Ten years ago, Bess Mowatt promised to guard her newborn cousin from his father, Aleck Maxwell. Called the Reiver Wolf, Maxwell is the scourge of the Scottish marches, and no fit guardian for a child. But when the keep where Bess and the boy live suddenly comes under Maxwell’s protection, she has nowhere to hide.
Aleck doesn’t quite believe the tale he was told, that his son died at birth. His head tells him one thing, and his heart another. While protecting the keep from marauders, he makes a connection with Bess’s young charge. But Bess stands in the way, a woman who is also a warrior, a protector who needs his protection. Can he persuade this fiery woman to accept his help? Will a lie told long ago stand in the way of their love?
Bess Mowatt has been raising her cousin’s son, Dexter, for the past ten years since she promised to keep the child safe from his father. She’s a warrior in her own right, having trained long hard in order to protect Dexter and the other boys in her charge. Then her dying uncle deeds the keep where she lives to a sworn enemy—Dexter’s father.
Aleck Maxwell has been searching for his long lost son for years while raiding enemy properties and maintaining his infamous reputation as a ruthless reiver. After he inherits the keep, he meets a woman who stirs a passion in him he’s never felt before, and a strong-willed lad he wishes he could call his own.
What an amazing book! I connected with Aleck and Bess right away. They’re strong, stubborn, intelligent characters, and they had great chemistry despite being so often at odds. The sexual tension between them sizzled.
I enjoyed the secondary characters, especially Dexter. He was the most adorable and determined boy, one any parent could be proud of. Bess’s friends, Callum and Anne, were a joy, and their relationship was an interesting subplot. Aleck’s right-hand man, Anald, was a hoot.
Ms. Strickland crafted a wonderful, well-plotted story, and her use of Scottish words and phrases kept the story grounded in the past. This is a terrific Scottish romance. I would love to read more of her books.