The Highlander’s Christmas Quest by Anna Campbell
Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Series: The Lairds Most Likely, #5
Release Date: November 26, 2019
Dougal Drummond of Bruard has always wanted to be a knight in shining armor on a quest, like the knights of King Arthur’s court, but with peace reigning in his father’s lands, there are no dragons to slay or damsels in distress, so when he hears the tale of Fair Ellen of the Isles, who is being held captive in a tower by her evil father – he knows he has found his quest.
Kirsty Macbain of Askaval is out surveying the damage caused by the fierce storm that swept over the island the previous night when she sees a damaged boat in the harbor, she rides down to greet the stranger, thinking he is crazy to have ventured out alone this time of year, less than a week before Christmas! But when she lays eyes on him, she falls headfirst into love! When he asks where he is, she tells him the Island of Askaval, which is nowhere near the Isle of Innish he was traveling to. She invites him to the house to get cleaned up and fed and he goes willingly, but is clear, he won’t be staying any longer than it takes to repair his boat.
Kirsty offers to help with the repairs and Dougal accepts, he has noticed how attractive she is and he enjoys her company, but he will not be distracted, he has a damsel to rescue! When he tells Kirsty and her father of his quest, they are surprised, they thought the tale of Fair Ellen was a fairy tale and her father is sure she is not on Innish but on Pabbay, while others are sure she is on Scalpay or Canna! Her dad invites him to stay for Christmas, but he is dead-set on leaving as soon as his boat is seaworthy and hopefully set out on the next morning’s tide. He works with Kirsty and they get the boat repaired and he helps gather greenery for the Christmas ceilidh they are having in a few days. Again they ask him to stay and again he refuses.
The next morning Dougal breaks his fast with Kirsty and her father, thanks them for their hospitality and sets off. But when he reaches the quay, he is dismayed to see his boat has taken on water! This will delay him at least a couple of days and he needs to leave – his attraction to Kirsty feels like a betrayal to Ellen and his quest. But with no other options, he stays and lets Kirsty help him with the boat.
And so it goes, he repairs the boat, deepens him admiration for Kirsty and plan to leave, but when an unplanned kiss changes everything and the truth about the damage to his boat st uncovered, tempers flare, words are spoken and hearts are broken. Can their story have a happy ending or will Fair Ellen win the heart of the highlander?
I really enjoyed this story, it was a very sweet love at first sight tale with a bit of steam, wonderful characters, a hero that blushes, a heroine who will do whatever is necessary to win the love of a man set on another and finally a very satisfying ending complete with a fantastic epilogue. I am happy to recommend this story and while this novella is part of a series, it can easily be read as a stand-alone title.