STARRED REVIEW
December 19, 2017

The warrior and his ward

By Amy Jarecki

A Scottish hero gets more than he bargained for when he promises to take care of his friend’s daughter in Amy Jarecki’s return to the Lords of the Highlands series.

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A Scottish hero gets more than he bargained for when he promises to take care of his friend’s daughter in Amy Jarecki’s return to the Lords of the Highlands series.

Handsome, broad-shouldered Captain Reid MacKenzie is no stranger to adventure. It’s during a fearsome battle on the high seas that he gives his solemn vow to protect and see to the safety of Nicholas Kinnet’s daughter, Audrey. Reid expects Audrey to be a child, a girl that he can easily ship off to some boarding school until she’s of marriageable age. Much to his surprise, Audrey is already of marriageable age. She’s hopelessly shy, but beneath her wallflower exterior is a spitfire of the highest order.

When a strange man shows up on Audrey’s doorstep, giving her news of her father’s death and announcing that she’s now his ward, she thinks the man has gone mad. To make matters worse, he insists that she be married off immediately. However, as Reid’s claim to guardianship proves true, a battle of wills ignites between the two of them. Audrey wants nothing to do with marriage, unless it’s on her own terms. Reid sees marriage as a way of ensuring Audrey’s welfare while getting her out of his hair.

The Highland Guardian is a true gem when it comes to compelling, dynamic characters. Reid’s sense of duty and responsibility is ingrained into everything he does, despite his often brusque manner. Meanwhile, Audrey is the star of the show, possessing a hidden intelligence and finding strength in the face of uncertainty and danger.

Though Reid and Audrey aren’t quite enemies, there is a crackling tension between the two. Audrey isn’t used to having her life upended by some bossy Highlander, however handsome he may be. And as a captain, Reid’s direction isn’t often questioned. He sets upon finding suitors for Audrey, insisting on taking her to various events and balls, despite Audrey’s hatred of being put on display. She’s also a dreadfully terrible dancer.

When Wagner Tupps stakes a claim for Audrey’s hand in marriage, Reid senses that something isn’t quite right. He refuses, igniting Wagner’s thirst for revenge on Reid, Audrey and the reputation of her late father.

Jarecki takes on a heavy responsibility in capturing the turmoil the Jacobites faced by setting The Highland Guardian in the 18th century, but she does an extraordinary job. The book’s sense of place is easily its own character, and the era’s cultural upheaval adds an additional element of foreboding to Reid and Audrey’s romance.

With clever, enchanting writing, elements of life-or-death danger and a romance that takes both Reid and Audrey completely by surprise, The Highland Guardian is an historical romance so on point it’ll leave readers awestruck.

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The Highland Guardian

The Highland Guardian

By Amy Jarecki
Forever
ISBN 9781455597888

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