After a battle with the Scots, Jamie Sinclair impulsively marries a young woman to save her from certain rape by his men. Assuming the marriage will be dissolved easily, considering he leaves it unconsummated, he is astounded when she flees in the night. That young woman, however, is not an ordinary camp follower, but Catherine Drummond, countess and laird of her clan in her own right, is far from ordinary. Jamie attempts to get her back, only to suffer at the hands of her clan; they remain married only so that Cat can avoid the marriage her cousin wants to arrange for her. Only when she realizes that she will never be laird as she ought does she go to London, to seek an annulment, but when she finds Jamie, she finds that it’s not so easy after all.
Like most people who are aware of the huge romance blogging community, I have heard of Broken Wing by this author and the huge number of bloggers who read and fell in love with it. When Danielle at Sourcebooks offered me the chance to review this, James’s second novel, there was no way I could say no. And while this book isn’t shaking the foundation of romance or anything like that, James certainly does deliver a great novel that I really enjoyed reading.
I think what I liked best about this book is the fact that the relationship between the two main characters really starts to grow when they become friends. Obviously, romance comes about between them too, but I love the way their personalities interact and they grow truly fond of each other in a way that has nothing to do with passion. This is one of the rare couples that I feel really develops a bond over the course of the novel that will actually last. They share common interests, experiences, and feelings that I could imagine sustaining them through many tough times, as indeed they do in this novel.
Plus, I loved Cat. She’s such a strong, independent, well-crafted woman that it’s impossible not to feel for her. Her curiosity, intelligence, and loyalty all endeared her to me and I really wanted her to go after what she wanted, whether that was Jamie or lairdship of her clan or even an annulment.
Probably the only problem I had with it was Jamie’s promiscuity. While he is faithful to Cat, he has a great number of “lady friends” and I felt he was too close to them for comfort. I don’t really like reading about heroes with other women, even if it’s just to show how they change over the course of the novel, like it was here. Honestly, if Cat could come upon him with a woman and misconstrue the situation, and in way that is not at all base jealousy, that is enough to put me off him. Still, this is one instance out of many, and I definitely got past it.
I do still recommend Highland Rebel. I think it has a lot to offer, namely great development of both individual characters and the relationship between them. It’s well worth a read for fans of historical romance – and I’m still really looking forward to reading Broken Wing when I get a chance.