Jude Devereaux's Highland Velvet makes me happy for many reasons. It's the 2nd in her quartet of books about the original Montgomery brothers, (Yes, I know that The Black Lyon is really the first instance of Montgoermyism, but...), and my very favourite romance of all. I've read it so many times and it always gives me that HEA sigh when I'm finished. I even pick it up sometimes to read passages.
Published in 1982 it falls prey to some of the tropes we're not so fond of these days, but you know what? I don't care! Horrors, I know. The blurb from the back of the book is so full of hyperbole as they were back in the day...
Bronwyn MacArran was a proud Scot. Stephen Montgomery was one of the hated English.
He came to Scotland as a conqueror, saw her beauty and was vanquished. But still she would abhor him.
She owned a temper hot enough to forge the armors of battle or inflame a valiant soldier's passion.
Yet still she would resist him.
She became his reason to live, his reason to love. And still she would deny him.
But while clan fought clan, while brother took up sword against brother, and the highlands ran with blood -- their destiny was made...and this mighty warrior pledged himself to his woman's pride, her honor and her name -- and made of their love a torch to burn through the ages!
But dammit, I fell in love with Stephen before the first chapter was done. I mean, he's tall, blond and so full of himself. *LOL* I love him. And Bronwyn is just SO very much his equal - and of course, a redhead to boot! Their fights are magnificent and when they fight together, having each other's back.. I could swoon. *LOL* And Bronwyn has a lovely, LOVELY huge dog who loves her as much as Stephen does. Cabal is his name if my old lady memory serves me right.
Ms. Devereaux has written many, many romances over the years but I found that after she began writing her time travel ones, I lost much of the magic. And those are so beloved by most of her legion of fans. But her 80s (and early 90s) books? OMG! My favourites and Highland Velvet is the most favourite of them all!