Battle-hardened warrior Dirk MacLerie isn't who everyone thinks he is. He's Dirk MacKay, heir apparent to the MacKay chiefdom and Dunnakeil Castle on the far north coast of Scotland. When he returns home after a long absence, will his clan know him, and will the duplicitous enemy that tried to murder him 12 years ago kill him in truth this time?
Lady Isobel MacKenzie is a beautiful, young widow betrothed to yet another highland chief by her brother's order. But when her future brother-in-law accosts her and threatens to kill her, she is forced to flee into a highland snowstorm. When she runs into a rugged, imposing man she thought dead, she wonders whether he will turn her over to her enemy or take her to safety.
Dirk remembers the enchanting, dark-eyed Isobel from when he was a lad, but now she is bound to another man by legal contract, an important detail she would prefer to forget. She wishes to choose her own husband and has her sights set on Dirk. But he would never steal another man's bride, would he? The tantalizing lady fires up his passions, testing his willpower and honor at every turn, even as some of his own treacherous clansmen plot his downfall.
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Lovely Scottish romance with perfect narration!
I really enjoyed it. It certainly held my rapt attention. Having it voiced by someone with such a delightful Scottish brogue makes it rank as one of the best Scottish romances I've listened to.
Following please find a snippet from a favorite scene where the couple are sharing sleeping arrangements - but not sleeping together... though Isobel's sleep-walking tries Dirk's vow not to take advantage of her:
“Isobel?" Why on earth would she open the door and allow the winter wind to blast into the cottage, especially wearing naught but her underclothing? Dirk hurried across the room, drew her back and closed the door. "What are you doing?"
Her eyes were open but she wasn't looking at him. Was she asleep?
"Go back to bed, Isobel." With his hands on her upper arms, he gently turned her toward the bed.
She resisted and reached for the door. "Going home."
He could understand that, for he wanted to go home, himself. But neither of them could do that at the moment.
Knowing she wasn't going to obey him, he lifted her into his arms. She was light as a wee thistle flower but not near as prickly. He'd helped her mount the horse a few times, but he'd never held her like this, in his arms with her curvy body leaning against him.
When he turned with her, she giggled. The playful sound wound through his body in a heated swirl of excitement. She slid her arms 'round his neck and held on tightly while he carried her back to the bed. She snuggled her face against his neck, her warm breath teasing his skin.
Arousal surged through him, but when she kissed his throat, he thought he might go up in flames. Saints! He wanted to do the same to her, trail kisses down her throat, untie her smock and… He shook his head, trying to clear it.
Standing by the bed, he remained still, though his instincts raged at him to crush her sweet body beneath his on the mattress.
He drew in a deep breath, fighting to calm his desires.
"Are you awake?" he whispered.
She hummed a sleepy sound and placed another wee kiss against his neck. Restraining a moan, he glanced down at her. In the dimness, he couldn't see if her eyes were open or closed. But she smelled heavenly, like lavender and woman.
Just put her in the bed and leave her be!
He lowered her to the mattress but she did not relinquish her hold on his neck. He knew he should simply remove her slender arms, but he couldn't seem to make himself do it. Her breath tickled his face. Her mouth, no less than an inch or two from his, tempted him, made him crave just one taste.”
This story was narrated by Dave Gillies. He had the perfect Scottish brogue accent for this story and I enjoyed his voicing of the characters. I swooned every time he was Dirk. Oooh la la! He delivered a solid performance that really enhanced the story for me and I would not hesitate to listen to any other audio that he has narrated.
I swooned every time Dave Gillies voiced Dirk's character. I laughed at parts. Other times I found the story to be quite suspenseful and caught myself holding my breath.
This was a well-paced story with two wonderful leads and brimming with love, action and intrigue. This is the first book I've read by Vonda, but it won't be the last. It was so good that I plan to go back and listen to the first two books in this series as soon as I can! I would highly recommend MY BRAVE HIGHLANDER to anyone who enjoys Scottish romances. I bet you'll fall in love with Dave's narration too!
- Linda Townsend
Highland Adventure at it's Best