2009Margaret Dalrousie was once willing to sacrifice all for her calling. The talented artist would let no man interfere with her gift. But now, living in a small Scottish cottage on the estate of Glengarrow, she has not painted a portrait in ages. For not even the calming haven in the remote woods can erase the memories that darken Margaret's days and nights. And now, with the return of the Earl of Linnet to his ancestral home, her hopes of peace have disappeared.
From the first moment he encountered Margaret on his land, the Earl of Linnet was nothing but annoyed. The grieving nobleman has his own secrets that have lured him to the solitude of the Highlands, and his own reasons for wanting to be alone. Yet he is intrigued by his hauntingly beautiful neighbor. Could she be the spark that will draw him out of bittersweet sorrow—the woman who could transform him from a Scotsman in sadness to a Scotsman in love?
It's not all the time I read a book that makes me cry. I get weepy-eyed easily enough, but to actually have the tears flowing, that's different. By the second chapter of this book, I was already weepy-eyed. And then by chapter 8 I was in tears. The pain and loneliness of Margaret and Robert was a constant build up to a pivotal scene that hit both of their wounded souls. You could not help but feel their suffering and loss.
While there was not a single look of longing or a kiss or a simple brushing of skin in the first 200 and some pages, I could not put the book down. The inner struggles and demons that each of them battle captivated me and broke my heart; Robert with the terrible and tragic loss of his wife and daughter, and Margaret suffering from a brutal attack. As much as I love a nice dose of hands-on between the h/h, I also don't mind stories like this one, where the romance is so subtle, it seems nearly non-existent. But when eyes are finally opened and that first contact is made, the intense power is such a rush. And man oh man, did I get one hell of a rush. So completely worth the wait.
I loved every bit of this book. It was a nice change to not read how the two can think of nothing but rip each others clothes off and get freaky almost from the get go. Their interactions and conversations eventually lead to them wondering why they began to think of the other and often searched the other out, if just for a glimpse. Each of them together helped to mend the pain and loneliness of the other. A superbly written sorrowful tale of two people struggling to find life within themselves. A hauntingly beautiful love story.
Another book of hers that I read and loved also was The Devil Wears Tartan. She is a very talented lady and I would recommend her books to any who love historicals, or just a well done romance. She writes with emotion and tugs at your heart.