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As a lady-in-waiting at the court of King Robert the Bruce, Lady Blair Sutherland has seen her sister and several friends married off. Her parents have assured her she can wait until she is in love to marry but as none of the men she meets interest her, Blair begins to grow discouraged. Just when she is beginning to consider settling, her childhood friend Hardwin Cameron arrives at court in need of help. When Blair offers her guidance and begins spending more time with Hardi, it soon becomes apparent that she no longer views him as just a friend.
Hardwin Cameron was never prepared for the lairdship that has been thrust upon him by the deaths of so many of his family members. Now he must struggle with his grief and responsibilities he never expected, the first of which is an audience with the king. He's relieved to find a friend in Blair among the vicious courtiers, but as they work together to prepare him for his new role, he can't deny his fierce attraction to her.
A serious relationship quickly develops between Hardi and Blair, but they are faced with enemies from all sides, even within Hardi's own clan. Blair and Hardi must fight for their newfound connection while also working against those who would destroy Clan Cameron.
I'm starting to realize that I really love books in which the hero and heroine came together early on and spend the rest of the book tackling obstacles together, rather than having the obstacles and angst forcing them apart. I loved that there was no fooling around or game-playing between Blair and Hardi; they were mature and sensible about communicating their feelings and worked well together to overcome the adversity they faced. These two made a strong and charming couple and I loved the fact that each had such a high level of respect for the other and made that well-known. There was a lot going on here and all that sabotage was rather stressful, but I really enjoyed this book. This was probably another one of my favorites of this series and I'm looking forward to Lachlan's story as the Sutherlands have become one of my favorite fictional families.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I have been in the fortunate position of being able to read all the books in this series, and each one has been exciting and dramatic, but A Saint at the Highland Court has to be my favourite book by this author. The Sutherland clan is a force to be reckoned with, and their women are no exception. When her childhood friend and companion, Hardwin, arrives at Court after unexpectedly Inheriting the Cameron lairdship, Blair Sutherland is delighted to discover that their old camaraderie is still evident. It quickly becomes clear that Hardwin Cameron is at a disadvantage as a result of the decisions made by his father, and Blair has no problem facing the King head on to request her godfather's permission to rectify the gaps in Hardi's education. It takes a strong man to acknowledge his weaknesses, but together with Blair at his side Hardi discovers that he is more than capable of taking up the reins of leading his clan. Blair is a feisty heroine with wit and passion, and the wisdom imparted to her by her parents become Hardi's saving grace. Hardi is a warrior to the core but rises to the occasion when the leadership of the clan is thrust upon him and he brings out the best in Blair as well. The story keeps one intrigued throughout and I really resented having to put the book down to deal with mundane everyday issues! It is adventurous, dramatic, romantic, suspenseful, and just everything a good Highlander romance should be. This is a very worthwhile novel, certainly one that I will be coming back to in the future. I received a copy of this book through Booksprout and this is my honest and voluntary review.
I must admit I was a little nervous going into this book since I hadn’t read any of the books that came before it. Finding myself in the middle of the series, I was relieved to find that I could start at book at book 6, and not feel lost! While I didn’t necessarily feel this was a stand alone (I generally like encountering characters in a book and seeing how their stories intertwine), the author does an incredible job summarizing events from previous books at the very beginning of this one to both remind readers of who everyone was and how they met, and helping new readers like me feel like I’m not left out. The summaries were relatively quick and didn’t go into much detail of the plot so it successfully sparked my curiosity about previous books, which is no easy feat! I truly appreciated it!
But, now on to this book. Celeste has an excellent grasp of Scottish language and terminology, the way the characters speak to each other really immerses readers in the story. When our hero showed up, I wasn’t entirely sure was the hero since there were no immediate sparks but rather, the playful familiarity of old friends and I appreciated the realism in that. Hardi has been thrown into the deep end and has a much more modern approach to handling the situations he was forced into and as a true friend, I loved the pacing of how their feelings developed, despite them knowing each other from a young age. My favorite thing about Hardi was his vulnerability. It was real. He needed people to trust and didn’t know who, so when he found someone he could confide in, he wasn’t about to risk it simply because she was a woman. Blair supports him and helps him. That simple act solidified their bond. I also loved how strong no nonsense Blair was. I love a heroine who knows her stuff and isn’t about to hide the fact that she does. Hardi compliments that part of her, although I wish she would have stepped back every once in a while since sometimes her assertiveness would overpower Hardi as a leader. Still, Hardi needed Blair, much more than Blair needed Hardi, and my hope is together they will build into a team once Hardi gets his bearings. I never forgot that he was new to things, dealing with grief and struggling to keep his head above water so it almost felt like the two characters complimented each other perfectly. (I also need to mention that since this is my first Celeste Barclay book and had never met any of these characters before, I was super intrigued by Lachlan! There is something about the kind and protective big brother that just sparked my curiosity!)
