The Master Of Strathburn
Robert Grant has returned home to Lochrose Castle in the Highlands to reconcile with his long-estranged father, the Earl of Strathburn. But there is a price on Robert’s head, and his avaricious younger half-brother, Simon, doesn’t want him reclaiming his birthright. And it’s not only Simon and the redcoats that threaten to destroy Robert’s plans after a flame-haired complication of the feminine kind enters the scene...
Jessie Munroe is forced to flee Lochrose Castle after the dissolute Simon Grant tries to coerce her into becoming his mistress. After a fateful encounter with a mysterious and handsome hunter, Robert, in a remote Highland glen, she throws her lot in with the stranger—even though she suspects he is a fugitive. She soon realizes that this man is dangerous in an entirely different way to Simon...
Despite their searing attraction, Robert and Jessie struggle to trust each other as they both seek a place to call home. The stakes are high and only one thing is certain: Simon Grant is in pursuit of them both...
(Note: Review previously posted in an earlier blog entry.)
I think I may have found a new book boyfriend. Robert was a great character. He had his charm, good looks, and better yet, he had a heart. He was the kind hearted hero, the caring book boyfriend that made me wish I was in his line of sight. I loved his story of redemption and especially how his task of clearing his name was made just a bit harder because of Jessie Monroe.
His inner monologue was funny and it really brought out his sweet personality. The fact that he was shy about undressing a female (not in a sexual way) was just really cute and had me smiling at my Kindle a lot.
“He was reacting like a green unskilled youth, not a thirty-year-old man who had undressed his fair share of women.”
It’s like he even wanted the reader to believe that he is a rakehell, but he really does not come off that way.
Jessie’s character was a good fit for him. Although, she had her moments of stupidity, I think it was cute because of her apparent attraction to Robert. Just think, there would be no story if she were able to tell him the truth about her relationship (or lack thereof) with Simon.
Simon’s character was a disgusting example of a man who lets jealousy and obsession eat away at his soul. His despicable attitude made him the perfect villain and threat. His cringe worthy dialogue gave me chills and made me feel for Jessie all the more.
“I have a proposition for you, Miss Monroe. Spend the night with me and do my bidding…or I shall have you arrested by the dragoons and thrown into a cell for aiding and abetting a wanted fugitive.”
Such delusions and threats did not go unpunished, although I would have done a lot worse to him had I been the one to decide.
It’s these characters, plus a few others that made this such a fun read. The writing is well done and flowed well from page to page. I was eagerly swiping pages on my Kindle in order to find out what would happen.
“I’m not sure what you were expecting, but I want you to know, you mustn’t feel beholden to me even though we have been hand-fasted. I assure you, I will not try to take advantage of you.” He offered her a half-smile. “Well, at least not until we’re properly wed.”
*I received an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*
Okay, first off, tell me what inspired you to write Robert Grant’s character? He’s just so sexy and is definite book boyfriend material!
Oh, thank you for saying that, Aleen. I think Robert is kinda sexy too. Now, let’s see if I can answer your question. I’ve wanted to write a story about a Jacobite hero for a very long time and I first came up with the idea for Robert’s journey-to-redemption story about ten years ago—yes, it did take me a little while to get around to writing this book! I had a vivid image of a loch side scene in my head—it’s when Robert sees Jessie Munroe for the very first time and he’s basically gobsmacked by her. It’s very much a love-at-first sight moment, but there wouldn’t be much of a story if it’s plain sailing from then on! So I threw a bit of conflict in, namely in the form of Robert’s rather nasty half-brother, Simon, who also has his sights set on Jessie but in a very wrong way. I guess Robert’s character and his journey evolved from that whole scene. I adore alpha-beta heroes and so that’s how I wrote Robert. He is noble, a gifted warrior and natural born leader but he also has a gentler, caring side and a sense of humor. I also love really hot heroes who are not afraid to fall in love. And what could be sexier than that?
