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Deception of a Highlander
     

Deception of a Highlander

4.5 11
by Madeline Martin
 

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"A promising debut​.​"—​PUBLISHERS WEEKLY​

Scottish Romance doesn’t get much steamier—or more dangerous—than a spy hunting her quarry, and losing her heart to him instead.

To pay a seemingly impossible debt, Mariel Brandon has become a spy for Aaron, one of England’s deadliest minds. Aaron’s latest

Overview

"A promising debut​.​"—​PUBLISHERS WEEKLY​

Scottish Romance doesn’t get much steamier—or more dangerous—than a spy hunting her quarry, and losing her heart to him instead.

To pay a seemingly impossible debt, Mariel Brandon has become a spy for Aaron, one of England’s deadliest minds. Aaron’s latest mission for the sharp-witted and daring Mariel is to find two people in a heavily fortified castle on the Isle of Skye, a castle headed by the clan MacDonald and the powerful Kieran. Mariel is to seduce Kieran and get him to take her to Skye. If she succeeds, Aaron promises to let Mariel’s young brother go, and to free both of them from their debt. If she fails, her brother will die.

What she doesn’t count on is craving Kieran MacDonald almost immediately upon meeting him. Now Mariel must keep a secret from Kieran—one that could get them both killed—as she tries to form a plan that will save her brother, get her out from under Aaron’s thumb once and for all, and keep her in Kieran’s strong arms forever.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
03/02/2015
Martin’s promising debut sets a dramatic romance in the faintly sketched world of early Jacobean Scotland. Mariel Brandon is given three months to seduce and extract information from Highland laird Kieran MacDonald, with threats to her young brother’s life if she fails. As they travel from London to Edinburgh to Kieran’s home on Skye, Kieran struggles to protect his secrets from the mysterious woman who is trying to find a way into his bed and his heart. Martin has achieved a difficult creation, portraying two people who manage to keep secrets from each other without lying. Martin gives Mariel a strong personality without falling into anachronism, and Kieran manages to balance his leadership duties with his growing feelings for Mariel without seeming too good to be true. In contrast, the secondary characters behave inconsistently, and the villains are very close to cartoonish. The core of the book is a tightly plotted sequence of events that focuses and deepens the relationship of the main couple. Agent: Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary Agency. (May)
From the Publisher
"A promising debut​.​"—​PUBLISHERS WEEKLY​
VOYA, June 2015 (Vol. 38, No. 2) - Ellen Frank
In 1604 London, Mariel is a beautiful English girl whose brother, Jack, is held by Aaron, one of England’s deadliest minds. To rescue her brother, Mariel Brandon must discover where Blair and Dougal Hampton are and return them to England. Mariel seduces Kieran, the powerful leader of the MacDonald clan, accompanies him to Skye, and discovers where Blair and Dougal are hidden. Everything is going right for Mariel until she falls in love with Kieran. Her mission is in danger; she is faced with a moral dilemma and she must decide how far she can trust Kieran and how to rescue her brother without endangering the people she is told to turn over. Martin’s writing is very descriptive and romantic. She captures all the nuances of lovemaking and passion. The novel is light on historical fiction but the reader feels the animosity of the Scottish towards the English through the romantic tale of Mariel and Kieran. The realistic dialect is fast paced and makes the reader feel as if he or she is actually overhearing a conversation from 17th-century Scotland. This novel will appeal to teens interested in the dilemmas of espionage. Mariel and Kieran are both fascinating characters and would easily lead to great conversation and comparison to real life moral dilemmas. If a teacher could omit the steamy sex scenes the book, it would be a perfect complement to a study of Scottish clan history. Reviewer: Ellen Frank; Ages 15 to Adult.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781626816329
Publisher:
Diversion Publishing
Publication date:
04/28/2015
Series:
Madeline Martin's Highlander Series , #1
Pages:
292
Sales rank:
642,172
Product dimensions:
4.90(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Madeline Martin lives in Jacksonville, Florida with her two daughters and a menagerie of pets. She graduated from Flagler College with a degree in Business Administration and works for corporate America. Her hobbies include rock climbing, running, doing Mud Runs and just about anything exciting she can do without getting nauseous. She grew up in Europe and still enjoys traveling overseas whenever she can find the time to get away. Her favorite place to visit thus far: Scotland.

