Series: The Douglas Legacy #3
on July 9, 2018
Genres: Highlander Romance, Historical Romance
Source: Advance Reader Copy, author
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HE DOUGLAS LEGACY
The Douglas sisters, beauties all, are used as pawns in their family’s bitter struggle to control the Scottish Crown. But when a Douglas lass is in danger, she’ll find she’s been left to face it alone.
KIDNAPPED BY A ROGUE
After her brother’s dramatic fall from power and banishment for treason, Lady Margaret’s husband threw her out to save himself. Now her ambitious brother is back in Scotland with the support of Henry VIII—and a plan to again marry off his beautiful, compliant sister to forge an alliance. But Margaret refuses to ever wed again, and she’s desperate to escape.
Thanks to his roguish charm and skill with a sword, Finn Sinclair Gordon has managed to survive the treacherous waters between his parents' rival clans—until now. To prove his loyalty, Finn must accept the unsavory task of taking the Douglas chieftain’s sister hostage. Oddly, the lass doesn’t offer much resistance.
Though Margaret knows better than to trust the devilishly handsome Highland warrior who unwittingly provides her escape, she struggles to fight the unexpected passion that ignites between them. Finn, who likes women for a laugh and a night of pleasure, is blindsided by his fierce desire for this steady lass with a kind heart. They’ll risk their lives to save each other and prevent a bloody clan war—but will they risk their wounded hearts for love?
The Douglas sisters are renowned for their beauty, and their brother is married to the queen. However, he had his mistress instilled in one of the queen’s castles. The queen was not happy to say the least. He was branded a traitor in the last book, and he and his brothers took off to France. He left his sisters to fend for themselves. In this book, he’s back in favor with everyone (except the queen), and his family can come out of hiding.
Lady Margaret was married off as a young girl to a jerk. I mean he’s really nasty, just a straight up douche. She’s known to be the most beautiful of the Douglas sisters, and it’s a good match, on paper. But he’s just a piece of work. She gets pregnant and miscarries three times, but each miscarriage is more and more traumatic, the last nearly killing her. Since the miscarriage coincides with her family falling out of favor, her husband throws her out and pays for their marriage to be annulled. He literally kicks her out of the castle minutes after a miscarriage. She almost bleeds to death on the ground. A friendly servant helps her out and she goes to live with one of her sisters. She heals after a couple of years, and one night her brothers return and she realizes she will never be more than a pawn to any of the men in her life. She dreams of escape. And one night, her brothers push her too far.
Finn is a man on a mission. He leaves to fight and make his fortune, maybe earn some land. He’s an excellent warrior, he’s a happy go lucky guy, but he hates that he doesn’t have his own land. Coming home without any land isn’t how he foresaw this ending, but he’s offered another chance, all he has to do is kidnap Lady Margaret. This doesn’t sit well with Finn, but he doesn’t have much choice. Off he goes to kidnap the sister of an earl, sister-in-law to the queen. But she isn’t what he expected of barren, childless, husband-kicked-her-out Margaret. Not only is she beautiful and feisty, she’s very willing to be kidnapped.
I wish we could have seen Margaret trust Finn with her story sooner. I love how Finn was intuitive enough to figure out what her ex husband was like without her telling him, but I do wish they’d had a full conversation. I love LOVED how Finn rode off on dangerous errands without taking her, and it made sense and it was logical. She would be no use if they were attacked, and she knew it and he knew it.
One thing I love about this author is that you can tell she does her research, but the story doesn’t get bogged down by historical details. It flows well. Using real people from historical events can tie an author’s hands, but I feel Ms. Mallory did an excellent job both utilizing her characters, and sticking to actual events.
I enjoyed seeing such a broken heroine grow into herself, and learn to trust. And I loved Finn learning that his worth isn’t tied to a title, or to money, or to lands. And y’know, sometimes it’s nice to read about a hero who isn’t the most powerful duke/earl/vampire/werewolf in the land. I liked reading about a hero who didn’t have money and power at his disposal so he could fix whatever problems popped up.
The pacing of this book was steady until towards the end. I felt like a whole lot of really important things all happened at once, and they all were resolved very quickly. It was this set pace for 3/4 of the novel, and then all these big action things happened, and then it was over. And I don’t mean that the ending was rushed, it wasn’t, and it was satisfying, but the pacing was off.
I’ve always liked Margaret Mallory’s Highlanders, and this Douglas Legacy series is exactly what I’ve come to expect from her. It’s well-written and engaging, and you catch yourself not wanting to put it down. With kidnappings, treason, betrayal, and love, this book has it all.
***ARC provided courtesy of the author