Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: MacLeods of Skye #4
Publication Date: 5/8/2020
Number of Pages: 177
This was my first read by JR Salisbury (the alter-ego of contemporary author Jamie Salisbury), and it was a delightful story. I will definitely look for more of her historical romances. I loved the characters; the story was well-plotted and excellently paced. If you are looking for an action-filled, exciting, heart-breaking, and heart-warming story, this is the one for you.
Lady Lily MacLeod is desperate. Her brother, Rory, Duke of Skye, is forcing her to marry the Earl of Dover who is twice her age. Not long prior to the wedding, Lily manages to escape with only the clothes on her back. She ran through London for most of the night. She’s totally exhausted, hungry, and just can’t go any further when she finds herself at the train station. Lo! There is a train with a private car getting ready to pull out – and it is headed to Edinburgh. She manages to gain entry to the car and quickly hides in a storage room. After exhaustion and hunger lull her into sleep, she is rudely awakened by two footmen dragging her up by the arms. Uh-Oh!
Tobias Campbell, Duke of Aberdeen, is heading home to Scotland in the comfort of his private railcar. Tobias is a very honorable, caring man, but he is also a bit uptight, stiff-necked, and set in his ways. His life is all planned out. He wants an obedient wife who will allow him to continue on with his life as he always has. His only requirement is that she produce an heir. There won’t be any love between them – just a business proposition. His betrothed, Lady Maria MacMillan, daughter of the Marquess of Tweeddale, meets all of his requirements perfectly. What he doesn’t need is a damsel in distress to be found hiding in his private railroad car. He doesn’t completely buy the tale she is telling him, but he agrees to help her anyway.
Their journey to their HEA was one fraught with murder attempts, betrayals, lies, abandonment, and a deep, abiding love. I enjoyed the story, and I’m glad I read it and gave this new-to-historical-romance author a try. I could have easily given the read 5-stars, but it just didn’t ring true. First, I’m not sure how much research the author has done, but some things were just a bit off – as in the way the constables were treating the Duke and Lily. Also, there was Rory – I have not read his book, but looking at the synopsis of the book and the various reviews, the actions he took in this book just didn’t seem to be those of a loving brother – even an exasperated one. I had a hard time getting a ‘feel’ for the time period of the book. Since passenger trains were in service, it could have only been after 1831, but I still don’t know if it was late Georgian or early Victorian. I also had a hard time with a heroine whose first option to solving a problem seems to be running away and that seemed to be Lily’s preferred problem-solving method.
I did enjoy the read and hope you will as well.