Highland Spy: Mercenary Maidens - Book One

Highland Spy: Mercenary Maidens - Book One

by Madeline Martin


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USA Today bestselling author Madeline Martin delivers a captivating novel of passion and intrigue...

Connor Grant is in search of a lady. Not a bride, but a woman to become a skillful and seductive spy in the service of King James. In addition to being the King’s personal assassin, Connor heads a group of female spies who aid him in his work, women with nothing left to lose.

Ariana Fitzroy is the perfect mark. Destitute, orphaned, and completely alone, she’s missed her chance at an advantageous match at court and cheats at cards to survive. When Connor catches her in the act, he threatens to expose her, unless she joins his elite roster of spies.

She agrees and is whisked away to a deserted Scottish castle to begin her training. Ariana quickly takes to her lessons in seduction, deception, and hand-to-hand combat, but less easy to fight are her feelings of lust toward the ruggedly handsome Connor, feelings she suspects may be reciprocated.

When Connor recruits her help on a mysterious task, the pair must work together to track a dangerous target. But Ariana suspects Connor isn’t telling her everything—not just about the mission, but also about his past. Will the secrets between them threaten their mission? And will they be able to fight their attraction as they wonder who they can trust?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781682302958
Publisher: Diversion Books
Publication date: 01/10/2017
Series: Mercenary Maidens Series , #1
Pages: 358
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Madeline Martin lives in Jacksonville, FL with her two daughters and a menagerie of pets. She graduated from Flagler College with a degree in Business Administration and works in corporate America. Her hobbies include rock climbing, running, doing Mud Runs, and just about anything exciting she can do without getting nauseated. 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. She is the author of three Scottish Historical novels: Deception of a Highlander , Possession of a Highlander , and Enchantment of a Highlander.

