Published by Harlequin Historical on June 1, 2019
Lost in the Highlands...found by the laird!
Far from her home in France, Marguerite Vallon escapes her arranged marriage to a man she despises. Stowing away in a stranger's cart, she finds herself headed deep into the Highlands with Ewan Lochmore, the new Earl of Glenarris! Ewan vows to protect her. But maybe the freedom Marguerite has been searching for can be found with this rugged warrior...
This is book three of a quartet of stories written by Elisabeth Hobbes and fellow Harlequin authors, Lara Temple, Janice Preston and Nicole Locke. The stories are based around Lochmore Castle, perched high on a rocky promontory on the west coast of the Scottish Highlands, and two feuding clans – the Lochmores and the McCrieffs.
~~Reviewed by Monique~~
After his father and brother were killed in the battle of Flodden, Ewan Lochmore became the new Earl of Glenarris. With a heavy heart, he travelled to officially claim his title at the King’s House, where a Special Council is being held. One night, Ewan is mesmerised by an apparition, the flesh and blood woman is no ghost but French beauty Marguerite Vallon. Unfortunately, Marguerite is betrothed to a McCrieff, of the enemy clan. Marguerite doesn’t like Scotland and had come to accept the fact that she has to marry Duncan McCrieff. But getting to know her betrothed better soon makes her realise that she cannot be tied down to a man she can hardly stand. She has also befriended Ewan, and upon hearing that he will depart shortly, she comes to a decision. She knows she can trust Ewan, so she sneaks out and will hide in his cart until she finds a way to sail home to France. Ewan finds her, and seeing how distraught she is, reluctantly agrees to take her where she can be safe. Ewan doesn’t like Duncan either and cannot bear to leave a defenseless woman to fend for herself in a foreign country.
This third installment of The Lochmore Legacy takes place in 1513, as the Middle Ages ease into the Renaissance. I love the mood Elisabeth Hobbes has created: she captures the Zeitgeist in a richly nuanced portrait. A RUNAWAY BRIDE FOR THE HIGHLANDER is, in a way, a road trip through Scotland as Ewan and Marguerite travel to safety and, doing so, slowly start to fall in love. For me, it was the highlight of the book, as Ms. Hobbes eloquently paints a vivid picture of Scotland, while preserving the gothic atmosphere of the series. The author weaves seamlessly fact and fiction, adding all sorts of fascinating period details which lend authenticity to the narrative.
In spite of a strong undercurrent of danger, A RUNAWAY BRIDE FOR THE HIGHLANDER is a gentle romance that unfolds at a leisurely pace. I was actually surprised that the road to Lochmore wasn’t fraught with peril. Ewan and Marguerite are models of propriety, even if their thoughts eventually take a more lascivious turn, but neither is very loquacious. They had not foreseen this attraction which complicates their precarious situation. As we go back in time, we get answers to some of the previous books’ mysteries, but how the McCrieff-Lochmore feud really started remains to be seen.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.