This book has everything... love, betrayal, backstabbing, conspiracy, kidnapping, looming threat of a great war, great heroes, action, great twists and turns and an amazing ending for all of us romantic saps out there. What more can I actually say about it, go and read and enjoy !
Well, there is a little bit more I can say about this book without really spoiling the plot or ruining some twists.
Catrin is an amazingly written character. She is depicted as a strong heroine because even though she happens to get kidnapped and imprisoned and goes through a lot of tough situations, she actually doesn't just stand around wailing about the situation, she fights, oh boy does she fight good. And for a woman in that time period, that is exceptional and rare but not non-existent. So for anyone out there saying she just gets kidnapped like any other damsel in distress, that is not true. That person clearly did not read this book. Catrin is strong and capable and smart and very relatable. One of the best heroines in the historical romance genre I had a pleasure of getting to know well.
Ranulf is also an amazingly written character which is why this book works so well. He is a strong warrior and a laird but he is down to earth. Also, he isn't invulnerable like most of the heroes in this genre. He gets hurt, physically and emotionally. He is compassionate but also ruthless when the situation demands for it. He is... human. And that makes him all the more delicious, especially when placing him next to a character such as Catrin.
One of the most important things for me in a book is that I can see how heroes grow and mature. If a hero is constantly unchanging then all of the hardships he goes through are meaningless. You are left wondering why did you even read this book and why it exists. But when you see the growth, maturing, changing then you can say yes, it was worth it. And Ranulf and Catrin certainly grow. They both have preconceptions about the other's nation and its people (English/Scottish). With experience and time they begin to realise how mistaken they were and how people are just people. Something similar happens with the memory of their lost family members, they learn things about them that paint them in a different light and with some struggles they need to learn how to accept it as the truth and reconcile their feelings accordingly.
I have not enjoyed a good book like this in a long time so I am giving it the best rating there is. It has everything a book in this genre should have, it is written well, grammar is superb, characters are enchanting and even though I stayed up until 04:30 in the morning reading this book I wouldn't change a thing.
Absolutely recommended to everyone, especially people who appreciate a well written story.