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Deception of a Highlander 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
gaele 7 months ago
If you are looking for a more traditional historical romance – this isn’t the story for you… it’s steamy and sexy, and a heroine with a head full of schemes, secrets and agendas. Left without (or so she thought) options, Mariel takes to seducing men for secrets, in her desire to free her brother from the influence of her ‘handler’. A bit too quick to take up the reins of courtesan for an otherwise ‘gently bred’ young woman of the day, she’s not easy to take to heart. There is, for me, a hesitation in her portrayal of various positions to ingratiate herself, and I can’t see that someone as demanding and deviant as Aaron would allow her, a virtual novice, the freedom to move and operate nearly independently. There is a connection between Mariel and Kieran, perhaps as he rebuffed her invitations and blatant sexual offers quite neatly, allowing her a few moments where I expected her to stop plotting and just find her own footing. It didn’t happen then, and I didn’t feel it working solidly to explain away all of the questions I had at the end. I don’t have to love her, and felt that her behavior had me almost unwilling to ‘trust’ in her character…. Only time will tell with this one. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
LindaTownsend More than 1 year ago
A steamy romance featuring intrigue, skullduggery and sexy Highlanders! She was in love with the very man she had to kill. DECEPTION OF A HIGHLANDER by Madeline Martin is a steamy Scottish romance that kept me up until the wee hours of the morn finishing it. It is the first book that I've ever read by this author but it won't be the last as I already have the next book in this series on my reader. This is the intriguing story of Laird Kieran MacDonald and a coerced spy, Mariel Brandon. Kieran and Mariel were both strong-willed, engaging characters. Mariel's life story was a sad one. She has been trained as an assassin and as a spy. Her younger brother, the only family member she had left, was being held by a powerful English blackguard. To obtain his freedom, Mariel was being strong-armed to utilize her wiles to seduce and betray Kieran, a Scottish barbarian and head of his clan. She needs to sleep with him so he will open up to her. There's one huge problem; she's fallen in love with the laird and his people so now she must decide between Kieran and his clan or her brother's life. Either way, she loses. Kieran is distrustful of the English for good reason. So, when a comely English lass urgently asks to be allowed to join his travel party, her reason doesn't ring true. But, he's also a chivalrous Scot and she is purportedly a lady in need of his assistance. He agrees to provide transport even though he knows that she harbors secrets. Notwithstanding that she is not who she purports to be, will his heart succumb to her continuous assault? This was a beautifully woven story that was emotionally compelling and mysterious. It kept me rivets from the first page through to the last. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys spicy, action-packed historical romances featuring sexy Scottish heroes. My full review is posted at Reading Between The Wines Book Club. Please check it out there! 4 Wine Glasses!
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Melinda Hills for Readers' Favorite In an era when ladies were not expected to be strong and capable, Breanne proves that she is not typical in Deception of a Highlander by Madeline Martin. After the death of her parents due to the plague, she and her young brother are saved from the streets but forced into a life of virtual slavery. The charming dandy Aaron takes them in, but has Breanne tutored in languages, coquetry and martial arts to act as a beautiful spy among the English upper crust. With the promise of her debt being paid, Breanne has one last job. She is to learn the whereabouts of two Scots and kill the Laird Kieran MacDonald if she can't get the information. Unfortunately, the job is not as easy as she would have liked because they encounter a warring clan, tremendous danger, and surprising emotions along the way from the court of King James to the rugged Isle of Skye off the Scottish coast. All of Breanne's training, however, has not prepared her for her greatest challenge. Will she succeed and save her brother's life or will the costs prove to be too high? Heart stopping action, brilliant characters, intense emotions, and wonderful historical insights make Deception of a Highlander a fantastic book. Madeline Martin has taken great care to make Breanne a believable character and provides excellent balance between her strength and vulnerability. Steadfast determination keeps Breanne striving towards her goal but, as so often is the case, life gets in the way. Madeline Martin keeps you turning the pages to see just how Breanne will overcome each challenge while experiencing unbridled passion with the man she may just have to kill.