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Highland Spy: Mercenary Maidens - Book One 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Historical_Romance_Lover More than 1 year ago
I loved Connor and Ariana's story!! I loved that Ariana was so strong. She did what she had to do to survive and when Connor brings her into the Mercenary Maidens, she puts her all into it. I really liked Connor too. He tried to push his feelings for Ariana aside so that he could be the best leader that he could be, but the pull to her was too strong. I loved watching the two of them together. I didn't want the story to end. This is a great start to a new series. Martin was masterful in how she wove the other Maidens into this story and having me on pins and needles awaiting the time when they get their HEA.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Madeline Martin you did it again! Highland Spy was AWESOME!!! This book is just full of surprises. The ending just took me by surprise and I love when I have no clue who the vilian is in a book. I loved this book from the beginning until the end. Madeline has such a way with word that it is hard to put this book down, I just wanted to keep on reading it. So travel back in time to 1605 London where Connor catches Ariana cheating at cards and decides she would make the perfect spy. Arianna has to cheat due to her family passing away and her brother had spent all her dowery and leaves her with nothing. what options does she have? All she wants is to be free and loved. So Connor send her to Scotland to Kindrochit Castle, which is in ruins and abandoned, for her training. Connor, Ariana, Liv, Percy, Delilah, Sykvi, Murdoch and a kitten named Fianna build a band of spies but exactly why are they going out on missions, for what purpose? Why would these Ladies need to learn to fight like a man? What are their dark secrets and why are they there? Why is Connor leading them, what does he get out of it and what are his dark secrets? So many questions! You would have to read it to get the answers. Kat Wiley
Crystal61 More than 1 year ago
I loved this story! The idea of female spies intrigued me. Ariana is a strong woman who has seen better days. She accepts Connor's offer to train and this leads to mistrust, learning, and love. It was a fun read, and I look forward to the next in the series. I purchased this book, and this is my unsolicited review.
CharleneCF More than 1 year ago
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. That being said, I loved this book! The Mercenary Maidens series is something I'm looking forward to reading more of. Without saying too much, this novel is about Connor and Ariana. If you love books about the Scottish Highlands, you will love this book, and seeing of our couple will get their HEA.
redhotpv More than 1 year ago
This author's books never disappoint me. This is Book 1 in her new Mercenary Maidens Series, and I loved it! The main characters, Conner and Ariana, are very interesting and likable. Their characters are very complex and very well developed. The minor characters in the book were also very interesting, likable and well developed, and I'm sure that we will see more of them in future installments of this series. I'm really looking forward to that. The story itself was extremely interesting. I was pulled into the story from the minute I started reading it right up until the end. It was so well-written with some great twists and turns as the book progressed. There was also a very nice sizzle between Connor and Ariana that I really loved. Not a dull moment in the book! Wonderful suspense, nicely paced, intense emotion, great romance and some unexpected surprises made this book a winner for me! Well done! Highly recommended!
Sam1219 More than 1 year ago
I am voluntarily submitting my review after receiving a NetGalley ARC edition of this book. In Highland Spy, Madeline Martin combines compelling characters, gripping suspense and a touch of romance to create a novel that keeps the reader engaged from start to finish. After just a few pages, I found myself so engrossed in this book that I set aside the remainder of the afternoon to finish it in one sitting. While the love story between the main characters is somewhat predictable, the female characters are so fascinating and unique that I can't get enough of them and hope they return in future additions to the series. Without giving away any spoilers, I will only say that some elements of the surprising ending, while imaginative and entertaining, seemed possibly a bit short on realism, but then again, this is fiction, so why not go for broke? Overall, this book was a fast-paced, highly entertaining read that left me looking forward to reading more from this author. Fans of historical fiction, in particular, will be delighted by this book.
Stefanie0 More than 1 year ago
Madeline Martin has written another fabulous series! Highland Spy is the first in the Mercenary Maidens series. It is definitely a book you can't put down and keep turning the pages. I can honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Ariana Fitzroy has lost everything. Her family and fortune are gone. She resorts to her talent of cheating at cards. Connor Grant is an assassin for the King and trains desperate women from the English Court who have nowhere to turn to be spies. Connor is just as lost as these women after losing everything himself. When he catches Ariana cheating at cards, he has a new trainee to instruct at one of the castles. This story takes on a tone of challenging second chance love. As he trains Ariana, he gets to see a different side of here. Their love blossoms but has difficult obstacles to overcome. This story has it all! Intrigue, romance and a Hot highlander!! It is such a captivating story in a way only Madeline Martin can produce. It is such an enjoyable story that pulls you in and you instantly feel connected to the characters. As with all of Madeline Martin's books, this is a fantastic read!! This is an honest review for a voluntary advance copy.
julieford More than 1 year ago
