sensuality soon make Lauren forget just why she turned to him—as he awakens within her a wayward desire....
Like Lauren, Arion risks the mutiny of his soldiers by forming this risky alliance. But he was brought up to believe that the Isle of Shot belongs not to the Clan MacRae, but to England—and he will defend it to his dying breath. Once, when they were children, Arion saved Lauren from a tortuous fate. Now, the copper-haired beauty has somehow found a way to banish the emptiness in his soul. And as they join forces to fight for the land they both love, he will risk everything—even his very life—to claim what is his.
Abé's books often feel more like dreamy, violent adult fairy tales than actual medievals, so the love story seems to take place as much in the metaphysical plane as it does in the physical. The chemistry between Arion and Lauren is instantaneous and almost mystical; crackling, tangible; it's this interaction that saves the book from mediocrity. These two may be enemies (and they are antagonistic towards each other in the beginning of the book), but generally they treat one another with a respect and tenderness that's refreshing in a romance of this kind. When I closed the book, I had no doubt that they were soulmates.
Those of you who, like me, can't stand Adversarial Romances: don't let the word "enemies" fool you. This book is all about love.