Review: Highland Master by Hannah HowellHighland Master by Hannah Howell
Series: Murray Family #19
on November 26, 2013
Genres: Historical Romance, Romance
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: Advance Reader Copy, Kensington Books Preferred Reviewer

Lady Triona McKee's life is under desperate siege. The marriage she thought would answer her dreams has left her struggling alone to provide for her people, while an arrogant kinsman prepares to take her land. But one look into the cynical green eyes of her cousin's boldest knight warns Triona that even a promise of help is just as dangerous...

Betrayal taught Sir Brett Murray to make protecting others his only life. Still, the growing desire he can't help but feel for this entrancing widow makes him long to earn more than her trust. But in trying to save all she cherishes, he can't see how an honor-scarred knight can stay in her world and her heart... unless he risks everything to prove his love is now and forever always...

This is definitely my favorite Hannah Howell book. It features one of the many Murrays, and a lady laird. Lady Triona has been having a bit of difficulty with her neighbor Sir John since her husband died leaving her the laird. Many in her village had been ill and died, those who survived were mostly women. Her dowry was spent updating the keep, and her people were starving. The men were offered an opportunity to fight in France for money to bring home to their families, so they took it.

But it’s been almost 2 years now, and they haven’t heard back from the men, have had no money, no letters, not even wounded or dead have been sent back. Even Triona is beginning to wonder if her men really went to France. But where else could they have gone?

Triona has been doing the best she can, which is actually pretty well. She has enough food and wool, great lands, and even though her neighbor Sir John has been asking for her to marry him, really she’s been fine. Until he ups the ante. He’s had his men setting fields on fire, letting livestock loose, things to force Triona to see that she needs a man to help her and to take care of her. Triona wants to never marry again.

Enter Brett Murray. When Sir Brett Murray comes to stay for a short time with his men and his friend’s wife (who has run off in a fit of anger to stay with her distant cousin Triona), he notices immediately the lack of warriors and the noticeable amount of women and children.  He decides to stay and ferret out what’s going on with this small village, and it has absolutely nothing to do with a lovely laird named Triona.

In classic Hannah Howell style, there is a small intrigue, some humor, and a sweet romance.

Any fan of the Murrays will like this addition. Any new fans who haven’t started the series but see #19 as an intimidating prospect, don’t worry, this reads really well as a stand-alone.

***ARC courtesy of Kensington Books