Knight in Highland Armor - Highland Dynasty # 1 by Amy Jarecki
Audience: Adult / Genre: Scottish Historical Romance / Formats: E-book and Paperback /Publisher: Rapture Books / Cover by: Kim Killion / Editor: Arran McNichol / Pages: 380 pages / ISBN: 978-1502390295 / ASIN: B00OQT919M / Date Published: Jan1, 2015.
Grieving from the death of his wife, Lord Colin Campbell listens to the cries of his newborn son whilst penning a missive to the king. With no marriage prospects, Colin petitions his majesty for help in finding a stepmother. Never again will he fall in love—the death of a woman brings more pain than losing a whole contingent of men on the battlefield. Feisty, quick tongued and smart, Margaret Robinson is delighted when her father receives a messenger from the king…until she discovers what news he brings. In a sennight, she will wed the notorious Black Knight—her life is about to end. Tension builds during the wedding and deteriorates from there…until an accident draws them together. Just when their love begins to blossom, a dire request arrives from the Pope. Colin must join the Crusades at once. Their fragile love is forced to withstand the seductions of hell—Margaret tempted by a scoundrel laird—Colin courted by Satan himself. Aye, the war for Christendom could very well ruin their dreams forever.
Going into this novel I didn't really know what I would think of it. And to be honest I was surprised that I signed up for this tour because I very, very rarely enjoy period pieces but I absolutely loved Knight in Highland Armor. At some times it did feel a little long and drawn out but, for the most part, I think the action and romance were combined beautifully to make a great novel.
Margaret and Colin are an amazing couple that had me rooting for them from the beginning even when they were not sure of each other. The two are only married because of Colin's request to the King for a mother for his newborn son. The woman that he gets is not the older, matronly woman he was expecting but a young, feisty woman who is not interested in becoming Colin's doormat.
I instantly liked Margaret because of her intelligence and attitude. So many books that I've read lately have involved the heroine who is much more submissive than the hero to the point that they pretty much become flat background characters even though they are supposed to be the main character. Margaret pushes back against Colin when his grief, anger, or guilt gets the better of him and he lashes out. I especially liked when she started handling some of his business ventures and she shows him that she can handle things other than what is typical for a woman.
I was upset when Colin went off to war because I was terrified that something bad would happen to him. I won't reveal any spoilers but things happen and devious people plot against the couple to try and keep them apart.
Knights in Highland Armor is a fantastic book that I very much enjoyed reading. I was apprehensive about the fact that it was a period piece but the Scottish culture drew me in and Margaret and Colin kept me captivated. The couple are a great mix because it's not expected that their relationship would survive. This was a great book to start of 2015. I give this novel 4.5 stakes and I will definitely be reading more from this author in the future.
Margaret reached into her purse to pluck a farthing when horse hooves pummeled the ground. Looking up, she scarcely had the chance to dash aside. Two riders thundered through the fete at a brisk canter. She tripped over her gown. The fruit flung from her basket as the horses sped past. Margaret crashed into something sturdy and hard. Her hands whipped around it, saving herself from falling. Her hood flew from her head and dropped to her back. It wasn’t until a pair of massive arms encircled her that she realized she’d fallen into a man—a very large, very strong man. She inhaled. The heady and exotic fragrance of cloves laced with a hint of ginger and male toyed with her insides. Struggling to drag her feet beneath her, Margaret made the mistake of grasping him tighter. His back muscles bulged beneath his quilted doublet. Her heart fluttered. “Forgive me,” she uttered breathlessly. His enormous hands held her shoulders firmly and helped her gain her balance. “Are you all right, m’lady?” Flustered, Margaret pushed away and smoothed her fingers over the white ribbon encircling her crown. She brushed her fingers down the length of her exposed tresses, cascading over her shoulder to her waist. First, her gaze leveled on his red tunic, with a white cross emblazoned on the center of his very broad chest. Then her eyes drifted to his face, framed by dun-colored curls. Beneath his cap, they shone like silk in the sun, and she wanted to reach up and touch them to see if his hair was actually as soft as it looked. Dark brown, wide-set eyes gazed upon her with a glint of humor. They were so friendly, her tension immediately eased. His features were undeniably masculine; his bold nose slightly bent toward full lips that grinned, revealing a row of healthy white teeth. “I…I am unscathed, thank you.” Margaret inhaled a stuttered breath and hoped to heaven she wasn’t blushing. “Please forgive me.” “There is nothing to forgive. Those lads had no business riding through the fair at full tilt. I shall have a firm word with them.” “I’m sure they are long gone…” Margaret peered up at his feathered ermine cap—a fur only worn by Scottish barons like her father. “…m’lord.” She stepped back, taking in the whole picture. She’d seen the square white cross on his tunic somewhere before—it definitely identified him as a knight, though she could not place the order. Unusually tall, he had to be at least eighteen hands—six feet was enormous, especially compared to her five. He wore a stylish doublet of black beneath the sleeveless tunic. His woolen hose were also black, and they clung to his thighs like a second skin. His muscles bulged when he stepped toward her with fashionably pointed shoes. Mmm. ’Tis said clothes maketh the man. He bent down and retrieved her basket. “I believe this is yours.” “Thank you.” Margaret spotted apples and pears scattered everywhere. “But I’m afraid the fruit I’ve purchased is ruined.” He frowned and stroked his bold chin. “Most unfortunate. Please allow me to replace it.” “That should not be necessary. I only wished to help a poor man feed his family.” “Most charitable of you, m’lady.” He offered a polite bow. “If you no longer require my assistance, I shall be on my way.” “Very well. Should I fall again, I shall simply find another gallant knight to keep me from dousing myself in the mud.” “A lucky man indeed to rescue a lady as bonny as you.” He bowed again and tapped his fingers to his hat. “Good day, m’lady.” Margaret swooned, watching him walk away. Broad shoulders supported by a sturdy waist. To her delight, the knight’s doublet was short enough to give her a peek at his muscular buttocks. With a sigh, she smacked her lips while the crowd swallowed up the magnificent warrior’s form. If only her betrothed could be half as handsome. “Margaret,” Mother called from across the aisle. “Come, I have something to show you.” This time, she looked for racing horses before she set out. God forbid she fall into another knight. And heaven help her. On the morrow, she’d have to look upon such magnificent specimens with disinterested eyes. How on earth would she do that?
