I really enjoy Maya Banks' writing and I was really looking forward to this book. I haven't read a highlander book in forever and In Bed With a Highlander fit the bill.
Now when I bought this book, Holly mentioned that quite a few people said it had some similarity to Julie Garwood's early historicals. And I have to say, this is indeed the truth. For the first few chapters, I felt like I did back in the day when I had just discovered Julie Garwood and devoured her books. But there's a BUT to that. Those early Garwood's had this sly sense of humor that I felt was lacking in this book. And once I realized that, I quit comparing Maya to Julie and enjoyed the book on it's own merits.
And it is enjoyable! Mairin is a royal bastard and as such, she's been hidden away in a convent most of her life so her father's enemies couldn't find her and use her to gain access to the crown or her own holdings, which are very rich. But the time of reckoning has come because she's been found. But Mairin is a fighter. And she escapes her captor even though he's beaten her severely. She also escapes with a young boy who was caught trying to steal a horse. And that boy turns out to be laird Ewan McCabe's son. So the two flee to the highlands, intent on young Crispen getting back to his father. Mairin and Crispen make it McCabe land and Mairin thinks she can go on her way, but Ewan is loathe to let her go. First of all, his son made him promise to protect her so the last thing Ewan will do is let her go! Especially in her condition. So he keeps Mairin. And once he figures out her identity, he figures the best way to protect her is to marry her. This is also beneficial for his clan because they're still recuperating from a debilitating attack 8 years prior. Her dowry will aid them in getting back on their feet without worrying about starving in the winter. Win win.
Ewan quickly realizes that Mairin is a force to be reckoned with. Since she grew up in an convent, she always yearned for a family of her own. And since she's now a McCabe, she's determined to make a place for herself in the clan. And her efforts aren't always in line with Ewan's thoughts about the roles of women. LOL I liked the way these two butted heads and eventually worked things out between them. It was also very sweet how protective Ewan was of Mairin. He wasn't in love with her when they married, but that quickly changed as he got to know her. I liked how he was determined to make her love him too.
I thought this was a good first installment to Maya Bank's McCabe trilogy. 3.75 out of 5.