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


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Monday, January 28, 2013

Historical Romance Review: Highland Surrender by Tracy Brogan


By Tracy Brogan
Review by Kathleen Bittner Roth


To seal a fragile truce, Fiona Sinclair’s brothers trade her in marriage to their sworn enemy. Though devastated by their betrayal, she has little choice in the matter, for if she refuses, her innocent young sister must take her place. The spirited Fiona is willing to sacrifice her freedom to protect her kin, but she vows never to surrender her heart.
As the eldest son of a clan chief, Myles Campbell is accustomed to having his own way. But when the king of Scotland commands he wed a defiant Highland lass instead of a French mademoiselle, Myles must obey his royal duty. Meeting his bride for the first time on their wedding day, he is pleased to discover the lass is a beauty, but she quickly proves she’d just as soon kill him as kiss him.
When two such warrior spirits collide, sparks fly, igniting a fiery passion that strains against the bonds of family honor, clan loyalty — and the ultimate surrender — love.


What a pleasure Highland Surrender was to read! Fiona Sinclair is no damsel in distress who meekly takes life as it comes. She is feisty, tough, and with a sense of humor that lays her hero flat. But let’s not discount Myles Campbell, the man her brothers have forced her to wed in order to heal the rift between the clans Sinclair and Campbell.

Bound to the eldest son of the Earl of Argyll, a man she has never met, Fiona must marry him or sacrifice her younger sister to the Campbells. Not only does she detest the entire clan, she loathes the earl himself, a man she holds responsible for her mother’s death. Even though she is forced into marriage, she decides she doesn’t have to like her husband, nor hate him and his family any the less.

But when she meets her adversary on her wedding day, she comes face to face with a handsome, formidable man who will give her no quarter for he too is chagrined at the idea of a forced marriage. After all, King James had promised him a sweet bit of French fluff, not some Highland virago with two unruly brothers who hold a vendetta against his clan.

Their wedding vows spoken, bride and groom are off to Campbell country. And here is where mayhem, intrigue and mystery take hold like a firestorm whipped up by a howling wind.

Nothing is as it seems, and while her brothers carry out a plan to bring down King James, Fiona and Myles are thrown together under the most difficult and trying of circumstances.  Despite their adversarial coupling, Fiona cannot ignore the heady chemistry that exists between the two, while Myles, despite the conflict between clans, tries to make a decent marriage out of the debacle.

The author, Tracy Brogan, a two-time RWA Golden Heart finalist, leaves no stone unturned in this story filled with twists and turns, yet she writes with such clarity and subtle persuasion that you are instantly drawn into a world she cleverly builds without the reader realizing what the author has accomplished.

Miss Brogan has a way with words, and a sense of humor that makes for outright giggles, even in the midst of turmoil.

Debut author Tracy Brogan has hit a home run out of two separate fields: Historical romance with Highland Surrender, and Crazy Little Thing, a contemporary.  This author has the rare ability to cleverly change author voices with each genre. Had she used a different pen name for one of the stories, I wouldn’t have guessed the same author wrote both books. Brava! You can find her at http://www.tracybrogan.com/

Today’s reviewer is Kathleen Bittner Roth, a 2012 RWA Golden Heart finalist whose Victorian novel, A Duke’s Wicked Kiss, will debut in June, 2014, from Entangled Publishing. www.kathleenbittnerroth.com


Tammy Baumann said...

Great Review Kathleen, you’ve captured the essence of Highland Surrender well.

It was a top ten favorite read of mine for 2012! (Along with Tracy’s other book, Crazy Little Thing)

Kathleen Bittner Roth said...

Yes, both were on the top of my favorites list for 2012 as well!