Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Lachlan's Bride (Highlands Lairds Trilogy #2) by Kathleen Harrington

I use to read historical romances like potato chips, happily devouring one after another, and never finding my fill. Unfortunately over the years I began to read less and less historical romances and more and more history when my college years approached. I found myself missing the historical romances, where I can enjoy mixture of history and a good love story combined. I was given an arc copy of the Lachlan's Bride in exchange for an honest review, this is the 2nd in a series by Kathleen Harrington. I've not read the first book in the series and I found the 2nd book is a good stand alone novel. I did not feel I was lost as a reader without having any knowledge of the prior book.

What I liked about this book is it mixed one of my favorite times in history, the Tudor England and Scotland together. It had a little bit of real history and a lot of interesting characters and plot. One of the things I appreciated most about this novel was the fact that the heroine had some wit, humor, and back bone to her. I detest romance novels where the main woman is a simpering dolt who needs a man to save her. The author was able to develop characters who felt real and not stereotypical romance archetypes. Francine was clever and strong willed. She did not just bend to men around her and was able to out wit a lot of them without them realizing it. I liked that she fought when the need arose, and was just as brave as the warriors around her.

The exchanges between Lachlan and Francine were filled with humor, tenderness and real emotions. I enjoy that the author was able to bring to life the people on the page, they stopped being mere typed words but became flesh and blood with each glance between them. I like being drawn into two people's story and feeling that I am seeing a real romance and love story unfold, rather than just the same old rhetoric told a thousand times before, boy meets girl, blah, blah blah. To find a novel that actually shows how romance evolves over time with each conversation spoken, each glance stolen, each little exchange, and not just wham bam thank you ma'am is a breath of fresh air.

Not only does this novel have romance it also has intrigue and action too. The pace of the story was quick and kept me entertained until the last page was turned. I liked that the Machiavellian politics were touched upon in the book. The reader was kept on the edge of their seat waiting to see just what would happen and how would the main hero and heroine be able to maneuver through the protocol and different kingdoms. All in all I enjoyed reading this author's works and would like to read more from her. I look forward to the third installment in this series and I plan to find the first book since the 2nd was a delightful 'magical' read.

~ Darkling

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