Falling for the Highlander by Lynsay Sands
Contemporary (MC) Romance
Released: January 31, 2017
Reviewed by Sheena
Favorite Quote: “Yer brother did no’ bother to mention ye were deaf when he offered ye to me. I should ha’e guessed as much, though. He’s obviously a cheat and a louse, so o’ course he’d try to pass off a defective lass in exchange fer me high-quality beasts.” Gasping in outrage, Murine gave up her pretense and turned to glare at the man as she snapped, “I’m no’ defective! And ye’d ha’e been lucky to ha’e me, I’m worth a hundred o’ yer horses.” When his mouth quirked up on one side and one eyebrow rose high on his forehead, she realized what she’d said and quickly added, “Not that I’d ha’e agreed to such a shameful bargain.”
Lady Murine Carmichael is tumbling headlong down a serious streak of bad luck. Her father has died and seemingly disinherited her, she is twenty-one and without a dowry and she lives on the good graces of her unscrupulous, gambling addict of a brother- who has recently taken to the idea of selling her body to cover the cost of a couple of horses.
Not to mention of course that Murine also faints at the slightest provocation.
Things are not improving for Murine when she overhears her brother barter with visiting Scots over the possibility of spending time with Murine to settle his transaction. Refusing to allow her brother to gable away her virtue and dignity, Murine runs off to escape her scheming brother – only to be nearly caught in the night by her brother’s clansmen. Luckily for Murine, she is found and protected by the very man her brother tried to sell her to, Dougall Buchanan and his band of brothers.
Dougall is a great highland hero. He is brawny and growly yet has the biggest heart in the center of all his surliness. I liked how honorable Dougall was and found his overprotective and romantic jealousy of his brothers adorable. Murine was average as far as heroines go. I don’t mind a more subdued lady and I am usually turned off by excessively shrew-like or ball busting heroines, but Murine could have definitely used a bit of a stiffer spine. Aside from running off at the possibility of being whored out like chattel, she spent most of the novel having things happen to her as opposed to making things happen.
The bulk of the plot is the Buchanan brothers escorting Murine to their sister who (surprise!) coincidentally owes a great debt and gratitude to Murine for past deeds. Dougall and Murine fell for one another scene by scene. Falling for the Highlander had all the sweet romantic trappings. The push -pull of young lovers who initially fight and hide their attraction for one another. That gave way to the silly misunderstandings and unnecessary tiffs, then finally the embrace and knowledge that they were meant to be together. *Le sigh*
His excitement was growing by leaps and bounds and Dougall very much feared he was going to reach the end of the race before she did if she didn’t stop. In a desperate bid to make her do so, he left off caressing her and grasped both of her hips, but she merely leaned forward, changing her angle enough that she was caressing herself on her body. That was even worse for him and Dougall changed tactics, trying to think of unpleasant things to stave off his mounting excitement. Unfortunately, her breasts were bobbing directly over his face and it was difficult to think of anything unpleasant with that view. Dougall was just about to resort to viciously biting his own tongue to prevent his body finding release when Murine suddenly began to thrash above him, her body squeezing and pulsing hard around his staff as she cried out her pleasure. Relieved beyond measure, Dougall immediately took over steering this ride and pumped up into her hard a bare two times before the release he’d been trying to avoid rode over him like the king and his court stampeding the table at a feast.
Sexy indeed. Dougall is a virile highlander and knows how to please his lady. And for awhile, things were entertaining, funny and set at a great pace, only…well things slowed down and got a little muddled when they arrive to Buchanan land and trouble has been following them all the while. I don’t much like awkwardly complex monkey wrenches thrown into what was and what ought to have continued to be a simple story. The twist and change of pace in this novel was dangerously close to being a fly in the pudding. You can flick it out and eat around it (gah) or turn your nose up all together. I wanted so badly to flick out the awkward new developments, especially a particular injury to Murine (totally unrealistic given the events that happen nearly immediately after). Thankfully the plot twist and extraneous events occur toward the very end of the book, so I easily enjoyed nearly 80% of the book. The HEA felt a little quick, though it tied up their romance nice and neatly. However, I was disappointed that things took a few bad turns.
All things considered, I liked the story, it was sweet enough, sexy enough and interesting enough that I may check out the other three books in the series. The author has a light and airy story telling style, that I connected with (while it lasted). And I’m interested to see if this sort of bad ending is a fluke.