Innocent Margriet Gunnarsdottir carried a heavy secret. She faced a perilous journey to the wild and distant north of Scotland, and her safety lay in her adopted disguise–a nun’s habit! But her only protector, a proud, rough-hewn Highlander, made her ache to share her crushing burden.
Rurik Erengislsson had sworn to see her home and unharmed. A woman promised to the service of God should be shielded and honored–not desired! Yet Rurik was tempted beyond reason to make this beautiful waif his own.
In the second book of the Clan MacLerie series, Rurik Erengislsson has been living with the MacLerie clan for several years while in exile, but his father, a powerful and wealthy Viking earl, finally summons him home, ready to accept his bastard son as heir. But before he can begin his journey to the Orkney Islands, Rurik must retrieve the daughter of his father’s counselor and escort her home as well.
Margriet Gunnarsdottir has lived in a convent for the past ten years and doesn’t wish to return home. Though she’s not a nun, she doesn’t trust Rurik or the men in his party, so she and her companion pretend to be nuns in order to protect themselves from unwanted advances. As the women journey north with the motley crew of Scottish and Viking warriors, Margriet realizes Rurik is an honorable man, but she continues to wear her nun garb to hide her swelling stomach—and the baby within.
Rurik and Margriet are likable, flawed characters. Love and romance bloomed slowly between them since lies and social status, and then the knowledge of her pregnancy, kept pushing them apart. The only sex scene is in the last chapter of the book, which was surprising.
I like Ms. Brisbin’s use of Scottish words. The description of the Orkneys and the Scottish countryside were beautiful, and the long, sometimes arduous journey north through Scotland seemed realistic. Ms. Brisbin really must’ve done her homework, so kudos for that!
Though I liked the story, I sometimes had a hard time following along due to the head hopping and the use of he/she, instead of names. I also found some of the details a little confusing (for instance, Rurik’s age doesn’t seem to match up to the years he’s been in exile). There are some unanswered questions as well, but none affected the main plot.
Overall, I enjoyed the world building and characters, and I’m sure fans of Viking romances would appreciate this book.
— If you’ve read this book, I’d love to know what you think of it. Please comment below.