Title: Return of the Highland Laird
Author: Amy Jarecki
Series: Highland Force, book 4
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Rapture Books
Source: Review copy from author
An untimely tempest transports two miserable and lost souls to England’s Abbey Wood where they stumble across each other’s paths. Lady Jane, a battered woman and accused murderess—Laird Alexander, fleeing his keep after blaming himself for the accidental death of his wife.
Both souls must heal their wounds. Both souls have reason to keep their identities hidden. This misshapen pair discovers each needs the other—though neither is willing to admit dependence.
Alexander must return to his kin and resume his laird’s mantle. Lady Jane must clear her name and find forgiveness. But before healing can begin, it is essential they learn to trust…and love.
Laird Alexander MacLeod of Raasay is devastated after he was unable to save his wife when she fell to her death. Theirs was an arranged marriage and their relationship wasn’t one of love but one of respect. Still, his guilt for being unable to protect her and his need for solitude let him to the rash decision of sailing the six-men birlinn all by himself. Decision he soon regrets when he is hit by a storm and is force to land on the English coast. Alexander has the misfortune of landing in Bees, a town known for its thieving population and for its hate for all things Scottish. Instead of finding refuge from the storm Alexander is robbed, mauled and left for dead.
After stumbling all night, Alexander finds a rundown cabin in the middle of the forest.
Lady Jane Whitehaven suffered eight years of abuse from her husband, the Earl of Whitehaven, until the night she accidentally killed him in self-defense. Jane knows the courts won’t see it that way and knows she will be executed if she is apprehended. That night, Mr. Cox, the head valet at Buttermere Castle, helped her escape and since then she has been living in hiding. The last couple of months haven’t been easy for her, but she has done the best with her new situation.
Lady Jane is afraid of helping Alexander when he comes knocking to her door, but she can’t leave an injured man to fend for himself. She provides the help she can and in exchange Alexander will help her fix the dilapidated cabin.
An arrangement that was supposed to last for couple of days, turns into weeks. The more time they spend together the more they want to be together, but they both have secrets, secrets that could turn deadly if they are not honest and careful.
I met Alexander in previous book, Beauty and the Barbarian. I liked him then, but wasn’t crazy about him. He was a good Laird, a good brother and it was obvious he respected his wife but was not in love with her; apart from that I didn’t know much about him to get a better picture. After reading Return of the Highland Laird I’m a little bit in love with him. Alexander is sweet, caring, protective and hot as hell. I really liked his inner strength and how loyal he is.
I have mixed feelings about Lady Jane, I admired her strength, but at the same time I wish she had been a bit more honest with Alexander. I understand her misgivings, her life is in peril and after everything she has suffered it was difficult for her to trust Alexander. Still everything would have been easier if only she would have been able to trust him as much as he trusted her.
There is an instant attraction between them, but because of their pasts their relationship is built slowly. I really liked how things developed between them; it made the relationship believable and swoon worthy.
We see some characters from previous books like Bran, Ian, and Lady Anne. Even though their cameos are short they are powerful. It was nice to see them and see where they are in their lives.
Return of the Highland Laird is novella that feels like a full-length novel. It’s a book about redemption, forgiveness and the power of love.
The Return of the Highland Laird can be read as a stand alone, but I recommend you to read previous books too. They are all excellent. Mrs. Jarecki does an outstanding job mixing real events of the time with fiction. I recommend the Return of the Highland Laird to historical romance fans. If you like highlanders this is a novella and a series you need to read.
My Verdict: 4 ½ Paws
Other books in the series
Captured by the Pirate Laird
Return of the Highland Laird
Other reviews Goodreads