silvatrend8553 More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing debut novel from an obviously talented author. I look forward to more! I was pleasantly surprised by how much I honestly enjoyed Deception of a Highlander. From page one it grabs and holds the reader's attention and doesn't let go. It is fast paced with unpredictable twists and turns, very steamy passion, mystery, action, and romance. Both Hero and Heroine are fighting for people they love most in the world yet strongly attracted to each other. The sparks fly between them from the beginning but neither trust the other. She must call on her special skills without letting him see. No matter his powerful attraction to her, he tries his best to ignore the passion. She is also attracted to him so she doesn't make it easy. When Mariel discovers who the two people actually are she faces making some difficult decisions as she grows to care for Keiran, but she must save her brother, herself, and Keiran. I highly recommend Deception of a Highlander by Madeline Martin to anyone who loves to read Highlander tales, or loves reading romance. If you haven't tried historical romance you will become a fan after reading this book. This author, after her first book, has been added to my treasured auto buy keeper shelf list. I will mark my calendar for every future release! I received this book free from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Crystal61 More than 1 year ago
I was given this ebook for an honest opinion.  This is a very gritty romance.  The characters are well written and you want them to succeed.  Mariel has grown up in a way that most ladies would never even dream of.  Protection of her brother, Jack, has her doing the unthinkable after being trained as a stealthy fighter.  Her feelings of self hatred could cost her the man she comes to love.  Kieran is a strong and distrustful Highlander who allows this woman into his life despite her secrets.  The path toward each other is fraught with those secrets and distrust, and you keep your fingers crossed that each will see the other's side.  I enjoyed the ups and downs, and look forward to more from this author.
Historical_Romance_Lover More than 1 year ago
To be able to survive, Mariel Brandon became a spy. She has been able to do her job up to this point without having to kill anyone. But that might change with her latest assignment. If she doesn't get the information she is assigned to get, she is suppose to kill her target. As an added inducement to get the assignment done, Mariel's boss has taken her little brother captive. If she doesn't complete the assignment, he will be killed. Kieran MacDonald is Mariel's target. He is a man that doesn't let others close to him or his family. Heading back to his home, is is approached by Mariel to be allowed to travel with him. Believing her sob story, he allows her to join his party. Keiran soon learns that there is a spy sent after him. What will he do when he learns it is the lady he is starting to fall in love with? Madeline Martin's debut novel indicates that there are great things to come! I thoroughly enjoyed the story of Mariel and Keirnan. You don't often read about female spies during this period of history and I really enjoy reading about them when I come across them. The story was very fast paced and kept me enthralled until the very end.If this is any indication of what is to come from Madeline Martin, she will be on my auto buy list! Thanks go out to Diversion Books via NetGalley for a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review.
Jello80 More than 1 year ago
This is a great book! The story has many twists and turns-such a great storyline! I was able to fall in love the main characters and I rooted for them with every turn of the page. One of the best things about the book was the beautiful settings. You will be transported to a different land where the characters fully develope. This is a must read.
RhondaRFK More than 1 year ago
WILL NOT LAY DOWN PAGE TURNING SCOTTISH HIGHLANDER TALE! This is Madeline Martin’s debut, and what a surprising debut it is! This book is absolutely amazing, enthralling, open up and read can’t put down and even carry to the bathroom up all night read! Honestly, this book is that GOOD! I will mark my calendar for book releases from this author and Madeline Martin has made it among the top of my list of treasures and has earned a permanent place on my keeper read and reread and reread shelf. I have had this book for less than a month and I have honestly already read it twice and will read it again. The reader will feel as if they actually join the characters and smell, see, and even taste along with the characters. