In the Warrior's Bed
Though I fall for the Scottish romance trap all the time, I usually end up disappointed – pessimistic of me, I know. However, In the Warrior’s Bed was worth my precious reading time with its authentic Scottish feel and the hero’s unrelenting pursuit of the heroine.
Bronwyn McQuade is the laird’s daughter but she’s never been treated as such since she bears the horrible stain of being born a dreaded girl, an unforgivable sin in her father’s eyes. To make matters worse, she can inherit property that will only pass down to her children, which makes her land-hungry father and brothers insane with greed. When Bronwyn is caught innocently speaking with the enemy himself, Cullen McJames, her father sees his opportunity to blacken both his daughter’s name, making her unmarriable, as well as Cullen’s as a seducer of innocents. There’s nothing like killing two birds with one stone.
Cullen has his honor to protect and if he’s going to be accused of being a blackguard, then he’s going to get even and benefit his clan at the same time by stealing himself a bride – thus correcting the situation and forcing an alliance between the two clans. Luckily for him, he feels an incredible attraction to Bronwyn and knows they can have a good marriage. She, on the other hand, doesn’t know or trust him and feels as though she has to decide between the lesser of two evils – her family or an enemy clan.
The chemistry between Cullen and Bronwyn is tangible from the moment of their chance meeting, to the time he steals her from her family’s home in Edinburgh, and continues throughout every steamy encounter. The beginning and end of the story move with a momentum that kept me engaged and wanting more. Cullen’s character is honorable, yet fierce, and protective of Bronwyn throughout. Bronwyn is a sympathetic character in her mistreatment that allows you see the uncertainty of women living in a world where men rule. There is one TSTL moment when she attempts to escape in the snow, but even she wants to be caught when she realizes the extent of the situation. Plus, while the villains are over the top in their villainy, I bought it completely.
My main concern with the story was that it began to slow down in the middle and desperately needed more action other than our heroine running around in nothing but a surcoat and worrying about clothes for a significantly large part of the story. For as much as the middle dragged, I felt that their problems were settled too quickly at the end and without needed angst considering just how bad the heroine’s family is.
In the Warrior’s Bed is one of the better Scottish romances I’ve read in awhile.