In the Heart of the Highlander by Maggie Robinson (Ladies Unlaced #2)
Released: October 1, 2013
Reviewed by Mandi
Mary was tired of living with her brother and tending his store, so when her aunt becomes ill and can no longer run her Evensong Agency, Mary eagerly moves in with her aunt and literally becomes her. The Evensong agency was created to solve domestic disasters. Matchmaking, finding employees, or even the odd jobs that no one else has a solution for. Their motto, “Performing the Impossible Before Breakfast Since 1888.” Because her aunt has such a strong, confidential client base, Mary decides to dress as her aunt (gray wig, spectacles etc..) so no one knows Mary has actually taken over.
Alec Raeburn needs the Evensong Agency’s services. His wife died under suspicious circumstances, many blaming him for her death. But Alec has a good idea who was responsible. The brand new Forsyth Palace Hotel in the Highlands has just opened, a spa of sorts for people with ailments can go for treatment and relaxation. The main doctor has a reputation for preying on vulnerable women, and Alec is quite sure he is the man responsible for his wife’s death. He goes to Mary to ask for an actress who can go to the hotel, pretend to be innocent and unwell, and lay a trap for the doctor. Once the doctor makes his move sexually, Alec can storm in and ruin his reputation. Mary agrees to find him an actress, but ends up taking off her Aunt’s disguise and going herself.
This book is really cute. Alec is this huge Scottish man that intimidates many.
He wore a walking kilt in his family’s tartan, an unfortunate combination of yellow and black that reminded Mary of angry bees. But his black jacket molded his massive shoulders and matched his longish hair and neatly trimmed beard. Mary was not at all fond of beards, but somehow she didn’t think Lord Raeburn was hiding a weak chin. His eyes looked black as well, giving her and her office intense scrutiny while she stumped to her feet and extended a hand.
Although he looks quite stern, he is actually pretty gentle. Like a big hairy teddy bear. He kind of lumbers around the whole story, so angry with this doctor and just can’t wait for Mary to lure him into a trap. Except he starts to fall for Mary (who he eventually discovers was dressed as her aunt). Then he starts to get very nervous something may happen to her. It’s all quite romantic.
Mary is a really fun heroine. She is feisty and stubborn and up for a big adventure. She takes on Alec’s cause and becomes quite invested in revealing the doctor’s true character. This book takes place in the early 1900’s so the idea of a spa, with treatments and massages (there is one verra sexy massage in this book) and the like was different to read about.
I also really enjoyed the first book in this series, In the Arms of the Heiress (Mary is briefly introduced in that one).