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With a wastrel brother and a treacherous former fiancé, Lady Nichola Westcott hardly expects the dangerously seductive Scot who kidnaps her to be a man of his word. Though Sir Alexander MacGruder promises not to hurt her, Nichola's only value is as a pawn to be ransomed.
Alexander's goal is to avenge his father's murder, not to become entangled with the enemy. But his desire to keep Nichola with him, in his home—in his bed—unwittingly make her a target for those who have no qualms about shedding English blood.
Now Nichola is trapped—by her powerful attraction to a man whose touch shakes her to the core. Unwilling and unable to resist each other, can Nichola and Alexander save a love that has enslaved them both?
There are spoilers in this review.
The beginning of this book really had me intrigued. Lady Nichola has been slowly selling off heirlooms to keep her and her wastrel brother afloat. He’s never home and she has no idea where he goes, but she’s doing her best to keep their heads above water. The latest rumors are that he killed a man he’d fought with over gambling debts. She’s trying to get him to stop for a minute and talk to her when he leaves through a secret passage and she’s at a loss for words.
And there’s a man in the room with her. In case he’s here for money that she doesn’t have, she’s cold and haughty. He wants her brother but decides he’ll take Nichola for ransom instead.
I liked Nichola. She was scared out of her mind, but she still found ways to try to escape. Alexander never once acted like he understood how scared she truly was. Her repeated escape attempts didn’t make sense to him, after all, he’d promised not to hurt her and that as soon as the ransom was paid, she could go home (eyeroll). I got so frustrated with him for not ever trying to put her at ease other than the fact that he gave her his word. But I still liked him and thought he behaved like any 13c warrior would around her. He even stole her a new gown every time hers ripped. And seriously, were her gowns made of paper because every single one ripped or tore and with the exception of the first one, none of the instances made sense.
The journey to Scotland was interesting and I was really into the story, even with Nichola’s ridiculous escape attempts (I mean she doesn’t even know which direction England is and she’s walking through a forest), and Alexander having no empathy. And then we got to his home. His eldest brother is the earl, and he’s just kidnapped a baron’s sister. His brother is furious. His other two brothers are very opposite. One is fun and flirty, and the other is livid. He hates the English so how dare Alexander bring an Englishwoman to their keep. And that whole brother plot? It was unnecessary.
This is where I feel like the story went downhill. Nichola got locked in the tower room and for the next 4 days, Alexander ignores her trying to get his head on straight-you know, she’s only here for her ransom, support William Wallace and the rebels, that sort of thing. Except Nichola doesn’t take to being held captive well and she starts to starve herself and withdraw. This is where I almost DNF’d (did not finish). Alexander found her in bed weak from not eating for a couple days and then he’s all over her? She’s whispering and weak one moment, then ready for sexytimes the next? I’m not okay with that whole scene. So he forces her to eat and they go on a walk and more sexytimes, before being interrupted by his brothers. The one who hates the English decides that he needs to get rid of Nichola. Seriously. And for Alexander to believe his brother that far into the book? It didn’t work with the trust that he and Nichola had built up, and it felt wrong. That whole brother side plot was unnecessary. I’m really mad at this book.
I won’t be continuing on with this series. It’s not for me. The second book is only $.99 if you want to, but I’m out.
***I bought this book