Author: Maya Banks
Expected publication: September 25, 2012 by Ballantine Books
Reviewed by: Isalys
Reason for Reading: I purchased this book because I was in the mood for some romance ;)
Eveline Armstrong is fiercely loved and protected by her powerful clan, but outsiders consider her “touched.” Beautiful, fey, with a level, intent gaze, she doesn’t speak. No one, not even her family, knows that she cannot hear. Content with her life of seclusion, Eveline has taught herself to read lips and allows the outside world to view her as daft. But when an arranged marriage into a rival clan makes Graeme Montgomery her husband, Eveline accepts her duty—unprepared for the delights to come. Graeme is a rugged warrior with a voice so deep and powerful that his new bride can hear it, and hands and kisses so tender and skilled that he stirs her deepest passions.Strolling through the aisles of Barnes & Noble, I had walked by these books dozens of times but my unfamiliarity with Maya Banks' work made me drag my feet on buying one. It was at the recommendation of Amanda from On A Book Bender that finally convinced me to bite the bullet and start one of Maya's Highlander Series. Thank you, Amanda! I could not put this book down...quite literally!
Graeme is intrigued by the mysterious Eveline, whose silent lips are ripe with temptation and whose bright, intelligent eyes can see into his soul. As intimacy deepens, he learns her secret. But when clan rivalries and dark deeds threaten the wife he has only begun to cherish, the Scottish warrior will move heaven and earth to save the woman who has awakened his heart to the beautiful song of a rare and magical love.
The Montgomerys and Armstrongs, the two most powerful clans in the Highlands, have been at war with each other for generations. King Alexander is tired of his two greatest allies always being at odds so he commands that the young Montgomery Laird marry the only daughter of the Armstrong Laird. If they do not agree to this betrothal, then there will be hell to pay. With no choice but to obey, Graeme Montgomery rides into enemy territory to claim his bride.
Graeme was strong, commanding, understanding, and practical. Although he wasn't pleased by the king's command, he understood the importance of following orders in order to protect his people and he did so with an open mind. He believed the rumors of Eveline Armstrong's instability to be true, yet upon meeting her he was greeted by a beautiful woman who was far more keen than she was given credit for.
I simply loved Eveline! Gentle, kind, resourceful, determined, and fiercely protective, she is the ideal heroine. After suffering from a nearly fatal riding accident, she used her disability (deafness brought on by the accident) as a way to escape marriage to a cruel man from the neighboring McHugh clan. Unfortunately, in doing so, her family began to think that she had injured her mind and was now daft or "not quite all there". After several years, she was content to accept a simple, quiet life with her family...until she met Graeme Montgomery.
There was an almost instant connection between Graeme and Eveline. Not quite love at first sight, but definitely acceptance at first sight. Despite their families' bitterness, they both sought to make the best of bad situation.
Graeme and Eveline faced two challenges. The first was getting the Montgomery Clan to accept Eveline as their new mistress. This was no easy task. Eveline nearly worked herself to death in an attempt to fit in and she accepted the ridicule with aplomb. Graeme tried to be patient and understanding of his clan's animosity toward her, but when he learned of all that they put her through he felt that he had no choice but to threaten them. He would not allow his people to punish an innocent woman. I loved this about Graeme! I wanted to be right there with him, yelling at his people for their abusive behavior. His goodness showed in everything he did.
The other challenge was Ian McHugh. Eveline thought she escaped him, but Ian decided that he was not done with her yet and used her to gain the upper hand and be "top dog" in the highlands. I don't want to say anymore about what happens because it was a turning point for not just Graeme and Eveline's relationship but also the relationship between the Montgomerys and Armstrongs.
There were a couple of details that were unclear, but frankly, I loved the romance so much that it overshadowed the necessity for the missing information. The romance moved along at a good pace and by the time they declared their love, I had a huge, dopey smile on my face.
"I love you, Eveline," he whispered, though he knew she could not hear him. "Somehow, I'll make you hear me and you'll know that I love you as fiercely as it's possible for a man to love a woman."
You better bet your plaid that I'll be getting my hands on "Highlander Most Wanted", which is the story between on Graeme's brother, Bowen and a lass named Genevieve.