"Very well, then." Mary's chin came up. "I will sneak to Kilmorgan with you."
Malcolm closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose. "Ye aren't going t' be an obedient and unquestioning wife, I'm thinking, are ye?"
"Certainly not. Englishwomen are resilient creatures. I do not know why people assume we are sweet and docile, innocent and weak." Mary unfolded her arms and rested her hands primly in her lap. "Look at Boadicea, who led forces against the Roman army for a long, long time, Queen Elizabeth, who often had to remark she was 'only a woman' to spare the feelings of gentlemen she could out-think. Even Aunt Danae has survived three husbands and is entertaining thoughts of a fourth, on her own terms. You have no need to worry about me."
A slow smile had spread across Malcolm's face as he listened to her speech. When she finished, his eyes were alight, the depths of gold warm.
"Ye see? I knew ye had fire inside you, lass. An inferno of it. You and me---we're going to burn up the world."
If you like reading about the Jacobite Rebellion,you'd enjoy this one. Malcolm and Mary start off with a "look across the room" kind of romance, which I normally don't like, but it works here because everything that follows that look is hard earned love. The beginning was full of mentions of Jacobite political figures, the climate and atmosphere, and how everyday people (our MacKenzie family) maneuvered around the going ons. I was kind of disappointed when in the middle, we lose a little bit of that (I'm a history nerd) and the story focuses more on our couple Malcolm and Mary. The building blocks of their relationship are created here, making their love more believable from their auspicious start, while the political atmosphere hovered around them but wasn't the focus. The last half reengaged with the Jacobite Rebellion and our couple fighting to stay together. The Battle of Culloden was featured here in a way I've not often seen it, less focus on the battle stratagems and fighting and more on the emotional devastation as it was happening. Our hero is there while family and friends are cut down and how mercilessness the English were about ending the rebellion; it was harrowing to read.
Even though this is #8 in the series, it can actually be read as a standalone as it's a prequel, the hero is the great-great-or so-grandfather of the previous heroes in the series.
This had a little different tone than usual romance reads, devastating emotional that this time period can only be, but was better for it. If you're looking to read about a family and couple caught up in the swirling political times, look no further.