Journey to Bongary Spring by Kasey Stockton

Book Blurb:

He only has eyes for revenge, and she only has eyes for him.

Isobel McEwan has been beholden to her chief for eight years—ever since he took her in and gave her a home after her parents died. So when he asks her to marry a rival laird to aid the clans in finding peace, she has little choice but to agree to his request. The only problem: she’s desperately in love with another man.

To free herself from the burden of unrequited love before entering into a marriage of convenience, Isobel devises a plan to journey to the healing well that has helped so many others, certain that if she can drink from its spring, she will be healed from her lovesickness for Kieran and prepared to marry the rival laird. But her chief will never willingly let her go, so she must sneak out in the dead of night and cross through dangerous lands alone.

After watching a rival clan kill his father in an ambush, Kieran Buchanan’s only ambition in life is to see them pay for what they did. Biding his time until he can accomplish his goal, Kieran dedicates his life to helping his uncle’s clan train and defend themselves. He’s sworn fealty to his uncle, so when the man asks him to track down Isobel and bring her home, he complies.

With the man she loves close on her tail, Isobel must hurry to the spring if she has any hope of callusing her heart against him. But what can she do when he catches up to her on enemy territory?

Renae’s Review

Kilts, clan rivalries, and a perilous journey to a holy spring all made this a book I instantly wanted to read. I was not disappointed in the least! Determined to repay the kindness of her laird and obey his command to marry the rival clan’s new leader, Isobel McEwan leaves the safety of Castle Moraigh to drink of the healing waters of Bongary Spring. Her malady: a heart that is desperately in love with another man, Kieran Buchanan… a man who barely acknowledges her existence. Knowing that her laird would not approve of the journey, Isobel sneaks out of the castle and sets off. Her laird sends his fiercest warrior, who happens to be Kieran, to bring her back. To find out what happens to Isobel and Kieran on the journey to Bongary Spring, you’ll have to pick up a copy and read it yourself!

“[Love] isna an affliction… It’s a lovely, beautiful thing. Love is healing…”

Isobel McEwan is a character I immediately related to, as her romantic trials are some that I’ve been through myself (although, I can’t say I’ve been pledged to marry the laird of a rival clan, and I’ve certainly not tasted the water of a holy spring to cure a lovesick heart!). Her determination, quiet strength, and growth throughout the book were inspiring and made her so much more believable than the typical damsel-in-distress type that is so often seen in romance novels. I laughed, I cried, and I cheered for this strong Scottish woman whose love was as sweet and true as the waters from Bongary Spring. Kieran Buchanan was likeable in his own right, and I was grateful that the book included his point of view. Like, seriously, I could not blame Isobel for being head-over-heels for him! The side characters were also loveable, with Miles, Marion, and Rupert being a few of my favorites. I’m hoping we will get more of their stories in the next installment!

“She’d never been kissed like that before in her life- nay, she’d never been kissed before at all- and she had the distinct feeling that she’d never be kissed like that again.”

I truly loved this story, through and through! If I hadn’t had stressful licensing exams to study for at work, I’m certain I would’ve consumed this book in a single sitting. It’s a quick, clean, and perfectly sweet romance set in one of my favorite historical settings: 18th century Scotland! More specifically, it’s set in Inverness-shire, which made my Outlander-loving self really happy! Kasey Stockton paid excellent attention to historic detail and clearly did her research to make things accurate and believable. This was my first time reading one of her books, and I’m rather new to the genre of historic romance, but she has got me hooked now! Beyond anxiously awaiting the next book in the Myths of Moraigh trilogy (with a cliffhanger like that, how could I not?!), I will also be keeping an eye out for Kasey’s numerous Regency-era romance novels!

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