Sandy M’s review of The Seduction of Elliot McBride (Highland Pleasures, Book 5) by Jennifer Ashley
Historical Romance published by Berkley 31 Dec 12
I didn’t know what to expect when I discovered Jennifer Ashley was going to be giving us McBride stories in her Highland Pleasures series. I mean, it’s those Mackenzie brothers we love, and since all of their stories have been told – with the exception of Daniel, of course – this is the only way for the series to continue. But I’d sure miss Ian and the gang. Fortunately, this author is one who knows her readers. While we get a fascinating story with a tortured and sexy hero and a heroine who loves him as he is, those Mackenzies show up full force along the way!
But if they hadn’t been in even this small part of the story, that would have been okay. Elliot and Juliana are a terrific couple all on their own and I thoroughly enjoyed them. It’s Juliana’s wedding day and everyone is waiting for the groom. He’s really late. Then she finds out through Lord Cameron that the weasel up and married his piano teacher the day before. Taking a moment to herself before facing the wedding guests she must send home, all of which will lead to scandalous gossip, Juliana takes refuge in a small chapel and finds herself sitting atop Elliot McBride on a pew.
An inebriated Elliot. But knowing it’s Juliana, the woman who kept him sane during the darkest of times in India, everything becomes clearer than ever before. When she quite shyly proposes he take the place of her lost groom, Elliot doesn’t hesitate. They exchange vows and he quickly whisks her away to a broken-down home in northern Scotland, where he believes he can find peace in all that is Juliana. With him are his Indian servants who have helped him since his escape from the torture he endured while held captive, young Pritti, and his flamboyant and sometimes confused uncle.
Juliana takes on the refurbishing of the house, builders and repairmen, staffing the place, along with keeping the darkness and the nightmares at bay for Elliot, and Elliot sinks into Juliana, the balm for his soul, the soothing peace he craves to the deepest depths. Suddenly, in the midst of their growing happiness, a stalker begins to slowly and steadily bring a darkness into their lives. Elliot is determined to keep Juliana safe; she’s become his life, a life he desperately wants to live. Utilizing all the skills and stealth he learned in India, Elliot turns the tables on a man he once called friend.
I love Elliot. A man who has gone through the unimaginable and who hung on to that one thread to keep himself sane. A man who is now living that dream and is holding on for dear life. I really like the scene with Ian, fishing side by side, two men who understand each other without saying a word. Juliana is a strong woman, taking on a new husband who is no longer that young boy she fell for, a house to turn into a home, gossip to quash, and she’s the woman to take on all of those and so much more. These two work together. Their loving is intense and sweet. They’re real and they persevere. Elliot and Juliana are a terrific addition to the Highland Pleasures series.
When Juliana finds herself stranded at the altar, she turns to an old friend, Elliot McBride, to help her out. Elliot rises to the challenge, but Elliot has recently returned from many years in India, where he acquired injuries, both physical and emotional, that have not yet healed. He has purchased a tumbledown house, sight unseen, has no idea how to be a proper Scottish laird, and brings with him a string of Indian servants, who themselves are having trouble adjusting to life in a new world. Juliana soon finds her hands full, especially of the delectable Elliot, whose thoughts turn often to seduction. But Elliot is a broken man now, Juliana still the lovely young woman he fell in love with as they were growing up. Can he prove himself worthy of her, or will Juliana believe, with everyone else, that Elliot is irredeemably mad?
No excerpt available.
Other books in this series:
The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie (tentative title) – October 2013