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The Highland Duke (Lords of the Highlands) Mass Market Paperback – March 28, 2017
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"Readers will admire plucky Akira, who, despite her poverty, is fiercely independent and is determined to be no man's mistress. The romance is scintillating and moving, enhanced by fast-paced suspense."―Publishers Weekly
"An action-packed Highland adventure set against the backdrop of the Jacobite rebellion [that] puts readers right into an exciting romance."―RT Book Reviews
"This story was so much more than a romance, it was full of intrigue, excitement and drama. ... a fantastic read that I fully recommend."―Buried Under Romance
"The Highland Duke is a rich, romantic story from start to finish."―Romantic Historical Reviews
About the Author
Award winning and Amazon All-Star author, Amy Jarecki likes to grab life, latch on, and reach for the stars. She's married to a mountain-biking pharmacist and has put four kids through college. She studies karate, ballet, yoga, and often you'll find her hiking Utah's Santa Clara Hills. Reinventing herself a number of times, Amy sang and danced with the Follies, was a ballet dancer, a plant manager, and an accountant for Arnott's Biscuits in Australia. After earning her MBA from Heroit-Watt University in Scotland, she dove into the world of Scottish historical romance and hasn't returned. Become a part of her world and learn more about Amy's books on amyjarecki.com.
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Akira is a gypsy healer. Looked down upon by almost everyone she does her best to help others and change their perception of her and her family. But when she finds this braw highlander with a musket ball in his thigh she knows she must do whatever she can to help. And when the redcoats come she must follow him or be captured.
Geordie or the Duke of Gordon doesn't know what he would have done without her. He would be dead or as good as if she hasn't shown up. And now they must race back home to safety. But he can't let her know his true identity.
As the dangers along the way mount, their affections grow but he knows he would never be allowed to marry a commoner. And she deserves more than just being his mistress. Is their no way to overcome their obstacles and be together?? And when the redcoats catch up and accuse him of treason what will he do to keep her safe?? And will she even be able to forgive him for hiding his identity and lying to her?
THE STORY: Akira Ayes, a healer from a Gypsy family finds an injured Scot after a battle with English troops during the Jacobite Rebellion. Akira can't bear to leave the Highlander to fend for himself and ends up embroiled in his danger. Geordie aka George Gordon aka Duke of Gordon keeps his identity a secret from Akira. He needs to make his way home to hide his participation in the battle because otherwise his life and lands would be forfeit. As the two travel together fleeing the English, Geordie finds he likes how Akira treats him as a man -- not as a duke.
OPINION: I found this book to be a rousing adventure story as Akira and Geordie race across Scotland evading the English. That portion of the book was excellent. Geordie and Akira argue, work together, find commonality and care for one another as they race through the countryside. The book had an exciting beginning and didn't leave off until the two reached Georgie's home.
For me, the book slowed down a bit when that happened and I think the book lost a bit of focus. As the two fall in love but have to confront the impossibility of them marrying, I thought the book meandered a bit and I was not as interested in the ending of the book as I was in the beginning. Ultimately, however, I thought that the story overall was a success.
Akira is a wonderful character. She has been treated poorly by many people because of her Gypsy heritage. (In the book Gypsies are called Tinkers and are thought of as mere thieves and beggars, reflecting the prejudices of the time). Despite the discrimination and intense poverty she has faced, Akira is a healer. A kind and generous woman. A woman willing to risk herself to save a stranger's life. She has a progression in this book. Akira begins with fixed ideas of sexual morality, but finds herself having to think about what is important in her life as she and Geordie fall in love but are unable to marry. She is also a woman who can make a duke appreciate being a man.
Geordie is a man who has two sides...the distant duke and the man he finds himself being with Akira. Akira challenges Geordie's assumptions about his world and about his obligations in it. Akira demands that Geordie consider the common folk and he realizes that she is right and he is ashamed of his prior self-absorption. In order to be with Akira, Geordie must change himself and prove himself worthy of her. I like that he is willing to acknowledge his mistakes.
This is a good start to the new series and I look forward to the next book.
WORTH MENTIONING: Some parts of this book had vague echoes to OUTLANDER but perhaps that is only because I have been reading those book recently.
CONNECTED BOOKS: THE HIGHLAND DUKE is the first book in the Lords of the Highlands series.
STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.
NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in order to provide a review. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.
The characters are colorful and you wish to get to know more of the sisters and the other clans that come to aid these two. Can't wait for the 2nd book in this series!! Excitement from beginning to end!!!
I had a hard time liking the H, he was insensitive to our h feelings, so maybe that is why I didn't feel the passion in their lovemaking. There is violence, some suspense and we do get HEA which took forever, not a smooth road. Also, no cliffhanger but I would have liked an epilogue. A lot happens to our h family and I would have liked to know how they adjusted to the change in their lives.
I am not going into the premise of the story, because many have done it, only what you may get out of reading it. I would recommend this story, just not a high paced story, but an interesting one. (ljb)