Sometimes we need a bit of escapism and, for me, that sometimes means a romance—and this book totally fit the bill. I have to be honest, I wasn’t really interested in the beginning, but that might just be down to me not being in the right frame of mind for it. I even thought about giving up around page 5, but I’m glad I stuck with it because the writing and story improved and I got to the point where I was eagerly awaiting my next reading session.
The story is set in 1693 in England and Scotland, just after the Glencoe Massacre of 1692 during the reign of William and Mary. The main characters are interesting: the hero, Graham MacCoinnich, is the uber-sexy Scot who is everything a fantasy Scot should be, so there’s that. Lady Mercy Claxton, our heroine, is noteworthy because she is the first half-East Asian, half-caucasian main character I’ve ever come across in a book set in the seventeenth century. Her mother was Japanese and this is an important aspect of her character throughout.
I had a little bit of an uncomfortable time with some aspects of this book, because it took a great deal of dramatic license with King William III, whom I have written about myself; for instance, why was there no mention of his wife, Queen Mary II? She would certainly have been around at this point as she died in 1694. Maybe I missed it. Anyway, a general reader wouldn’t notice that and I was able to brush that off. It’s not a nonfiction history book, after all, it’s a historical romance and it does that well. Some considerable liberties aside, Greyson nailed William III’s personality really well, in my opinion.
Next, I was left wondering about the motivations of one of the villains – what was their beef? I hope the hatred expressed by that character is explained in follow-up books because it seemed like there is a whole backstory we know nothing about. Good thing this is the first book in a series!
In short, an exciting adventure from England up into Scotland, full of mystery, betrayal, and a lot of steamy romance between two likeable characters. I sure enjoyed it.