Claimed by the Highlander #1
Adult Historical Romance
Source: Finished copy from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
In the Highlands of Scotland, plays for power are fought without rules, treachery and intrigue hold court, and, in one woman’s heart, danger stirs as relentlessly as passion...
Wrongfully accused of murder and left to die in a hellish Highland dungeon, Ana Bisset has lost all hope of freedom. But the beautiful healer’s luck takes an unexpected turn when a hooded stranger appears as her rescuer. After a harrowing escape, Ana settles alone in a quiet village where no one knows her past or her reputation. The last thing she ever expects is to meet her mysterious savior again...
Niall MacCurran is no hero, but a warrior on a dangerous mission to expose a threat to the realm. After his decision to free Ana, he now realizes that it is he who needs her help—willing or no—to advance his quest. But his growing feelings for the delicate yet resilient beauty soon jeopardize their safety—and not even Ana’s healing gifts may be enough to protect their love, or their lives.
Taming a Wild Scot is a solid start to this new highlander series, delighting us with a heroine who can more than handle herself and surprising us by adding a paranormal touch to the historical setting. It's not difficult to guess the basic path this story is going to take when we pick it up–any lover of romance well knows the overall plot arc in advance–so what truly matters is the journey our couple takes in order to be together, and a few small niggles and flaws aside, Ana and Niall's path to happiness is an enjoyable one. The two of them together are a slow burn, any brief sparks that ignite quickly extinguished by an underlying antagonism to their relationship, making their courtship one full of thorns that poke and prod and keep us flipping the pages to see if the next chapter will bring them any closer together.
Ana is heroine who defies what's expected of women in her time, vehemently disagreeing with a fanatical friar and his views on women, wives, and witchcraft, and proving to us again and again that while Niall assisted her escape from the dungeon in the beginning, it's she who continues to save herself. She's a gifted and outspoken healer, wary of saying too much for fear she'll meet the same fate as her mother, but she's also not one to stay silent when doing so would cause others harm. She never cowers despite Niall's short temper and apparent indifference to her feelings, giving him a piece of her mind in private even as she acquiesces to his demands in public in order to maintain their ruse as husband and subservient wife. Ana is smart, brave and extraordinarily resourceful, shining so brightly as to dim Niall's own light at times, leaving him the far less interesting of the two.
There are many moments in this story when Niall is everything we love in a highlander hero: gruff, alpha, and seemingly unsuitable as husband material in the beginning only to soften as the story progresses thanks to charms of one fiery redhead. That being said however, he never seems as invested in the romance as Ana is–cutting her off at the ankles one minute only to wrap her up in his arms the next–so his declaration of love at the end lacks the believability of hers, causing us to wish for a few more chapters in which he could show us that his interest in Ana extends far beyond the physical. He clearly feels protective of her, but the emotional connection feels heavily one-sided, leaving us feeling a bit stuck in place even as things move forward, waiting a touch in vain for the moment when he realizes how much she means to him.
Though the romantic pair in this first book isn't entirely equal in terms of our attachment to them, Taming a Wild Scot is still a fun historical romance with an interesting cast of secondary characters who will no doubt step into the spotlight on their own as the series continues.
This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.