I'm not usually fond of the "misunderstanding" plot line - you know the kind, where there is some type of misunderstanding in the first chapter of the book. The couple then spends the next 8 chapters not explaining what really happened. They finally explain in Chapter 9 and everyone is happy by Chapter 10.
The misunderstanding in this book is a little more complex. The hero is deaf and her father fails to mention that to her. Immediately on the heals of the wedding, they are forced to flea her father's home because an angry, jealous cousin attacks the keep.
When Robert realizes Mairi doesn't know he's deaf, it's already too late. He wants the marriage to work, but his honor won't let her make the final commitment to him (consumation) until she knows the truth. But he wants to wait until he's home to tell her the truh. He is equally afraid of her pity and her scorn. He feels that by showing her how he has kept his keep and has the respect of his people will prove to her that he will be a good provider.
Without the marriage consummated, she can still back out of the marriage contract. His honor demands nothing less.
This story line worked because Robert had very real reasons for keeping his secret. He wanted her told. In fact, it was a stipulation to the marriage contract in the first place. That the misunderstanding occured was not his fault and it was something he wanted to rectify very badly.
I liked how the author dealt with a deaf hero. Especially a deaf hero in an unusual time period - Medieval Scotland. She mention a few of the signs he learned and created over the years. She even mentions how he managed to survive without his hearing and became a knight.
I liked how his honor was important to him. I liked how Mairi took the news, dealt with it in a clear headed fashion. She was a strong heroine, full of courage and passion.
This was a very good book - I highly recommend.