Mairi MacGregor has been nursing a broken heart for a long time. Seven years ago, Connor left her and Scotland to serve the British king. She begged him not to go, but he ignored her pleas. She mourned him, then steeled her heart. She trained herself to fight as her brothers did, to protect her homeland, and that mission has been her diversion.
But circumstances have brought her to the king's court, where her path crosses with Connor's again. Seeing him is like a sword to her heart and she refuses to let herself fall for him again. What she doesn't realize is that Connor still loves her and he has pined for her every bit as much as she has for him. Can the two of them overcome their pride and find their way back together? It's a tall order, especially in the midst of political intrigue and outside forces trying to keep them apart.
There were times in this book I truly felt sorry for Mairi. And there were times I felt just as bad for Connor. (It turns out that he tried for years to get her to come to England to be with him, only for her to reject him over and over.) But more often than not, I just wanted to kick them both in the shins. Each was terribly selfish and brought on their misery in their own ways. After all, Connor did choose to leave Scotland. He could have stayed with Mairi... just as she could have put her love for him before her loyalty to Scotland, and accepted his offers to join him. Each wanted the other to make the sacrifices. Then, once they were together again, they both were too thickheaded with pride to be honest about their feelings. It was very frustrating.
There was a lot of political happenings going on and a lot of characters, which made things confusing for me, especially in the beginning. I never did entirely grasp who all the factions were and where all the loyalties fell, but that's not really what I care about in a romance, anyway.
I can tell you that when our couple finally waded through their issues, the love scenes were fantastic. After all the waiting, the payoff was good. And just when you though everything was settled, the author throws in one more twist to keep you on your toes. 3 1/2 stars.*ARC Provided by NetGalley