As one of the bastards born to the Stirling court, Sorley the Hawk has never known his mother or father. It’s a burning quest he has devoted himself to uncovering at any cost. But as a roguish warrior who serves at the pleasure of the King, his prowess-both on the battlefield and in his bedchamber-is legendary. So when a flame-haired Highland lass sneaks into his quarters with a tantalizing proposition, he can’t resist taking her up on her offer . . .
An Unquenchable Desire
Lady Mirabelle MacLaren will do anything to keep from marrying her odious suitor, even sully her own good name. And who better to despoil her than his sworn enemy, the one they call “Hawk?” As they set about the enjoyable task of ruining her reputation, Hawk and Mirabelle soon learn that rebellion never tasted so sweet.
REVIEW: Duncreag Castle
Long ago, Archibald MacNab was driven from court never to return. He sired four base born sons with four of the King’s mistresses. He knows they are somewhere in Scotland but was never allowed to see them or know them. Someone is determined to bring them into his life.
Sterling Castle – Summer – 1386
Sorley, the Hawk, is 14. He’s in the Great Hall and has just been turned down for a dance with a knight’s daughter because she deemed him unworthy being base-born as he is. Mirabelle MacLaren sees this and walks up to him asking him for a dance. He is thinking she is the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen and soon finds Mirabelle shunning him when a woman and one of her father’s guards approach telling her to end the dance and leave. She fears the guard will hurt Sorley if she doesn’t shun him so she leaves. He swears that day never to trust Mirabelle’s schemes again. She knows this day that she will never forget him. So starts their story.
He feels the Highlands calling him. He’s always felt his father was a Highland Chieftain that didn’t want a bastard son. His mother died when he was young and no one ever spoke who his father was. He knows in his heart that he will one day head for the hills and find his place in this world.
Sterling Castle – Summer 1399
Sorley is now 27. He awakes to find Mirabelle in his chamber. She’s there to proposition him. She wants him to ruin her so she doesn’t have to marry an older man who is determined to take her to wife. He refuses and even feels offended when she offers to pay him. He learns the man that wants Mirabelle is John Sinclair, one of Sorley’s greatest enemies, and he finally agrees to compromise her in front of everyone in the hall one night knowing that once John thinks she’s been ruined that he will leave off with wanting her.
I really enjoyed reading as I watched these two accept the fact that they have loved each other for years. There were obstacles along the way, some dangerous, that they both grabbed by the horns and overcame. Sorley had my heart melting when it came to a kitten named Little Heart. Only a real man would do what he did and I was falling in love with him myself along the way, always with this huge grin on my face.
There is Rosalind, the Pink Lady, who is a ghost and her story itself broke my heart. Alexander Stewart, the Wolf of Badenoch and his mistress, Lady Mariota de Athyn, walked their way right into my reader heart as well. What a couple, these two, not to be messed with and God forbid you made an enemy of them for you will surely wish you never had. The Fenris Guards and the story behind them… Roag, Caelen, and Andrew, men that Sorley grew up with who have stories of their own I’d love to hear. William the inn owner. Maili, one of Sorley’s closest friends. All these people warmed my heart along the way and gave greatly to the story.
Grim MacIntosh…. my heart just bursts with love for this man. He comes down from Duncreag Castle on a mission and as soon as he walks into the inn looking for Sorley, he has the women falling all over themselves. There also comes a time where he is needed with his battle ax and just the sight of him in my mind as I read the instance had me sitting here in awe of the man. My favorite two lines in the book were about Grim. The first is when Sorley is talking to one of his best friends, Maili, and she’s telling him that Grim had asked about him. She was describing him as this fierce looking warrior and this is Sorley’s thought to that…..
“He also bit his tongue rather than tell Maili he didn’t care if the man had the Norse God’s lightning bolts shooting out his arse”.
Sue-Ellen never fails to have me howling in laughter with some of the responses and lines her characters have or say. They are unique and hilarious! The next line helps describe how Maili was going on and on about Grim….
“Have done, lass!” Sorley scowled at her. “There’s more to a man than his burr.”
Maili sighed dreamily. “Say you.”
“I do. I’ll also say I’m surprised you aren’t in a hurry to race back to the Red Lion. If this Grim is such a paragon” —- Sorley didn’t hide his annoyance —- “I’d think you’d be eager to return to his bed. Sakes, you look close to needing to fan your face each time you speak of him.”
Now if you’ve read anything about Grim, we all know how deeply he loves his lady wife, Breena, and that he would never be anything but true to her. I’m here to tell you that I, myself, have to fan myself when Grim comes on the scene. Needless to say, he stands with Sorley to right wrongs. Sorley finds himself with several wrongs righted in this story and each and every one lead him to realize all these years he has been a worthy man. Mirabelle has spunk and knows how to use it. I say that smiling. I love her strength and the way that her and Sorley compliment the other with their strengths.
Again, I was taken in with Scotland and it’s beauty, for I can see it in my mind as I read Sue-Ellen’s words. The people, the land, castles, and inn….the food, the clothing, the battles, all of it imprinted clearly within. One of my greatest loves about her writing is the way she describes things so clearly and it comes from her love of the place, the times, and the people. This is one book that you won’t want to put down until you’ve finished. I am so excited to continue this series following these Scandalous Scots!
Leah for b2b.
Complimentary copy provided by the author.