In Bed with a Highlander is the first book in The McCabe Trilogy, a trilogy of three brothers. This first book is the book of Ewan McCabe, the eldest and the laird of the Clan McCabe. Eight years ago, Ewan’s family was almost destroyed by a neighboring clan. Rising from the ashes, Ewan creates an army of men who rival any other clans, but at the cost of the keep and food for the clan. Not to say he doesn’t take care of them, he just has put his resources into making his clan stronger. When his son, Crispin, goes missing, he sends out his brothers to search for him.
Mairin is the illegitimate daughter of a king, but the pawn of the country. Hidden away for ten years in a convent, she is finally found and dragged away to marry Laird Duncan Cameron. On the way to her forced marriage, Mairin rescues Crispin and does everything in her power to protect him. After being savagely beaten by Duncan for not agreeing to marry him, Mairin and Crispin escape and are found by Alaric, one of the McCabe brothers.
When Ewan and Mairin meet, there is attraction, but there is also a lot of heated arguments. Mairin just wants to be on her way and hide from all the men who would marry her for her dowry and Ewan wants to know who she is and why she would save his son. Within a few short days, Ewan learns Mairin’s identity and proposes. More sparks fly and fly between these two. Ewan is used to total obedience and Mairin tries hard but wants to be a productive person in the clan. It was fun to watch their interactions. Mairin the innocent and Ewan the laird.
This book was very reminiscent of Julie Garwood books, but not a rip off. It was its own story, but the innocent heroine in the Highlands was very similar. And I am a huge Julie Garwood fan, having started with her books early in my reading “career”. It has been a long dry spell for me on historical romances, but I found I liked this one. I particularly love Highlanders, all the long hair, muscle and handsomeness rolling off the pages. The innocence of the heroine grated at times, but in reality how do you grow when you have been stuck in a convent for the last ten years of your life?
I won’t debate the accuracy of the time period. It just isn’t something I totally concern myself over. If the kings names sound about right, and they don’t try to put modern terms into the dialog, I don’t go out trying to prove every claim in the book. This is fiction and I like to just believe the fiction they feed me as long as I like the flavor.
The first half of the book is a little slow, and the last half felt a little rushed. Characters were very likable, especially I liked the women of the keep. They have one saucy discussion that had me laughing! The men are strong, loyal and very comical while dealing with the lass.
Overall this was a delightful, but probably very forgettable book. I will be reading the other two books in the trilogy, but can’t say I will re-read this book or remember it for long after this review.