Sunday, July 21, 2013

How To Be A Scottish Mistress-Adrienne Basso

How To Be A Scottish Mistress

Adrienne Basso

Zebra, Jul 2 2013, $7.99

ISBN: 9781420129021

In 1306 in Northern England, the Baron of Arundel Lord Henry allows safe passage for Gavin McLendon, Scottish Earl of Kirkland, through his land over the objection of his wife Lady Fiona who fears the impact on their supplies. She is stunned to learn of the raiding agreement between the lords to insure no one gets hurt and reps are maintained. However, King Edward hears of the arrangement and dispatches brutal Sir Roland Dupree to claim Arundel. Henry is dead, but loyal heir Spencer whose broken leg (during the assault) has no time to heal properly flees with his stepmother Fiona due to the help of Sir George.

Fiona decides the safest place to take limping Spencer to is Kirkland. However, she lacks money and influence so she knows she has only one item of value to offer Gavin. In exchange for providing a haven for Spencer, she offers herself as Gavin’s mistress. Though he wants her, Gavin knows this is a bad idea as he soon weds his neighbor in a marriage of convenience; besides he feels sleeping with the widow dishonors his late friend. Yet he says yes. As Gavin and Fiona fall in love while Spencer thrives, sleeping with the English is not a good political practice.

This is an entertaining medieval romance with a strong seemingly star-crossed lead pair and a solid support cast especially Spencer who refuses to allow his bad leg from preventing him from doing anything. Although the English-Scottish dispute barely impacts the seemingly star-crossed love, fans will enjoy Adrienne Basso’s charming Highlander historical.

Harriet Klausner

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