Clarissa has always known that she is a bastard of England's King. Her mother died years before from a illness and she has been under her uncle's guardianship. Her uncle has ordered her up to Scotland to be Scotland's crown prince's leman (or also known as mistress). The last thing she desires is to be someones bed mate, but she has little choice. When she arrives in Scotland, she is kidnapped by Laird Broen, who is making a political move to benefit his clan. Ever since Broen's father died, he has had to take over responsibility of many who depend on him. So when he decides to kidnap the England King's bastard daughter, he never realized how his world would turn upside down. Broen believes he is doing her a favor, many would kill her even though she is innocent in this game that she has been brought into. From their first meeting sparks fly between Broen and Clarissa, and a passion erupts between them. Even though Broen is betrothed to another woman, and Clarissa has no future, it doesn't stop a beautiful love to blossom between the two.
I found The Highlander's Prize a lively romance that takes you back to medieval Scotland. This is the first in the Sutherland series, and the first book I have had a chance to read from by this author. I have been wanting to read her for quite some time. Many of her books have such magical romantic covers, and blurbs to match, so when I saw this title on the shelf of my local library, I couldn't resist. Besides I do love the arms of the cover model--pure gorgeous male specimen. I love anything set in the Medieval time period, but most especially set in Scotland, where war and passion rivaled any other country. This story is set in the 1400's, and the author does quite a good job on researching the time period and its very obvious in her writing. As a history buff, I am always impressed when a author does a job well done on a time period that would be challenging to write in. From the first few chapters, there is a delicious tension between Broen and Clarissa, and I was laughing quite a bit at the drama of it all. There is a instant attraction from the time Broen kidnaps Clarissa to the time where she is settles in his castle. In the beginning Clarissa tries to resist the attraction she feels toward her captor, but he is anything but a mean captor. He is passionate, tender and adventurous. The story only gains in its intensity and I was at the edge of my seat for the last half of it, wondering how these two would ever find their HEA. But going to spoil it a bit, and say that they did even though it was quite a fight before they were able to attain it.
I loved the characters in this story. As this is my first book from this author, I was impressed. Even though it took me a little while to really get into the story, once I did I was so glad I picked this one up. There was such a dramatic connection between the two, but not overly done, I enjoyed every moment these two lashed out at each other, quite entertaining. Broen is pure alpha male of this time period, throw a woman over the shoulder if she argues too much kind of man. Which is my favorite. Not subtle in any way. I loved how bold he was and willing to fight for what he loved the most. Clarissa is your usual spitfire heroine, but not hard on the inside. She does have a soft side, and I enjoyed seeing how the author balanced it out. Some of the side characters were very amusing, and there is a little start to a love story (which I believe they get their own story in the next installment in the series --so very excited to read that one :).
Overall a stellar romance that is set in beautiful Scotland, with plenty of humor, adventure, romance, and history. Mary Wine brings richness and excitement to this love story that is a keeper!!!