My Highland Spy (Highland Spies #1) by Victoria Roberts-Review, Interview and Giveaway
My Highland Spy
Highland Spies #1
by Victoria Roberts
Genre: adult, historical, Highland, romance
Release Date: September 2, 2014
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date September 2, 2014
This Highland Laird won’t bow to the Crown
Laird Ruairi Sutherland refuses to send his only son away to be educated by the English. And he most definitely will not appear in Edinburgh to pay homage to a liege who has no respect for Scotland. So he does what any laird would do—he lies to the king. The last thing Ruairi expects is a beautiful English governess to appear on his doorstep.
But this lady spy might make him…
Lady Ravenna Walsingham is a seasoned spy who is sent to the savage Highlands to uncover a nefarious plot against the Crown. Playing the part of an English governess—a job easier said than done—she infiltrates the home of Laird Sutherland, a suspected conspirator.
If she doesn’t betray him first
Ravenna soon discovers that the only real threat Sutherland poses is to her heart. But will the proud Highland laird ever forgive her when he discovers the woman he loves in an English spy?
REVIEW: MY HIGHLAND SPY is the first instalment in Victoria Roberts new Highland Spies adult, historical romance series set in the Highlands of Scotland. This is Laird Ruairi Sutherland and Lady Ravenna Walsingham’s storyline. Lady Ravenna is a spy for the British Crown and Laird Ruairi is her next assignment.
The focus of the storyline is Ravenna’s attempts to gather information for the King. With Scotland and England in a continuous battle for supremacy, Ravenna must infiltrate the Laird’s estate and report back with any information that may be pertinent to the King. What Ravenna didn’t expect to find is the man who would steal her heart and a young boy with whom she would fall in love. Ruairi is a widower with a young son, and Ravenna is sent to the estate under the guise of a governess to teach the young lad the King’s English.
The relationship between Ruairi and Ravenna is one of immediate attraction but Ravenna is under the impression that Ruairi is newly widowed. Taking Ruairi’s son under her wing, Ravenna begins to develop feelings for the young boy, as well as for the man on whom she is supposed to spy. When the truth about Ravenna’s identity and her assignment are revealed, Ruairi pushes Ravenna away-from his life and his son’s.
The secondary characters include Ruairi ‘s best friend Fagan, as well as a quick glimpse at Ravenna’s sisters-one who may be a possible love match for Ruairi’s friend. There is the requisite evil in the form of Ruairi’s former in-laws, and in the end, everyone will get what they justly deserve.
Victoria Roberts is an amazing writer of Highland historical romance. From her ‘Bad Boys of the Highlands’ series to her latest ‘Highland Spies’, you will become immersed in a land of kilted men and women of desire. All of Victoria’s women are quite capable of handling a Highland Warrior and in this, her heroines are strong-willed, supportive and worthy of a man in a kilt.
Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley.
Reviewed by Sandy
TRC: Hi Victoria and welcome back to The Reading Café. Congratulations on the success of your Bad Boys of the Highlands series.
Victoria: Thank you so much for having me here today, Sandy. It’s great to be back at The Reading Café. *waves*
TRC: We would like to start with some background information for anyone who doesn’t know Victoria Roberts. Would you please tell us something about yourself?
Victoria: I’m an award-winning author of Scottish historical romances about kilted heroes and warriors from the past. I was named by RT Book Reviews in 2012 as “one of the most promising debut authors across the genres” and was a 2013 RT Reviewers’ Choice award winner for my second novel in the Bad Boys of the Highlands series, X Marks the Scot. I’ve been married to the same man for 21 years—no kidding—and we haven’t killed each other yet. He’s still baffled over the fact that I write about Scottish men when he’s 100% German. I also have a beautiful daughter who is 13 going on 23 and a son who’s 9.
TRC: When last we spoke you had just released the first book in your Bad Boys of the Highland Series-TEMPTATION IN A KILT and September 2013 saw the release of the third book TO WED A WICKED HIGHLANDER. Did you ever think that your ‘bad boys’ would become so popular with the readers?
Victoria: I was surprised by the amount of love shown to the Bad Boys. I think all authors pray that readers will love the characters we’ve created, and I’m so elated for that. One reader even named her baby after one of my heroines, Sybella, calling her “Ella” like in the book. *blushes* Now that is truly flattering.
TRC: Do you plan on any more instalments in this particular series? If so who and when?
Victoria: Now that is the question. The Bad Boys will always hold a special place in my heart. And yes, I still find myself tinkering with ideas. I’d like to write Colin’s story (Sybella’s brother in To Wed a Wicked Highlander.) I also receive e-mails from readers begging for James Montgomery’s story (Rosalia’s BFF.) Let’s just say there’s a strong possibility that I’ll be returning to the series after dabbling with English spies in the Highlands.
TRC: September 2014 you will be releasing MY HIGHLAND SPY-the first book in your new Highland Spies series. Would you please tell us something about the premise?