The story is crafted to keep you wondering who and why throughout. There was so much historical deceit and intrigue! It felt a little like a whodunit wrapped in a warm tartan blanket. The final scenes were well designed and a very good idea. I could see a highland clan taking the same tactic.
I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
This is other great story in this series of strong man and the ladies who they love. Blair Sutherland has watched her friends and sister find there true loves. All of them may not have had and easy time of it but all have found their happy every after. She is lost at King Robert's royal court without her sister. She has been one of the Queens Ladies in Waiting for four years. Her parents have promised her she does not have to wed till she finds her special someone. The problem is none of the man at court match up to her father, brother or brother in law. She wants what her mother and father have, a true love. A man that will respect her knowledge and abilities. Her brother Lachlan Sutherland has come to court to pay their taxes and has spent a fortnight with her. Neither sister or brother is afraid to show the affection they have for each other. Right before Lachlan has to leave they run into an old friend of theirs, Hardwin Cameron. Blair is excited to see him again as it has been years. She notices right off that something is wrong. The carefree happy boy she used to race and play with is gone. Hardwin is a strong warrior and sad. She learns of him losing all of his family to war and he is now Laird Cameron. He is also at court to pay his taxes. He hopes Lachlan can give him some lessons on the duties of being a Laird. Lachlan has been in training all his life. But he must leave and return home. As Blair and Hardwin talk she learns he can not read the missions sent to him by the king. As Hardwin is a man who is far ahead of his time in what he things women should an shouldn't do. He knows Blair is very smart and is not afraid to ask her to help him learn to read and write. As they spend more time together the attraction between them grows. Neither are the children they were and both want each other. This is a very steamy romance, along with a ton of suspense with many twist and turns. Both Blair and Hardwin have secrets they are not telling the other. They have clans on all sides trying to kill one or the other of them. No one they can trust or turn to except each other. As in line with the time period of this story it is sometimes very graphic and violent. If you like friends to lovers, lots of action, heavy romance, and surprise this is the book for you. I read it in one setting as I couldn't wait to see what happen. Be sure and get a copy and be prepared to do nothing but read. All the books in this series are great but this one gives use a look at how people treated those less fortunate who were never given a chance to learn to read and write. Much like today when people treat people with learning disability different. I received and ARC of this book and wish to thank the author. I am giving my opinion freely and voluntarily. Each book can be read alone but sooooo much better if read in order.
What an exciting action paced adventure this book tells. I loved the main characters. They were mature, intelligent, cooperative, bold, daring, said what they meant and meant what they said and yet were humble when necessary. They knew when to speak up and when to wait it out. They dared to be unconventional and demanded respect and loyalty if not there would be consequences. I feel more time was needed to develop the romance between Blair and Hardwin/Hardi. It felt like boom they see each other again after so many years and no warm up, no advance notice they decide they are in love and want to marry. It seems a bit unrealistic to me. As the story unfolded this in my mind was a page turner. It was hard to put this book down. There was deceit, theft, murder, secret alliances against the new Laird Hardi, a plot to overthrow and murder Hardi and much more. I was impressed that the author Celeste Barclay created a scenario where Blair would be co-Laird and share the decisions and edicts concerning the clan beside Hardi. In a male dominated world this was an extreme change. But Blair proved she had the chutzpah to do the job and gained the consensus of the council. As long as no one outside the council knew of her involvement it was a done deal. When trouble was brewing, Blair and Hardi worked together to put all the pieces in order to avoid a massacre. It was quite clear if Blair had been a man, she would have made a formidable Laird. As far as Hardi was concerned Blair was a heaven-sent blessing to their clan. With the massacre avoided and a treaty signed, Blair's family appeared with scores of soldiers. It was funny how serious Laird Sutherland was about how his daughter and Hardi went about their courtship and handfasting. He was a traditional man and demanded tradition be followed. Hardi felt a bit uncomfortable not knowing what was before him. I really enjoyed the extended epilogue. But it failed to tell what their children were if they were boys or girls or both. I also appreciated that the author added the "Character Name Pronunciation". It made reading more authentic. I loved that. This is a definite must read. You will not be disappointed.
