The Highlander's Reluctant Bride: Book 2 in The Highlander’s Bride series (The Highlander's Bride) Kindle Edition
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"Children of Blood and Bone"
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Briefly, the H is sent by King Robert of Scotland to oversee the h's family issues. The h's father is seriously ill and his heir is missing and hasn't been seen for years (he left to go and fight in France). The H's dad appeals to the King for help and he sends the H, who is the brother of the H from the first book. When the h's father dies, the H advises everyone that he has been nominated as the new Laird. He has also been instructed to wed the h within 7 days. The H decides not to tell her immediately because they knew each other as children and didn't get on well. There are some critical facts that come out very early in the book and influence everything but that are not mentioned in the Amazon summary. I will put them under spoilers for those who prefer not to know.
The h was raped as a 15 year old and has a 4 year old daughter. She never told anyone who raped her but the clan openly accepted her daughter. I think if I'd read that before I bought the book I might have been persuaded not to buy the book. I'm not a fan of raped main characters and they seem all too prevalent in books these days. However I would have missed out on a very good story. One of the issues I had with the first book is the callous way that H treated his wife and how he practically violated his wife on their wedding night. In fact in my review I mention that things weren't good for awhile between those characters. This H on the other hand was incredible with the h, I can't believe how well the author wrote those parts. Everything happens fairly quickly in this book and yet the author manages to create believable intimacy between them. That isn't too say there isn't any drama, because there is. As gentle as the H is with the h in terms of physicality, he is not always careful with the way he speaks. There are a few misunderstandings but they get sorted out well.
All in all this was a good story, well written with very few errors. It can definitely be read as a stand alone book, if you prefer not to read the first.
THE HIGHLANDER’S RELUCTANT BRIDE is the second instalment in Cathy MacRae’s Highlander historical romance series. This is Lord Ranald Scott and Lady Riona Macrory’s story. Following the death of Laird Macrory, King Robert sends Ranald to Scaurness Castle to secure and assume the position of Laird. To establish ownership, Ranald is ordered to marry Lady Macrory and is not surprise when she denies any claim of marriage. The two have a prior history that goes back a number of years.
The premise focuses on the building relationship between Ranald and Riona as well as defending the castle from would be claimants-a one time friend of the former Laird: and the head of the Laird’s guards. When treachery and treason is suspected Ranald must ensure his position of authority or lose control of the castle and the men.
The relationship between Ranald and Riona began as children but neither had seen one another in years. Their attraction to one another is immediate although both deny feelings or their emotions. But Riona hides a secret that she believes will push Ranald away and in doing so will discover that her past has come back to claim what he believes belongs to him. When Riona chooses her past over her present Ranald knows that the future he promised was never going to happen.
The world building continues with the inclusion of Laird Eaden Scott (Ranald’s brother) from the first storyline. With the backdrop of Scottish castles and the salt water ocean you can feel the moisture and dew on the misty shores. The secondary characters include family, friends and enemies all carefully placed who reveal bits and pieces about the history of the family and the guards.
Cathy MacRae pulls the reader into a romantic storyline of struggle, betrayal, heartbreak and love. The Highlander storylines are always a favorite genre for many romance readers and THE HIGHLANDER’S RELUCTANT BRIDE is the perfect romance read for love in the afternoon.
I was gifted a copy
But if you get this book for free and don't mind getting a bit frustrated finagling your way through it then I would go ahead and read it. A warning though… I have now read several books from this author and not just this series… she has a tendency to end her books abruptly and leaving you unfulfilled.