Tracy’s rating: 2.5/3 of 5 stars
Series: Sons of Scotland #1
Release Date” September 17, 2019
The story opens with Thomas Annesley, Baron Annesley, Lord of Darlyrede wounded and fleeing his home. His beloved Cordelia is dead and her father, Lord Hargrove is trying to kill him. He comes upon travelers who offer to help him, but when he learns they are going to Darlyrede, he takes off into the night.
30 years later, Tavish Cameron is a merchant in Edinburgh, he has done well for himself and his mother, but is still not as successful as he would like. When a man enters his shop and locks the door, Tavish has no idea how much his life is going to change. Turns out, Thomas Annesley fled and was saved by Tav’s mother, Harriet. Thomas is Tavish’s father and has been captured and condemned to die – before that happened, he bequeathed an unentailed property – Roscraig Tower – to Tavish. Tavish is floored and can’t wait to claim his inheritance and the title of laird, so he notifies King James and sets off.
Glenna Douglas has lived at Roscraig all her life and believes her father is the rightful laird. So when Tavish comes claiming he is the laird, they are immediately at odds. Glenna’s father Iain is not well and the castle and the village are in disrepair, not to mention most of the inhabitants have died from a sickness that seems to target their lands, as a result, the fields are barren and there is no food. Glenna is almost starved, her clothes threadbare and living alone in the keep with her dying father. But none of this stops Glenna from acting like Tavish is a peasant beneath her notice and she refuses to even look at the papers Tavish has. She says she will wait for the king to come and uphold her father’s claim.
Tavish wastes no time improving the property and his mother Harriet is a sweetheart and takes over the care of Iain, who seems to improve under her care. When Tavish’s friend Audrey Keane arrives with the intention of marrying Tavish, things start to get interesting at Roscraig and Tav offers to let Glenna stay, as his mistress.
I have to say, of all the characters in this book, the only one I really liked was Harriet – Tavish was unlikable for a good portion of the book, but even he can’t compare to Glenna for the title of total jerk of the book – she was a snob, acted completely entitled and was unforgivably mean to Harriet. There was an ongoing misconception that the title of Laird elevates the holder to nobility (it doesn’t) and the title of Miss was not used until the 17th century – and while this is promoted as a medieval, it reads more like a regency. In addition to all that, I have no idea when (or why for that matter) they fell in love and the first half of the book was slow and repetitive, it does pick up a little around the 2/3 mark and the last 10% of the book is one non-stop surprise after another. The ending was jaw-dropping and saved the book from being a 2 star read. This is the first book in the series while I didn’t love it, I will most likely read the next book because of revelations in this book that have pulled me into the mystery of what happen to Thomas Annesley!
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher.*