Jessie’s father seemed oblivious to what was going on around him. Was he wise to leave her sans chaperone?
Jessie’s father, William Munroe, was completely oblivious to his daughter’s plight and had no idea she might require protection from the dissolute son of Lord Strathburn, Simon Grant. So he wasn’t wise at all! But I don’t think it’s entirely his fault. Jessie is aware that Simon has lecherous designs on her but she hides it from her father as she believes he would resign from his new position as factor for Lord Strathburn and then they would become destitute. She doesn’t realize how dangerous Simon is until after her father leaves to go on a rent collection tour of the Clan Grant lands. Jessie is a companion (albeit a reluctant one) to Simon’s mother, Caroline, Lady Strathburn so having a chaperone wasn’t really de rigueur for a servant and as William didn’t realize his daughter was in danger, he didn’t put anything in place. William is also a little delusional as he harbors the secret hope that Jessie might actually snare Simon as a husband. All he can see is Simon’s elevated position—he is the second son of the Earl of Strathburn and has the potential to become the heir if Robert, the long-lost Master of Strathburn, is disinherited. William doesn’t realize Simon is actually a total creep!
Trust was a major barrier between Robert and Jessie. If you could have intervened on their behalf, what friendly advice would you give them?
I would have advised then to trust their instincts about each other. Even though they both make misassumptions about each other—Robert believes Jessie is involved with his treacherous half-brother and Jessie believes Robert is a desperate fugitive who might silence her—neither of them can suppress their simmering mutual attraction. And despite the obstacles they face, they just plain like each other. There is a camaraderie between Jessie and Robert from the very start. So yeah, they both should have trusted their gut feelings a little more.
Simon’s character was despicable. Do you think he truly could have redeemed himself?
You know, that’s a great question. Simon is loathsome, selfish, dissolute, greedy and violent. A real nasty piece of work, so no, I really don’t think he could have redeemed himself in the long-run. Without giving away the ending, I just felt Robert had to take a certain course of action because of the type of man he is—a true nobleman with a conscience.
If you could visit Lochrose Castle, which room would you go into first and why?
I would love to visit the library. I am obsessed with books (no surprise there I guess) and love looking at libraries. I have been lucky enough to visit England and Scotland twice in the last five years and the libraries in some of the manor houses and castle I’ve visited were just amazing. Alnwick Castle in Northumberland really stands out in my mind—it was the most gorgeous library I’ve ever seen.
What gets you in the mood for writing?
I can pretty much write anywhere, any time as long as I have my trusty laptop with me. So I don’t need much to get me into a writing mood. But if I do need to wake up my writer’s muse, listening to music always helps—certain songs that evoke a strong visual image or a specific feeling or mood are really useful. ‘Use Somebody’ by the Kings of Leon actually gave me a bit of inspiration for The Master of Strathburn. Ed Sheeran’s music always helps too.
What is the next book you are working on?
I’ve just finished an erotic Regency novella entitled An Improper Governess. It’s a very loosely linked sequel to An Improper Proposition and I envisage the release date will be late June. But by the end of May I will have started writing another Jacobite Rebellion romance. The hero in this one—another survivor of Culloden—will be a bit more tortured than Robert Grant and the overall themes will be darker. And I have the loosely linked sequel to my Regency noir romance, Lady Beauchamp’s Proposal, ready and waiting in the wings… I hope to be able to make an announcement about it very soon!
Amy Rose Bennett has always wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember. An avid reader with a particular love for historical romance, it seemed only natural to write stories in her favorite genre. She has a passion for creating emotion-packed—and sometimes a little racy—stories set in the Georgian and Regency periods. Of course, her strong-willed heroines and rakish heroes always find their happily ever after.
Amy is happily married to her own Alpha male hero, has two beautiful daughters, and a rather loopy Rhodesian Ridgeback. She has been a speech pathologist for many years but is currently devoting her time to her one other true calling—writing romance.
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