by Hannah Howell

November 2005
ISBN: 0-8217-7964-8
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

Commanded by the Scottish king to deal with the troublesome McNairn clan, Sir Gabel de Amalville canít believe his luck when he captures Ainslee McNairn, the daughter of the McNairn laird. Despite the fact that he intends to ransom her to force McNairnís hand, he soon finds himself more attracted to Ainslee than he should.

Ainslee McNairn is captured by one of her fatherís many enemies. Although he is honest with her and she knows what he intends to do, she canít help but fall in love with the handsome lord. Ainslee is torn due to her loyalty to her family, despite the mistreatment she received from her father, who only cared about himself and Ainsleeís brothers.

Hannah Howellís My Valiant Knight is the first of her non-Murray related stories that I have read. Originally released in 1996, this reprint bears a special prize and a sexy new cover. The setting of the story is the Highlands and the timeline is a couple of centuries earlier than the Murrayís series timeline. I was quite happy to see that her characters were as appealing as always. Gabel is a man that was hurt in the past, betrayed by a woman, yet he is not so blind as to miss the true treasure Ainslee is. Ainslee is strong and definitely not a lady in the standard sense of the word. Ignored and mistreated by her father, her only friend has been an elderly distant cousin who taught her to wield a sword and how to ride a horse. Despite all that, she has a kind heart and a strong spirit. Gabel and Ainslee are instantly attracted to each other, but they soon discover that is a lot more beyond their respective good looks. The secondary cast of characters provides adequate support, but there is nothing particularly special about any of them. The story flows seamlessly and quickly. It is the sort of book that, once you start reading, you canít put down, and next thing you know, you are finished reading it. If you are looking for a heartwarming romance in the classic sense of the word, and canít resist the allure of a Highland story, My Valiant Knight would be a good choice for you. I definitely recommend it.

Reviewed in September 2006 by Mireya.

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