Title: To Love a Highlander
Author: Sue-Ellen Welfonder
Series: Scandalous Scots, book
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Review copy from publisher
“A TEMPTING PROPOSITION
As one of the bastards born to the Stirling court, Sorley the Hawk has never known his mother or father. It's a burning quest he has devoted himself to uncovering at any cost. But as a roguish warrior who serves at the pleasure of the King, his prowess-both on the battlefield and in his bedchamber-is legendary. So when a flame-haired Highland lass sneaks into his quarters with a tantalizing proposition, he can't resist taking her up on her offer . . .
AN UNQUENCHABLE DESIRE
Lady Mirabelle MacLaren will do anything to keep from marrying her odious suitor, even sully her own good name. And who better to despoil her than his sworn enemy, the one they call "Hawk?" As they set about the enjoyable task of ruining her reputation, Hawk and Mirabelle soon learn that rebellion never tasted so sweet.”
To Love a Highlander starts in the past with the story of Archibald MacNab and his time as the barb of Sterling Castle. Archibald was not only the king’s favorite bard, he was also a favorite of many ladies, including the King’s four favorite mistresses. His love for these ladies (he impregnated them) causes him to lose the king’s favoritism and more. The king can forgive many things but not this. He’s banishes Archibald from court and orders him to never look for the women or for his bastards, if he disobeys he will not only lose his title and lands but also his life.
Archibald made a life in Duncreag Castle, where he found the love of a good woman who gave him many children, but everything changed one day when his castle was attacked and his wife and children were killed. With nothing to live for Archibald is ready to give up on life, but his good friend Grim MacIntosh has other plans for him.
To Love a Highlander is the story of one of his bastards, Sorley the Hawk. The other bastards are Roag the Bear, Caelen the Fox, and Andrew the Addar
Sorley grew up in Sterling Castle next to his half-brothers not knowing the connection between them. Being a bastard in a court is not easy. Day after day since he can remember he has to prove his worth. Being part of a secret guard known as the Fenris has helped him somehow to find a place in court, still the stigma of being a bastard follows him wherever he goes. The hardest part about it is not been able to court the woman he has desired since he was fourteen, the beautiful Lady Mirabelle Maclaren.
Sorley can’t believe his eyes when years later he finds her in his room and is even more astonished by her request. Lady Mirabelle wants him to ruin her. She is desperate because she doesn’t want to be betrothed to Sir John Sinclair, a man she despises. Lady Mirabelle knows Sorley and Sir John are enemies and is sure Sir John will not go forward with the betrothal if he learns of her indiscretion with Sorley. The only problem is Sorley doesn’t want to ruin her, he may be a ladies man, but he has strict rules about what kind of women he beds and a virgin Lady is not one of those. Still, Sorley knows what kind of man Sir John is and comes with a plan to help Lady Mirabelle, a plan that if they are not careful can backfire with dire consequences.
I liked Sorley, I liked that he is a man with honor and protective of those he cares for, but sometimes he was a bit too headstrong for my taste, especially towards his friends (half-brothers).
Lady Mirabelle is gentle and has a good heart. She’s bit modern for the times, but maybe growing up with a scholar for a father made her like that. I liked that she took matters on her hands and wasn’t a weak flower. My only problem with her was that during the course of the story she had a clear opportunity to get rid of Sir John without involving Sorley and she didn’t take it, that diminished her a bit on my eyes, because it made her feel like an infatuated child, instead of the smart woman she’s supposed to be.
Since their first encounter it is obvious there is chemistry between Sorley and Lady Mirabelle, a chemistry that only increases as they spend more time together, but they don’t come together until very late in the story. This helps to create tension, but it also drags the story a bit much.
I liked almost all the secondary characters, especially Grim MacIntosh, the innkeeper, William Wyldes and Sorley’s friend, Maili. We don’t see much of Sorley’s half brothers, but the little we see is very promising.
I had problems with two of the secondary characters, Sir John, the villain and Rosalind, the ghost of the Pink Lady.
My problem with Sir John was that from his physical description to his behavior he felt like a caricature. My problem with the Pink Lady was that even though she was mention many times and we also see her point of view in reality she didn’t bring anything to the story. She never interacted with the characters or had any part in the story; her presence was completely pointless in my opinion.
To Love a Highlander is a sweet, well-written and enjoyable historical romance. I’m sure fans of this genre will like this book.
Second book in the series, To Desire a Highlander, will be Roag the Bear’s book and it’ll be release on November 25th.
My Verdict: 3 ½ Paws
Other books in the series
To Love a Highlander
To Desire a Highlander (November 25th)
Other reviews Goodreads