Highland Ruse: Mercenary Maidens - Book Two

Highland Ruse: Mercenary Maidens - Book Two

by Madeline Martin


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USA Today bestselling author Madeline Martin delivers the much-anticipated second in the Mercenary Maidens series, which thrills like only a stellar Scottish Romance can.

“A solid thread of teamwork and family, provided by the strong supporting cast of Ariana’s fellow spies underlies the romance…creating a community that will surely thrive as the series continues.” — Publishers Weekly on Highland Spy

Kaid MacLeod couldn’t protect his clan from an unimaginable slaughter that killed his father and took the lives of many of his people. Wracked with guilt, he knows retaliation will only bring more death, but his clan thirsts for revenge and all seems lost…until Kaid discovers his nemesis’s betrothed will be traveling through Scotland. Abducting this innocent woman will give him the leverage he desperately needs to end the continuing massacres and bring peace to his clan. Though he is loath to do so, it's the least bloody solution he can see.

Delilah Canterbury has been striving to make her own way for a long time. One of many children, with no money or noble blood to fall back on, Delilah dreamt of joining the court of King James. After her beauty earned her one tender night with the king, he spurned her on a whim, causing her to lose not just her chance at a better life, but her reputation. In dire straits, her life was saved when she was taken in by a group of female spies and taught their deadly skills. Now, testing her prowess, she is disguised as Lady Elizabeth, daughter of a well-known noble, betrothed of a Scottish laird, and a target in the war between clans.

Kidnapped by Kaid, Delilah's mission as a decoy is near completion, but when she finds herself attracted to the very man she's supposed to deceive, will Delilah lose control and risk her very life in the process? Will finding out who Delilah really is be Kaid's undoing, and that of his entire clan?

“A large cast of characters, plenty of adventure and heated love scenes.” — RT Book Reviews on Highland Spy

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781635761573
Publisher: Diversion Books
Publication date: 11/14/2017
Series: Mercenary Maidens Series , #2
Pages: 284
Sales rank: 373,664
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Madeline Martin is a USA TODAY Bestselling author of Scottish set historical romance novels. She lives a glitter-filled life in Jacksonville, Florida with her two daughters (known collectively as the minions) and a man so wonderful he's been dubbed Mr. Awesome. All shenanigans are detailed regularly on Twitter and on Facebook.

Madeline loves animals in sweaters, cat videos, wine and Nutella. Check out her FB page on any given Friday to see what great new book she's giving away by one of her fellow authors.

She also loves connecting with her readers, so feel free to follow her on any one of her social media platforms, or send her a message .