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I honestly enjoyed Deception of a Highlander. From page one it grabs and holds the reader’s attention and doesn’t let go. It’s fast paced with unpredictable twists and turns, very steamy passion, mystery, action, and romance. Both fighting for people they love most in the world yet strongly attracted to each other. Mariel Brandon, a strong beautiful intelligent lady, falls on hard times after losing her parents. She and her younger brother are rescued by Aaron, who is more than he appears and a most dangerous man, who makes those who owe him do all his dirty work. To pay the debt he holds Mariel’s brother hostage while Mariel is specially trained to protect herself, fight to win, and spy by gaining information from specific persons for Aaron. She must find a way to save herself and her younger brother. With a promise from Aaron that she will see her brother and they may leave, she must hopefully go on one last mission. She must travel to the Isle of Skye, gain entrance to the castle, find two people, and report them to Aaron. If she succeeds she and her brother may go free, but if she fails, they will both be killed. Mariel has no idea how she will succeed, until she meets Keiran MadDonald, Laird of the castle on the Isle of Skye. As she has in the past, drugged and partially seduced information from others, she hopes to do the same to Keiran. However Keiran doesn’t trust nor does he fall so easily to a beautiful face and form, and Mariel is one of the most beautiful ladies he has ever beheld. He begins by refusing to let her travel, as he is departing England the following morning, with his party to Scotland. During the evening of their meeting there is a wager placed on a game of chess. No one has beaten him before and if he wins he names his prize, but if she wins, she will travel with him to Scotland. The sparks fly between them from the beginning but neither trust the other. She must call on her special skills without letting him see. No matter his powerful attraction to her, he tries his best to ignore the passion. She is also attracted to him so she doesn’t make it easy. When she discovers who the two people actually are she faces making some difficult decisions as she grows to care for Keiran, but she must save her brother, herself, and Keiran. I highly recommend Deception of a Highlander by Madeline Martin to anyone who loves to read Highlander tales, or loves reading romance. If you haven’t tried historical romance you will become a fan after reading this book. This author, after her first book, has been added to my treasured auto buy keeper shelf list. I will mark my calendar for every future release!
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
Who says global warming is a contemporary issue, obviously not anyone who has read Deception of a Highlander the sizzling historical romance by Madeline Martin. Just a warning, if you like a lot of story and sprinkles of heat here and there, this is NOT your typical historical romance filled with the delicate sensibilities of ladies and gentlemen, this is a raw in your face, tale where the characters have sexual desires, needs and attractions, sometimes used as a weapon in the game of cat and mouse being played. With a descriptive view of the Highlands in the seventeenth century, you will feel transported to another era. Mariel is forced to do the bidding of an evil and manipulating loan shark as part of her repayment of her debts. She is to get close to a highlander of power, but Kieran is nothing like what she expected and it would appear the web she has woven for him will catch her heart, too. But danger still lurks, because one false step and the bodies will start piling up. As a spy, on the hunt for two targets, Mariel must deceive Kieran, the proud highlander who is the unwilling laird with the lives of good people in his hands. People will die, but is Mariel’s heart asking her to trust the honor in the heart of Kieran? They say the truth shall set you free, but for Mariel, it could cost her so much more. Madeline Martin can write, no doubt about it, she knows her highlanders and the women they attract, but the heavy emphasis on sex, while not graphic, seemed to break up the flow of this tale. I received this copy from Diversion Books in exchange for my honest review.
Keoweegirl More than 1 year ago
A woman forced to spy - and more - to keep a loved one safe. An honorable man who never aspired to be laird, now tasked with keeping those within his care safe. Mariel is ordered to find two people on Skye by convincing Kieran MacDonald to take her with him when he leaves London to return home. With this final mission, she hopes to clear her debt and secure her young brother's release from the dastardly Aaron. Get in, find the targets and get out but things don't go according to plan. The people she's seeking are not what she expects. Neither is Kieran MacDonald. Before long, she stands in danger of losing her heart to the man she's been sent to deceive. If her mission succeeds, innocents could die. If Kieran uncovers her plot, it could mean her death and that of her brother. But can she trust him with the truth when no man has ever given her reason to do so? Deception of a Highlander by Madeline Martin has everything I enjoy in a Scottish historical romance. With her well-developed characters, tightly-woven, fast-paced plot, and range of emotion, Martin writes more like a seasoned veteran than a debut author releasing her first book. This is an author to watch. ~PJ  Ausdenmore 
JeneratedReviews More than 1 year ago
*I received this ARC via Netgalley* Author Madeline Martin gives an impressive debut with her book Deception of a Highlander. A distinctive plot, interesting characters and steamy sexual tension will hold the reader until the last page and leave them craving more works by this up and coming writer.