Tracy’s rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Series: Scottish Treasures, #1
Release Date: May 25, 2021
Years ago, twice widowed Anne Neville was tasked with finding and bringing back the Jacobite’s missing gold. And finally, after years of collecting information and meticulous preparation, Anne and her merry band of accomplices are ready to set their plan in motion, they just need one more thing – the help of William MacDonald – Anne’s first and only love, who she hasn’t spoken to since the uprising 8 years ago. But to finish her mission and finally be able to return home to Scotland, Anne will do what has to be done and convince Will to help them, but first, she has to break him out of prison.
Will MacDonald never stopped loving Anne, but insecurity and misassumptions tore them apart 8 years ago and their pride has kept them apart ever since. So when she shows up at the prison, his first reaction is to refuse to help, but his heart still wants her and he realizes he may never get another chance to win her back, so he agrees to at least meet with her partners and listen to their plan. But little does Anne know that Will has his own plan to woo her back into his life.
The plan is revealed to Will and he is stunned – the gold was stolen and is currently in the possession of the last person he ever wanted to see again – Ancilla, the widowed Countess of Denton – the woman who hired him as her “personal footman” five years ago and kept him in her “employ” for a year before he finally gathered the remnants of his pride and left. He wants to refuse but knows if he does, he will lose Anne forever. Anne knows of his past with the Countess, which is why he was necessary to the plan, she does feel bad about making him return to what he considers his greatest shame and if she is honest with herself (which she usually is) she will admit that she is jealous, but she can’t let her feelings get in the way of the mission, because the Countess is a worthy foe and Anne would be a fool to let her guard down around the woman. She promises herself that once her mission is complete, she will examine her feelings and consider her options for the future – and hopefully it won’t be too late!
This was a very interesting story, the plan to reclaim the gold was well done and was reminiscent of some great cinematic heists such as The Sting, The Italian Job, and Ocean’s 8 – but overall I felt that the story was a bit slow and the relationship between Anne and Will underdeveloped and stilted, it was clear they had a past and still loved each other, but Anne’s feelings and motivations regarding Will were kept from the reader for most of the book, in the end, everything that was kept from the reader was explained, but it was too little, too late for me to feel the connection. The book has some great secondary characters, a very mild love scene, secrets, surprises, a well-executed theft, and the promise of HEA. I did enjoy the story and am looking forward to future installments.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that I requested and was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own. *