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Kilts and Daggers: Highland Spies #2 by Victoria Roberts with Excerpt

To celebrate the release of KILTS AND DAGGERS, the second title in Victoria Roberts’ Highland Spies series, Fagan Murray, the strong and handsome captain of Laird Sutherland’s guard has agreed to sit down with us and answer our questions so you can know more about this rugged Highlander!  Additionally, please read on for an excerpt, and review and be sure to enter the tour-wide giveaway where you could be one of three winners to get a copy of My Highland Spy by Victoria Roberts, Book one in the Highland Spies series.

Book Review:

I’ve not read any titles from this author, but historicals and highlanders are my weakness, so Kilts and Daggers by Victoria Roberts was an obvious choice.  And I’m thrilled that I grabbed it. Neatly mixing in intrigue, English and Scottish society, a few braw highlanders and some lovely dialogue and I was enamored.

Grace is soon to be married when she discovers that her Uncle and elder sister were spies for the Crown, just the thing she’d like to experience before settling down.  She’s got some time for adventure as well, her immediate plans involve traveling to Scotland for her sister’s wedding, with some time before her own.

I loved Grace: she starts out as a bit of candy floss, not particularly deep or challenging, with a host of opinions that are not all well thought out. But she is far deeper than anyone gives her credit for, and beneath the proper young woman of the Tonne façade is a determined and passionate woman.

Arriving in Scotland, she is horrified by the knuckle dragging troglodytic Scotsmen, if only they weren’t so handsome and well-formed.  Believing, as many English do that the Scots are a different life form, she is alternately repelled and intrigued by the Highland Captain, Fagan.

When Grace needs an escort to return to England, Fagan is tasked with keeping her safe and returning her unsullied.  Not a particularly difficult task if only the lass wasn’t so intriguing.

Fagan is typically a highlander one would expect: fighting fit, stubborn, willful and entirely alpha, not willing to coddle Grace’s sensibilities if he sees no real need.  The banter and bickering between the two starts gently, but as he comes to see the depth beneath the frills, he’s too intrigued to let her go.

These two develop and grow through their initial mistrust and dislike: Grace’s quick tongue is finely honed with her experiences in society, and she’s not always in control of her temper if she feels slighted.  Fagan, unused to taking orders from anyone but the Laird is not going to let this chit of a sister in law make his life more difficult, but perhaps they can get on.  As he realizes her love and devotion to her family, and the strong sense of loyalty for those she loves, he comes to understand that she’s not that different from his ideal.  He, in turn, shows his own softer side, measured with a solid confidence in his own ability to protect her, and his honor to do all that is needed.

As a couple, after a rather slow start the story soon had them engaged in repeated back and forth moments that built the tension and the relationship in equal measure.  Roberts has a deft hand with pacing, adding laughter, tension and danger in equal measures, keeping the pages turning. At the climax, they couldn’t go fast enough, if only to see just how far Fagan would need to go to save Grace, and if she would finally admit to herself that her fiancé is not the one she wants. A great story that had me engaged early on after a bit of a slow start to build the world and information that would set up the story.

Kilts and Daggers: Highland Spies #2 by Victoria Roberts with Excerpt

Title: Kilts and Daggers
Author: Victoria Roberts
Series: Highland Spies #2
Also in this series: Kill or Be Kilt
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 1402292031
Published on: 5 May, 2015
Format:eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 320
Audio Length: 9 Hours
Rated: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Heat: One FlameOne FlameOne Flame

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About the Book:

Ever since Lady Grace Walsingham discovered her uncle and sister are spies for the Crown, she has yearned for adventure. She's counting the days until she can leave barbaric Scotland behind, even if she must endure Highland captain Fagan Murray's company for weeks.

Fagan has a simple mission: escort the haughty Lady Grace back to England. But nothing is ever easy. The sharp-tongued woman needles him at every turn. But when a menacing threat follows them on their journey, Fagan's grudging tolerance for Grace turns to respect...and into a perilous attraction that could seal their fate.

See the Highland Spies series on GoodReads

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

A quick Q & A with Fagan Murray

 

What was the last thing you and Grace argued about?

*laughs*
That would’ve been this morn. Grace wanted to practice throwing her dagger, and I told her there isn’t enough distance between us.

What is your biggest dream?

I’m already living my biggest dream. Grace is my wife.

excerpt

 

 “Mister Murray, I don’t feel at ease discussing these subjects with you.”“Then call me Fagan. Mister Murray was my father’s name anyway.”

Grace looked around and then softened her voice. “Now is that truly appropriate?”

“I told ye before. Ye’re a long way from England, lass. Lest ye forget, ye’re in the Highlands now. We do things differently here.”

She lifted a brow. “How could I forget?”

“Ruairi said ye’ll be staying with us for a few weeks. More to the point, I already call Ruairi’s wife Ravenna.” He turned up his smile a notch. “Ye and I are practically like family. Ye will call me Fagan, and I will call ye Grace, or I could always call ye bhana-phrionnsa. I’ll be kind enough to give ye a choice.”

“Ravenna may permit you to call her by her Christian name, but I certainly do not, Mister Murray. Although you do make me laugh, I’m afraid you and I are far from family.”

***

When Grace’s eyes smoldered, Fagan knew he shouldn’t get too close to the flame for fear of getting burned. There was still enough time to take his leave. Otherwise, he’d be verbally sparring with a lass in the middle of the great hall. Ruairi would no doubt have his head for causing mischief with his kin so soon after the wedding.

Fagan slapped both hands on the table and casually stood. Instinctively, he took another step back in case the lass suddenly had a strong urge to reach across the table and throttle him—or worse. Nevertheless, once she heard what he was about to say, the table wouldn’t provide enough space between them.

“Verra well then. I think bhana-phrionnsa suits ye quite nicely.” When Grace’s cheeks turned scarlet, Fagan smiled. “Donna say I didnae warn ye. Remember I did give ye a choice.” He winked at her and then turned on his heel.

“Wait!”

He had a hard time trying to mask his smile. He turned around slowly and lifted a brow. “Aye?”

Grace flew to her feet, walked around the table, and closed the distance between them. She lifted her head, and by the way she was unsteady on her feet, he swore the daft lass was standing on the tips of her toes in a futile attempt to look him level in the eye.

“England and Scotland have been warring for centuries, Mister Murray, yet somehow Scotland has never won.” Lifting her skirts, she brushed his arm with her shoulder and took a few steps away from him.

That was until he called after her and stopped her dead in her tracks. “Cuine a chì mi a-ris thu, Grace?” When will I see you again? He made certain he said the words as though he spoke to his lover, which obviously had the desired effect because her whole body stiffened, and then she left him without a backward glance. Fagan’s mood was suddenly buoyant. He wasn’t exactly sure why he loved to unnerve Princess Grace, but he had one hell of a time doing it.

 

 

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About Victoria Roberts

Victoria Roberts writes sexy, award-winning Scottish historical romances about kilted heroes and warriors from the past. Prior to ever picking up a single romance novel, she penned her first young adult novella at 16 years old. Who knew her leather-studded motorcycle hero would trade in his ride and emerge as a kilt wearing Highlander wielding a broadsword? Victoria lives with her husband and their two beautiful children in western Pennsylvania.

 

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