Published by Entangled Publishing on December 12th 2016
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
A match made for mayhem.
“I’ve no intention of mating with this poor excuse of a man,” Lainie MacGregor declares after reciting her wedding vows. But it’s too late. Far from her beloved Highlands, her fate is sealed.
Ridley Malvern, Lord Caulfield, desperate for her dowry, agrees to marry a wealthy Scot’s daughter sight unseen. He is unaware his tantalizing bride is running from the law. Despite their sizzling attraction, all Lainie desires is to return to her clan. Attempting to make things right, Caulfield takes his wife back to the Highlands only to discover why her father sought the marriage—Lainie is wanted for murder. For her safekeeping, they must remain in England. Now Ridley needs to win her affections and prove that a wild Highland lass and an English lord, can find a love match, after all.
Lainie scrambled off the bed and stood. She squared her shoulders and, hands on hips, shot Ridley a defiant glare. She was rather good at defiant glares. Years of practice on her brothers had helped her accomplish that sort of thing.
“Go dress for dinner,” he ordered.
“Ye don’t say?” A well-played grin crossed her mouth—another expression she’d mastered. Confrontations could be so much fun if handled tongue-in-cheek.
She wiped the smirk off her mouth with the back of her hand. “Would ye like to choose what ye wish for me to wear, dear husband? Perhaps a ball and chain?”
“I’m in no mood—”
“Oh, ye’re in a mood, all right. Just one ye should never display in front of others. It hardly becomes ye.”
Mum’s snicker did not go unnoticed.
Again, Ridley perused the yellow silk harem outfit Mum had let Lainie try on. The flush of his cheeks darkened, and his pupils enlarged. Odd, they should’ve contracted, not gotten bigger. At least her brothers’ always had when she’d beaten them at their own game. His mouth caught her attention.
Even fixed in anger, there was a certain lushness to it that beckoned. An unfamiliar warmth played havoc beneath her skin.
With a flip of her head, she tossed her hair over one shoulder and stuck her nose in the air. “Ye’d like to scare me out of my wits, wouldn’t ye?” She skirted around him and headed for the door. “Ye’re about as formidable as fly specks on a window.”
Once out of the room, she set her back to the wall, her ear next to the door’s opening and a hand over her mouth to keep from giggling outright.
“Mum,” Ridley growled, “We need to have a little talk. As for you, Lainie,” he called out, “I know you are prowling around out there so pray shut the door and leave us.”
Lainie laughed. What else was a person to do when caught? “I’ll expect ye to call on me at my chamber door promptly at eight, and escort me proper-like to dinner, my proper husband.”
“Shut the damn door!”
“Yesss, sir!” She scooted down the corridor to her rooms, leaving a trail of snickering in her wake. He’d actually ordered her to dress for dinner.
Did he think a good Scot showed up wearing nothing but her drawers? Blast him, she now knew the perfect attire for the occasion.
“Mrs. Ellis,” she called out as she sailed into her room. “I’ll be wearing the MacGregor gown.”
“The MacGregor gown, milady?”
“Yes, that bilious red wool plaid. My elderly aunt fashioned it out of my uncle’s old kilts.”
You can follow Those Magnificent Malverns series on Goodreads.
~~Reviewed by AnnMarie~~
His Lordship’s Wild Highland Bride is the third book in the ‘Those Magnificent Highland Men’ series by Kathleen Bitner Roth. I haven’t read any of the other books in the series, but I didn’t need to. This book can easily be read as a stand alone one.
This is the story of an arranged marriage between a Scottish woman, Lainie MacGreggor, to Riley Malvern, Lord Cauldwell. She needs to wed an English man in order to flee Scotland and save herself from hanging for a murder she dd not commit. He needs to wed because the dowry that Lainey brings will save him and his estates from floundering. Lainie knows the reason Riley marries her, but he can’t work out for the life of him, why she is so desperate to marry and is so adamant that she can’t return to Scotland.
Their marriage has a very rocky start with Lainie even proclaiming in front of everybody after they took their vows, that Riley was a poor excuse for a man, and she wanted nothing to do with him and definitely wouldn’t be breeding with him! Quite a shock for Riley to hear that when he is so used to women wanting to marry him. Or at least they had until they found out about his money worries.
Lainie does find Riley very attractive, but she doesn’t want to act on her feelings because all she wants to do is to find a way back to her family and home in Scotland. Besides, she always thought she would marry for love, not to keep herself safe from a hangman’s noose.
The more time our couple spends together, the more they find their attraction builds, not just lust, but they actually like each other. Still Lainie’s home sickness is bad, and finally Riley decides that he can’t keep her in England against her wishes. Their marriage hasn’t been consummated, and although she took her vows seriously, he knows it is best to return her to her home and family.
He does it secretly, not letting on where they are going until they are on the ship and she figures out that they must be going to Scotland. Of course she goes into melt down and has to explain why she can’t set foot on Scottish soil again. From there the story goes on to tell if and how Lainie stays safe, the developing love between the couple, and of how she copes with what fate has dealt her.
This was a great story from beginning to end, two more unlikely people to marry you could never find. Yet they say opposites attract, and although it takes them a while, Lainie and Riley realise that they could be a very good husband and wife team. The other characters in the two families are are real joy to read about, and I certainly look forward to reading the other books in the series to find out more about them. Two of my favourite characters are Riley’s sister, who is quite the feminist, and his ‘mum’ who constantly takes a little medicinal gin from a hip flash she keeps on her. She is such a fun character and brings much lightness to the story when it starts to get deep.
All in all this was a captivating tale, a love story, and it is a book I will read again I’m sure.
I voluntarily read an Advanced Readers Copy of this book.