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Saturday, September 27, 2014

#BookReview: Return of the Highland Laird by Amy Jarecki - 5 Wine Glasses


22914123Title: Return of the Highland Laird
Series: Highland Force #4
Author: Amy Jarecki 
Format: Paperback, 130 pages
Published: Published August 13th 2014 by Rapture Book
ISBN: 0692248064
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Kindle | B&N
Source: Author
Reviewer: Linda
Rating: 5/5

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.


Thoughts:
“Before I go, please tell me one thing."
The candlelight flickered amber in her eyes. "Yes?"
He licked his lips and glanced toward the coveted, yet sacrosanct bedchamber. "I would like to know the given name of the woman who can kiss me so passionately she makes me want to climb to the rooftops and roar."
Her cheeks turned the color of her mantle and she grasped the latch. "Jane," she whispered.
"Well then." He stepped in and touched his lips to her forehead, "Goodnight, Lady Jane.” 

RETURN OF THE HIGHLAND LAIRD by Amy Jarecki is the fourth book in her Highland Force series and continues her tradition of writing awesome Scottish romances.  This entry is novella-length at only 108 pages;  however, the plot is still solidly crafted and the characters are likeable, realistic and well-developed.   
RETURN OF THE HIGHLAND LAIRD can be read as a standalone even though there are interconnected characters.   I highly recommend reading all the books in this series, though, as they are all fantastic!   Here is the recommended reading order of the Highland Force series: 

1. Captured By The Pirate Laird
2. The Highland Henchman 
3. Beauty and The Barbarian
4. Return Of The Highland Laird

RETURN OF THE HIGHLAND LAIRD is set on the north coast of Scotland in 1587. It's the story of Laird Alexander MacLeod of Raasay and Lady Jane Whitehaven.

As the story opens, Lady Jane has escaped with her life as a fugitive on the run after murdering her abusive husband, the Earl of Whitehaven.  She is hiding/residing in a rundown cabin located in a forest considered haunted.   Normally her only company there was a little dog ...until one stormy night.  

“With a resounding bang, the door Grunting burst open. A crazed man gaped at her with piercing and anguished blue eyes., he staggered inside and collapsed face first to the floor.
Max launched into a cacophony of barking, racing around the man as if the spaniel had made a conquest.
A cold wind chilled the cottage while Jane tried to steady the poker with both hands and point it at the burly form. He didn't move.
Max whimpered and licked the man's face. Then the dog curled up beside him.
Jane gaped. "Merciful father.” 

After he had lost his wife in a tragic accident, Alex was overcome by guilt over his inability to protect her from harm.  He embarked on a trip wanting to be alone when a storm struck and his boat moored in unfriendly territory.  Robbed, beaten and left for dead, Alex didn't remember how he ended up in Lady Janes' residence.   It's obvious, though, that she needs help with her debilitated home and he needs a place to heal until he can return home to his two-year-old son.   They come to an arrangement that was supposed to last for a couple of days but which turns into weeks.  As the couple spends more time together, the more they yearn to be together forever.  However, they both have secrets that could have dire consequences if they are not honest with each other.  

Lady Jane was a strong woman determined to survive the hand that she had been dealt.  Even though Alex had never been physically attracted to his wife, he had remained loyal to her and was mired in grief over her passing.  Neither was looking for a relationship.  Alex was strong, capable and I couldn't get enough of his brogue.  I loved both of their spirits!  Their romance understandably took a while to ignite, but when it did, it was sweet and sizzling.      
Following please find a few of my favorite quotes:

 “Another sharp pang stabbed him in the ribs and made him jolt with a grunt.
"Are you in pain?"
Alex smirked. 'I've been bludgeoned within an inch of me life, ye expecting me to jump up and dance a jig?” 
---
“My thanks, m'lady." He reached for the bowl and sniffed the pottage, followed by a cringe.
She bit her fingernail. "Oh dear, I'm afraid I'm not much of a cook, either."
"Yer scones are right delicious." He took a bite. "Mm. This is no' near as bad as the last batch.” 
--- 
“Powerless to resist his advances, Jane's knees gave way as he crushed his mouth over hers. This wasn't a deep, exploring, sultry kiss. This was a claiming, fervent joining of the mouths that screamed, I need more of you. Ignited by a bone-melting fire that spread through her blood, she cupped his face with her hands and returned his ardent kisses whilst he carried her to the bedchamber.” 
---
“He lowered his gaze to her breasts. His tongue sneaking to the corner of his mouth, he traced his finger across her exposed flesh. "Make love with me, Lady Jane.” ...
“I'll wager ye've never been shown the depths of yer passion."
Jane had no idea what he meant until he coaxed her legs open with his shoulders. Oh Mother Mary, he wants to kiss me there too? "No!"
He looked up and winked. "Just close yer eyes and let me take ye to heaven.”  

Besides the awesome ending, my favorite scene was when Alexander discovered that Lady Jane was no Martha Stewart.  LOL!  He did his best to hide it, but, since he needed to eat to regain his strength, he subsequently devised ways to make her cooking more palatable.  

The author's writing is first rate.  Her books are always must-reads for me.  You will definitely want to read this in one sitting.  The HEA ending is a lovely surprise.  Combine sexy Highlanders, dangerous perils, touches of mystery, dashes of humor and a steamy romance for a well-balanced tale.  I highly recommend RETURN OF THE HIGHLAND LAIRD to anyone who loves enchanting Highland romances.

2 comments:

cheryl c said...

Intriguing plot and great review. I am hooked!

Amy Jarecki said...

Excellent review! Thank you so much!!