Victoria: Lady Ravenna Walsingham is a spy for King James and the Crown, the same as her father had been under Queen Elizabeth’s reign. Ravenna certainly lives in a man’s world, but that’s why she’s so proficient at doing what she does—a mere woman is the last thing anyone would expect. Under the guidance of her uncle, Ravenna is sent to the Scottish Highlands masquerading as a governess. She’s determined to fulfill her duty and obligations to the realm—only if a certain brawny Highland laird doesn’t continue to muddle her thoughts.
Laird Ruairi Sutherland is tired of the English. When he lies to the king and refuses to send his son to the Lowlands, a bonny enchantress shows up on his doorstep to educate his son. He intends to keep Ravenna at a distance, but the thought is easier said than done.
I think “kilts and spies” sums it up quite nicely.
TRC: If you could virtually cast the leading characters-Ravenna and Ruairi-which actors or models would best represent your ideal image?
Victoria: I always have so much trouble visualizing my heroes and heroines as real actors, especially since I don’t base my characters on anybody’s looks in particular. Mmm…that’s a tough one. Andy Whitfield would’ve made the perfect Ruairi though. Ravenna? I’d struggle with that answer for days.
Sandy: I do miss Andy…*sniff*
TRC: How many books do you have planned for the HIGHLAND SPIES series?
Victoria: There will be four books in the series. The Walsingham sisters will each have their own story.
TRC: Will the new series and characters overlap with the storylines in the Bad Boys of the Highlands Series?
Victoria: The new series will not have overlapping characters from the Bad Boys series. Although we are in the same timeframe of King James as he grows weary of the Highland lairds, that’s about it in the way of similarities.
TRC: What challenges or difficulties (research, logistics, background) did you encounter writing this particular book and series?
Victoria: Lord Francis Walsingham was an actual spy for the Crown, but Ravenna is a fictional character. I needed to find a delicate balance to make this woman tough and believable enough to be able to be a spy in the times. For instance, she travels as a single woman to the Highlands, but her uncle’s body guard and his wife accompany her.
TRC: What do you believe is the attraction and appeal of the Highlander to romance readers?
Victoria: I think it’s the same attraction and appeal for anyone who reads regency, westerns, etc. Readers, including me, want to escape. We want to go somewhere different, to be taken away to another time and place. Who can resist that Scottish brogue, those sexy kilts, and those verra large…broadswords? Not me! Oh, yes. And let’s not forget about the castles and beautiful Scottish landscape.
TRC: When writing a storyline, do the characters direct the writing or do you direct the characters?
Victoria: Both. I start by directing the characters, molding their behavior so to speak. But when they’re ready, they let me know it. They always take off and have a mind of their own. Most of the time I let them go, but sometimes I have to rein them in. For example, Declan (X Marks the Scot) I had to rein in often.
TRC: The mark of a good writer is to pull the reader into the storyline so that they experience the emotions along with the characters. What do you believe a writer must do to make this happen? Where do you believe writer’s fail in this endeavor?
Victoria: In order to make readers feel the emotions the characters are experiencing in a book, I believe writers need to draw from personal experience. If an author takes readers just through the motions, readers will notice, and they’ll be pulled out of the story. From my experience, readers want you to take them there. They want to experience the torment, love, agony and heartbreak. I believe a writer needs to understand their characters. I’m inside my character’s heads all the time. I’ve cried, been royally ticked off, and laughed, etc. while writing a chapter. That’s the kind of emotions you want to stir in readers when they read your story.
TRC: What three things would you like to accomplish in the next five years?
Victoria: Well, I’d really like to make “the” list. NYT or USA Today bestselling author sounds delightful. I’m also hoping to have something self-published in the next few years to accompany my traditional titles. And lastly? I need to travel to Scotland. The bagpipes are calling. I need to answer.
TRC: What is something that few, if any people, know about you?
Victoria: I’m a die-hard KISS fan. I even have a custom Ace Frehley Les Paul guitar. Don’t laugh. Men have been kilt, killed, for less.
TRC: On what are you currently working?
Victoria: I’m working on a Valentine’s Day Scottish historical anthology with bestselling authors: Willa Blair, Eliza Knight, Vonda Sinclair and Terry Spear. Kissing the Highlander will be available February 2015.
TRC: Would you like to add anything else?
Victoria: I’d like to thank you and your readers for spending time with me today. Those were some great questions, and I hope I gave you some great answers. Enjoy Ruairi and Ravenna!
TRC: Thank you Victoria for taking the time to answers our questions. Congratulations on all of your success and the with the new release MY HIGHLAND SPY.
What’s your favorite spy movie? Sourcebooks will give away one copy of My Highland Spy to a lucky commenter (US and Canada only, please.)
Victoria and her publisher are graciously offering a paper copy of MY HIGHLAND SPY to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.
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