Tracy’s rating: 3 of 5 stars
Series: The Highlanders of Balforss, #3
Release Date: October 22, 2018
Let me start this review with a PSA – this book contains several triggers – in the form of abuse and adultery. It is well written, but some of the content may be upsetting to some readers.
Virginia, Viscountess Langley is in a very unhappy marriage. Her husband was charming and attentive until the wedding and then his true colors began to show. He married her for her dowry and once he had it, he was cruel and abusive. Virginia has had enough, enough physical, mental and emotional abuse. Her greatest desire is to have children to love, convinced that she will never be able to have a child, she has turned her heart towards the forgotten children of London. She has a plan, she will use the trust fund her father set up for her and build a home for these children, she will live separately from Lord Langley and devote her life to orphans.
She is livid when she learns that Langley has stolen her money and plans to confront him, but everything changes when she is abducted after leaving the solicitors office. She is sold to the pirate O’Malley and held on his ship for months. She is sure all is lost when a miracle happens – they are rescued!
Magnus Sinclair never believed in love at first sight, until he saw Virginia. He saves her from certain death and wants nothing more than to always protect her. They form a bond and he believes that she is the “one”. But then the truth comes out – Virginia is married. Magnus is heartbroken, but he can’t seem to let her go. No one and nothing will keep him from her. Even the threat of his death. He will help her return to London and reclaim her fortune and ensure that her husband can never hurt her again – even if he dies in the process.
When things come to a head in London and Virginia is freed, Magnus has hope that they will have a HEA – But Virginia has her own dreams and as much as she wants Magnus, she will not forsake her dream for him or ask him to forsake his for her. A HEA for these two seems impossible, but a twist of fate may change everything.
I loved this book until about the 60% mark, up until then, I couldn’t read it fast enough, but then it hit a wall for me – in the form of adultery – I know her husband was a scumbag, I know he abused her and broke his vows, but that doesn’t change the fact that she committed adultery – this is a deal breaker for me – they shared kisses before this and while I wasn’t overly thrilled with that, I could let it go, but when they moved past kisses to an intimate relationship, I was upset and disgusted. But, I made a conscious decision to ignore my personal bias and be fair and open minded for the rest of the story. But once they got to London the story just fell apart in my opinion. Virginia just made one bad decision after another and several improbable/unbelievable things transpired. By the end of the book, I wanted Magnus to walk away and find another woman to love. Honestly, even without the adultery, I would have wanted him to wash his hands of her – she was so incredibly set on her path that she refused to even consider compromising – I just felt like she didn’t love Magnus as much as he loved her and hurt him over and over again.
This book was well written and flowed nicely, but in my opinion, the story fell apart after they got to London. I liked that this book tied all the books together, I liked revisiting characters from the previous books, I loved Lucy’s brother George, I LOVED Magnus and my heart broke for Virginia. But in the end, I felt that this was a 3 star read. The first half of this book was a easily a 5 star read, but the second half was barely 2 stars, there were so many questionable legal issues and consequences that were wrapped up too quickly and easily to be convincing and the possible legal ramifications of her pregnancy were completely ignored. If you have read the other books in this series, I would recommend this book, but caution that there are “triggers” in this book. If you haven’t read the other books, I would recommend starting with Tying the Scot and deciding for yourself.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher.*