Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: Legendary Rogues, #.05 – Included in the Anthology, A Very Highland Holiday
Release Date: Anthology: October 27, 2020 – Independent Novella: January 26, 2021
Elspeth Marshall thinks she has met the man of her dreams when she meets Roy Williams at the Lammas Fair. A storyteller and collector of stories, Elspeth is captivated by the handsome stranger who tells her the tale of the sword Lann Dhearg, which is purported to be the twin of Dyrnwyn, the sword given to Gareth of King Arthur lore, but what steals her heart is the kiss they share and his promise to return. Two years later, Elspeth is traveling with her aunt when they are forced to make an unplanned stop at an inn due to the snowy weather. In the common room hears bits and pieces of a story that sounds familiar, of a sword that flames red-orange – Lann Dhearg, in an effort to hear more, she moves closer to the men talking, explains she records stories and would like to include theirs. When the English soldiers begin to harass the men, another man intervenes – a man that has haunted her dreams for two long years, Roy Williams. But this man doesn’t seem to recognize her, a slight she is not willing to let pass.
Tavish Crawford, Lord Strathclyde, aka John MacLean aka Roy Williams is on a mission to find Lann Dhearg, his family’s sword, which he lost while fighting at Culloden. He sees Elspeth and hopes she doesn’t remember him, at least not in front of the English soldiers – Tavish is a Jacobite sympathizer and is wanted by the English. Unfortunately, Elspeth does remember him and confronts him while he is conversing with the English. He tells her she is mistaken; he is not Roy Williams; he is John MacLean. Confused and angry, she leaves the room, he smooths things over with the soldiers and then tracks down Elspeth, hoping to smooth things over with her as well.
Elspeth agrees to hear Tavish’s story and even offers to help him find his lost sword. It is clear that connection they had is just as strong today as it was two years ago and she is not willing to walk away from the possibly of a future with him. But Tavish is not the only one looking for the sword – members of the Order of the Round Table are hot on its trail as well mistakenly believing it is one the Thirteen Treasures of Britain. So before Elspeth and Tavish can even think about HEA – they will have to reclaim Lann Dhearg and defeat the members of the Order – a feat easier said than done.
I really enjoyed this prequel to the Legendary Rogues series, it is a well written, fast paced novella with a nod to the movie “Die Hard”. This book has it all, wonderful characters, action, steamyish love scenes, a bit of mystery, some intrigue and finally a great HEA complete with an epilogue! If you have read the series, this is a great addition and introduces “The Order” – if you haven’t read it, this novella is a great introduction to the series – but let me warn you to be prepared to be sucked into the “Thirteen Treasures” and the Heroes and Heroines who seek them!!
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me upon request – all opinions are my own.*