I was lucky enough to win an ARC of Highland Spy from Madeline Martin. This review is freely given. This is Book One in the Mercenary Maidens series. Madeline Martin has created a story filled with intrigue, characters that show that you can survive anything and a story that jumps off the pages making you feel as if you are part of the story. Ariana Fitzroy has been left with nothing and decides to cheat at cards in order to feed her and her staff. Connor Grant recruits ladies to join his secret spy ring. When he spots Ariana cheating, he knows that he can convince her to join him. She reluctantly agrees but soon discovers that she has a knack for the training. As the danger in the missions increases, the bond between them grows. This story is amazing.
Mirabelle8 More than 1 year ago
Breathtaking! Be prepared to be dazzled! Highland Spy, is stunning and powerful with rich characters. I loved her strong and determine heroine Ariana. Truly a magnificent story, by Madeline Martin! Great debut for her amazing new series The Mercenary Maidens. Ariana and Connor's story stole my breath away! This talented author, caught my attention, from the first page until the very end. It's a real page turner to devour! You'll fall in love with the many characters of this captivating Scottish adventure! London 1605. When we start this story, we learn that Connor has lost everything precious to him, so he decides to become the King's assassin and trainer for the women of the English court. Ariana, has lost everything too, so she resorts to cheating at cards, until Connor discovers her secret. Since part of his mission, is to recruit women for his spy ring, he proposes a deal to Ariana. Will she accept? Will they team up together? Will they get a second chance to start all over? Lots of twists and turns, secrets, lies, betrayal and of course romance! Fat paced with a well developed plot! Who doesn't love highlanders, spies, witches and the Highlands! If you do, you are in for a treat! Let yourself be swept away into Ariana and Connor's passionate journey rich with beautiful emotions! I found the secondary characters, quite charming and fun to follow. Ms. Martin really captured the essence of this medieval period ! I strongly recommend this beautiful novel! *Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.
FromTheSouth More than 1 year ago
The classy book cover and synopsis pretty much paints an accurate picture of what you are in store for, folks, if you choose to accept the mission of reading Highland Spy by Madeline Martin. No lengthy review is really required. Connor Grant, the hero, plays his role to perfection as the handsome Liam Neeson type Scottish laird without a castle who is forced against his will to recruit/train beautiful, damsel in distress noble women to become well-trained spies. I have to admit I was very nervous to learn how he acquired them and what they would be expected to do. At first, I conjured up an imagine of a nefarious character lurking around a dark secluded place hoping to come across runaways desperate to do anything for a quick meal/roof over their head. Fortunately, that was not the case. Sure, these women had backgrounds/issues that left them vulnerable to be manipulated into recruitment, but they were good women who were given a choice. Of course, it was more like an offer they couldn’t refuse, since the alternative of not accepting was worse. More good news is it did not involve offering up any more than their eyes, ears, at times flirtatious behavior, and a dress with a plunging neckline. Their skill with weapons training seemed more for their own protection. The killing part was always supposed to fall in Connor’s hands. However, things don’t always go as planned, now do they? It was nice to see the heroine, Ariana, go from living off sheer determination/her wits/Lady Luck with slight of hand at card tables to a Zena the warrior type character who knew how to defend herself. Joining the already established small posse of other women, they quickly seemed to bond and came together for a common cause, to serve at King James’ forced command. Most of the story line was drama based with just an underlying romantic undertone between the main couple. Eventually Connor and Arianna gave in to temptation but their few passionate, steamy scenes never hijack the . When conflict develops between them, I was quite proud of Ariana’s response. Let’s just say, this girl decides to take matters and her future into her hands. I was mentally applauding thinking, “You go, girl!” But like I just said, things don’t always go as planned. With several twist and turns, big secrets get revealed and tables get turned. The multi-pronged plot keeps unfolding, and I stayed so engaged I didn’t even notice romance had taken a backseat. But, for once, my fellow romance book-loving friends, I didn’t seem to mind, which is unusual. You see, I’m actually not into spy type romantic reads. It was enough this time around to just feel the constant emotional connection/chemistry between Connor and Ariana. Not that I wasn't given some steamy scenes. So if you are looking for an English/Scottish spy themed romance (that mostly picks up its pace the second half) featuring a good guy hero forced to be an assassin and a determined to take care of herself/be in charge of her own happiness heroine, you might want to consider Highland Spy. As this is book 1, I can only assume the other ladies in this band of spies will eventually each get their own stories told. Title: Highland Spy, Series: Mercenary Maidens (Book 1), Author: Madeline Martin, Pages: 354, stand-alone but part of a series, HEA, no cheating, no love triangle, no OW/OM drama, virgin heroine, some graphic violence, only a few very steamy scenes. (ARC review via NetGalley. No compensation was given.)
BookReview4you More than 1 year ago
