KNIGHT EVERLASTING – Jackie Ivie
Scotland – 1297
Aidan Niall MacKetryck, the Laird of the Clan MacKetryck, and his men were going to steal from the MacDonal clan and make a name for themselves along with some good booty, but the Sassenach or “English” were there and nearly demolished their tiny group. While running away, Aidan sees a comely woman and on instinct grabs her up on his horse and saves her from certain death. Now he has to go home after losing over ten men, a woman with no manners and a smart mouth by his side, yet something about her has him befuddled and in a daze. Has she put a charm on him? Nicknamed “Red” because of his temper, just looking at the lass makes pink and red clouds appear before his eyes and mixes him up. Everyone in his group says he has enough women at home, so why is he bringing such a contrary one back with him?
Juliana D'Aubenville was the daughter of Baron D'Aubenville before the MacDonal clan won their home, Castle Fyfen, and she fled for her life, and is living a quiet life in a small village when Aidan grabs her up and rides away with her. Despite her poor living conditions, her personality is still caught up with the position she had before, and she resists every attempt of Aidan's to talk with her. She wants to be returned now, but unfortunately there is no town left to return to. And Aidan MacKetryck is the most beautiful and manly man she's ever seen, and he sure knows it. As Juliana and Aidan start the long ride back to Aidan's castle, the desire between them simmers, and so do their thoughts. Aidan is near crazy with his lust for Juliana, and Juliana herself cannot make heads or tails of her attraction to Aidan.
Despite everything Aidan wants with Juliana, as they return to the castle, he remembers that before he left he offered for the hand of one of the Campbell daughters. To go back on his offer would surely start a war between the clans, and his duty is to keep his people safe, especially after the death of so many on their raid. Juliana continually causes trouble and tries to escape, and it's only Aidan who wants to keep her, especially after he gets a taste of her body that almost drives him beyond control.
Jackie Ivie has written KNIGHT EVERLASTING from the points of view of both main characters, but unfortunately it's mostly their thoughts we read, and there really isn't much verbal interaction between them. Short sentences and grunts really don't help make a relationship grow. Aidan almost goes crazy with lust for Juliana, and it soon overwhelms us with his intensity. Juliana is a virgin, and her voice is not so lustful, but talking to Aidan seems to be beyond her, too. We find out little about Juliana's history except that her father was killed, and Aidan's place as Laird was obtained by a fight with his uncle “Black” Dugald MacKetryck. Juliana and Aidan seem like interesting characters, but we never really learn about anything but their infatuation with each other.
Secondary characters are Dugald MacKetryck, ready to start trouble at a moment's notice. Aidan's brothers, Alpin and Arran , are in the war party, as are various other clansmen. When they arrive at the castle there are two women, or are they witches, that play a very important part in Aidan's destiny.
KNIGHT EVERLASTING is chock full of thirteenth century history and some of the ways people lived back then. But, unfortunately, I didn't connect with Juliana or Aidan, and although there is much excitement, their thoughts skimmed over the details of what was going on and it felt as if there was something missing. But for the history buff this story is full of passion and fighting, and who can beat that?
KNIGHT EVERLASTING - Jackie Ivie
Scotland - 1297
Aidan MacKetryck, laird of his clan, is in a pitched battle with the English, and, having to retreat, rescues a young woman who is in the line of fire. Losing several of his clansmen, he and the remaining men escape to their camp, with rescued maiden in tow. It isn't until Aidan actually gets a good look at her that he realizes she's far more beautiful than any woman he's known, and he's reluctant to let her go, even if she has somewhere to go.
Unfortunately for Juliana D'Aubenville, she's been whisked away from the battle by a man who is much too handsome, and very much too possessive of her. She must escape, but day after day in Aidan's presence make it more difficult for her heart to leave. Although his fellow clansmen make it clear to her that he has “many women” in his life, Juliana is clearly not hearing it. Despite his rough-around-the-edges behavior, Aidan is more of a man to her than anyone her father would have wanted her to marry.
But both Aidan and Juliana have secrets that they keep postponing revealing to each other. The clansmen only want what's best for their laird, but even they are beginning to realize that Aidan may have met his match in Juliana. What will happen, though, when all of those secrets do come out? Can their relationship survive? Or will previous promises made by both end it all?
KNIGHT EVERLASTING was a little confusing to me at first. But as secrets are revealed casually throughout the story, the plot becomes clearer. Aidan and Juliana are worthy lead characters, but sometimes the secondary ones outshine them. There's plenty of humor, as well as a growing, and sizzling, romance between the couple. Scotland in medieval days is a rough place to survive, and there are plenty of obstacles in the way to a happily-ever-after conclusion.