The second book in Terri Brisbin’s The MacLerie Clan has turned out to be just as captivating and heartwarming as the first book. I fell in love with the heroine of this story because she was smart, brave and bold in a time where women had few rights and fewer choices in life.
Rurik Erengislsson has lived the last 13 years in the Highlands of Scotland serving the MacLerie clan but his father has summoned him home to the Orkney Islands to his rightful place as one of his heirs. On his way there, he must pick up the daughter of his father’s counselor from a convent where she has lived since her exile ten years ago when she was just eight years old. From her father’s letter, he thinks he is picking up a young girl but when he gets there, he realizes she is a full grown woman.
Margriet Gunnarsdottir has been ordered back to live with her father. He sends a group of warriors led by to travel with her on the long journey home. Because she fears for her safety, she grabs the laundry girl and they both don nun habits and pretend to be nuns for the journey with the men. Margriet also has a secret she is hiding from everyone. She thought she was in love with a rich merchant who claimed to love her and said he wanted to marry her so she gave him her virtue and now she is pregnant. He told her his name was Finn and that he was from her home town. She hopes when she gets there, to find him so they can be married but in her heart she knows something is wrong with his story.
I laughed at one scene where Margriet has second thoughts about wearing the habit once she has to travel in the hot sun and is sweating under all the layers and the wimple. She and the other girl go down to the river and act like they accidently fall in to get cool. They laughed as they struggled to get out and kept falling back in. It was pretty obvious to Rurik that she planned it when he saw her pick up her shoes after getting out so he knew that she had taken her shoes off prior to the accidental slip into the water.
Rurik’s father is the Earl of Orkney’s but he hasn’t told Margriet his surname. He is bastard born. He has a younger half-brother named Thorfinn who is actually Margriet’s Finn but she has no idea. Thorfinn is evil and cruel. He is out to ruin Margriet’s father because he is the one who suggested to his father that Rurik come back into his father’s household so he met and seduced Margriet on purpose. He has something planned but we don’t know exactly what it is.
On the journey, Margriet and Rurik start falling for each other. Rurik is mad at himself for liking a nun but and Margriet has her secrets so they both can’t act on their feelings. It’s sad because Margriet thinks even if she wasn’t pregnant that her father would never allow a marriage between them because she thinks Rurik is not of noble blood but in actuality, it is Margriet who wouldn’t be qualified to be Rurik’s wife because he is an earl’s son.
I was so into the book that I read through the night. I finally had to put it down when the words became too blurry to decipher because I was so tired. I finished it when I woke up. Now, I’m getting reading to dive into the next book.