Once Upon a Plaid by Mia Marlowe
Series: Spirit of the Highlands #2
Publication Date: October 7th 2014
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A wife may be courted, too. . .
Many would count Katherine Douglas fortunate indeed. Laird William Douglas is broad-shouldered, gentle-handed, everything a lass could dream. But after four years of marriage, Katherine still knows little of what goes on in his heart. And she has yet to bear him an heir. The distance between them is too great--and so she flees over the snowy highlands to Glengarry Castle, home of her childhood, to set her husband free.
But William won't let his wife slip away without a fight. Before long, he's at her father's threshold himself, witness to the rumbles of discontent in Glengarry, the bright joy of Yuletide at a family hearth, and the hidden needs of his own beloved. . .
Kat Douglas flees her husband’s home at Christmastime to seek shelter at her father’s keep. She uses the excuse that she’s there to help with the birthing of her sister-in-law’s baby but the real reason is that she’s ashamed and can’t face her husband.
William Douglas shows up not long after Kat and though Kat won’t tell him exactly what’s wrong she does tell him that after Epiphany she plans on writing to Rome for an annulment. They’ve been married for 4 years but Kat plans to become a nun after the marriage is dissolved. William decides he needs to woo his wife in order to win her back. He loves her so much and would be nothing without her in his life. He’s not really that great at wooing, when it comes down to it, but his heart is in the right place.
Kat loves her husband dearly but she knows she must let him go. He is a Laird and he needs an heir. She was pregnant once but it was a stillbirth and the 4 times she’s been pregnant after that have never come to term. She can’t stand that she’s barren and can’t provide the son she knows her husband wants and needs. Part of her just wants William to show he cared for their son, Stephan, even though he died, but William’s just not a man who wears his emotions on his sleeve.
While Kat and William try to work on their relationship are other things going on in the keep. Margaret, Kat’s sister-in-law, is having physical problems now that she’s at the end of her pregnancy and because of that wants her husband, Donald, home. He’s at court as he always is and she’s a bit peeved. She loves her husband but he’s only home to pat a new baby on the head and get Margaret pregnant again. This will be her sixth child and he’s not been in attendance for any of the births.
Then there’s Ranulf McNaught who is Kat’s cousin. He’s been in residence with his cronies and his mind is whirling with possibilities. He knows that Donald, who is the heir to Glengarry, is at court all the time and he feels it’s his right to take the Lairdship of Glengarry. The current Laird, Kat and Donald’s father, isn’t dying as fast as he would like so he decides to take the keep by force.
This story was mainly focused on Kat and William and her inability to conceive. The shame that it brought Kat was almost enough to have her dissolve her marriage and she was obsessed with conceiving. It took a lot for William to get Kat to see that he considered her his family and that even if they never had a son or daughter he would still love her. I can understand her wanting a child, believe me, and of course medieval men put a lot of importance on bearing heirs so I got that but I didn’t particularly care for how Kat went about dealing with her husband and her constant get closer/push away stance with William. He was a good man and just wanted his wife. He was more than willing to use one of his nephews as an heir if they never had a baby but that wasn’t enough for Kat. As much as I liked William there was one part where he was verbally mean and cruel to Kat and that just did not fit with his personality. I have no idea why that was thrown in there except to show that he’s reached his patience limit but still…not cool.
There was also a part of the book where William had a conversation with Kat’s father where the father explained that Kat’s mother had been the same as Kat – conceiving and losing the children countless times before she ended up having 2 healthy babies. I expected William to tell Kat to placate her and to show her there was hope for the future but he never even brought it up – why the heck not? I have no idea, truly.
While the story was a bit slow and repetitive during the first half of the book, it picked up during the last half. Overall a decent story.
Rating: 3 out of 5