Tracy’s rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: The Lairds Most Likely, #8
Release Date: November 17, 2020
Quentin MacNab has been living with his uncle Hamish Douglas, Laird of Glen Lyon, acting as his assistant for the last six months. But recently he has noticed the new stable boy, Kit. He is sure something is not right about the boy and takes the opportunity to get him alone while gathering greenery for the upcoming Christmas celebrations. His suspicions are confirmed when they are caught in a blizzard and forced to take shelter – Kit is actually Christabel Urquhart, the Countess of Appin!
To escape her step-brother, Neil Maxwell’s plan to force her to marry his friend and steal a good portion of her inheritance, Christabel flees Appin and takes refuge with her father’s former head groom at Glen Lyon. She only has to keep hidden until her birthday on Christmas Day when she will reach her majority and will no long be subject to Neil. But her truth is revealed when she and Quentin have to spend the night in a woodsmen’s hut.
The next day they are rescued, but Emily, Hamish’s wife points out that while posing as a stable boy would cause some damage to her reputation, spending the night alone with Quentin will be a scandal she will not be able to withstand. She suggests that Kit be revealed to everyone as the Countess and that they marry ASAP. A solid, sensible plan – but will marriage be enough to save her from Neil? And will a forced marriage bring them the HEA they each long for?
I thought this was a well written, quick, uncomplicated read. The book has a bit of action, warm love scenes, cameos with other “Lairds” and their families and of course a HEA. I did feel like the conflict with Neil was resolved a bit to quickly which made the ending a smidge anti-climactic, but overall, I enjoyed the story and would happily recommend it. This is the eighth book in the series, but it can absolutely be read as a standalone title.