Sandy M’s review of To Marry a Scottish Laird (Highland Historical Series, Book 2) by Lynsay Sands
Historical Romance published by Avon 24 June 14
I’ve had a number of disappointments lately with my favorite authors, and I still have no answer for that particular question. And I have to add Lynsay Sands to that list with this latest book in her Highland Historical series. It’s especially disappointing because I thoroughly enjoyed the first book, An English Bride in Scotland.
The heroine-disguising-herself-as-a boy-and-rescued-by-the-hero is something we’ve all read much too often. At least the charade doesn’t go on as long as some I’ve read in the past. When Campbell Sinclair comes upon Joan, aka Jo for Cam’s benefit, she’s being beaten by highwaymen, thus giving another way that Cam won’t recognize her gender – her face is bruised and swollen. Even when he discovers her ruse, he lets her get away with it a bit longer. But once he knows her secret, his attraction grows. And I’m not sure why it would at that point.
We’re not given much of anything beyond the fact they talk on their journey, now that Cam is escorting Joan to the clan MacKay to deliver her late mother’s deathbed request. Cam makes his move and they enjoy a physical relationship during their two-week trip. Once at their destination, the story does take an unusual turn, which is what keeps the book from descending into further obscurity, despite the fact Joan knows nothing more can happen between them because of their different stations in life. Their feelings have grown immensely, but they don’t talk to one another any longer and misunderstanding abounds.
When it’s discovered Joan is the niece of Laird and Lady MacKay, Cam now feels obligated to offer marriage to Jo, even though he’d not wanted that before. More misunderstanding. Once married they continue on to Cam’s home, along with Jo’s new family so they can teach her how to be a lady. They have to navigate all the young women Cam’s mother has invited to entice her son to marry again. That’s when bizarre things begin to happen, raising questions that lead them all to set a trap for the culprit. They nearly don’t make it in time, though. I find the resolution a bit hard to swallow. There’s too many little details the villain has to keep straight and do all at the same time to make it believable. Including the trail of bodies left along the way.
As much as I like Cam and Joan, their story is just too cookie cutter. There’s very little here that is original, and that leaves me a bit amazed, considering who the author is. Lynsay Sands has been a favorite for me for years now. And that’s the only reason the grade isn’t lower for this book. If it had been in any other author’s hands, that grade would be one whole level lower.
Highlander Campbell Sinclair is no stranger to battle, so when he sees a lad attacked by bandits, he jumps into the fray. He didn’t count on being stabbed. Grateful to the boy for nursing him back to health, Cam offers to accompany Jo safely to his destination. But when he accidentally comes across the lad bathing in the river, Cam discovers that Jo is actually Joan . . . with the most sinful of curves.
Joan promised her mother that she would deliver a scroll to the clan MacKay. But traveling alone is dangerous, even disguised as a boy. When a Scottish warrior lends his aid, she is more than relieved . . . until he surprises her with lingering kisses and caresses that prove her disguise hasn’t fooled him. As their passion ignites, will the secrets of the scroll force a wedding . . . and lead to a love she’s never known?
Read an excerpt.
Other books in this series: