To Have A Highland Thief by Lori Ann Bailey

To Have a Highland Thief (Wicked Highland Misfits, #1)
Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Wicked Highland Misfits #1
Publication Date: 3/16/21
Number of Pages: 297

Flora MacGregor has a heart as big as the sky. Her first thought is always of helping or doing for someone else. She is also a thief. She doesn’t want to be a thief; she just doesn’t have any alternative. Family is everything to her and while hers isn’t one of blood, they are still as important to her as if they were blood. She’ll do whatever she has to in order to protect them. With one of her older ‘brothers’ in danger and all of them facing eviction, she knows she has to come up with a great deal of money. Boy did she ever luck up – she just made a huge score off the English dandy whose pocket she just picked. At least, she thought she was in luck until the dandy tracked her down and dragged her back to his hotel room to force her to tell him what she’d done with his treasure.

Isaac Nathaniel Hamilton, 7th earl of Dunbridge, has just earned back the fortune his uncle lost at cards. He’s spent years tracking down the man who won the fortune and now he’s in Scotland and has just won it back. He’s so pleased with himself that he’s walking down the street with a wide self-satisfied smile on his face. Even better, the most ravishing woman has just bumped into him and their touch lingered. What a good day! Well – it was a good day until he realized that the box with the deeds and jewels is missing. Why that thieving little minx! He’ll just track her down and make her return it all.

After he finds her and brings her back to his hotel room, he tries to coerce her into showing him where she has hidden his property. She’s not quite as easy to coerce as he would have thought. She’s beautiful and the attraction is strong – but she’s also stubborn and determined not to return his property. She’s convinced he doesn’t need it and she knows she does need it to save her family. As the danger to Flora rears its ugly head, Isaac knows he has to keep her safe – even if it means dragging her out of Aberdeen and off to a house party among members of the ton.

They have a strong attraction that turns into love. She wants to protect him – and he wants to protect her – so maybe they can protect each other. Of course, she also wants to protect her ‘brother’ and that brings danger to all of them.

I enjoyed this story and I’m glad I read it. I do think it is highly improbable though. A thief, raised in the streets of Aberdeen, still manages to be clean, neat, and smell like strawberries. That just doesn’t seem possible. Then, she attends a house party among members of the ton and finds acceptance. Her manners, speech, etc. must have been so far afield that both of them would have been asked to leave. None of that kept me from enjoying the story – it was just incongruous for the time (1811).

I’m looking forward to the next book in the series, To Covet a Highland Criminal, because it features the ‘brother’ who was in need of saving – Bran. I hope you enjoy the read.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Avid reader/reviewer of historical romance and historical mysteries.

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