To Desire a Highlander (Scandalous Scots # 2) by Sue-Ellen Welfonder
Released: August 25, 2015
Reviewed by Sheena
An Unwilling Bride…
Proud, passionate Lady Gillian MacGuire is known as the Spitfire of the Isles. She can take care of herself and hasn’t yet met a man who could impress her . . . especially not Donell MacDonnell, the odious older man she was promised to five years ago. She’s been dreading his return, but when her intended comes back to claim her, she’s stunned at how different he seems. The man she swore she would spurn forever now invades her thoughts, her dreams, and her heart.
An Unexpected Desire…
When Roag agrees to assume the identity of the recently deceased MacDonnell chieftain, no one warns him that the man was betrothed. As a member of the King’s Fenris Guard, he is oath-bound to embark on whatever mission the crown gives him. Of course, he was expecting a battle—not a bride. Yet after sharing one kiss with Lady Gillian, the powerful Highlander becomes the one seduced and captivated. Now giving in to temptation could ruin them both.
Ah! A familiar trope I love. The wild, free-spirited bonnie lass who is a most unwilling bride to boarish, kilted warrior come to claim her. To Desire a Highlander is an especially unique highlander novel with a cleverly executed, mild paranormal thread that was deliciously enthralling. Roag first sets eyes on Lady Gillian as his great battle ship arrives ashore what are to become his assumed isle lands. True to her description, Gillian is brazen and bold, the Spitfire of the Isles and gives Roag not an inch of traction when it comes to embarking on their betrothal.
Her long-lost betrothed was home at last. And she meant to greet him with all the soft, submissive charm of a hellcat…
She narrowed her eyes, studying him…she didn’t want to find him attractive.
Annnnd cue the beginning of a contentious relationship between the two. Predictable in plot, I settled in for the long haul, awaiting the payoff where these two passionate players finally get on the same page romantically. Trust being chief in their long list of differences, Roag had quite the road to travel to earn his way back into Gillian’s good graces. She resorts to foiled escapes and out-right bribery to rid herself of the highlander. Little does she realize, Roag storms her defenses and burrows his way into her heart. And not a moment too soon, as by nearly 60% into the book, she was still quite the little minx-shrew! Gillian was such a hell-cat heroine, she did not just have claws, she had iron-tipped talons set to auto-engage evisceration thrusters a little too often for my liking. I heaved a huge sigh of relief when she began to admit to herself that she was indeed falling for Roag- whom I thought was quite comely! Kind to her old beaten down dog, and honorable in his patience and indulgence of Gillain’s vacillating moods, he had my cheers early on! And that was before he finally got around to making a true mate of the prickly Gillian. He mates and mates well. *wiggles eyebrows.*
There are two important plot themes that I will skirt around. One is a twist that I found heart warming and sweet and readers would be all the better to discover it on their own. The second is so hilarious, I would be a troll to steal the moment from you! Instead I’ll whet your interest with this little diddy…
“You have magic fingers,” she said, not caring if he could tell how she trembled in bliss, or how wet she was becomming. That, too, she’d heard of from the kitchen wenches at Sway.
She’d gone slick and damp with what they’d called the “dew of desire.”
“You are the magic, lass.” He was looking down at her again.
No, he was breathing on her!
“By the gods!” This time she did push up on her elbows, her bravura fading when she saw just how closely he was looking at her! his head was right between her thighs, his dark, amused gaze peering up at her now. “What are you doing?”
“Nothing that you willnae enjoy, I promise,” he said, and licked her.
And that is only the beginning. When the romance is realized, there was an infusion of passion and sensuality that jolted me as I read along. Lady Gillian and Roag’s physical chemistry was fiery and Welfonder is especially talented at writing their more carnal scenes so visual that you can practically feel the warmth from the hearth and the sweat slicked bodies throwing shadows around their chamber. Yumm!!
For all of its delicious steam, it was not without its bumps. To be book two of the series, it still dragged in some places, with what felt like overwrought descriptions and details. Weary, I would skip ahead a few places, but then found myself a little lost, with no choice but to back track and trudge through the slow parts. It was not bad enough for me to even consider a DNF, but it definitely took some of the joy out of immersing myself in this interesting world author Sue-Ellen Welfonder has created.
All in all, this book was delightful and I did not want to put it down. So much so that I immediately sought out book 1 of the series, To Love a Highlander and read until I suffered a mild concussion from the number of times I dropped my e-reader on my face, fatigued from reading all night, but enjoying it so much, a bruised face was the least of my concerns. Right off the bat I discovered that book was is superior to To Desire a Highlander, and Roag quite different than how I perceived him in book 2. I am glad I read these books out of sequence, had I known the Roag from book 1, I may have missed out on or disregarded some of his imposing presence that I was met with in book 2. I am chalking it up to a bit of author ingenuity, as Roag was technically assuming another man’s character as a farce, he really dedicated himself to the role so much so that he went through a bit of a character transformation between books *wink*! I am pleased through and through to have discovered this author and look forward to anything else that may come in this promising series.