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March 31, 2020

Highland Sword by May McGoldrick ~ a Review

by MK French

Dalmigavie Castle, the Highlands
September 1820
The afternoon sun cast a golden glow over the high-walled garden beside the keep. The scents of autumn - rich and earthy - hung in the air, filling Cinaed's senses. His mother paused before a pair of rose bushes. The leaves were beginning to grow spotted and yellow, but a few red blooms lingered steadfastly in the protected space. (p.1)

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

March 2020; St. Martin; 978-1250314994
audio, ebook, print (320 pages); romance
Morrigan Drummond had to flee after her father's murder and vows revenge on Sir Rupert Burney, the English spymaster responsible for the death. She trained alongside rebels in the hopes to fight off the English but might be the one person that barrister Aidan Grant needs to prove two men innocent. He understands her need for revenge and wants Burney taken down just as much as she does.

Highland Sword is the third book in the Royal Highlander series, following Highland Crown and Highland Jewel. We get yet another facet of life for women in Edinburgh in the 1820s, which is a time period rife with danger. Morrigan's stepmother had been a physician in her own right and her step-aunt worked in the suffrage movement, and in this novel, we see Morrigan's fight. For those who didn't read the first two novels, we open with Cinaed and his mother discussing the future of Scotland, and he won't do it the way she envisions it. It's a tense time in Scotland, as there's agitating for the rights of the poor, trying to get the British influence out of the country, and the hope of true reform to get corruption out of government.

Morrigan had her own traumas to deal with prior to the opening of this book, and she's a fighter because of it. She doesn't want to return to her victim state, though it means she's got a quick temper. That means her "meet cute" of sorts with Aiden is actually a brawl in an alleyway. They both give as good as they get in physical and verbal sparring, 'and do appreciate it as much as their physical appearance. She's loyal to family and often puts their reputation and safety ahead of her own. That means she can also forget how helpful they can be when she needs it, and that she really can't take care of everything on her own.

Aiden is a good lawyer, and adept at social maneuvering. It's especially important in that political climate and trying to save men from hanging when they were set up by a spymaster. He's also a good man, willing to put his personal safety and reputation at risk to help others and to stand by Morrigan when she's in trouble. The two really are a good team, and that's even before they bond in a romantic and then in a sexual way. Aiden is patient and can temper Morrigan's temper. She also helps draw him out of his own thoughts and gives him a perspective he didn't have before.

It's not an easy path they set for themselves, but it's one that works best when they're together. Healing Morrigan's trauma isn't resolved unreasonably quickly, and the series is wrapped up in a satisfying way without it seeming like a complete deus ex machina. It is a great conclusion for the trilogy.

Buy Highland Sword at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.

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