Reviewed by May
“You are right that I have come a very long way. I made that journey in the anticipation of a lovely reunion with my grandmother and I imagined something vastly different – a house, a small village. A servant! But I find you in a crofter’s cottage without any help at all, with a wounded, naked man.”
Maime clucked her tongue at Daria. “You make it sound nefarious.”
“Yes,” Daria said, nodding furiously, “it rather seems nefarious to me.”
Daria is the last debutant in Hadley Green, all her friends married off and Daria still with no prospects or men she is truly interested in marrying. She desires a family, but she also wants to have some kind of adventure. When the chance comes up for her to travel and deliver some funds to her grandmother in Scotland she jumps at the opportunity, and into quite the adventure.
Jamie Campbell is the laird of his clan, and in his quest to get back the thousand pounds taken from his family finds himself shot and trapped in an old woman’s cottage. Daria, her visiting granddaughter chooses this time for her visit and the situation goes from bad to worse as she is held for ransom (when the money is repaid, he will return her) in his castle.
I was so delighted by this story. It started out with everything I could ask for from a love story. Their first meeting is memorable (he’s been shot and is laying naked and asleep!), the set-up for why they have to spend time together was well done, and I found the characters to be charming as well.
The problem is that the story stalls out in the middle, and has kind of a crash landing of an ending. The drama and problems that popped up at the end were not just surprising, they were unwelcome. This is such a light tale of a girl who can’t find love and the rugged laird who is perfect for her. While I welcome conflict and challenges, the ones presented took away from the main story, and really distracted me and annoyed me. Instead of making everything fall into place and wrap up this story they pulled me out of the lovely tale.
We know the grandmother is hiding something, but the magnitude was so big that I was not only surprised by it but to me it added a layer of complication that was not at all well-handled. The author did such an incredible job of setting this story up, but as the characters went from disliking one another and wanting to be away from each other to falling in love the transition was shaky at best.
Daria is a young woman who is happy, outgoing, and wants the best kind of adventure from life. She is given a good match in Jamie who is serious and responsible, but whose personality and way of life allow Daria to just be herself around him. The pair of them had such great chemistry, and yet a bunch of third parties got involved and just mucked it all up. In the end Daria acted lamely, as did Jamie thanks to the twists thrown at them.
When I finished this book, I was so disappointed because I had really wanted to see more of these characters, I wanted to see them really discovering their love and new relationship (not just as enemies), and I wanted to end this book with a happy sigh not with a frustrated growl. While I can’t recommend this particular tale, I do think this is an author to watch as I saw a lot of promise and potential in the writing in the first half of this book.