Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace


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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Historical Romance Review: His Destiny by Diana Cosby

I've been on a historical romance novel kick lately. This week is Highlanders. Today's review is of Diana Cosby's novel, HIS DESTINY, book 4 in the MacGruders series.



As one of England's most capable mercenaries, Emma Astyn can charm an enemy and brandish a knife with unmatched finesse. Assigned to befriend Dubh Duer, an infamous Scottish rebel, she assumes the guise of innocent damsel Christina Moffat to intercept the writ he’s carrying to a traitorous bishop. But as she gains the dark hero’s confidence and realizes they share a tattered past, compassion—and passion—distract her from the task at hand…


His legendary slaying of English knights has won him the name Dubh Duer, but Sir Patrik Cleary MacGruder is driven by duty and honor, not heroics. Rescuing Christina from the clutches of several such knights is a matter of obligation for the Scot. But there's something alluring about her fiery spirit, even if he has misgivings about her tragic history. Together, they'll endure a perilous journey of love and betrayal, and a harrowing fight for their lives…

Kensington/Zebra Books
ISBN-13: 9781420109924                       
Released in October, 2011


I have not read any of the three previous books in this series, and I think it was probably important to do so. There were many references to the characters in the previous books, and while the author did give some clue as to their background, I was mainly left in the dark--which wouldn't have been a problem if I had read the others. So my recommendation would be to read the other books first.

I was completely psyched to pick up this book. The heroine--Emma Astyn--is a medieval kick-ass mercenary. I've never read a book where the heroine was a mercenary in this time period, and I love that idea! She did exhibit many mercenary-like moves which were impressive and I was totally rooting for her. Her background was tortured, and I enjoyed watching her grow and change as the book progressed. I did however, expect a bit more from her in the mercenary department. I would have liked to see more ass-kicking, more espionage, especially when she's in the MacGruder castle. The fact that in this time period a female mercenary was rare, she could have completely taken advantage of that, more so than she did.

I also had issues with how quickly they fell for each other. It seemed their love developed mostly from their individual emotional internal conflicts and their physical attraction. To me it felt off that these two things would bind them together rather than really getting to know one another better.

That being said, this was a great fun read. There was a lot of action. A lot of conflict. Some really hot love scenes. I loved how it all tied together, and the premise was unique. The author really tied a lot of the historical current events into the novel--and they played a big part.

I will also give the readers a bit of a hint--and this is not a spoiler--Dubh Duer in this book means "dark hero". This is hinted at in the blurb and in the book, but to some it might not be readily evident.

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