I would give this book 3.5 stars, if I could.
The first half of the book was very hectic, with a lot of fighting scenes, running away, blade waving. The relationship between lead characters takes a back seat in the first half. The author spent a lot of pages describing why they were where they were and not enough time (for my taste) to illustrate the relationship. I had trouble picturing Darach in my mind. Too many words about everything and everyone that is around the lead characters but not enough about the lead characters. I went through the first half quickly.
In the second half things picked up. The relationship was on the stage. Both Darach and Laurien are likeable characters. It made me happy to read about the time they spent together. I have no problem with the fact that Darach is "married" with a son. His marital status is, in Facebook lingo, "complicated". But such things don't bother me so much as long as I am convinced that the lead characters truly care for each other. Shxt happens in life and you count yourself lucky when you get a chance to make things better.
I feel that the plot is very simple, with a lot of unnecessary secondary characters and plot twists. It is basically Darach kidnapping Laurien and planning on returning her to her evil betrothed after the political situation had been rectified. Evil betrothed came after Laurien and Darach must decide what to do with Laurien. To return her means his heartbreak and to keep her means the downfall of Scotland.
The story does not feel very Scottish. Some plots with great potential were described minimally whereas politics and warring were written about in rather great length. Overall an OK read. I would say 40% of it was really intense and wonderful reading. The rest is rather uninteresting but necessary to build the story. I like the 40% a lot and would have given 4 stars if I was only rating that. But I have read pretty good stories which do deserve 4 stars and this story kind of fall short, which is a real shame because I like Darach and Laurien a lot as a couple.