Ballantine Books (September 25, 2012)
This sinfully sweet new romance from Maya Banks features a remarkable woman whose rare gift teaches a gruff Scottish warrior how to listen with his heart.
Graeme is intrigued by his new bride, whose silent lips are ripe with temptation, whose bright, intelligent eyes can see into his soul. As intimacy deepens, he learns her secret. But when clan rivalries and dark deeds threaten the wife he has only begun to cherish, the Scottish warrior will move heaven and earth to save the woman who has awakened his heart to the beautiful song of a rare and magical love.
Ooh, this was a beautiful love story! Exactly the reason why I read romance! Eveline has hidden the fact that she can only not hear, and isn't daft or addled at all, from her family. At first after her injury she herself didn't realize exactly what was going on ~ but when she did, it seemed like the best plan of action to keep herself from being given in marriage to the very devil of men. But now the King has decreed that her family, the Armstrong Clan, will unite in marriage with the Montgomery Clan, and she's to wed Graeme Montgomery ~ the very Clan her family has fueded with the whole of her life. But when Eveline meets Graeme she can't help but be drawn to him...and his wonderful, deep, rumbly voice that she can FEEL and almost hear. And the man is so gentle and kind with her ~ while she doesn't really want to leave her home, she DOES want what every woman wants, a family and home of her own, and this man could make that a reality, so she's ready to face her duty and keep her Clan from going to war with not only the Montgomery's but with the King himself.
Graeme has accepted fate ~ he will wed a woman to keep his Clan from exile and war, and probably never have any heirs. But when he sees Eveline he's astounded, for she's beautiful...and she's not daft at all. While she doesn't speak, she most certainly understands and makes known her wishes, and she's not scared or intimiated by his Warrior self. And he's so drawn to her...
Graeme weds Eveline and takes her back to Montgomery Keep, where Eveline's gentle nature is tried over and over by the Montgomery Clan who resent her being thrust upon their laird and their Clan. But Eveline is determined to make her place and to win them over ~ AND to become a true wife to Graeme. Graeme has a younger sister Rory who takes Eveline under her wing, and they become fast friends...it's such a pleasure to see Eveline find her confidence, and come out of her shell. As she begins to trust, she begins to try to speak...and to reveal that the only thing wrong with her is that she can't hear ~ but that she's very adept at reading lips. And while a few within the Mongomery Clan are plotting treachery and deceity, Eveline and Graeme are growing closer and falling in love.
I enjoyed every min. of this story! Graeme is such a big, strong, tough leader ~ with a terrible anger at the Armstrong's, and the responsibility of his entire Clan on his shoulders. But for Eveline? He's a total marshmallow on the inside, and bear to anyone he considers a threat to her. Be still my heart!! I LOVE a hero like that! And Eveline, while she's been sheltered and raised a gentle woman, she's had to be ridiculed for so long for being daft, dull witted, that she should have just been put down, etc that it's just worn her down. No, she can't hear, but she's taught herself to read lips and while her own family's clan didn't abuse her, they certainly didn't treat her as the gentle soul she is. I loved it when she found her spirit!
I was all GASP at the end, for while we certainly don't get a cliffhanger for this story, we are led right up to the next story ~ and OMG, I want it right NOW! Beautiful, moving writing, gut wrenching moments, lots of gushy sigh out loud I wanna man of my own like this ~ PERFECT reading, folks!!