Tuesday, May 21, 2013

New Review: Judith James’ HIGHLAND REBEL – Highland Romance from a Great Author!

Judith James has written a solid historical romance set in Scotland, England and Ireland in the late 17th century.

It begins in 1685, as Charles II dies and James II ascends to the throne. Jamie Sinclair, Earl of Carrick and Carlyle, an English peer and a spy who is a master of disguise, converts to Catholicism and serves the new king as he needs the money. Leading soldiers to Scotland to dispel the Protestants, Jamie marries a Scottish lass to save her from rape. He first thinks she is a camp follower; little does he know that she is Catherine Drummond, laird of clan Drummond and an heiress with a title and fortune. Cat is also proficient with a sword and was raised at the French court. Jamie intends to annul the marriage and take the wealthy English bride that James promised him, but when her clan rescues Cat, Jamie loses that option. So, he decides to recapture his new wife. But she sends him back to England. Then Cat finds she needs Jamie and comes looking for him, offering him a divorce and the good graces of his Sire if he will aid her. He needs what she offers so he accepts. In the meantime, they find great camaraderie and have many adventures wearing various disguises.

Though Jamie enjoys many women, and particularly likes the lowborn because he was raised by servants. He tells Cat he can only offer pleasure and friendship and grows surly when she mentions love. But Cat is tired of his whores and his games. When Jamie leaves her for to pursue William's claim to the throne, and her clan calls, she goes back to Scotland. Then James II falls to William and Mary and war with the Highlands looms. And Jamie fears for Cat.

Cat is a wonderful heroine, independent, strong willed and able to take care of herself. Wise in the ways of the world but ignorant of love, Cat can rule a clan but finds she is unwilling to play Jamie's games. Jamie is a wonderful kaleidoscope of a character...so many sides and faces, all of them charming. And somewhere in them is his heart. The secondary characters are varied and well developed. James creates a world that fascinates.

This is a great romance rich in history and details, including the court of King James II. Judith James has a unique writing style and weaves a wonderful story with a believable romance. I highly recommend it.