Margaret reached into her purse to pluck a farthing when horse hooves pummeled the ground. Looking up, she scarcely had the chance to dash aside. Two riders thundered through the fete at a brisk canter. She tripped over her gown. The fruit flung from her basket as the horses sped past. Margaret crashed into something sturdy and hard. Her hands whipped around it, saving herself from falling. Her hood flew from her head and dropped to her back. It wasn’t until a pair of massive arms encircled her that she realized she’d fallen into a man—a very large, very strong man. She inhaled. The heady and exotic fragrance of cloves laced with a hint of ginger and male toyed with her insides. Struggling to drag her feet beneath her, Margaret made the mistake of grasping him tighter. His back muscles bulged beneath his quilted doublet. Her heart fluttered. “Forgive me,” she uttered breathlessly. His enormous hands held her shoulders firmly and helped her gain her balance. “Are you all right, m’lady?” Flustered, Margaret pushed away and smoothed her fingers over the white ribbon encircling her crown. She brushed her fingers down the length of her exposed tresses, cascading over her shoulder to her waist. First, her gaze leveled on his red tunic, with a white cross emblazoned on the center of his very broad chest. Then her eyes drifted to his face, framed by dun-colored curls. Beneath his cap, they shone like silk in the sun, and she wanted to reach up and touch them to see if his hair was actually as soft as it looked. Dark brown, wide-set eyes gazed upon her with a glint of humor. They were so friendly, her tension immediately eased. His features were undeniably masculine; his bold nose slightly bent toward full lips that grinned, revealing a row of healthy white teeth. “I…I am unscathed, thank you.” Margaret inhaled a stuttered breath and hoped to heaven she wasn’t blushing. “Please forgive me.” “There is nothing to forgive. Those lads had no business riding through the fair at full tilt. I shall have a firm word with them.” “I’m sure they are long gone…” Margaret peered up at his feathered ermine cap—a fur only worn by Scottish barons like her father. “…m’lord.” She stepped back, taking in the whole picture. She’d seen the square white cross on his tunic somewhere before—it definitely identified him as a knight, though she could not place the order. Unusually tall, he had to be at least eighteen hands—six feet was enormous, especially compared to her five. He wore a stylish doublet of black beneath the sleeveless tunic. His woolen hose were also black, and they clung to his thighs like a second skin. His muscles bulged when he stepped toward her with fashionably pointed shoes. Mmm. ’Tis said clothes maketh the man. He bent down and retrieved her basket. “I believe this is yours.” “Thank you.” Margaret spotted apples and pears scattered everywhere. “But I’m afraid the fruit I’ve purchased is ruined.” He frowned and stroked his bold chin. “Most unfortunate. Please allow me to replace it.” “That should not be necessary. I only wished to help a poor man feed his family.” “Most charitable of you, m’lady.” He offered a polite bow. “If you no longer require my assistance, I shall be on my way.” “Very well. Should I fall again, I shall simply find another gallant knight to keep me from dousing myself in the mud.” “A lucky man indeed to rescue a lady as bonny as you.” He bowed again and tapped his fingers to his hat. “Good day, m’lady.” Margaret swooned, watching him walk away. Broad shoulders supported by a sturdy waist. To her delight, the knight’s doublet was short enough to give her a peek at his muscular buttocks. With a sigh, she smacked her lips while the crowd swallowed up the magnificent warrior’s form. If only her betrothed could be half as handsome. “Margaret,” Mother called from across the aisle. “Come, I have something to show you.” This time, she looked for racing horses before she set out. God forbid she fall into another knight. And heaven help her. On the morrow, she’d have to look upon such magnificent specimens with disinterested eyes. How on earth would she do that?
Knight in Highland Armor by Amy Jarecki
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This tale starts out with Colin who had just lost his wife and now have an infant babe to see over. As a knight his duties lies with battle and he cannot see to the babe himself. He petitions the King to help him find a new wife, a mother for his child. He had no interest in love, only the need for a mother for his child while he is away.
Margaret is thrilled when the King’s messenger arrives, but it was short lived. She is to be wedded to the dreaded Black Knight Lord Colin. Their marriage starts off dreadful and Margaret is not happy at all. She wanted prince charming and got a caveman. As time goes by Colin finds a way into her heart and before she could stop herself she is madly in love with the knight. But when he is called away for war, their new love will be tested to the limit. Can he return safely to her? Or would their love be lost forever?