Sensational! Celeste definitely brought her A-game to the rink, rocking this gem with such skillful precision that makes you stand up take notice, laying out all the fervent facts, feels and fiascos, wrapping this baby up sleek, shiny and tight. Bearing the burden and carrying the load, delivering this action packed, hard hitting, pulse racing, heart pounding, adrenaline pumping, nail-biting, page flipping bombshell, catapulting this jewel to staggering heights. Chicanery runs rampant and betrayal is rife, intercepting the drama, intrigue, turmoil, revelations, deception, mounting suspense and unnerving situations along with a boatload of danger, you have one jaw dropping masterpiece. Entangled, banded and tightly coiled, displaying the explosive ups and agonizing downs, grounding in it's simplicity and awe inspiring in it's depth, putting our characters through their paces, blasting this baby to life brilliantly. The attraction and chemistry builds as each layer is peeled back exposing thrilling emotions and a growing bond, binding them to one another perfectly. The characters are complex and genuine with traits and qualities that add depth and diversity, transforming into outstanding personalities. The scenes are strikingly sharp with abundant details and descriptions that feel as though you were transported to ground zero with them. Fantastic job Celeste, thanks for sharing this little gem with us.
I am voluntarily posting an honest review after reading an Advance Reader Copy of this story
A Saint at the Highland Court by Celeste Barclay is book six in The Highland Ladies series. This series is a spinoff of Barclay’s The Clan Sinclair series.
Lady-in-waiting at the Highland Court, Blair Sutherland and Hardwin Cameron have been friends since childhood, but now Hardwin is in desperate need of assistance. He’s been unexpectedly elevated to the position of clan chief and is woefully unprepared. Blair offers to help and now they’re developing an intense romantic relationship while trying to defeat the unknown forces seeking to destroy Hardwin and the Cameron clan.
A Saint at the Highland Court is an excellent read. It is as well-written as previous installments in this series, with characters as well-rounded, well-developed and vibrant as the previous cast. Ms. Barclay smartly maintains the series continuity. The suspenseful plot is compelling and held my attention throughout. The author has taken some creative license with dates and historical characters and has fictionalized some historical accounts, but the spirit of the time period is maintained. There’s some explicit content, but the series just keeps getting better and I give this installment 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to readers of romantic suspense and medieval romance.
I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review. The opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine and mine alone.
We are in the court of Robert the Bruce, where this wonderful series has been set. In this book, we find, Blair Sutherland has been a lady in waiting for four years.
Blair had hoped to find herself the man of her dreams at the Queens court. Blairs parents have promised that they will not pressure her, that she can have a love marriage, of her own choice. As a child Blair had a childhood friend, who she meets again at court.
Hardwin was born to be a warrior, it's what he has trained for his whole life. However, tragically all the precious laird's and heirs have died, meaning the boy who was never meant to be laird, now has to find a way to lead abs and protect his clan, whilst those within and from other clans, are plotting against him. Hardi was delighted to run into his childhood friend.
Can these two heros manage to build a life together. Can they make peace and bring their friends and clans together.?
Another delightful read in this series. The book flows, so well from page to page. The characters all have personalities, you just want to know more about. A really great read
Hardwin has suddenly inherited the Cameron lairdship and is in a little over his head. He has gone to court to pay his taxes when he runs into his childhood friend, Blair. Having not been trained to run his clan, Blair offers to help him learn the necessary skills.
Since most of her friends have gotten married, Blair finds herself a little bored at court. When Hardwin shows up, she is excited to renew their friendship. When she learns that problems that Hardwin is facing, she offers up the expertise that she was trained on growing up.
While these two grew up together more like brother and sister, they feelings they now have for the other is certainly not the ones you feel for a sibling. As Blair helps to train Hardwin, they fall in love. But they quickly learn that someone doesn't want Hardwin to succeed as the laird. Can they work together to defeat his enemy?
I really enjoyed Hardwin and Blair's story! I loved watching them work so closely together when Blair was helping Hardwin and watching their relationship turn to one of lifelong friendship to one of lovers. This was a great addition to the Highland Ladies series!