cover image Highland Hellion

Highland Hellion

Mary Wine. Sourcebooks Casablanca, $7.99 mass market (320p) ISBN 978-1-4926-0250-7

Wine’s third Highland historical romance (after Highland Vixen) takes readers back to 16th-century Scotland and another strong-minded heroine. Katherine Carew, abandoned illegitimate daughter of an English lord, is a marked woman. The despotic Earl of Morton orchestrates her forced marriage to war chief Marcus McPherson; when the plot fails, she’s unable to return to her former life, and she causes considerable unease among the Scots because of her English blood. In addition, Katherine flouts social mores by covertly training as a warrior and learning how to ride a horse. Disguised as a young man, she embarks on a late-night gallop and is briefly captured by Rolfe McTavish, who discerns her true gender and finds her very attractive. Later, the hated Gordon clan abducts Katherine and Rolfe vows to save her. When the escape leads to Katherine again becoming Morton’s political pawn, Rolfe tells her that marrying him is her only route to safety. But even as their passion builds, Katherine wrestles over whether the hasty union should last. Wine’s skillful pacing and thoughtful characterizations shine, and her proto-feminist heroine is a delight. Agent: Jill Marsal, Marsal Lyon Literary. (June)