by Julie Garwood
Amazon / Goodreads
Judith Hampton was as beautiful as she was proud, as purposeful as she was loyal. The dear Scottish friend of her childhood was about to give birth, and Judith had promised to be at her side. But there was another, private reason for the journey from her bleak English home to the Highlands: to meet the father she had never known, the Laird Maclean...Nothing prepared her for the sight of the Scottish barbarian who was to escort her into his land...Iain Maitland, Laird of his clan, a man more powerfully compelling than any she had ever encountered.
In a clash of spirited wills and customs, Judith reveled in the melting bliss of Iain's searching kisses, his passionate caresses. Perplexed by her sprightly defiance, bemused by her tender nature, Iain felt his soul growing into the light and warmth of her love. Surely nothing would wrench her from the affection and trust of Iain and his clan...not even the truth about her father, a devastating secret that could shatter the boldest alliance, and the most glorious of loves!
Review:The relationship between Judith and Iain is utterly romantic! They are drawn to each other very quickly, with an intense attraction, and the romantic tension in their verbal sparring and and little power struggles made up a big chunk of why they were so fun to read about. Judith's strong personality also makes for a fun read as she has to deal with a limiting, prejudiced and misogynistic 16th century Scottish culture. And even though Iain can be overbearing and imperious to a vexing extent, he's of course caring, loving and would do anything to keep Judith safe and happy. He always knows when to give in to her. It's a glorious (unrealistic?), and perfect mix for a strong romantic hero.
There is another aspect to this story that really touched me, and that was Judith's friendship with Frances Catherine, which was just as strong as the love Judith felt for Iain, and a very touching tribute to the beauty of friendship. The strength of Judith's character was also proved when she had to help the women in the clan deliver their babies, when each and every time she was terrified of the duty. And yet when she had to, she was calm and assured for the mothers-to-be. It made me love Judith as a character so much, and made what was mostly a straightforward historical romance, more of an intriguing study of character and personality.
There is a personal issue that Judith has to deal with as well, which gave more drama to the story, especially with the resolution. This is a quick, effortlessly entertaining read, and despite the speed at which Judith and Iain fall in love, I was totally invested in their romance.
Thanks again to Quinn for recommending this book to me! :)