Three years ago Duncan MacGruder and Isabela Adair were madly in love and engaged to be married, but to settle some of her families gambling debts, and to keep Duncan safe, she agreed to become the Earl of Frasyer's mistress. Basically Frasyer told her if she didn't become his mistress he's kill Duncan, and if she told Duncan why she had become Frasyer's mistress, he'd kill him then too. So Duncan believed that Isabela had left him for Frasyer's money. When Frasyer catches her talking with her brother Symon, who is a rebel with William Wallace's forces, he kills Symon and threatens to kill her father if she does not tell him where Wallace's forces are. He takes her prisoner and with his last strength Symon pleads for Duncan to go save his sister. During their daring escape, Isabela pleads to find her mother's bible because her father led her to believe that the solution to their problems could be found there. Although injured, the two manage to make their way to Duncan's brother's house.
Neither of his brother's are happy to see her as they believe she is nothing but the whore who broke their brother's heart. However, as they see her nurse Duncan back to health, everyone realizes that what once existed between the two is far from gone. She still needs to retrieve the bible to prove her father's innocence and on the journey she and Duncan become quite close and he learns the truth about her relationship with Frasyer. Unforunately, the only thing the bible tells them is that Isabel is actually the Scottish rebel, William Wallace's, daughter and he and her other father had maneuvered her to be Frasyer's mistress to protect her. No one knew or suspected that he had a daughter but apparently they thought it was in her best interest to become a whore to a horrible man. But of course Frasyer is after them and together Isabel and Duncan need to hide the proof of her birth, and find a way for the two of them to move past what they had gone through before.
I had immense problems with really getting in to this book and the storyline because the characters were constantly behaving in ways and doing things that made absolutely no sense to me. They're being hunted by people and she has to stop and get her Bible, however when he finally does get hurt- that's when she realizes it's time to just get their asses out of there. Both of them were ridiculously eager to sacrifice their own safety in order to stop a perceived threat to the other, which while heroic, came across as just plain stupidity as often there was not an actual threat and it was just them putting themselves in danger for no reason. And seriously: they couldn't help themselves from admiring the other even while they were in such horrible danger and it was not all sexy- it was more that I wanted to slap them and tell them to move their asses. And of course the whole reason she became Frasyer's mistress and set up this horrible story was the most ridiculous thing I've ever read. The only saving grace is one fairly hot sex scene and boy that certainly is not enough.
There was not at all enough of the inner musings and thoughts that I love to read, and that really make the romance novel more enjoyable. All of her thoughts were of him and his were all of her, but not in a good way, more in a way that made me think these two had nothing else to think about. I realize that Frasyer only wanted Isabel as a trophy to show how much better he was than Duncan, but it did not make sense that he was not bedding her at all. Wouldn't that have made his triumph even better? And she was apparently attractive. It really came across as just a ridiculous way to keep her a virgin for her true love. It seems ridiculous that she was so eager to keep her secret from Duncan just because she worried he'd get hurt. Even after it was obvious that he was going to find out and/ or get hurt anyway she clung to that damn ridiculous secret as if it were a lifeline as if just telling him would cause Frasyer to jump out of the walls and kill Duncan. And it basically caused all of the problems between them. Also there was magic and that was ridiculous.
Rating: I cannot believe I actually managed to finish this book. I could't have cared less about the characters or anyone falling in love b/c I was so caught up in how ridiculous everything was.