Review: Hannah and the Highlander (Untamed Highlander #1) by Sabrina York
Released: September 1, 2015
St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Reviewed by Sheena
Highlanders are her weakness.
Hannah Dounreay has no time for suitors who only seem interested in her family’s land, which she manages as well as any man. If she marries, she wants to be loved for the educated, independent woman she is. But when a strong, silent-and spectacularly handsome-Highlander saves her from a violent attack, her heart is stirred. Who is this man? And if he asks for Hannah’s hand, will she be able to resist him?
Love is the most powerful weapon of all.
Alexander Lochlannach, Laird of Dunnet, has no time to lose. The Highlands are in an uproar as clans battle for land-without mercy-and Alexander can’t afford to fall for the wildly attractive, strong-willed Hannah. What’s more, he has a desperate secret, one that could destroy them both. But as their attraction turns into an all-consuming passion, Alexander has no choice but to prove to Hannah that he’s the only man for her-body and soul…in Hannah and the Highlander.
Favorite Quote: Another of her suitors, Orlig was as wide as he was tall, which she didn’t mind as much as the fact that he tended to spray when he spoke. And then there was the farting. It was unfortunate that Orlig bent over to survey the logs. The bright flash of twin fleshy moons nearly blinded her. “Good lord…”
Historical action romance is really emerging as a hot little sub-genre. These Highland tales have been around for decades, but the heroines are getting sassier, the kilted alpha warriors are impossibly more alpha and possessive and more than the beautiful scenery, the action and adventure is taking prominence while the epic romance remains center stage. Hannah and the Highlander is the first of its series and it was engaging. Alexander is a stammering Highland Warrior- honorable, bossy, brawny, bllllaaahhh-drool. All things awesome. He is all rough edges and multi layered. Hannah is one bonny lass who kicks ass! She is not one to be led around or brought to heel, but she does not go so overboard with her independent streak that she ventures into shrew territory. I don’t like shrews. They ruin the romance with all their roaring and bra burning. Alexander and Hannah were so equally yoked it was amusing to see them circle round one another, neither wanting to strike first, but both desperate for a bite!
She should look away. Really, she should. But Hannah Dounreay could not tear her gaze from the sight of the enormous man striding onto the field of combat like a warrior of old. It could have been the glorious fall of inky black curls riffling in the breeze, or the breadth of his shoulders, or the sharp cut of his chin…or the rippling muscles of his bare chest…
This man was a warrior. There was probably not a romantic bone in his body. Still….that body…
I really connected with Hannah. She was stubborn but realistic. She yearned for a real love match and wanted to settle for nothing less than the devoted love she saw in her family and friends around her. There was a melancholy undertone, as she pondered in her quiet moments if she would ever inspire such romantic love in a mate. These moments of vulnerability humanized her and compelled me to root for her. The novel opens with her suitors in competition to win her hand in marriage and along with it, the bounty of her fertile land and suitors near and far have come to try their hand. Things start slow, with story building and character introductions, but there is a huge pay off and I am glad to have stuck with it. Hannah and the Highlander is a fun comfort read that has a humorous wit that was quite entertaining.
The story livens up at a pivotal moment when Alexander saves Hannah’s life from a violent suitor and makes his offer for her to marry him. Despite her leashed attraction, Hannah marries him set on maintaining her own way of life, and their newlywed life is a riot. She is still rather bitter over being treated like much chattel and “married off” and he allows her to stew but prods her along to get used to life as his wife. He is the Laird and she initially has some trouble…adjusting to being beholden to any man. The beauty lies in Hannah’s authenticity. She is sharp-tongued and sensitive to any perceived controlling behavior, but she in turn manages Alexander as well as any wife who wants her way with her high-handed husband.
“If I choose to ride my horse, and I shall, you willna sweep in and wretch me from his back each and every time.”
He opened his mouth to object, but she went up on her tiptoes and pressed a kiss on his chin and all his arguments scattered.”
“And thank you for attempting to save my life,” she added, patting his arm. “It was verra sweet.”
The bulk of the story surrounds the couple coming together and learning to live together. They play their cards close to their chest, though, there is never a moments doubt that they were tender for one another. Comically awkward marital adjustments aside (I seriously loved how Hannah came to respect and understand Alexander’s speech impediment. heart-melted!), there is an element of action danger that enhanced the tone and pace of the story. We get to see many sides of Alexander, unsure and falling in love, fierce sword wielding battle laird and dark and brooding. Alexander has a big reveal that changes their circumstances and added a nice twist to the tale.
As the inaugural book of the Untamed Highlander series, author Sabrina York does a fabulous job setting up the next books in the series with strong supporting characters who shine just as bright as Alexander and Hannah. Book two, Susana and the Scot, features Hannah’s spirited sister, Susana and releases December 2015 and I can not wait to revisit this lush, seductive and romantic world again.