Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Review: The Highlander's Prize

The Highlander's Prize by Mary Wine

Publication Date: April 3,2012
Publisher: Sourcebooks Inc.
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: Paperback, 352pp.
ISBN-13: 978-1402264719
ISBN: 1402264712

(Received for an honest review from Sourcebooks Casablanca)

Mary Wine on the WEB: webpage, blog, Facebook

Excerpt from The Highlander's Prize



Sent to Scotland to be the king’s mistress and produce an heir, Clarrisa of York has never needed a miracle more. But the brusque Highland laird who kidnaps her is a bit too rough to be considered divine intervention.


With rival lairds determined to steal Clarrisa from him and royal henchmen searching for her all over the Highlands, Laird Broen MacNicols has a mess on his hands. Worse yet, there’s a magnetic attraction berween them, although he’s betrothed to another. But even an independent–minded lady like Clarrisa knows that a Highlander always claims his prize…


Mary Wine begins a new Highlander saga with her latest book, The Highlander's Prize. Set in a tumultuous time period when England and Scotland are toe to toe and ready for war, this novel has everything from political backstabbing to passionate lovemaking. Wine's ability to have the reader employ all of their senses in their reading experience is shown here, as well as, her keen sense of Scottish customs and mannerisms. A great start to another wonderful highland series from Mary Wine!

Mary Wine has been a favorite of mine for some time. She has a deep regard for the Highland spirit and people. It is obvious from her writing that she does a fair amount of research and more importantly she is committed to portraying the Highlands in light that shows the tenacity and backbone of her people. The Highlands may be wild and beautiful but they were also very unforgiving and Wine is quick to show that. These people fought for every thing they had with passion and fortitude that is rare. I always enjoy reading the way Wine writes her Highland characters and settings. Her passion for Scotland is evident in every word.

This book is set during a very scary time for Scotland. England is closing in and Scotland has a puppet king on the throne. James III was as inept as a leader could be and he was forging alliances anywhere he could get them. By taking Clarrisa as his mistress he would potentially be creating an heir that would tie both countries inevitably together and the Scottish clans could not afford to let that happen. They would essentially be giving up and that did not set well with the Highland people. I thought Wine did a great job of showing how desperate the clans were to keep James from doing just a foolish thing. This novel has a bit of a darker tone than some of Wine's previous books, just because the times were becoming more and more dangerous.

Clarrisa and Broen are basically doomed from the start. She is a young woman who has been breed in a sense to serve her country. She has never had the opportunity to make her own choices or to seal her own fate until now. Broen in a way is has always been in the same boat. As a Laird, he does not have the luxury of making decisions that benefit himself. In everything he does he must put the clans protection and agenda first. So both of these characters are finally doing something for themselves. Broen gives Clarrisa a choice that will change the course of her life and he is given a choice in the end that will change his life forever. I thought Wine weaved a tale of love and the choices and sacrifices it takes to make it work amazingly. I liked the overtones of duty and loyalty and how the characters were able to prove their love, as well as, where their loyalties lie. 

Wine has a knack for description and scene detail. She can make a reader smell the blood of the battlefield just as well as feeling the touch of a lover. She brings a scene together in a way that reader is able to employ all of their senses. The beauty of the highlands. The sound of thundering hooves. It's all there and the reader will appreciate the attention to even the smallest details like the descriptions of the castles and the unforgiving landscape. Sometimes it's all in the details and that's something Wine excels at. 

I recommend this one to readers who love a good Highland romance, with plenty of historical references and details added to the mix. The love scenes are hot. The supporting cast has a story all their own and there is certainly a lot of potential for more books in a great new series. Wine is a great Scottish author and one I prefer to read over and over!

The Highlander's Prize is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

Mary Wine has written over twenty novels that take her readers from the pages of history to the far reaches of space. Recent winner of a 2008 EPPIE Award for erotic western romance, her book LET ME LOVE YOU was quoted “Not to be missed…” by Lora Leigh, New York Times best-selling author.

When she’s not abusing a laptop, she spends time with her sewing machines…all of them! Making historical garments is her second passion. From corsets and knickers to court dresses of Elizabeth I, the most expensive clothes she owns are hundreds of years out of date. She’s also an active student of martial arts, having earned the rank of second degree black belt.

1 comment:

Renee said...

I love a Highlander story. I can't wait to read this book.