My rating: 4 of 5 stars
3.5 Stars rounded up to 4
Series: Murray Family #22
Publication Date: 7/31/18
This was quite an interesting read. The plot was tightly written and the characters were likable and relatable. The romance was such a slow burn that I began to wonder if it was there at all. They finally slept together, but neither of them had any thoughts of love or marriage – just lust. Then, all of a sudden – they were in love and didn’t mind if they were forced to marry. I also had to wonder why the title was Highland Devil – unless it was named for Robert, the villain of the story. He was certainly a devil and worse.
This was more an ensemble cast rather than having an outstanding hero who does heroic things to save his lady. Sir Gybbon Murray doesn’t command a large force of men or have his own large keep, etc. However, he is the brother of Harcourt Murray who is Laird of his clan. He is also good friends with Sigimor who is laird of his clan and a kinsman of Mora. Gybbon works with and follows the lead of these two lairds in order to protect and rescue Mora.
Mora was preparing to flee her family home when her four cousins break into the house. She manages to get her younger brother out the window so he can run to a nearby friend for protection. Mora isn’t so lucky. Her cousin grabs her, hits her and taunts her with the fact that he has already murdered her parents and that her two older brothers won’t be returning home. Mora knows she has to escape and when her tiny runt of a cat claws her cousin’s face, she knows that is her chance. She grabs her kitten and heads out at a run, but not before Robert’s knife manages to scrape down her side. She gets out and finds a place to hide, but she knows her cousins will be hot on her trail.
Mora heads to the home of her mother’s kinsman. She stays on the road as much as she can but hides when horses are approaching. One rider passes on a beautiful horse – and – to her good fortune, she sees that same rider camping out further down the road. If he’ll just leave the site for a moment or two to relieve himself – she can ‘borrow’ his horse. When he finally does leave the area of the campfire, she sneaks in and saddles his horse, then awkwardly climbs aboard – only to find herself promptly tossed on the ground by the horse.
The horse’s owner, Gybbon, feeds her and gets her story out of her. Then, when her cousins stop in at his campsite, he hides her from them. Gybbon tells her he will take her to Sigimor’s keep and that he was planning to stop by there anyway. They ride along hiding when others approach and finally make it to Sigimor’s keep.
After they rescue her young, seven-year-old brother, Sigimor decides she’d be safer at Gybbon’s brother’s keep and they devise a plan to get her there safely.
I was really proud of Mora – she was being so strong, smart, and brave. I was just thinking, hey, this is going to be good because she isn’t going to do any of those TSTL things. She’s really being smart – and then, of course – comes the TSTL event.
I did enjoy the read, but if you are looking for gripping excitement and swashbuckling heroes, then you will probably find this book a little slow. I kind of like the ensemble approach and the fact that the hero can and does take advice and direction.
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“I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”