The Highlander’s Prize

Written by Mary Wine
Review by Heather Domin

Clarissa of York, illegitimate daughter of Edward IV, is sent to Scotland as a gift for King James. But it wouldn’t be a Highland romance without a kidnapping, and this one comes in the form of Broen MacNicols, leading a team of clansmen fiercely against the idea of half-English royal sons. Though Clarissa didn’t want to be a concubine, she doesn’t exactly relish being a hostage – but to her surprise, Broen promises to ensure her safety and treats her with a respect she has rarely encountered. Neither can ignore the powerful attraction between them, but multiple enemies threaten their chances of enjoying it.

After reading the cover blurb I feared we were headed for rape-as-love territory, but thankfully this is not the case. Broen doesn’t need force to seduce, and Clarissa clearly expresses what she wants rather than fainting and falling onto it. Their witty, spirited banter is lots of fun. The author knows her history, skillfully weaving the complicated politics of the time into her storyline. Spelled-out accents distract me, though it seems mandatory for this genre; but that’s a personal quibble in an otherwise satisfying, sexy, and well-written romance.