Claimed by a Highlander by Margaret MalloryClaimed by a Highlander by Margaret Mallory
Series: The Douglas Legacy #2
on July 25, 2016
Genres: Highlander Romance, Scottish Romance
Pages: 370
Format: eBook
Source: Advance Reader Copy, author
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The Douglas sisters, beauties all, are valuable pawns in their family's bitter struggle to control the Scottish Crown. But when their enemies strike, each Douglas lass will find she’s been left to face them alone.

Lady Sybil Douglas’s fall from court favorite to royal enemy is swift after her brothers are charged with treason and flee Scotland. When a huge Highland warrior appears claiming they are bound by a marriage contract, she’s desperate enough to ride off with him. She’ll worry later about how to escape the wedding.

The last thing Rory MacKenzie needs is a pampered Lowlander wife. He traveled to Edinburgh in the hope of dissolving the ill-begotten marriage contract. But now that the Douglas men have abandoned his would-be bride, he’s honor-bound to protect her.

Sybil and Rory fight scorching passion on their perilous journey to the MacKenzie castle, where murder and intrigue await. When everything is at risk, will they rely on each other and claim their unexpected love before it’s too late?

Quick note: I read this over a year ago, and when I couldn’t find my review. Lo and behold, it never published. So, here it is, a wee bit late. My apologies guys,

Highland Hussy

In this second book in Margaret Mallory’s Douglas Legacy, our hero Rory is 6 months younger than his elder brother Brian, making Brian laird. However their uncle has been running things behind the scenes since their parents died, and Rory has known for a long time that their uncle is bad news. But Brian is too trusting and too soft. I just want to say I felt like Brian was 15 until I found out he was the same age as Rory. Like seriously he comes off very young and naive. But, moving on, Rory is trying to save his brother from their manipulative uncle. He goes to Edinburgh to have a marriage contract dissolved with a woman he won in a game of cards eight years earlier. She doesn’t even know her brother wagered her though. This got interesting pretty quickly.

The Douglas family is now considered to be enemies of the throne, so her life is now in peril. Rory comes at just the right time to get her before the queen’s guards do. Sybil is sister-in-law to the queen, however her brother royally pissed her off, and since he ran off to France, Sybil is the only Douglas she can get her hands on. When Rory realizes that she’s alone and her family abandoned her, he feels duty-bound to marry her.

Rory can’t read, so the contract he’s held in secret for the past 8 years may or may not say what he thinks it does. Sybil knows instantly that this Highland warrior claiming her as his bride is the better option to the queen’s guard, so she doesn’t tell him what the contract says, or that it was signed by the wrong brother.

Rory is the perfect Highlander, the perfect hero for that matter. He’s loyal to his clan, he wants to protect his brother, but what he doesn’t realize is that he isn’t protecting him, he’s sheltering him. And his brother isn’t chieftain material. Brian is a good man, but he isn’t a warrior, and he’s far too trusting in their uncle. But something happens to make Brian flee their clan, and this gives their uncle a chance to slide into the laird’s place, and barring Rory from coming home.

Once Rory and Sybil realized what they were up against, they began to work together really well. I liked them as a team, and I think that’s what made Rory’s overreaction to Sybil’s secrets so hard for me. She does have a couple of secrets, but so does he, so it felt a bit frustrating. One thing I like about Margaret Mallory’s heroes is that they usually figure things out on their own, though, and Rory did, but it was much later than I would have liked. I wanted to shake him at one point.

Sybil started out spoiled, soft, and pampered, but she rose to the occasion. I really liked her, and I liked the qualities she brought out in Rory. Rory annoyed me sometimes with his very black/white viewpoints. For example, he didn’t use the laird’s bedroom since he wasn’t laird, but his uncle sure did. So when he goes to make a claim for the chieftain position, he has a hard time “looking the part,” so to speak. He doesn’t want to sit in the laird’s chair since he isn’t laird. That sort of thing. Almost honorable to a fault. Sybil gives him the push he needs, which is why I liked how well she complimented him. I just wish he hadn’t been an idiot about the whole thing. Men, am I right?

Some more hurdles pop up that they need to cross together and Rory needs a swift kick in the rump to see things clearly, but once he does, the two of them become unstoppable. Love and trust go hand in hand, and these two finally reach that point.

With Highlanders, swords, damsels in distress, and betrayal, this book has it all, and you won’t want to miss a moment.

***ARC courtesy of the author