King Alexander wants the two biggest clans in Scotland to form a bond. The last thing he wants is to have them at war. The problem is, they've been enemies for many decades. In the current clans the Armstrongs killed the laird of the Montgomery clan making Graeme the current laird. Graeme wants nothing more than to kill every Armstrong he comes across. When he gets word that his King wants him to take Eveline Armstrong to wife he's pissed as all hell. If he denies the request though, he and his clan will be named outlaws and killed. Graeme has heard that Eveline is daft and that means that she'll have no idea what's going on and he can't, in all honor, bed a woman who has no clue what's going on, which means no heirs for him!
The Armstrong clan is no more happy about this than the Montgomery's. They think Graeme, and all Montgomery's, an animal and fear for Eveline when she gets married. They, like Graeme, can't defy they're king so they are stuck. Eveline, however, is excited about the marriage. You see, instead of being daft as everyone, even her family believes, she's actually deaf and just seems a bit addled when there are too many people around, they're all talking at once and she can't read their lips. She feels horrible about keeping info from her parents but she has a really good reason and hopes that once she's on Montgomery land she can finally be herself.
Eveline and Graeme seem to do well together and when she confesses her affliction rather than continuing with the deception Graeme is thrilled that he will be able to have a true marriage. The biggest problem is his clan. They can't see an innocent woman who had nothing to do with the battles that were previously fought between their clans; what they see when they look at Eveline is an Armstrong and most aren't willing to let her in to their lives.
I read a review for this book over at Nath's blog and I was thrilled when I read about the book. I love heroine's or heroes that are deaf or mute because I think it adds an interesting bit of angst to the story. This was one of the better ones I've read.
I think what I liked about this one so much was that while the deaf/mute aspect of the story was a large part of things it wasn't the sole focus. There was also the huge issue of Eveline's acceptance into the Montgomery clan. Graeme, as he got to know Eveline, realized what a kind and strong person she was. She wanted to make a place for herself in the clan and instead of acceptance she found trickery and ridicule. This infuriated Graeme and added another problem of his clan thinking that he was abandoning the Montgomery's for a “dirty” Armstrong. It was just all so good!
On top of all of that there was the nasty man that brought on the circumstances that caused Eveline to go deaf in the first place, Ian McHugh. He was a nasty piece of work and Eveline was happy to be rid of him. Ian, however was a wily bastard and didn't give up on Eveline as easily as she had thought. While this part of the story was a bit much it was a means to an good end and I thought it was a great way to wrap it all up.
I loved the romance in this book as well as almost everything else. I don't think I'd read a Banks historical before but I will definitely be reading the next book in the Montgomerys and Armstrongs Series.
Rating: 4.25 out of 5