Review of A THIEF IN A KILT by Sandy Blair (see her website)
Zebra Books, November 2006
Tormented by fey visions of the future, Englishwoman Katherine Templeton heads to Scotland to see what she can do to head off the disaster she sees coming. King James I of Scotland is held captive in England and the Scots seem uninterested in paying his ransom. With each year that passes, James grows more angry--and his plans for revenge more complex. Katherine believes she can forestall these plans, or at least limit them, if she can discover which nobles are anxious for the King's return. Disguising herself as the widow of a Campbell heir, she visits Stirling in the midst of a major Scottish meeting.
All Scotland names Ian MacKay as the 'thief of hearts.' Sure he's been known to enjoy himself--and make sure his conquests are satisfied as well, but MacKay is more than a lover. With the King held hostage by the English, Scotland teeters on civil war. Several families have claims on the crown that are as strong as those of the missing King, and their heirs are present. But civil war could only be a gift to the English, who have never stopped their incursions into the north of the island the two nations share. He's instantly attracted to the beautiful--and big--"widow," but MacKay has no time for daliances. When he discovers her plundering the royal storehouse and she then steals his horse, MacKay realizes that Katherine is no ordinary woman. He's got to track her down and discover what treason may be afoot.
Tracking down the curvaceous foreigner is a lot tougher than MacKay had originally suspected, almost as if she had some ability to confound his mind. When he finally does discover her, he learns that there is treason all right, but that she is not the instigator. Can they, together, uncover the truth of James I's captivity? And can either of them survive the incandescent attraction that flows between them?
Author Sandy Blair (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of novels by Blair) delivers a steamy-hot Scottish historical. More than just a romance with kilts, Blair probes into this turbulent period in Scottish history (okay, there are a lot of turbulent periods in Scottish history), adding some meat to the romance. The solid mesh of real history with steamy romance definitely adds up to an exciting romance--possibly the strongest yet in Blair's lineup. Just a hint of a paranormal element adds a bit of spice to the mix, without detracting from the main action.
Blair fans will be pleased to see characters from some of her earlier romances in cameo roles in A THIEF IN A KILT--a bit of extra pleasure without, in any way, detracting from the focus on the relationship between Ian MacKay and Katherine Templeton.
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