'Highland Spy' by Madeline Martin is book one in the "The Mercenary Maidens" series. This is the story of Ariana Fitzroy and Connor Grant. Connor lost lost his family and lands and now he is the King's assassin along with taken fallen when in to train them to spy. Ariana family were now gone and alone with them them money they had. So to survive Ariana has taken to cheating at card for money. On one such game she meets Connor who pulls her aside to inform her that he knows she is cheating. Connor offers her the job of joining his Spy group in exchange for not being placed in jail. Of Course Ariana goes with Connor and joins his team. There Ariana meets other women who have fallen on hard times and hard situations. As Ariana starts learning to fight and spy she starts to have feelings for Connor. Connor too starts to see Ariana as someone he cares about but tries to fight his growing feelings as he as his goal of getting what he lost back. In addition, Connor feels that with all that he has done he is not worthy of Ariana. I so love Ms. Martin's book at this one did not disappoint! This book is a great start to a great series! "My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read."
MyBookAddictionandMore More than 1 year ago
Highland Spy: Mercenary Maidens Series, Book 1 by Madeline Martin definitely shows craftsmanship in writing a mesmerizing Medieval Scottish Romance. Book 1 promises readers an exciting thrill ride into the "Mescenary Maidens" series. WOW! Set in a delapicated castle in Scotland and at the English court. Ariana Fitzroy, after losing her family and her fortune, resorts to card games at court to survive, which she thinks she has the capability of winning. Connor Grant, is a trainer of fallen women from the English court and a broken personal assassin to the king. Which is where he encounters Ariana, cheating at cards, he gives her the option of going to prison or going with him in training. Of course, she accepts his offer. This is how she becomes his newest trainee. "Highland Spy" is emotionally charged, intriguing, mesmerizing and utterly captivating! It has second chances, betrayal, challenges, female spies, claiming an inheritance once stolen, retribution, facing the consequences life has dealt head on, overcoming hopelessness to become confident, strong, and of course, romance and finding love. But will Ariana and Connor find their HEA or lose all to lies and deception? The secondary characters are as enticing as the hero/heroine. They are very intriguing and makes the reader wish to learn more of their circumstances and how they became spies. This story has twists and turns, and surprises I didn't see coming, betrayals I never preserved until the evil was encountered. I was captivated from the first few pages to the last page and beyond. I can not wait to read more of this exciting and thrilling series. Another must read Medieval Scottish Romance by Madeline Martin, who has become another favorite author of mine. She holds her readers in awe, and totally entranced in her stories. Definitely a WOW moment! Highly recommended! Fans of Medevial romance, Scottish romance, second chances, fast paced stories and well written romance are sure to enjoy "Highland Spy" by MadelineMartin. I definitely enjoyed this tale of live, love and finding a HEA! Another hit for Madeline Martin! Received a complimentary copy. Rating: 5 Heat rating: Mild Reviewed by: AprilR
LindaTownsend More than 1 year ago
An intriguing Scottish romantic mystery and the first installment in Madeline's Mercenary Maidens trilogy! Highland Spy by Madeline Martin is an intriguing Scottish romantic mystery and the first installment in her Mercenary Maidens trilogy which is about a group of noble women who have fallen from the court’s good graces and been swept up into an organization of all female spies. I can honestly say I didn’t want to put this book down! It’s the first book I’ve ever read by Madeline; I do not plan on it being the last. The story reminded me slightly of a series by another favorite author of mine, Victoria Robert’s Highland Spies series which also features female spies and Highland hotties. That said, they are similar, but different! Regardless… combine a sexy kilted Highlander with a strong-willed woman in a captivating story and I’m in! As the story opens, we meet Lady Ariana Fitzroy. Her family has died leaving her alone and destitute. She has resorted to cheating at cards to earn enough to scrape by. It just so happens that Highlander Connor Grant is in attendance at the same event looking for another woman to add to his band of spies who work at King James’ bidding. His eye catches Ariana’s trickery and he knows he’s found the woman he needs. With the threat that her treachery will be publicly exposed if she does not acquiesce to Connor’s proposition, Ariana agrees. Before Ariana can catch her breath, she has been whisked away to a Scottish castle to begin her training… Ariana and Connor were realistic characters with chemistry. I connected with both from the beginning. Each of their background stories pulled at my heartstrings. They were each strong in both character and will and they genuinely cared for others. Connor really tried not to succumb to his attraction to Ariana as he felt honor-bound not to take advantage of her being that she was under his care. The villains were reprehensible… I won’t say anything more as I could ruin some of the author’s curveballs and I won’t do that. Oh my! I had many favorite scenes, but one that still runs through my mind was Delilah’s lesson in seduction. Delilah was another member of Connor’s band of female spies (and her story will be the next one told!). Delilah was obviously experienced whereas Ariana had never even been kissed. I can’t wait to read Highland Ruse. That will be Delilah’s story! She’s the one who gave Arianna her lesson in seduction. I can only imagine the further instructions she may impart in her own adventure! Ooh la la!!!! While waiting for Highland Ruse to release, fans won’t be bereft. Madeline will be a part of THREE new anthologies releasing in 2017! Highland Spy is well written and plotted. Blending political intrigue, espionage, pulse-pounding action and inexcusable treachery with real historical elements and a yummy attraction between Ariana and Connor made this tale a winner for me. You can expect plenty of surprising twists and turns along with a few shockers. I’d highly recommend Highland Spy to anyone who enjoys historical romantic suspense! 4 1/2 Wine Glasses! My full review is posted at Reading Between The Wines Book Club. Please check it out there!