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Review: The Devil of Jedburgh by Claire Robyns

10 Feb

The Devil of Jedburgh by Claire Robyns
Carina Press (Feb. 6, 2012)
ebook: $5.99 (95,000 words)
ISBN: 9781426893162

Favorite Lines: “He wants to dally for a while afore choosing a more appropriate wife and I want to earn my freedom. We both win.” (p. 71, egalley)

Raised on rumours of The Devil of Jedburgh, Breghan McAllen doesn’t want an arranged marriage to the beast. The arrogant border laird is not the romantic, sophisticated husband Breghan dreams of—despite the heat he stirs within her.

In need of an heir, Arran has finally agreed to take a wife, but when he sees Breghan’s fragile beauty, he’s furious. He will not risk the life of another maiden by getting her with child. Lust prompts him to offer a compromise: necessary precautions, and handfasting for a year and a day, after which Breghan will be free. For a chance to control her own future, Breghan makes a deal with the Devil.

Passion quickly turns to love, but Arran still has no intention of keeping the lass, or making her a mother. He loves her too much to lose her. But when a treasonous plot threatens queen and country, Breghan has to prove only she is woman enough to stand by his side.

Men are convoluted thinkers and the most alpha of them all is Arran. Known as the “Devil of Jedburgh” he is a vicious fighter who will do whatever it takes to secure his family’s hold on its land, Ferniehirst. Even if it means marrying an ugly, stout woman to give birth to his sons. He’s even found the perfect woman, Breghan McAllen. Her mother had given birth to 12 sons and one daughter. Too bad for him Breghan plans to be brood mare to no man.

There were a few nail-biting moments in The Devil of Jedburgh. I was concerned with how Breghan would confront the issue between her and Arran. There really was only one way to do so, but it involved Breghan tricking her hero. In reality I hate women who do as Breghan did. Did it affect my enjoyment of the story? Yep. It lowered my opinion of Breghan and even though I know it was necessary to resolve the conflict, I found it a bit distasteful.

Before all the conflict began to be resolved I enjoyed every bit of tension. I liked watching the fiery heroine running from a future she wanted no part of and I smiled as she found a way to make peace with the idea of being a woman of her time period. I even teared up when Breghan had issues with her father. The characters are inviting and well-written. The setting is vivid. The Devil of Jedburgh is a straight up classic Scottish romance. It’s love and action rolled into a tale set in my favorite place, the highlands of Scotland.

There are political machinations (not my favorite plot line), misunderstandings and hints at a possible second book set in the same world. Overall, it’s a nice story. Again, my problem is with the sneaky, chick trick the heroine played on the hero to move the story forward toward a happily ever after. It is a dirty, underhanded thing to have done.

So now that I’ve made you want to know what she did it’s time for you to go buy the story. I don’t regret reading it and one day may read it again. After you’ve read it, come back and let me know what you think about it.