Thursday, July 14, 2011
Seduced by Destiny
Josselin Ancrum was orphaned at a young age when her mother was killed while fighting for the Scots and trying to avenge her own husbands death. The man who killed her was an English soldier who only did so because she on the brink of death and was in much pain. Nevertheless he felt so guilty that he commits suicide after confessing his sins to his brothers and asking them to take in his young son, Andrew MacAdam, and raise him. Years later Adam is back in Scotland, pretending to be a Highlander, and "fighting" the enemy Scots by winning their purses when he beats them at golf, even if his uncles think that he's on the fighting circuit besting the Scots on a completely different field. Josie had been taken in by 3 men, her "da's," who teach her to fight and to want revenge for what happened to her mother. Years later she gains permission to go to Edinburgh to watch the arrival of Queen Mary, and as a loyal Scott she cannot sit idly by while other bystanders insult the Queen. When she defends the Queen she garners the Queen's attention and that of the golfer, Drew MacAdam.
Drew cannot get the beautiful and fiery lass out of his head, but he worries for her safety after having drawn the attention of the Queen and her secretary. He decides to keep an eye on her, with no knowledge that Jossie has been asked to pose as a beer maid while being a spy messenger for the Queen. Her job keeps her on many different golf courses and tournaments so of course it is impossible for her to ignore the irritating and far too handsome Highlander. Her job keeps her busy, but not busy enough and every time she turns around Drew is there and she begins to wonder if he is a spy. She needs to find out because she is starting to like him, but things get out of hand and in one night there relationship is suddenly irreversible and neither can keep away from the other. But the Queen's secretary has his own suspicions about Drew, and about Jossie's new relationship with him, and there are two families that have harbored a grudge for nearly 2 decades. Jossie and Drew will have to fight a royal spy and some long standing prejudices in order to find their happily ever after together.
Josie is certainly fiery and sassy, and while I know that many people like those types of heroines, I find them a tad obnoxious because it leads to far too many opportunities for her to get hot-headed and the man to prove how level-headed he is. This book was really no exception because there were several times when Josie did something patently stupid and Drew had to rescue her. I really do not like that at all. She was good with a sword, but every time she picked one up it was made clear that being a woman was quite the hindrance, which I don't like; once again the fiery little woman trying to do a man's job and failing. Blech. Drew was a little better because he did rescue Josie, or help her out at least, without regarding her lack of success as a complete failure on her part. I am not very interested in golf, but it was really just a backstory and just a nice little side story and little bit of history in the story that I actually enjoyed. Their relationship was solid, they did argue a lot in that feisty romance novel way of characters, but I felt like they really did belong together and worked well as a couple.
There was a decent amount of sex in the book, quite a few steamy scenes leading up to it, nothing particularly earth shattering or super hot, but it worked well in the book. I had doubts about this book going in because it seemed like the spy ring and battles would take over everything, but that turned out to be an element of the book that I really enjoyed. The spying was obviously an integral part of this book because it provided the reason for Josie staying in Edinburgh and for Drew being worried about her and for all of the juicy conflict that came later in the book. However, it definitely did not take over or overshadow the relationship in any way; it did what I wish every side plot would do- provide intrigue and keep my interest, while really playing up the relationship and giving the reader examples of how the characters interact together and work well together. There was mystery, there was suspense, there was quite a bit of betrayal from many different angles, and there was a lot of worry throwing Drew and Josie together in sexy situations (which I love).
Rating: A fun and fast book with two enjoyable characters, but the heroine fell into the feisty trap that I really can't stand.