on May 30th 2017
Pirate or Laird…?
Birk Bane was born the second son, the unwanted son, the unneeded son. Crossed by family and falsely accused of a crime, he flees Scotland to the sea where he’s recruited by a pirate. Five years later, he’s captain of his own ship and embraces his new life, though an ache for the woman he left behind remains. When he receives word of his father’s death and his clan is floundering, Birk begrudgingly returns home. Little does he know there’s more he left behind than a title…much more.
Sheena MacRae helped Birk escape to safety years ago, always expecting he’d return. Time passes and she believes him to be dead. With her clan being terrorized and slaughtered, she accepts she is the only one who can stop the suffering by agreeing to marry Laird Gordon, the man behind the assaults. The man who is also poised to rule Birk’s clan. Despite the crushing need to hold Birk in her arms once more, his reappearance changes nothing. Sheena has too much to lose if she reneges the betrothal to Gordon. And while Birk’s intentions are to return to the sea after reclaiming his clan, she didn’t count on her pirate lover’s plan for revenge…
The longer he’s home, the more betrayal Birk uncovers. There will be a fiery battle ahead for Birk and his brethren. If he survives, how will he choose between the life he loves and the love of his life?
~~Reviewed by Monique~~
Birk Bane was accused of distributing counterfeit coins, and had to leave Scotland, with the help of the woman he loved. Sheena MacRae cannot abandon her ailing father, she must stay behind and protect her clan. Five years later, Birk has become a successful pirate, but upon hearing that his father has died and his cousin Cam wants to sell the family shipping business to Laird Rodric Gordon, Birk has to return to Scotland. He could still be hanged if he is caught, but Birk will not let his heritage fall into the hands of Gordon, who is bent on acquiring everything that he can, with the help of the English. Sheena has done all she could for her people, but now she must make the ultimate sacrifice: marry Rodric Gordon before there is nothing left to protect.
From the first sentence, the reader is thrown right into the action, and there is plenty of that in THE LAIRD’S RECKONING; in fact, this is a romance that even male readers will enjoy. Ms. Bray-Weber establishes the setting quickly with crisp descriptions, that I was rooting for Birk and Sheena immediately. The author’s prose is refined and uncluttered, she gets her point across, but elegantly so, and the story is well constructed, and captivating. While local politics dominate the plot, it all felt realistic, and I cared about what happened, possibly because of a unique cast of characters, each of them very well fleshed out. No one is perfect, nor is anyone entirely evil, which pleased me very much. Sheena handled everything as best as she could in 1730, and she came off as strong, brave, and capable. I love Ms. Bray-Weber’s depictions of pirates; they are colourful, but believably so, and I’m pretty sure that’s how they were, as the author seems to have meticulously researched every element, and which she adds in the right amount, as the story is never weighed down by anything superfluous.
THE LAIRD’S RECKONING is very well written, there is not a dull moment, and there are exceptionally exciting fight scenes, as well as beautiful tender moments. Although this is book 6 in the Romancing the Pirate series, it is a perfect standalone, as I have no idea how it ties in with the other books, if it does, and I didn’t have the feeling I had missed anything. Jennifer Bray-Weber was a new author to me, and I’m very happy to have discovered her.
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.