on March 28th 2017
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
She'll put her life on the line for him . . .
When Akira Ayres finds the brawny Scot with a musket ball in his thigh, the healer has no qualms about doing whatever it takes to save his life. Even if it means fleeing with him across the Highlands to tend to his wounds while English redcoats are closing in. Though Akira is as fierce and brave as any of her clansmen, even she's intimidated by the fearsome, brutally handsome Highlander who refuses to reveal his name.
Yet she can never learn his true identity.
Geordie knows if Akira ever discovers he's the Duke of Gordon, both her life and his will be forfeit in a heartbeat. The only way to keep the lass safe is to ensure she's by his side day and night. But the longer he's with her, the harder it becomes to think of letting her go. Despite all their differences, despite the danger-he will face death itself to make her his . . .
~~Reviewed by AnnMarie~~
The Highland Duke is the first book in the Lords of the Highlands series by Amy Jarecki.
Akira Ayres is of gypsy descent, she lives with her mother and sisters in one room. They are poor as church mice, but Akira does her best to look after them all. She is a healer and earns what food they get from helping people with their ailments.
After a skirmish between the Scots and some Redcoats, Akira who is a healer goes to the battle area to see if there is anybody she can help. She comes across a wounded highlander, he’s bleeding, a lot, from a musket ball to the leg. She knows she must help him and sets to removing the ball and binding the wound.
The wounded man is George, the Duke of Gordon. He was fighting incognito under his cousins banner rather than his own, against the English when he was shot. If it was discovered that he had any part in the skirmish he would end up forfeiting his land and title and any chance of getting the rightful person back on the throne. He would also find himself hung for treason.
When Akira finds him he can’t give her his real name or tell her who he is for fear that she could be forced to tell if she were questioned by his enemy. He introduces himself as Geordie. Not long after Akira starts to tend to his wounds, a redcoat begins to close in and Geordie knows he has to get home to safety and the only way to do that is with Akira’s help. She’s doesn’t want to leave her family but when he offers her payment, enough money to feed her family for a year, she has no other choice but to help him to his home.
The time they spend getting back there is fraught with trials and tribulations, but somewhere along the way an attraction starts to grow between them. One that is ridiculous because although she doesn’t know his true identity, Akira can tell Geordie is of the higher classes, and somebody like him could never be with a common poor person like her, and especially one that’s a gypsy. Any thoughts of romance often end up taking a back seat to the drama involved with getting the man home and fully healed safely.
The trouble won’t end there though because the redcoat that was following after them has a strong suspicion of who Geordie is and he won’t let it lie. If he captures the man and proves him a traitor to the ‘usurper’ he would win great favour from the Queen. He isn’t 100% sure of Geordie’s identity but after questioning people he knows that Akira is a healer and that she was the one on the run with the man. If he can get to her, he will make her confess to who she was with.
Will they be able to keep him from getting proof of Geordie’s participation in the skirmish, and can Akira be kept safe when she leaves his home to return to hers? What of their budding relationship, can that stand any chance when he has kept his true identity a secret. How can they even be friends if he can’t trust her?
This story was so much more than a romance, it was full of intrigue, excitement and drama. Akira is a strong female character who can give as good as she gets, and she is faithful to those that deserve her trust. She won’t let Geordie down no matter what. In fact if it were a case of life or death between them, she would chose herself to die. Would Geordie do the same for her? You will have to read the book to see. You can be assured that the redcoat is not going to give up easily and that the drama that unfolds will make you want to read and keep on reading until you find out what happens.
This book was a fantastic read that I fully recommend. It has just the right amount of everything to make it perfect, and the passion when it happens is hot hot hot. How could it not be with a sexy highlander involved! I loved the setting of the story, I love the history the author managed to put into the story, and the description of Scotland just left me wanting to jump into the book and be there. This is just the first book in the series, and if it’s brilliance is anything to go by then I cannot wait for the following books to come!
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced readers’ copy of this book.