1. Opening scene with Colin Campbell, Lord of Glenorchy: MOONLIGHT SONATA by Ludwig van Beethoven
2. Introduction to Lady Margaret: FUR ELISE by Ludwig van Beethoven
3. Margaret at the Fete: REGINA – from Medieval & Renaissance Music Album
4. The Wedding Scene: TOCCATA AND FUGUE IN D MINOR by J.S. Bach
5. Traveling to Kilchurn Castle: BRANDENBERG CONCERTO by J.S. Bach
6. Margaret Plays her Lute: BANCHETTO MUSICAL SUITE NO. 3: Pavane
7. First Passionate Love Scene: NOCTURE IN C# MINOR by Frederic Chopin
8. Margaret realizes she must be strong: THE SELKIE, Celtic Harp Album, Aryeh Frankfurter
9. Colin sails to Rome: FULL RIGGED SHIP, Celtic Harp Album, Aryeh Frankfurter
10. Margaret alone and pregnant at Christmas: MARY DID YOU KNOW, Pentatonix (yay, a modern performance!)
11. Colin’s final battle on Rhodes: BETRAYAL AND DESOLATION, Braveheart Movie Soundtrack
12. The dark moment: ADHAN by Kevin Keller
13. Reunited: DAWN from the Pride and Prejudice 2005 Movie Soundtrack
Colin Campbell, 1st Lord of Glenorchy:
Philosophy on life: Never settle with words what can be accomplished with a broadsword.
Born: 1428. On 1st October, 1432, at the age of fourteen he received the title, Lord of Glenorchy.
Build: Muscular in peak condition
Distinctive features: Dun (dark blond) hair with a darker beard, brown, wide set eyes, bold, angular nose, full lips.
Positive Characteristics: Confident, energetic, truthful, decisive, direct, loyal, protective, supportive, brave. Colin is an exceptional warrior.
Negative Characteristics (at times): Insensitive, domineering, demanding, uncompromising.
A Knight in the Order of St. John (Knight Hospitallers). He went on three crusades and was fabled as The Black Knight of Rome.
Colin is an asserter, and feels in control when he can sit where he can observe everything going on in a room. He has a hard outer shell; he’s tough driving, and an introvert. After losing two wives, Colin proves he has a soul, but will Margaret discover he also has a heart?
Margaret Robinson of Struan, Daughter of Baron and 4th Chieftain of Struan. Raised at Dunalasdair Castle on Loch Rannoch.
Philosophy on life: Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell and you might survive.
Distinctive features: Green, almond shaped eyes, long chestnut hair, beautiful skin.
Positive Characteristics: Energetic, efficient, optimistic, industrious, self-propelled, practical, empowering, competent, responsible.
Negative Characteristics (at times): Self-centered, pretentious, overly competitive, defensive.
Margaret can withdraw when angry, but otherwise, she has a delightfully magnetic personality. She’s well educated for the times, and very sharp. She’s always setting new goals for herself, but prefers to avoid confrontation when possible. Youthful, Margaret is full of ideals, and loves visiting court where she can observe gentlemen in their finery—especially when wearing fashionably short doublets.
Amy adores Scotland. Though she now resides in southwest Utah, she received her MBA from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. Winning multiple writing awards, she is now focused on the genre of Scottish historical romance. Amy loves to write steamy edge-of-your-seat action adventures with rugged men and fascinating women who weave their paths through the brutal eras of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
Tour Schedule - One Month Blog Tour for Knight in Highland Armor by Amy Jarecki from Jan 5 to Jan 31, 2015.
Books, Authors, Blogs - Author Interview
Cherry Mischievous - Promo
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Babu's Bookshelf - Review
Once Upon a Coffin – Promo & Review
Imagine a World - Review
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A One-Click Addict's Book Blog - Review
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Ramblings From A Chaotic Mind - Review
Angels with Attitude Book Reviews - Promo & Author Interview
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Night Owl Reviews - Promo
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