Tuesday, April 4, 2017

seriously romantic: my one true highlander by suzanne enoch

marjorie forrester never thought she'd be lady marjorie forrester. she was destined to be a paid companion to old ladies, a spinster who lived an unappreciated life, someone who would grow old and live alone. but when her brother unexpectedly inherited a dukedom, everything changed. except that no one in society wanted anything to do with her. they hadn't bothered to look at her when she was a lowly paid companion, but they made a point to not look at her now that she was their social equal. and marjorie wasn't sure which was worse.

oh, but she dreamed of being accepted by society. she wanted to make a life for herself. she wanted someone to care about her, she'd spent her whole life being an afterthought. maybe it was finally time that changed. but changing society's mind about her is going to be hard and humiliating and expensive, so when her brother writes and tells her he is getting married, she decides to escape society for a while and surprise him on his estate in the scottish highlands. except her brother forgot to mention that he'd embroiled himself in a war with the clan chief and that maybe it wasn't the right time to be traipsing about the highlands with nothing more than a paid companion and two coachmen in tow.

graeme maxton is also in the thick of things. his estate borders the duke of lattimer's who has is essentially at war with their clan chief, the duke of dunncraigh. graeme is a mere viscount but he has no interest in being at war with anyone. he just wants his cotters and his family the chance to live and farm in peace. but when his idiot brothers kidnap lattimer's sister, marjorie, he's not just in the thick of it. he's up to his neck in it and there doesn't appear to be a solution that will not involve all out war with someone more powerful than he is.

the only thing going for him is that no one knew marjorie was travelling to lattimer's estate. so no one is actually looking for her, because no one is missing her. when marjorie argues that this is a perfectly good reason to just let her go, graeme refuses. he says it's because he can't trust her, and maybe that is partly the reason. but the other part of it is that something about marjorie appeals to the heathen highlander in him, and now that he has for all intents and purposes kidnapped her, he's not interested in letting her go.

while marjorie is at first very put out by the kidnapping thing, and then the possibility of being forced to marry graeme, she soon finds that she's not so much demanding her release, and more that she wants to stay at the lion's den (graeme's ancestral home). for the first time in her life she's part of a household in a way that she's never experienced. she's a friend, a lover, a sister, a part of the family. and how can she give that up? how can she give up graeme, who looks at her as if she were his whole world? no one has ever seen her like he does. and even better, he doesn't expect her to behave a certain way, she doesn't need to be a perfect paragon of society. he likes it when she stands up for what she believes. he sets her free in ways she never thought possible.

my one true highlander lets us see how being together allows graeme and marjorie be themselves, their true selves, without worry about what is expected of them or what society might think. being together might be the first thing either of them has ever done just for themselves. and it's oh so enjoyable to read. and while the duke of dunncraigh and sir hamish paulk are proper villians, the rest of the cast of characters are all so charming, especially connell, graeme's youngest brother.

reading about how graeme and marjorie figure out their way to a happily ever after, you almost regret getting to the end of the story. because spending time in the lion's den with these characters is really just so delightful. i guess it's a good thing when an author leaves you wanting.

**my one true highlander will publish on april 4, 2017.  i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/st. martin's press in exchange for an honest review.


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