What is it about the Scottish Highlands that speaks to that romantic side of me, that hidden princess that wants to be saved by her gallant prince? Is it the Scottish man..... strong, stubborn, proud, laying down his life for his country, his kin and his one and only true love. In the Pride of Lions and in its sequel, the Blood of Roses, Marsha Canham has transported me back in time to that unique place in history where lairds ruled and battles were fought with swords over land and love.
I have been introduced to another striking Scotsman....Alexander Cameron, a legendary , dark-haired warrior whose destiny takes him to England and to the woman that will change his life forever. Upon meeting the undeniably beautiful but spoiled Catherine Augustine Ashbrooke, feelings arise in Alexander that he has pushed aside for many years. He wins her hand in a duel, yet she has no idea that this stranger will eventually win her heart, her love and her soul. Catherine eventually finds out that Alexander is a Scotsman, a spy in her beloved England. He has no choice but to take her to his homeland, to the highlands, a place he hasn't seen in years. Catherine has been raised to think of Scotland as a cold, desolate place and its people as pure savages who can't even speak proper English. All of this changes as Catherine undergoes a metamorphosis, from a pampered, English child to an empathetic, mature lass. She sees for herself the majestic beauty of the land, the rolling hills and the black lochs, as well as the compassion, honour and pride of its people. There is a powerful love between Alexander and Catherine, one that has him opening his heart and soul to a Sassenach, one that has her yearning for the very man that will battle against her homeland and her people. I enjoyed the banter between these two, reminding me very much of another Scot and Sassenach named Jamie and Claire.
These books are filled with ancient blood fueds and some historical battles that are vividly described by the author. I found myself caught up in the Scottish quest for freedom as they marched their way across England, only to be defeated at Culloden, a horrific ending to a gallant dream for liberty. Yet throughout the stories, there is that ever present sense of hope, hope for independence, hope for peace, hope for a love that is all encompassing and never-ending. I do believe we are all princesses waiting and hoping for our knight in shining armour to rescue us, to throw us down and ravage us in the wild grass, to take us upon his horse and ride us into the sunset, but mostly, to love us more than life itself. We are all waiting for our Jamie, our Alexander, our champion. I believe I have found my warrior, although I do wish he wore a kilt!