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Sins of the Highlander by Connie Mason with Mia Marlowe
Release: Jan, 2012
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher to read and review
Never had Elspeth Stewart imagined her wedding would be interrupted by a dark-haired stranger charging in on a black stallion, scooping her into his arms, and carrying her off across the wild Scottish highlands. Pressed against his hard chest and nestled between his strong thighs, she ought to have feared for her life. But her captor silenced all protests with a soul-searing kiss, giving Elspeth a glimpse of the pain behind his passion—a pain only she could ease.
“Mad Rob” MacLaren thought stealing his rival’s bride-to-be was the perfect revenge. But Rob never reckoned that this beautiful, innocent lass would awaken the part of him he thought dead and buried with his wife. Against all reason, he longed to introduce the luscious Elspeth to the pleasures of the flesh, to make her his, and only his, forever.
With two clans against them burning for battle, they must find a way to join together—body, breath, and soul. Or both will be made to pay for the… SINS OF THE HIGHLANDER
The Sins of the Highlander begins with Rob MacLaren dreaming that his wife is still alive and in bed with him. When he wakes to a cold pallet he remembers that she was taken from him 2 years ago, and he is about to take his revenge for her murder. Rob breaks into a church and interrupts the wedding of Elspeth Stewart to Lachlan Drummond, his wife’s murderer. He rides his horse to the front of the small church, scoops up the potential bride and rides off with her in true swashbuckling highlander fashion. What a large and exciting beginning to this book! I was cheering as Rob rode off with Elspeth!
The idea is that Rob will take Elspeth back to his castle and hold her for ransom, essentially pissing off Lachlan, the man who stole and detained his first wife. Of course things go wrong along the way, making a simple plan a challenge tough enough to challenge event the heartiest of highlanders.
I loved this story! It has an epic feel to it. Ms Mason and Ms Marlowe have the ability to write such a descriptive story, that it plays in your mind like a Hollywood movie on the big screen! I loved the chase scenes where Rob and Elspeth are trying to out run or out smart Elspeth’s father and Lachlan. The story races as fast as the horses are moving. I was gripping my e-reader, reading as fast as I could!
The characters of Rob and Elspeth are great. Rob is rough and tough and has had a hard life. He has grieved over the loss of his first wife and is determined to avenge her murder. He’s seen as potentially “mad” by many, making him an unpredictable opponent. Under the rough exterior, he has a huge capacity to love, if touched by the right woman. Elspeth is a lady-in-waiting to Queen Mary and is gifted with “The Sight”. She pulled away from a position that she enjoys to marry a man she has never met. She compares the match to an exchange of breeding cattle. She is not sure if she can carry out her mother’s instructions for the marriage bed with someone like Lachlan. Although she is upset at being taken from her wedding day, she soon starts seeing through Rob’s tough exterior. She is an excellent example of a tough, hardy highlander woman!
The main characters are very well written, but even the secondary characters like Angus, Rob’s friend who aids them in their passage to the castle, Mrs. Beaton, the housekeeper who is determined that her niece is Rob’s next wife, and Father Kester, the priest who has his eyes on a position of higher power than a castle priest, are vividly written! Their characters add so much to the story. The reader is encouraged to cheer or boo them as is appropriate.
All-in-all, Sins of the Highlander is a not to be missed book! A true swashbuckling tale of some Highlanders of old.