This review is based on a complimentary book I received from NetGalley. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.How to Ensnare a Highlander by Michelle McLean
Series: The MacGregor Lairds #2
Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance
Release Date: February 12, 2018
Publisher: Entangled: Scandalous
Purchase at: Amazon ◊ Barnes & Noble ◊ Book Depository ◊ Google Play ◊ Kobo
When Lady Elizabet Harding’s family is targeted by the notorious Highland Highwayman, she finds herself wounded and an unwelcome guest of the charming outlaw who’d ruined her reputation earlier that day. Elizabet only wants to get even for her family’s downfall, but the more time she spends with the scoundrel, the more complicated her feelings become.
By day, Laird John MacGregor graces the court of Charles II. By night, he exacts revenge on his enemies – one of whom is betrothed to the fiery heiress who has, quite literally, fallen into his arms. The daughter of one enemy and promised to another, Elizabet should be the last person John wants. Yet even as she exasperates him, she is all he has ever desired for himself. When her life is put in danger, he will do anything necessary to protect the women he never expected to love…even if it means they cannot be together.
How to Ensnare a Highlander is the second book in the MacGregor Lairds series but it can definitely be read as a standalone. I really liked Lady Elizabet Harding’s character. Her family life was not something that I would wish on anyone. Her father was the kind of man that had his eyes set on amassing more wealth and prestige and he didn’t care who’s toes he had to step on in order to get what he wanted. He did not see his daughter as a beloved family member but as a pawn that he could use to his gain. Her mother was not much better and never did stand up for her daughter. It should not have been a surprise to Elizabet that her father was looking to enter her into a marriage with a man who would overlook her less than sizable dowry, if the price was right. Her father had found such a man, a man who wanted to marry Elizabet not for love but only for the lands he would inherit through marrying her and the heirs she would produce willingly or not.
Elizabet was horrified at the man that her father had chosen to marry her to and could not take one more moment in his presence. She decided that she would take a ride on her horse because she did not know for how much longer she would have that freedom. While away a storm rolled in and Elizabet’s horse became spooked and put Elizabet in serious danger. If it had not been for a masked stranger riding to her rescue Elizabet could have been seriously hurt. In her mind though it was out of the frying pan and into the fryer because the man who had rescued her was no other than the masked Highland Highway man who was his own sort of Robin Hood. The same man who robbed from families like hers. Although she should have loathed this man, she was rather taken aback by how contrary he was to his reputation.
Laird John MacGregor was indeed the notorious Highland Highway man, well him and those who supported him, and he did indeed spread the wealth he stole around to those in need but that was not why he became the Highwayman. He was searching for proof in order to shut down the smuggling operation that had claimed the life of his brother. When he had saved the woman in the forest he was taken with her and never in his wildest dreams did he ever consider that she was the daughter of his hated enemy. Although he had plenty of reasons to stay away from Elizabet, when she was wounded by one of his men he could not leave her. Instead he took her with him, if only until she healed, but never did he take off the mask because he knew that no matter what he would put all that he had worked for in jeopardy if she ever found out his true identity. Even with all that stood between them there was a spark between these characters that for better or worse rocked their world.
I have to say that the John or “Jack” as he called himself reminded me of Westley from The Princess Bride. I think it was the whole masked bandit, wooing woman, but upset with what she represents feeing that made that correlation in my mind. For whatever reason, I was reminded of that character and it made me love this story every more! John was a good man and he may have been blinded by his need for revenge but he was everything a woman would swoon for. Elizabet was strong and courageous. I love her ingenuity and although she didn’t whole heartedly trust John, she did trust his actions and that made for a sweet romance. Overall, I truly enjoyed reading How to Ensnare a Highlander and I would absolutely recommend this book!
*Thank you to Netgalley & Entangled Publishing, LLC for this eARC of How to Ensnare a Highlander*