Surrender of a Highland Smuggler by Lori Ann Bailey

Surrender of a Highland Smuggler (Wicked Highland Misfits Book 4)Barbara’s rating: 3.7 of 5 Stars
Series: Wicked Highland Misfits
Publication Date: 5/9/23
Period: Regency
Number of Pages: 258

This is a highly emotional, angsty tale of two lovers who were torn apart by trickery and deceit. Three years previous to this story, Olivia Ledford witnessed the shooting of her betrothed – the love of her life – and she was convinced she was in danger as well. She willingly allowed herself to be moved to England (from Aberdeen, Scotland) where she was casually moved from relative to relative – none of whom really wanted her. In all that time, she never quit mourning her love and certainly never considered a life with anyone else. Until her cousin, whom she loved like a brother, convinced her to come back to Aberdeen and consider marriage to a man who was interested in her. She decided she’d at least consider it since she really wanted a home and family of her own and if it couldn’t be with the man she loved, maybe it could be with a man she liked.

Callum Campbell was walking through the village with his betrothed – the love of his life – when he was shot in the head. Later, when he awoke, it was to find a letter on his bedside table. A letter from his beloved – a goodbye letter. She had left him when he needed her most. But . . . Everyone left him when he needed them most. If he loved them, they left him. So, he closed off his heart, his emotions, and certainly his love for Olivia.

Imagine the utter shock each of them felt when they ran into each other on the streets of Aberdeen three years later. At first, Olivia thought she must be seeing a ghost – or at least Callum’s twin brother. No, it really was Callum. Why hadn’t he come after her? Why hadn’t he let her know he was alive? Why hadn’t anyone else let her know? Callum, on the other hand, wanted nothing to do with her – he wanted no explanations. He just wanted her to disappear and leave him be.

Both Callum and Olivia were fighting demons from their past – demons from before they ever met. Neither had stable homes nor anyone they could trust. Yet, they had managed to find that love and trust with each other. Could they find it again? Olivia was absolutely relentless in her pursuit of Callum and trying to make him understand what happened. Callum was absolutely determined to have nothing to do with Olivia in any way. So, it was interesting to watch these two overcome their fears and anguish and learn to love and trust again.

For me, the book was much too angsty – too ‘woe is me’. I quickly tired of that especially when I thought the danger and the search for the villain could have been played to a much better advantage than all of the angst. But then, I’m not a fan of angst, so I’m sure that explains why I tired of it.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) 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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