Knight in Highland Armor by Amy Jarecki (Highland Dynasty #1)

Knight in Highland Armor by Amy JareckiAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Historical Romance

Publisher: Rapture Books

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Michelle

Grieving from the death of his wife, Lord Colin Campbell listens to the cries of his newborn son whilst penning a missive to the king. With no marriage prospects, Colin petitions his majesty for help in finding a stepmother. Never again will he fall in love—the death of a woman brings more pain than losing a whole contingent of men on the battlefield.

Feisty, quick tongued and smart, Margaret Robinson is delighted when her father receives a messenger from the king…until she discovers what news he brings. In a sennight, she will wed the notorious Black Knight—her life is about to end.

Tension builds during the wedding and deteriorates from there…until an accident draws them together. Just when their love begins to blossom, a dire request arrives from the Pope. Colin must join the Crusades at once.

Their fragile love is forced to withstand the seductions of hell—Margaret tempted by a scoundrel laird—Colin courted by Satan himself. Aye, the war for Christendom could very well ruin their dreams forever.

 

Knight in Highland Armor is a book filled with contradictions, so I feel justified writing a review that will probably contradict itself. There were times when I wanted to put the book down and forget about it, and then there were times when I couldn’t stop reading. I’ve read one other book by Amy Jarecki and I adored it. This book had a similar feel, but I didn’t love it as much.

Colin Campbell needs a wife. It seems his entire life is in turmoil. His beloved died giving birth to their son, and he needs a woman to take over the care of his newborn. On top of that, he receives a missive from the Pope that he is to join the Crusades for a third tour, leaving his clan and the building of his keep without supervision. Grieving for his wife, his heart surely isn’t into looking for a wife, so he petitions the king for help in finding someone suitable.

Margaret Robinson is suitable. The daughter of a baron, she is young, beautiful, unattached and comes with a generous dowry. She dreams of falling in love and marrying a handsome nobleman, so her hopes are crushed when she learns she is to wed Colin Campbell. Known as the Black Knight for his exploits on the battlefield, his very name strikes fear in her heart.

Colin and Margaret’s marriage is a disaster from day one. Colin has no room in his heart for any woman and refuses to see Margaret as anything more than a woman to take care of his son. Margaret feels nothing but contempt for the rude, insensitive brute she was forced to marry. Expecting a little compassion and respect, Margaret receives neither. Even knowing his wife is an innocent, Colin finds it impossible to show Margaret any tenderness.

Given their circumstances, I found both Colin’s and Margaret’s behavior believable. He wants nothing to do with love or romance – he just needs a mother for his son. Margaret has the heart of a romantic and longs for a real relationship, not the cold, harsh marriage she is subjected to. She doesn’t understand the depth of Colin’s grief and can’t see past her own disappointments. In that respect, I felt she was a little selfish in the beginning. While Colin was thoughtless and hurtful, she expected a bit too much from him at first.

As time passes, the couple learns more about each other. Although they shared a mutually unwanted physical attraction from the moment they met, it takes spending more time together (and a little help from a freak accident) for them to start appreciating each other. They finally start to put Colin’s past and Margaret’s animosity behind them and form a close bond when he is forced to leave for the Crusades. While the separation was inevitable, I really hated that the author dragged it on for so long. I also didn’t like the (not unexpected) fact that Margaret fell victim to her neighbor’s charms.

While I’m all for strong, sexy Highland heroes, I thought Colin was a little too brutish in the beginning and I didn’t quite believe his almost instantaneous turn-around regarding his feelings for Margaret. I didn’t fall in love with him, which makes it hard for me to love the book. Margaret was a little naïve and a little selfish, but she was smart and sensible up until the last part of the book. While nothing made me dislike their story, I had a few issues that kept me from really loving it.

I give Knight in Highland Armor by Amy Jarecki 3.50 stars!

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