I liked both the hero and heroine in this book. Even when they made some pretty messy mistakes, their regret was genuine. They each had a lot to learn about how to be a couple. Their fears for the future were realistic, and their resulting actions made sense. Dahl never fell into any of the typical, overused themes that we read repeatedly. The characters were not built like gods/ goddesses. Neither was totally right, while the other was totally wrong. Both were, to put it simply, human.
Alexandra is a recluse. During her coming out season, she was caught kissing a man. Her reputation destroyed, there was nothing for her to do but retreat from society. Rather than wallow in self- pity, Alex has found happiness in caring for her older brother's estate. She may be the sister of a duke, but she is not afraid to get her hands dirty in the stables. Loving his sister, no matter what her faults might be, the duke gives her the freedom to live as she pleases.
Collin resents having to leave Scotland in search of his brother's killer. The last thing he wants to do is speak with the woman who caused his younger brother, John, to be shot to death in a duel for her honor. He believes the same as the rest of society... that she must be a harlot. Upon meeting her in person, he begins to doubt what he has heard about her from the gossips. When she agrees to help him capture John's killer, Collin knows that she can't be the selfish wench he thought her to be.
Alex can't stop thinking about Collin. Even after he has returned to Scotland, she decides she will have him. Men of honor have been rare in London society. She doesn't want to give up her freedom, but wants to experience physical affection. Her reputation already destroyed, Alex feels she has nothing to lose.
Collin has spent his life behaving with honor and good judgement. When Alex tempts him into meeting with her, he decides that just this once he will put his restraints aside and live for his own happiness. What can it hurt? She's certainly no innocent.
As circumstances of the meeting unfold, both Alex and Collin find it hard to keep their physical relationship and their emotions separate. When Alex falls ill, Collin will not leave her until he knows she is safe and well. Once she is healed, he will do all he can to convince her to marry him. Neither has ever professed their love for one another, but both feel it to their very souls. They will soon learn how foolish it is to keep such a secret. Resentment and suspicion threaten to destroy their fragile bond. All the while, John's killer hides close by, waiting for a chance to get revenge for his exile.
Love a wee Scottish tale? These are some that I enjoyed:
Scotsman One of my absolute favorite romances ever!
The Pride of Lions
Blood of Roses A two book series that will knock you off your chair. Bring the Kleenex for the last 100 pages. You will be deeply effected.
Ride The Fire (Leisure Historical Romance) A very romantic three book series. "Ride The Fire" is another of my all- time favorites.
Surrender (Leisure Historical Fiction) Story of three Scottish brothers who migrated to the US. This book is about the oldest brother. We are still waiting for the next two. Come on, Ms. Clare!
Kiss of the Highlander (The Highlander Series, Book 4)
The Dark Highlander (The Highlander Series, Book 5) Two books out of a long series. These two stand alone, and are great together. The rest of the series is good, but not as good these books about a set of yummy twin Scotsmen.