The Highland Renegade by Amy Jarecki
Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: Lords of the Highlands, #5
Release Date: January 8, 2019
Janet Cameron is in Inverlochy with her brother Kennan for the Samhain celebration, she is hoping that she will meet a man that she can fall in love with and marry, lest her stepmother finds someone for her. She sees Laird Robert Grant, but he is the last man she would ever consider, the Camerons and the Grants have been enemies for generations, but she can’t help but notice how handsome he is. When her friend Mairi tries to play matchmaker, Janet is firm, Robert Grant is a thief and a rake – she would never love a man like him.
Robert has always noticed Janet, she is lovely and if she was anyone other than a Cameron, he would court her. He knows what she thinks of him and it makes him angry, yes, he has a reputation as a ladies man, but he is no thief! He is sure the Camerons are responsible for the theft of his cattle and has words with Kennan. When their mutual friend suggests a duel to settle the matter, Rob agrees.
The duel is underway when Janet arrives to stop it – Rob is clearly winning and is distracted by Janet’s scream, giving her brother a chance to pull a dagger and cut Rob, declaring himself the winner. Before Rob can respond, English soldiers arrive and they scatter, in the confusion, Rob finds Janet and takes her back to town. He insists that she tend his wound, since her brother cheated. She is ashamed of Kennan’s action and agrees. She starts to rethink her opinion of Robert. When he asks for a dance at the Samhain gathering, she agrees. But later when one of the English soldiers, Lt Cummings, is drunk and harasses her, things spiral out of control and she must run for her life.
She and Kennan take off, but are soon captured by Cummings, Kennan is beaten and left for dead and Janet is taken into custody, Cummings is taking her to the fort for punishment. Robert also left, but when he hears her scream, comes back to save her. He finds Kennan and has their friend Ciar take him to safety and goes after Janet. He rescues her from Cummings and they run, with the soldiers on their heels.
Janet is soaked and freezing, but they can’t stop, they escape into the mountains and Robert tends her, in the morning, they learn the soldiers are still following them and Rob makes a decision, they will go further into the wilderness, over a treacherous pass and hopefully lose Cummings. They do lose him, but the cost is high, Janet goes over the edge and Rob fears she is dead. He sends his men on without him and goes to find Janet. She is alive, but her arm is broken and her horse is lame. He prepare to kill her horse, but she begs him not to, the lame horse will slow them down, but he agrees. He knows the storm is too bad to keep moving and Janet needs help, so he finds an abandoned brothy and they ride out the storm. He sets her arm and cares for her, they get to know each other and he is tempted, he knows he should return her to her family, but instead takes her to his home.
Janet is falling for Rob, he is nothing like she imagined, but she knows her father will never let her marry a Grant and there could never be anything between them. But that doesn’t stop them from kissing and wishing for things that can never be. When her father arrives and takes her, Rob can do nothing but watch the woman he loves, ride away.
It will be months before they see each other again and there is still no solution to their problem, but when Rob learns who the real cattle thief is and Janet’s life is in danger, he knows that he will not lose her again.
This book was amazing, it is nonstop action from almost the first page! The chemistry between Janet and Robert is undeniable and my heart broke for them, their love is forbidden and it seems like there is no way they can be together without causing a war. The book is well written, flows nicely, has some steamy-ish love scenes, a bit of angst, a villain bent on revenge, some wonderful secondary characters, some twists and turns, and finally a very hard won HEA. This is the fifth book in the series, but it is loosely connected to the previous stories and can easily be read as a stand alone title. I loved this book and can’t recommend it highly enough!
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher.*
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