Sandy M’s review of Temptation in a Kilt (Bad Boys of the Highlands, Book 1) by Victoria Roberts
Historical Romance published by Sourcebooks Casablanca 4 Sep 12
I’m a sucker for a good Highlander story. Braw, sexy, and alpha to the core, broadsword-wielding, kilt-wearing, women-loving Highlanders who take what they want when they want it. Bad Boys of the Highlands? Yeah, that drew me to read this book, even though I’m a wee bit late in doing so. Unfortunately, our hero isn’t bad enough for me.
Now, that being said, this is a nice story of honorable men who hold to their promises, but we get that in a lot of historical romance. I hoped for something a bit different, considering the name of the series. There’s plenty of ways to throw bad into the mix and still retain honor and dignity. Ciaran is laird of the MacGregor clan, and he’s riding hell bent for home from the English court, needing to be back on Scottish soil. That’s when he and his men come upon Rosalia, beaten and unconscious on the side of the road. Discovering she’s trying to make her way to her paternal grandmother’s in Glengarry, Ciaran demands she winter with his clan, because she’d never make it to her destination through the snow and other dangerous conditions.
Rosalia is fleeing her abusive parents, who want to marry her off to a very undesirable English lord in exchange for the almighty coin. After she refuses the man’s suit, Rosalia is beaten black and blue and that’s when she reaches the end of her rope. Her plan goes off without a hitch, until her body can just go no further. You have to give the lass credit for taking her destiny into her own hands, but once she’s ensconced in Ciaran’s keep, all that bravado disappears. She lets her doubts take over when it comes to him, keeping her eye on getting to her grandmother instead of into that Highlander’s bed.
Because he made a deathbed promise to his father, Ciaran spends most of the book yelling at, getting irritated with, and boxing the ears of his youngest brother, Declan. He’s taken to heart that promise and refuses to seek happiness in his own life until his sibling is taken care of. Even when Aiden, the middle brother, who is married with a child on the way, tells Ciaran their father wouldn’t want the laird to ignore his own life in keeping his promise, Ciaran turns his back on good advice and continues to lust after Rosalia, kiss her on occasion until the tension between them is palpable, and then he backs off when he realizes how far he’s gone. He’s more stubborn than he is bad boy.
Of course, there are the usual impediments to their growing relationship – an ex-lover, the Campbells, and even fear that Rosalia’s family will find her. The story does get a bit more interesting when the Campbells finally make their move, throwing a twist of betrayal in the mix. But other than that, the most interesting character of the book is Declan. He’s the real bad boy so far, and I look forward to his book. You see his sprout of honor under all that swagger, but he’s fun and entertaining in the meantime. I have his book lined up, ready to start reading, so my hopes are high at this point.
There is plenty of Scottish brogue to be had, more than enough to bother some readers, but I’ve always been a fan of a verra thick brogue, so I had fun with it. My only nitpick on that score is “donna” for “do not.” Put a capital D on that word and I kept remembering a high school friend of many years ago. I believe “dunna” would be a better fit and not pull a reader out of the story like the other. Not a bad start to the series, but I wish something more would have been woven into Ciaran to sharpen the bad in him.
She’s on her way to safety
It’s a sign of Lady Rosalia Armstrong’s desperation that she’s seeking refuge in a place as rugged and challenging as the Scottish Highlands. She doesn’t care about hardship and discomfort, if only she can become master of her own life. Laird Ciaran MacGregor, however, is completely beyond her control…
He redefines dangerous…
Ciaran MacGregor knows it’s perilous to get embroiled with a fiery Lowland lass, especially one as headstrong as Rosalia. Having made a rash promise to escort her all the way to Glengarry, now he’s stuck with her, even though she challenges his legendary prowess at every opportunity. When temptation reaches its peak, he’ll be ready to show her who he really is…on and off the battlefield.
Read an excerpt.
Other books in this series: