STARRED REVIEW
October 03, 2017

Passion, politics and plaid

By Alyson McLayne

With comedic elements that soften the gritty politics of medieval life, Alyson McLayne’s Highland Promise raises the bar of Scottish-set historical romances with an earnest heroine, a brawny hero and two clans on the verge of war.

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With comedic elements that soften the gritty politics of medieval life, Alyson McLayne’s Highland Promise raises the bar of Scottish historical romances with an earnest heroine, a brawny hero and two clans on the verge of war.

When Darach MacKenzie sees Caitlin McInnes unconscious and thrown over the back of a horse belonging to an enemy clan, his noble nature refuses to ignore the woman’s obvious distress, and he, along with his men, sets about rescuing her. Caitlin is young and innocent, but incredibly lively. She’s a riot, and causes all sorts of shenanigans while on the trip back to Darach’s castle. She’s immediately taken by Darach’s beauty and has no problem saying so in front of his clansmen. She insists on him helping her rescue a bird. She takes in a litter of kittens to be nursed back to health. Not to mention, her presence nestled in Darach’s arms while riding causes him some noticeable (ahem) discomfort.

After arriving at the castle, Caitlin quickly becomes a nurturing force. Like her late mother, she has an affinity for healing wary souls and coaxing skittish animals. She’s a fairy-tale princess come to life, but with a refreshing habit of saying exactly what’s on her mind. She has no qualms disagreeing with the hero despite her sheltered upbringing. Caitlin was used as a marriage pawn by her uncle following her parents’ deaths, and she’s insistent that she will determine her own life from here on out.

Darach has vowed never to become besotted with a woman again. He once loved a woman from another clan, and her deceit has left lasting scars—both physical and emotional—on Darach’s clan. But there’s a palpable, aching tenderness in Darach and the way he views Caitlin. From the very first second they meet, his concern is only for her safety and wellbeing.

While Caitlin finds a temporary home at Castle Mackenzie, she knows she cannot stay forever. She hopes to locate her mother’s family in France and prevent her uncle from seeking retribution on the man to which she’s grown attached. It’s an addicting back and forth—Darach wants to protect Caitlin, while Caitlin is trying to protect Darach.

For readers who love their romances swathed in plaid, McLayne’s Sons of Gregor McLeod series is one to watch and of course, read! There’s a swoon-inducing amount of heroes for future installments, but they won’t soon forget the couple who started it all—Darach and Caitlin.

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Highland Promise

Highland Promise

By Alyson McLayne
Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN 9781492654506

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