When his brother leaves him in charge of Llynmore Castle, Robert Townsend is determined to make everything go smoothly. What does it matter if he’s inexplicably drawn to Ian Cameron, the estate’s stoic steward? Robert is sure he can ignore the way the Highlander’s apparent dislike of him gets under his skin. They’ll muddle along just fine so long as they avoid one another. An excellent plan…until a fire forces Ian into the castle—and Robert’s personal space.
Ian Cameron has worked for everything he owns, unlike spoiled Robert Townsend. And he may not have friends, but he has the Highlands and the stars, and what more could he really need? But when a guest’s stolen possession appears in his room, he doesn’t have much choice but to admit to the handsome and aggravatingly charming Townsend brother that he needs help. To solve this mystery, they’ll have to put aside their differences. And as Ian learns more about Robert, he’ll have to guard his heart…or it may be the next thing stolen.
Lily Maxton wrote a M/M historical romance? Yes, please!
The romance here is slow moving, with an enemies-to-friends-to-lovers vibe that I liked quite a lot. Both main characters are convinced the other doesn’t like him, and are further convinced that they don’t care at all about that fact, and yeah…you can see where this is going to go. In the meantime, we get fun exchanges like this:
“So…ye want me there because you’re frightened to go alone?”
Townsend tilted his head and narrowed his eyes. “I’m not frightened,” he said. “I like to hedge my bets.”
“If there would happen to be something down there–a deranged murderer, who’s been hiding there for years unbeknownst to any of us, or, God forbid, a rampaging unicorn–I might have a chance to escape if they’re occupied with you first.”
Ian didn’t even know where to begin. “So ye would use me as a human shield?”
“Don’t take it personally, Cameron. I would be tempted to use anyone as a shield against murderers and unicorns.”
“I don’t think it likely that there’s anything down there. Someone would have noticed.”
“You obviously haven’t read as many gothic novels as I have.”
So, so true. And he undoubtedly hasn’t written any… 😉
This story is fairly low-angst–there is a bit of a mystery plot and an almost-forced marriage for propriety reasons, but both are resolved fairly easily, if not quite quickly. I did appreciate that the fact that an HEA for Ian and Robert is going to be risky and definitely not non-stop sunshine and rainbows (given the story’s setting) is discussed. Still, one is left with a definite hopeful feeling in the end that both of our heroes have had a hand in working towards.
A Scot’s Surrender is a sweet historical M/M romance. Though it’s the third in the series, it absolutely works as a standalone–his family factors into a lot of the decisions Robert makes, but they personally don’t play a huge role (his older brother shows up for about five minutes worth of reading, that’s it) and you don’t need to have read their books at all to appreciate Robert’s.
Rating: 4 stars / B+
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.