Book Blitz – Highland Avenger by Julie Johnstone

Highland Avenger – Renegade Scots, Book 3  – Releasing 7/9/19

Duty drove him to possess her, but love will drive him to his knees.

Eight years ago, savage Scots invaded Eve Decres’s home, murdering her family and plunging her into a nightmare. As sole heir to a strategically located castle on the border between Scotland and England, Eve became a prize to be wedded and bedded, and she fled into hiding. She survived by clinging to two dreams: one day reclaiming her inheritance and finding love to build a new family from the ashes of her loss. But on the verge of beginning her journey to make her dreams reality, she makes a fatal error that alerts her enemies to her whereabouts.

Now, Eve is catapulted into a world of feuding clans and warring kingdoms where she’s forced to make a choice that threatens to destroy her chance at freedom and shatter her heart. Amid treachery and violence, she soon discovers her only hope dwells in tying herself to Grant Fraser, a noble, fierce Highland warrior. Though passion smolders between them, Grant is bent on vengeance and sworn to a duty that would thwart her own plans.

Bound by desperation but separated by conflicting desires, the spitfire lass and the determined laird must relinquish what they’ve long held sacred in order to overcome their foes and claim a glorious, unconquerable love.

Barbara’s Review

This was an excellent read even though I hadn’t read the first two books in the series. I felt perfectly comfortable reading this as a stand-alone. The writing is excellent, the plot is well developed and the characters were interesting.

Eve Decres lost her entire family eight years ago when a group of brutish Highlanders was allowed into her home by a traitor. The Highlanders murdered her father and mother right before her eyes and abducted Eve and her sister Mary. Eve’s lady’s maid managed to help her escape and they’ve been hiding in the Sisters of Saint Cecilia Convent for the last eight years. The castle and leadership of the clan is her inheritance – when she turns eighteen years – and she has just done that. Now, she must choose a husband, one who loves her, and go back to her castle in order to claim her birthright.

Before Eve can find a man to love and who loves her in return, she is abducted from the Abbey by a cruel Highlander who plans to marry her in order to obtain her castle. Were all Scots – particularly Highlanders brutish barbarians? Eve believed that must be the case because all she had met seemed to be that way. This particular brute also had two boys as captives and unmercifully used the whip on them. Eve knows that the boys will soon die from the whipping if she doesn’t do something to stop it. So, she does the only thing she can – she promises she’ll wed her captor if only he’ll let the boys live.

Grant Fraser is a Highlander. He is honorable, brave, brawny and, of course, very handsome. He’s just managed to capture the man, Laird MacDougall, who is responsible for taking his brother’s life and he plans to capture MacDougall’s son, Aros, next. Yet, he soon learns that Aros has captured Grant’s young brother as well as the younger brother of Grant’s best friend – and – Aros is willing to trade the two boys for his father.

The prisoner exchange, betrayals, escapes, and romance that follow make for some exciting reading. The times were dangerous and turbulent, but love managed to bloom and lead to a HEA for our hero and heroine.

This book could have easily been a 5-star read for me. However, I didn’t manage to work up a real affinity for Eve because, frankly, she seemed to be one of those TSTL heroines because she kept taking foolhardy and thoughtless actions that just got her into trouble. I also thought the end was just too abrupt. I would have preferred less of the details at the beginning of the book in order to add more detail to the end – particularly winning Eve’s castle, Linlithian, along with the soldiers there. Then, I also had to wonder about nobody being concerned about the whipping the boys took. They were beaten to the point of dying – and yet, when they were returned home, nobody even mentioned cleaning the wounds.

As I mentioned, I haven’t read the earlier books. I’m sort of glad I haven’t read them because had I met Simon in those books I would have been grossly unhappy about his outcome in this book.

I hope you’ll give this book a read and enjoy it as much as I did.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Avid reader/reviewer of historical romance and historical mysteries.

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