Series: Sons of Scotland, #2
Release Date: March 3, 2020
Thomas Annesley, Baron Annesley and Lord of Darlyrede is on the run, his betrothed Cordelia was murdered and her father, Vaughn Hargrave believes he killed her and is hunting him, he was shot and left for dead, but rescued by Harriet. She nursed him back to health and comforted him, but when Hargrave gets close, he has to leave her and the baby she is carrying. He sets off to Tower Roscraig – his mother’s dowry property and from there sets off to Carson Town to take refuge with his Mother’s clan. But as he approaches, he is taken prisoner by the Carson’s enemy – the Blairs. He is held prisoner and is taken care of by the chief’s daughter, Enda. But when Hargrave comes for him, he fakes his death to save Enda and runs. Unaware that he has left another babe…
Lachlan Blair is heir to the chief of the Blairs, he has been groomed his entire life to lead the people, he is betrothed to Searrach and is secure in his place in the clan. But when Sir Lucan Montague arrives from London bearing news of Thomas Annesley, everything Lachlan has ever known will change in a heartbeat. Lachlan’s grandfather Archibald is furious and disowns Lachlan. His foster father Marcas believes Archibald will calm down and reinstate Lachlan, but he dies overnight and Marcas claim’s his position. Lachlan is further betrayed when Searrach’s father calls off their betrothal and she goes along with it. And if all that was not enough, when the Carson’s come calling and are ready to declare war, Marcas agrees to marry Lachlan to Finley Carson as part of a new treaty.
Finley Carson has been wooed by every unmarried man in her town – all three of them – and has refused them all. She is a spitfire with no desire to marry, so when she is forced to marry Lachlan, she is just as unhappy as he is. Lachlan vows to find the truth about his father and reclaim his position as chief and Finley agrees to help him. By mutual consent, they do not consummate the marriage and he takes up residence in the “old house” the former chief’s burned out dwelling.
Together they uncover long held secrets and grow closer in the process, but when the truth finally comes out, will Lachlan hold the vow he made to reclaim his heritage or will he choose Finley?
I thought this installment was better than the previous book, but it was still not the best work I have read by this author. The story is fascinating, the writing is good and the story is paced well with A LOT of very interesting characters, a lot of secrets, deception, revelations, surprises, betrayal and villains galore. But as a romance I found it sadly lacking, I felt no real connection between Lachlan and Finley, it felt like the author was trying to incorporate a “Taming of the Shrew” vibe into the story, but didn’t quite make it work, Finley is most definitely a shrew at times, but she is not unlikable. I really can’t understand why they fell in love or even when, the love scenes are bland, basically a couple of kisses and one very vague love scene at the end. So overall, I thought this was a very interesting and intriguing historical fiction story, but wouldn’t call it a romance – which is what I wanted to read. I will read the next book because I have a burning need to know what is happening with Thomas Annesley and the epilogue in this book has Vaughn planning something heinous – I am sure I will enjoy the mystery of Thomas and cringe at the villainy of Vaughn Hargrave, but I will not be expect to be wowed by the love story. This is the second book in the series, but the author does provide ample backstory about Thomas, so the books can be read quite easily as stand-alone titles.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher.*