Moonlight Raider by Amanda Scott
Book One of the Border Night series
Publisher: September 30, 2014
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley
***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers***
Summary (from Goodreads):
In a flawless blend of history and romance, 'USA Today' bestselling author Amanda Scott transports readers again to the Scottish borders in her brand new 'Border Nights' series.
A man of his word...
Border Lord Walter Scott of Rankilburn, grief-stricken after burying his father, goes to the forest seeking solace. Instead he finds a half-naked young lady fleeing pursuit. Wat offers his protection, but honor demands that he return the golden-eyed beauty to her rightful husband - even though the last thing he wants is to see her in another man's arms.
A runaway bride...
Molly Cockburn has fled her home, family, and the brutal scoundrel she was forced to wed. Her pursuers are closing in when the powerful new Lord of Rankilburn bravely intervenes, then promises to help prove her marriage unlawful. Though fiercely loyal to her family, Molly fears they might harm the man she is coming to love, and now she must decide whether to remain faithful to her blood... or to her heart.
What I Liked:
I've not read any of Scott's previous historical romance novels, but I am always open to reading new historical romance novels. I'm a huge fan of historical romance novels in general, but I also really like the Scottish historic ones. Monica McCarty's Highland Guard series is a good one. This new series by Amanda Scott seems to be a great series as well!
Molly Cockburn is running for her life - literally. It's her wedding night, and she cannot do it. She can't marry the brute Ring Tuedy, the man that beat her and abused her that very day. Molly runs, right into the new Lord of Rankilburn's lands. Walter - Wat - just buried his father, and has inherited the lordship. The last thing Wat needs on top of everything else is housing a runaway wife from a neighboring clan... but Wat can't bring himself to make Molly return, and Molly finds herself really REALLY reluctant to go...
This book was adorable, really. I mean, there was plenty of heavy content, like domestic abuse, physical harassment, that paralyzing fear of not feeling safe... Molly has been through horrible times, thanks for her new husband, as well as her brothers and her cruel father. But Molly is an incredibly resilient person, and she is so brave, to run from her family. The heavy content gives this book so much depth, and adds an extra layer of feeling to the romance.
But back to the book being adorable. Molly and Wat - they don't fall in love in an epic way. It isn't love at first sight - yes, there is a bit of lust at first sight. But the author never makes it seem like they are in love throughout the entire book, or that they have a powerful, overwhelming connection that no one can break. Molly and Wat do grow to love each other, but even then, the author makes it seem like there is still plenty of room for the love to grow. Which I really like!
Their relationship is so cute though! Molly is forever infuriating Wat, but it's because he's so protective and worried all the time. She wants to go out and do her own thing, and she does, but then he gets all you-could-have-been-captured-why-are-you-roaming-about. It's not overbearing or too possessive - just the right amount of protective, in my opinion.
The story revolves around Molly's awful marriage to Ring Tuedy, and the measures that must be taken to annul the marriage. Technically, under historic Scottish law, her marriage wasn't legal, because she was forced to marry Tuedy. So it was interesting to see how the story progressed. But the story was basically all about the marriage and how Molly will escape it. And then, of course, the romance, which turned out to be really simple and dialed back - not a bad thing!
I'll definitely be reading the next book in the series - I can't wait to see which character we get to read about next! Perhaps Janet, Wat's sister. I'd be cool with that.
What I Did Not Like:
I soooo wanted more from the romance. Like, I could see why the author went with a tamer romance, because Molly had been so abused by her husband (not raped, but physically beaten), so Molly wouldn't trust anyone like that. But I thought that the steamy part of the romance could have been better. There was a lot of great buildup towards a chemistry-filled romance, but very little physical scenes with Wat and Molly.
Would I Recommend It:
If you like historical romance novels, then I would check out this one, if I were you! I feel like it's going to fly under a lot of historical romance readers' radars, which is a shame. But hey, this one has a really great cover, as far as historical romance novel covers go! No half-naked males or females, win!
4 stars. A fabulous start to a new series, by a new author (new to me, that is). I'm excited!
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