Review of HEAT OF THE KNIGHT by Jackie Ivie (see her website)
Zebra, November 2007
After the disaster of the Battle of Culloden, Scotland writhes under the English boot. Weapons, the plaid, and even bagpipes are banned. Many clans are destitute, and some have been sold into slavery or transported to the new world. Yet a few Scots seem immune to the disaster. One of these men, Langston Monteith, is busy purchasing land, hiring servants, and buying crafts from Scots so impoverished they have no choice but to sell their ancient family estates. When Langston's eyes fall on Lisle MacHugh, he decides he'll buy her as well.
Lisle holds Langston, and anyone like him, as an enemy of the true Scot. Yet when Langston outflanks her, going directly to the MacHugh family with his offer, they quickly agree and Lisle has no choice but to become Langston's wife. She will not, she vows, so quickly join him in his bed--even if he is as sexy as sin. For one thing, he wastes gold, which makes him a laughing stock of the Highlands. For another, the man has only a distant acquaintence with the truth.
In Langston's castle, Lisle discovers that Langston isn't just a liar, he holds fast secrets--secrets that change how she sees him, but also that put him at horrible risk. Langston carries weapons, wears the plaid, and listens to pipes--and in occupied Scotland, any of these can be viewed as treason and punished by death. With no allies among the Scots, Langston seems to have picked a path that can only lead to his ruin--and to the ruin of his new wife.
Author Jackie Ivie (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of novels by Ivie) spins a sexy and funny story set in a dark and dangerous time. Lisle (rhymes with weasle) is a wonderfully spunky character who quickly learns to negotiate--using every weapon at a woman's disposal. Langston is dark, sexy, and dangerous. His lies, though, keep him in trouble and form the source of the romantic conflict between the two. Unfortunately, Langston has no choice but to lie--or give up his dreams forever. Even if those lies put at risk his relationship with his wife.
I found HEAT OF THE KNIGHT to be pure fun. Lisle kept me cracking up, the sex was steamy, and Langston is a fascinating and complex hero. I think Ivie cheated a bit on the ultimate resolution, but this is a romance, after all and political realism is not an absolute requirement.
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