by Lynsay Sands
Series: The Highland Brides Series
Genre: Adult Historical Romance
Publisher: Avon Books
Publication Date: January 29, 2019
A laird’s daughter kidnaps a Highlander—and loses her heart… in New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands’ new historical romance
Lady Evina Maclean has heard much about Rory Buchanan’s skill as a healer. What she hasn’t heard is how good the brawny Highlander looks bathing in a waterfall. But Evina can’t afford the distraction, for her ailing father urgently needs care. Only when she’s rendered Buchanan unconscious and dragged him back to her family’s castle does the truth emerge—it’s not Rory she’s kidnapped but his brother Conran.
Other ladies try to ensnare Conran with flattery. Evina hits him over the head with the hilt of her sword to save her kin—and Conran likes the spirited redhead all the more for it. He’s learned enough from his brother to heal Evina’s father, but there are other dangers swirling around the Maclean clan. And while the beautiful, independent lady has sworn not to marry, this wrong Highlander may be just the right man for her.
“So why did yer father no’ wish ye to wear braies and ride astride today?”
“He thinks ‘twill make ye like me more if I’m more ladylike and agreeable,” she admitted, and wasn’t terribly surprised when he stiffened, his eyes widening and then narrowing suspiciously.
“Why would he want that?”
“Because he’s worried about the message ye want to send to yer family. He’s hoping if ye like us ye’ll be less likely to complain to yer brothers about being kidnapped and will no’ have them lay siege to Maclean to claim recompense,” she said dryly.
The shout of laughter that burst from him startled her slightly, but Evina smiled faintly as she watched him. He had a nice laugh, and his face was positively gorgeous lit up with humor as it presently was.
“But I was no’ kidnapped,” he said once his laughter faded, and then reminded her of her own words.
“Ye merely took me because ye felt it unsafe to leave a handsome bastard like meself naked and unconscious in the clearing on me own.”
“I ne’er said handsome.”
My first historical from Lynsay Sands, though not my first book ever from her (that would be Vampires Like It Hot, last fall), so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Overall it was an entertaining read–very funny in parts (every time they rationalized Conran’s kidnapping I LOL-ed–I mean it was wrong, but the justifications were hilarious) and pretty campy in others (um–that cover?). I liked the main characters overall–Evi a bit more than Conran, because his “Oh, she’s a widow? Excellent! I’m free to seduce with impunity” attitude really rubbed me the wrong way and that made it harder to be on his side for a good portion of the book. Their trading off of injuries got to be a bit much (was their *other* first time really even remotely plausible, what with her recent chest injury and his having just been literally stabbed in the back???) and the heroine-in-danger portion of the plot was more than a little over the top.
I did like Conran’s family, who is apparently the subject of the entire series (this was my first read from it, and I managed just fine even though there are So. Many. Characters.)–they show up en masse, so I imagine if you’re a series fan you’ll love that part of it. Their interactions are hysterical and true-to-form for large sibling (or even friend) groups. The ending was very satisfactory, even if a tad bit rushed after everything that went on before. Conran made at least a head start on making things up to Evi, and given her character I am absolutely certain that she’s going to make sure he toes the line from this point on.
So, overall verdict: a fun, fairly campy read as long as you don’t feel the need to take things too seriously. I’d sign up to see what is going to be in store for Rory (he would have been the “right” highlander here) if Ms. Sands decides to give us his story in the future.
Rating: 3 1/2 stars / C+
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
About the author:
LYNSAY SANDS is the nationally bestselling author of the Argeneau/Rogue Hunter vampire series, as well as numerous historicals and anthologies. She’s been writing stories since grade school and considers herself incredibly lucky to be able to make a career out of it. Her hope is that readers can get away from their everyday stress through her stories, and if there’s occasional uncontrollable fits of laughter, that’s just a big bonus. Please visit her on the web at www.lynsaysands.net.