Absolutely amazing! Amy Jarecki knows how to write a juicy, heart pounding, exhilarating and most of all amazing Historical Romance. Her new series starts off with a bang just like The Highland Force Series. It’s just freaking amazing! I loved both Margaret and Colin, just like all the previous characters Amy introduced. Their relationships starts out just plain dreadful, and my heart was so broken for both of them, but soon they start finding each other and before you know it they are deeply in love. Make no mistake, it was a serious crash and burn adventure for both of them.
Amy’s talent to capture her readers and keep them glued to her novels is just out of this world. Again I was forced to endure all human emotions, from anger to sadness they were all wrapped up into this amazing novel. There were times where I wanted to throttle Colin, and there were times where I wanted to wrap him up and bring him back home. Amy’s plotting skills are incredible and you will find yourself lost in her novels. It’s just another reason why she is my top Historical Romance author, she is the goddess of Historical Romances! I can’t wait to read the next installment, and urge you to go start one of her series today, or you will be missing out on one hell of a great adventure.
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Character Name: Colin Campbell, 1st Lord of Glenorchy
Colin Campbell, 1st Lord of Glenorchy:
Philosophy on life: Never settle with words what can be accomplished with a broadsword.
Born: 1428. On 1st October, 1432, at the age of fourteen he received the title, Lord of Glenorchy.
Build: Muscular in peak condition
Distinctive features: Dun (dark blond) hair with a darker beard, brown, wide set eyes, bold, angular nose, full lips.
Positive Characteristics: Confident, energetic, truthful, decisive, direct, loyal, protective, supportive, brave. Colin is an exceptional warrior.
Negative Characteristics (at times): Insensitive, domineering, demanding, uncompromising.
A Knight in the Order of St. John (Knight Hospitallers). He went on three crusades and was fabled as The Black Knight of Rome.
Colin is an asserter, and feels in control when he can sit where he can observe everything going on in a room. He has a hard outer shell; he’s tough driving, and an introvert. After losing two wives, Colin proves he has a soul, but will Margaret discover he also has a heart?
Describe yourself what is your worst and best quality?
I’d say my best quality is my honor. I will protect Scotland and that which is mine with my life. My worst quality? I suppose I can be a bit bull-headed at times.
What is the one thing you wish other people knew about you?
I wish others knew that beneath this rough exterior lies a kind heart. But then, keeping such information a secret is not always such a bad thing.
What is your biggest secret something no one knows about?
Aside from the key to my heart, my greatest secret is the token pact I have with Lady Margaret.
What are you most afraid of?
*sits erect and frowns* I fear nothing. Well, heights make me a wee bit queasy, but only if I look down.
What do you want more than anything?
What is your relationship status?
Married. No respectable fifteenth century baron would wish to remain unwed.
How would you describe your sense of fashion?
I wear ceremonial armor when at court, battle armor when facing my enemies and at my leisure, I wear a shirt and plaid.
How much of a rebel are you?
Pardon me m’lady, but I am a Scot. A man can be no more rebellious than that.
What do you considered to be your greatest achievement?
That depends on who you ask, but I would say my marriage to Lady Margaret Robinson and my children. They will carry on my legacy.
What is your idea of happiness?
A fine woman, fine whisky and a crackling fire.
What is your current state of mind?
Amused I’d say. What manner of questions are these for a lord of the Scottish realm?
What is your most treasured possession?
The family charmstone.
What is your most marked characteristic?
*wink* You tell me, m’lady. Highlanders are known for their size, but it’s not something a gentleman would speak of in public.
What is it that you most dislike?
Which living person do you, most despise?
What is your greatest regret?
*deep sigh* That I didn’t open up to Lady Margaret sooner.
What is the quality you most like in a man?
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Hm. Now that is difficult. Aside from the obvious, I like a woman who is industrious and intelligent.
Who is your favorite hero in fiction?
That would have to be Sir Lancelot.
Which living person do you most admire?
In my time? That would be my king, James III of Scotland.
If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
I would have been the first son, then I would have been granted the earldom of Argyll, rather than my nephew.
What is your motto?
“You’ll not die if you sit where you can observe everything in a room”