X Marks The Scot by Victoria Roberts- a review
X MARKS THE SCOT (Bad Boys of the Highlands #2) by Victoria Roberts
X MARKS THE SCOT is the second storyline (February 2013 release) in Victoria Roberts’s Bad Boys of the Highland series.
At the end of Temptation in a Kilt, the Laird MacGregor had killed the “Bloody Campbell” for abducting and threatening his wife, child and extended family. But the fact that Campbell’s half-sister is now without protection and a guardian, the MacGregor clan must make arrangements to escort the woman to King James’ court until the time comes when James decides what will be done with Lady Liadain Campbell. And it is Declan MacGregor who will volunteer to be the traveling companion and guardian to the beautiful Liadain. Until the King choses a suitor, Declan finds himself reluctantly attracted to the heir to the Campbell Castle, but that still does not stop his roguish ways.
Declan MacGregor has always been the family bad boy. Known as the third son, his prospects in life left little with regard to the MacGregor clan and its’ holdings. Bedding down any available female and partaking in heavy drinking and ‘wenching’ it was only a matter of time before Declan would find himself in trouble again. But Declan’s skill with a bow and arrow, would win him the King James’s archery competition and the prize was the Campbell Castle and wedded bliss with the Lady Liadain. Although a tepid friendship had slowly developed, a forced marriage was something neither one had considered. But to their surprise, someone from Liadain’s past would be the instigator behind the King’s declaration of marriage between the couple, and although on the surface it looks like betrayal and revenge, Declan will soon discover that Liadain is risking her life the longer she stays at King james’s court.
Meanwhile, King James’s enemies were devising a plan to remove the monarch ‘permanently’ from the throne and what better way to frame Declan MacGregor than to use his prowess with a bow to send King James to an early grave. But Liadain will discover a secret at Campbell Castle that could either win Declan his freedom or kill them all.
The relationship between Declan and Liadain is slow to build. At the end of Temptation in a Kilt, Declan had already attempted to slit Liadain’s throat when he was under the mistaken belief she was partly responsible for the abduction of his nephew and sisters in law. And Declan’s penchant for hurting Liadain continues, when in a drunken stupor he mistakes her for an intruder in his own bedroom. Declan’s lack of respect for his new wife becomes rather apparent when he all but calls her a whore because of her past and the local wenches continue to avail themselves to Declan for services of the sexual kind. Liadain is a strong woman who is not willing to go down without a fight and when her husband is imprisoned for treason, it will be Liadain who embarks on a mission to clear her husband’s name knowing that the man may never accord her the love and respect in reverse.
I like Victoria Roberts’s Bad Boys of the Highland series. I found myself emotionally drawn to the characters as well as their imperfections and personality quirks. Declan believes himself to be without the support of his family and clan, and will go about working towards a self-fulfilling prophecy of the useless son with his disruptive behavior and wenching ways. The women, each with their own failings and insecurities, are otherwise strong and supportive of the men who have promised to love and protect with their lives. In the end, it will be the women who have control of their men’s hearts and souls. Victoria writes an amazing story of love and revenge, betrayal and hurt.
1. Temptation in a Kilt
2. X Marks the Scot
3. To Wed a Wicked Highlander (Sept 2013)
Copy supplied by Netgalley
Reviewed by Sandy