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Emily, the Dowager Countess of Woodhaven, has received title to lands in the Highlands–MacGregor lands–and after surviving an abusive marriage, she’s determined to make a new start…without a man. She just has to win over the handsome Scottish laird whose family has lived there for centuries. How hard could it be?

When Ian MacGregor heard that the Sassenach countess was actually laying claim to his lands, he figured to scare the aging widow away by showing her the hardships of living in the Highlands. She’d leave before the first snowflake fell. But he never imagined that the widow was young and beautiful and more territorial than a she-wolf. No matter, he’ll prove that a fragile, London woman like her would never survive life without her servants…and if he happens to give her the coldest and most remote rooms, all the better.

Despite his best efforts to freeze her out, things between them heat up. But Highlanders hate the Sassenach, so Ian faces a dire choice–his clan or the irresistible English aristocrat who seems to have taken not only his lands, but also his heart.


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Fly Girl’s Review

This was a fabulous quick, suspenseful, angsty romance set in the Scottish Highlands. I do love a historical romance and if you’ve read a few of my last reviews I was highly disappointed in my last one because I felt it was too over the top on behavior. This one however was more to my liking. It was very specific in the decorum and etiquette of the time period. Even the lack of faith the men had in the heroine’s business dealings and accuem was true to form.

We get two people who are fighting for their families survival and have competing agendas. Ian is working on political survival of his family and hoping to get their name restored in England so they don’t have to disappear “into the mist” again. Emily on the other hand just needs to provide for herself and her two sisters. Emily is super down to earth and somehow still fits in a lady of the times mold. She dresses appropriately, even if a season out of fashion, acts accordingly, and is super aware of how her actions reflect on the others around her. She is stubborn and willing to fight for what she wants and needs, but is also aware that men are used to controlling the situation. She handily inserts herself into Ian’s family business in a way everyone, except one, accepts that she has a knack for business and good decision making skills.

Ian on the other hand is the social butterfly and constantly running around trying to smooth things over where Emily and her sisters are concerned. Don’t get me wrong he acts a man of the time, but his duties as the head of household seem to be more important than the day to day issues of the estate. He is constantly working on getting his uncles, brothers, and tenants to not uprise against the English lady and her sisters. He’s trying to keep quiet that fact that she really owns them and could evict them at anytime. This is rather hilarious since everyone knows how fickle the King of England can be and the family finds out anyway. Once the anger has died down, it’s all about getting things prepared for the winter and saving Emily from a killer they don’t know.

Turns out the castle may be haunted, but no one wants to say it’s really those hidden passages they use to escape troops and other clans from, that is really causing the problems in the house. Emily takes everything like a champ and believes she can just outlast the killer by making the family love her. In part it is true, but in whole it goes back farther than Emily…she just doesn’t realize it.

After much ado about kissing, a setup, a stint getting sucked into the peat bog, they set the killer up and make a Happily Ever After for us. Emily and Ian finally give in to the fact they need and want each other and that even at their age, they can find love and it’s alright to go against family traditions.

As you can see I enjoyed this story with the witt of Emily and the brute strength of Ian. Just as I like my historicals. I’m only giving this one a 4 of 5 because there just wasn’t something that really stood out for me except the Scotch and I’m not sure that is enough to carry a 5 rating. Does that mean I don’t recommend this book?…No I’d recommend this one if you want a fun easy read that leaves you happy and satisfied in the end. I know the rest of the series is going to be about some of the rougher brothers and/or Emily’s sisters so I can’t wait to read those as they come out. Please give it a read and let me know what you thought.

4 of 5 Propellers

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An avid reader of anything medieval, Cynthia Breeding has taught the traditional Arthurian legends to high school sophomores for fifteen years. She owns more than three hundred books, fictional and non-fictional, on the subject. More information on Arthur, Gwenhwyfar and Lancelot can be found on the Historical Account link.

In addition, she has won numerous awards including the Holt Medallion, Beacon Contest, Barclay Gold, More Than Magic, and Ancient City Romance Authors.
Cynthia lives on the bay with her Bichon Frise and enjoys sailing and riding on the beach.