I don't spend much time in the mainstream romance aisle of Barnes and Noble, so if I hadn't read author Amanda Forester's guest post at the Seekerville blog I might have missed this gem completely. The Highlander's Sword is a mainstream romance that deserves honorary edgy inspirational status.
Lady Aila Graham's future is laid out for her. She will care for her ailing mother until she passes, then join the convent and devote her life to God. But when her father unexpectedly marries her off to Scottish Laird, Padyn MacLaren, Aila must cling to the promises of scripture and trust the Lord will not leave her or forsake her. It's a good thing she has her faith to hold onto, because getting married was just the beginning of a very bumpy ride. She still needs to escape from a kidnapper, help prevent the siege of her land, and thaw the heart of her new husband.
Forester crafted a rich setting, filled it with likable, well rounded characters and threw them into an adventure that I couldn't put down. I loved the banter between MacLaren and his right hand man, Chaumont, a French knight with a spotty heritage. Chaumont nearly stole the show as my favorite character (in my head his name was Charmant, French for charming).
This book is saucier than traditional inspy romance, and the message of faith is more subtle, but this book holds crossover appeal, and fans of edgy inspirational will not be disappointed. Although it is a mainstream romance, there is no explicit sex (eventually the hero and heroine do get to know each other in the Biblical sense, but it is described tastefully using pretty general terms) and there is only an occasional crude word.
Now, speaking of crude words, if I had an eraser, there is one that I would have liked to delete. The hero confuses his um, manhood, with a rooster once in this novel. I dunno, there's just something about that phrase along with "moist" and "full retail price" that really turns me off. But it only occurs that once, and thankfully not during the love scene.
All things considered, I highly recommend this book to fans of edgy inspirational fiction. If you give it a chance, you might find you love just as much as me.
Want more info? Here's the back cover blurb:
A quiet flame haired beauty with secrets all her own.
Lady Aila Graham is destined for the convent, until her brother's death leaves her an heiress. Soon she is caught between a hastily arranged marriage with a Highland warrior, the Abbot's insistence that she take her vows, the Scottish Laird who kidnaps her, and the traitor from within who betrays them all.
She's nothing he expected and everything he really needs.
Padyn MacLaren, a battle-hardened knight, returns home to the Highlands after years of fighting the English in France. MacLaren bears the physical scars of a battle, but it is the deeper wounds of betrayal that have rocked his faith. Arriving with only a band of war-weary knights, MacLaren finds his land pillaged and his clan scattered. Determined to restore his clan, he sees Aila's fortune as the answer to his problems...but maybe it's the woman herself whom he really needs...
Amanda also guest blogged here, at Edgy Inspirational Romance. Read about the day she got "the call."