What historical romance reader hasn’t daydreamed of a braw Scottish Highlander abducting her from the altar and a future of boring days on end, racing across the countryside with her in his arms, toward an unknown destiny filled with steamy nights and never-ending love? Come on, ‘fess up. What’s not to love about such a romantic scenario, especially with a sexy, yummy hero like Mad Rob MacLaren.
I will admit this is one my of favorite tropes (I stole that from LynneC! :)) when getting lost in pages of the Highlands. The hero abducts the heroine, of course, for his own purposes, mostly revenge, and over the course of the story his feelings change, as do hers, paving the way for love and romance. It’s what’s in between the bride stealing and the love that either makes or breaks the book.
Robin MacLaren – dubbed Mad Rob due to his wild and dangerous behavior since his wife’s death – has hatched a plan to gain some revenge on the man who had a hand in Fiona’s demise. They shared only twelve days of wedded bliss before she was gone, and now all of his scheming has finally come to fruition. What he doesn’t factor into his plans is the woman he plans to abduct. He discovers very quickly she’s more than a possession to be fought over.
Doing her duty of marrying a man to unite their clans is the only reason Elspeth Stewart is standing before God, her family, and the two involved clans. She hopes for love, but her husband to be doesn’t excite her in any way. And when the doors to the kirk are thrown open and a wild man on a huge, black horse plucks her up and tosses her over his saddle while holding a broadsword to Lachlan’s throat, she now understands the vision her Sight had given her . She should feel afraid of this rough and rude warrior, but something about him causes that much awaited excitement to rush through her.
However, Elspeth will do all she can to escape her captor, and Rob will do everything in his power to keep her to make his enemy sweat. She thinks the man truly is mad to do such a thing – in a kirk of all places. His opinion of her changes when she bravely faces him and the dangers they encounter on their journey to his home. Rob now looks at her as someone of worth and definitely not worthy of the man she’s to marry. And as Rob protects her from wolves and even her fiance, Elspeth also sees him in a different light, one that has her thinking perhaps she’s better off with a madman than the evil bore she’s been promised to. Her eyes are now wide open as far he’s concerned.
Upon arriving at Rob’s home, an army is awaiting them, effectively imprisoning his clan. But another plan has formed, and he desperately hopes after all they’ve shared that Elspeth will be in agreement when she learns what his negotiation with her betrothed and her father entails. Another flash of her Sight and Elspeth knows that all will end in disaster, something she can’t allow. Sneaking away and taking Rob’s secrets with her, she tries to save everyone’s lives while leaving her heart behind. Unbeknownst to all, there’s another faction planning Elspeth’s downfall, and now not even her visions will be able to save her.
I enjoyed these characters, even the villain. He’s smarmy enough to be interesting, but it’s still nice to see him get what he deserves. Rob and Elspeth are both honorable and trustworthy. Their love grows steadily and sweetly. This is a couple I could read about over and over again.
From heart-pounding moments to gentle and sensual steaminess, this story of revenge and love moves at a nice pace, keeping a reader’s interest throughout. I’m not sure what I expected with two authors working on the same book, and not having read either of them before, I don’t know whose voice is dominant. Either way, the tone of voice is pleasing and works very well for the genre.
Elspeth Stewart’s gift of Sight hadn’t warned her of the dark-haired madman who charged into her wedding and bore her away into the wild Scottish highlands. Pressed against his hard chest and nestled between his strong thighs, she ought to fear for her life. But her captor silenced all protest with a soul-searing kiss, giving Elspeth a glimpse of the pain behind his passion—pain only she could ease.
“Mad Rob” MacLaren thought stealing his enemy’s bride would be the perfect revenge. But Rob never reckoned that this beautiful, innocent lass would awaken the part of him he thought dead and buried with his wife. Against all reason, he longs to introduce the luscious Elspeth to the pleasures of the flesh, to make her his, and only his forever.
With two clans against them burning for battle, they must find a way to join—body, breath and soul. Or both will be made to pay for the … Sins of the Highlander.
Read an excerpt.