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Highland Ruse: Mercenary Maidens - Book Two 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
BuckeyeAngel More than 1 year ago
Once upon a time, Delilah Canterbury had big dreams while she had been at court. It didn’t take long before they were shattered. Wither her ruined life, she couldn’t return home to an overcrowded house, she is given an alternative that leads her to the life of a spy. Kaid MacLeod has to do something to save his clan from an enemy clan that has ruthlessly broken their truce. When he finds out that the other clan leader’s fiance will be traveling through Scotland to him, a crazy idea begins to take shape. I really liked this story. I liked all of the characters immensely. There were a couple of twists I hadn’t seen that made it all the better. I look forward to reading more about this particular group of spies. **I voluntarily read and reviewed this book
Historical_Romance_Lover More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed Kaid and Delilah's story. The fact that Delilah had to act as someone else for almost half of the story, added all kinds of drama. I really liked Kaid. He would do anything for his people, even if that means to kidnap an innocent noble woman. Of course, he hadn't counted on getting Delilah instead. I really liked Delilah too. She knew that she needed to complete her mission, but after staying with Kaid and his clan, she knew that she had to do something to help even if it meant failing at her first mission. This series has been awesome to far. Up next is Sylvi's story, Highland Wrath, which should be a very interesting read.! I can't wait to get my hands on it.
julieford More than 1 year ago
Madeline Martin continues to entertain and fascinate readers with her Mercenary Maidens series. This is book #2 but can be read as a stand alone. The characters not only show strength and determination but also each has a vulnerable side that helps them to connect. Kaid MacLeod is the laird of his clan that was practically destroyed by another Laird and now he is desperate to bring peace to his clan. Delilah Canterbury has been hired, along with her fellow mercenaries, to imitate Lady Elizabeth and ensure she reaches the laird to whom she is to wed. Kaid kidnaps Delilah, thinking she is Lady Elizabeth, and the adventure ensues. This story is filled with drama, sadness, some laughs and a beautiful love story. I highly recommend it.
TammyS32 More than 1 year ago
A great read of drama, suspense and intrigue. Delilah is a spy posing as Lady Elizabeth knowing that Kaid plans to kidnap her. Kaid believes kidnaping Lady Elizabeth is the only thing that will stop the death and destruction of his clan. Kaid and Delilah are attracted to each other but what will happen when he finds out the truth. Can his clan still be saved? Amazing group of characters and a wonderful story really transport you back in time. I was hooked from beginning to end. A good read.
Ajgray More than 1 year ago
I received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review. The story revolves around a Scottish Laird who kidnaps the bride of a rival clan in a bid to evoke peace between the two clans. Unknown to Kaid, the one he kidnaps is a decoy. As the story progresses, they have a HEA but only there is much more to their story. I would recommend this book as a good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the second book in an outstanding series! I love stories with strong female heroines, and this book has a whole group of strong female heroes. After being shunned by the king after she gave him her virginity, Delilah Canterbury believes she has no future. Enter Sylvi, who is the head of a ring of female spies. She recruits Delilah to join her team. This is Delilah's first solo mission. Kaid MacLeod is haunted with memories of a terrible massacre. He believes that the only way to save his clan is to kidnap the betrothed of his nemesis and use her as leverage to broker peace. What he doesn't know is that the woman he kidnaps is Delilah, posing as the woman who he intended to kidnap. She's determined to succeed in her mission. He's equally determined to succeed in his. Once each begins to understand the other's motives, they're faced with a dilemma. Is there a way they can both win?
im1stsherry More than 1 year ago
Dishonored by a king at 15, Delilah could not go home. There were too many children there to burden her parents. Sylvi is the leader of a group of women that have skills that no man can guess. She takes Delilah under her protection and teaches her what she needs to know to become one of her women. When Lady Elizabeth is sent to Scotland to wed, there is fear of abduction so her father hires Sylvi’s group to ensure the lady gets to Laird MacKenzie safely. They decide to substitute Delilah for Lady Elizabeth and send both in different directions. Kaid MacLeod is bend on peace with Laird MacKenzie. He plans the abduction and it goes off without a hitch. Delilah is kidnapped and she just needs to delay Kaid until Lady Elizabeth reaches MacKenzie. A great story with deceit, honor, and love. Wonderful descriptions and adventure. Madeline Martin does it again with an exciting tale of Scotland Highlanders!
FromTheSouth More than 1 year ago
Rating: 3.5 stars - This is one of those stories, I reluctantly right off the bat had to shrug off what for me was a morally degrading choice made by the innocent, naive, virgin heroine. To think her family would be proud of her if she had succeeded in her plan had me shaking my head in dismay. Shame on them, as well, if that be the case. Sure, it set the stage for her to woman up the right way and move on to join a girl powered posse of spies and ninja type female warriors that resembled Charlie’s Angels. But that initial scenario did not set well with me. I could easily give you some other situations that would have worked and kept her dignity/virginity in tact, but it is what it is. I’m not going to waste your time or mine trying to change what I cannot. Just trying to give a heads up, it may bother some of you, too. Immediately afterwards we are given a completely different new delightful Delilah. She’s brave, strong, quick witted, doesn’t back down from danger, and will put herself in harm’s way to save others. It comes in handy she’s mighty good with a sword and dagger, as well. She’s also a convincing liar, since her job requires deception. Kaid, the PTSD laird hero, is trying to carry out a plan of his own. Bargain with a devil of an enemy laird by using the woman on her way to become Mrs. Devil. A huge block of time is spent on the journey/kidnapping with the switch-roo replacement, Delilah. Along with the inevitable showdown that results in a lot of injuries, bloodshed, and life-threatening drama. It did seem a little far fetched how quickly a new character, after being introduced, went from incoherent/incapacitated to able to greatly impact the outcome. What you basically get here is a main couple who slowly get to know each other then go from enemies to loves. After lots of PTSD episodes/flashbacks we get a clear picture why Kaid hates this enemy so much. He is ultimately a good guy underneath it all and tries to use logic over his heart to win the