In 16th century Scotland, young Miss Florie Gilder runs away from her drunken foster father to find her real father and her noble heritage. Along the way, she is accused of theft, becomes a fugitive hiding in a forest, and is accidentally wounded by a handsome local huntsman. The huntsman--a Robin-Hood figure who poaches wild game from the landowner's estate to feed the starving poor--carries the beautiful maiden to a church where she is guaranteed 40 days of sanctuary from the law. During that time, he learns her true story, falls in love with her, and helps her in her quest, at the risk of his own life. Smitten with him, she worries more for his survival. But enemies of the state are seeking to overturn the Catholic royals, while a vicious noblewoman is out to destroy Florie.
(Terra's Thoughts) This book caught me off guard with it's romantic intensity. Ever so sensual and emotional this is sure to catch you in the huntsman's bulls eye having cupids arrow slice deliciously into your soul. A grappling story of life's injustices, curses and down right evil greed that add the perfect touches to a story of true love at first sight.
Florie Gilder is truly beautiful, delicate, petite, stubborn as the day is long and a much admired goldsmith in her own right. Even making pieces that have Princess Mary of Scotland commissioning Florie for her own use.
What Florie really needs though is to find her real father for she is a bastard child raised by her mother and a Goldsmith of high standing in his guild. With her mother now gone and her step father in his cups more than out, Florie decides that it's time for her to see for herself if she can make it as a goldsmith and find the man who sired her. Being naive and far too trusting sets off a chain of events that will show Florie just what the real world is really like outside of Stirlin.
Rane McAlister is a Viking God in every physical way possible. Tall, light haired with golden skin from being outside working, a mannerism that speaks of a kind gentle giant. He has a skill as a huntsman of the highest standing but one skip of the arrow from a moments distractions puts him in a place that causes him emotional pain so searing that it will surely take this kind and generous hunk of man and change him forever.
The story is solid and very romantic. Light but with a dark reality strewn from greed and just plain evil. It shows a compassion and forgiveness that all of us should take a lesson from. The author has most certainly captured the true essence of the times and dear God am I glad to live in this day and age. A nice piece of fluff to let you escape your own harsh reality even for just a little bit.
Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Forever (July 27, 2010)