day. Things get very graphically steamy after their initial attempts at keeping their hands and lips to themselves, folks. You can definitely feel their chemistry. They were a couple you wanted to be together. I did like how Delilah dishes out the goods on what is actually going on with her character, instead of someone else doing so. Except for my issues as previously mentioned, I enjoyed the storyline. I did find myself skimming over the final ending, after the big fight scene and all was well. But that is likely just me. Thank you NetGalley for the advanced reader copy. It enabled me to offer my honest, unbiased opinion on this romantic read. Title: Highland Ruse, Series: The Mercenary Maidens (Book 2), Author: Madeline Martin, Pages: 300, stand-alone but part of a series, very steamy, graphic fight scenes resulting in blood, injuries, and death, good guy hero who feels he has no choice, no cheating, no love triangle, no OW/OM drama, goes from naive/doormat to strong/warrior type heroine. Book 1 - Highland Spy Book 2 -Highland Ruse (I received a free advanced reader copy provided via NetGalley. This review reflects my honest, unbiased opinion. No type of compensation was given to me. There is no relationship or affiliation between myself and the author/publisher/NetGalley).
krazymama_98 More than 1 year ago
Highland Ruse is the story of two people that know what they want. What they need. In order to survive. They are both willing to do what it takes. Work hard. Take chances. But are they willing to fall in love? Perhaps the biggest chance of all.
BookReview4you More than 1 year ago
Highland Ruse by Madeline Martin is book Two in "The Mercenary Maidens" Series. This is the story of Kaid MacLeod and Delilah Canterbury. I have read the previous book 'Highland Spy' (and Loved It!) but feel this is can easily be a standalone book if you choose to do so. Delilah is the daughter of a poor family with about 15 kids. When Delilah is sent off to Court to work in King James household she is happy to do so. Then she catches King James's eye and they have a passionate night together where Delilah thinks it will lead to a better standing with him. But King James kicks just treats her as a one night stand. So when Delilah is approached to go to Scotland to become a Spy, Delilah goes forward to do so. Delilah knows there is no life left for her at the court after what she did with the King. After Delilah's training she is sent on a mission alone to act as Lady Elizabeth Seymour who is to marry in to the MacKenzie Clan, Delilah is to be the decoy. Kaid's enemy is Laird MacKenzie who has all but destroyed Kaid's clan. Laird MacKenzie is an evil man and Kaid just wants peace and for his clan to heal. So he thinks to take Laird MacKenzie betrothed, Elizabeth Seymour to help achieve that goal. Kaid and Delilah's feelings instantly start to grow but what will happen with the truth comes out about Delilah and her mission. I just loved their exciting story! Ms. Martin is always a 'must go to' author...her books always leave you wanting more of her stories!
redhotpv More than 1 year ago
This is Book 2 in Madeline's Mercenary Maidens series, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. This is the story of Delilah Canterbury and Kaid MacLeod. Said desperately needs to save his clan from a vicious and heartless laird from a different clan. Kaid needs the help of Delilah to succeed, but there are many obstacles in their way. Will Delilah agree to help him? Will an attraction form between them, or will they hate each other? Will Kaid be successful in what he needs to do, or will he and his clan be destroyed? Read this very well-written story with very interesting characters to find out. The story moves at a very nice pace, and it has suspense, intrigue, humor and romance all rolled into one exciting and entertaining story. Highly recommended!
Brownac101 More than 1 year ago
Delilah Canterbury is not the highborn daughter of a noble, nor is she by any means wealthy, but she thought her life would change for the better when she gave herself to the King, she was wrong. She is betrayed by the king and possibly set up for ruin until she meets a mysterious woman that sets her on a path as a spy. Her first solo as spy on her first mission to pose as a decoy for Lady Elizabeth. Kaid McLeod has suffered terrible losses and will do anything to save his people from a rival clan. Kaid discovers his nemesis’s betrothed will be traveling through Scotland and plans to kidnap Lady Elizabeth. Kaid captures Delilah aka Lady Elizabeth to use her give him the leverage he desperately needs to end the slaughter and bring peace to his clan. With so many lives on the line Kaid doesn’t need this sizzling attraction that's blossoming between them. I loved this book their journey is filled with twists and turns, secrets, lies and betrayal. Will Kaid be able to save his people and will their love survive all the lies and ultimate betrayal? This is my honest opinions after I voluntarily read a copy of this book that was provided to me with no requirements for a review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Madeline Martin keeps getting better and better. This is Martin's 2nd book in the Highland series. The first being Highland Spy. There are so many emotions to this book and I loved every one of them. Her characters come alive and you help cheering for them. This has battles, evil, spies, heartbreak and love. You must add this book, Highland Ruse to your TBR list. You won't be disappointed! Travel back in time to 1607 Cumbria England and then on to Scotland with Kaid, Delilah, Leasa, Donnan, Elizabeth, little Claire and the evil Seumas MacKenzie, were not everyone is who they seem to be. In one day Kaid's world had been destroyed and the nightmares will not stop. His only hope is to abduct the betrothed of the evil Laird MacKenzie and bring back his father's sword to find peace with his clan. Delilah has been hired to be a decoy to Lady Elizabeth so that she can reach her betrothed without harm. Who is Delilah? Can Kaid vanish the nightmares? Will his clan ever find peace? You will have to read to get the answers and many more in this amazing book! Kat Wiley
georgia1 More than 1 year ago
Amazing does not do justice to this book. My heart is bursting with emotion and love for the characters. I was pulled in from the first few pages and not let go until the end. How often is the heroine going to see the king to be acknowledged from giving herself to him the night before? Delilah Canterbury had felt less than nothing her entire life. Being the 8th child of 15, her expectations had always lacked any substance. But being turned away by the king she meets Sylvi who will change her life. Sylvi, head of a group of women spies, would teach her to fight and become something other than a victim. On a mission posing as someone else, she is kidnapped by Laird Kaid MacLeod to use her as a negotiating tool against his worst enemy of a rival clan. Can I say Sparks fly in more ways than one between Kaid and Delilah? This story has it all! Suspense, mystery, intrigue and of course a great romance. You feel you are there in Scotland and part of the characters. Another great read by Madeline Martin! I would give this a 10 ⭐️ if I could!!