Winning the Highlander’s Heart by Terry Spear

Winning the Highlander’s Heart by Terry Spear
Publisher: Vinspire, Inc.
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (322 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Lady Anice vows to flee the amorous advances of King Henry I and return to her home in the Highlands where she hopes to find a laird to wed. She soon discovers her staff has vanished. Premonitions of imminent danger warn her of foul play, and she is certain she is cursed when it comes to marriage.

The king orders the Highlander Laird Malcolm MacNeill, who is seeking an English bride, to provide the lass safe escort and learn what has become of her staff. Escorting her home safely proves a dangerous trial in and of itself and Malcolm has difficulty keeping his heart out of the matter. When the king wishes Lady Anice be wed to one of his loyal barons, the issue is further complicated. Losing his heart to the lass means Malcolm could very well lose his head.

At one point I kept waiting for the words, “Off with his head!” That’s how suspenseful this story got at one point. I couldn’t stay in that heightened level for long as this novel is jam packed with trickery, treachery, and all sorts of running around that kept me riveted. Having a romance in the middle of all of this is what made this tale so amazing. The fact that I found myself smiling and laughing on and off throughout the book made it so much better – it was a book that touched all my emotions.

But I get ahead of myself. This book snagged my attention in the first chapter when the hero, Malcolm, spied a lady doing what a lady should never do. It intrigued him but it made me laugh. Who is this woman who dares to do something so outrageous and daring? She had fortitude and a backbone, great qualities to have in a heroine – especially a lady who ends up ensnaring the attentions of a hunky Scottish Highlander who thought he wanted a completely different kind of woman. How would the author work her creative magic to make it work? The answer is the wonderful story, Winning the Highlander’s Heart.

Anice is the lady in question. She’s not a typical heroine, not because she has secrets but because of the kinds of secrets they are. She’s also a pawn in a king’s game of political chess. The author did a wonderful job of expressing to a reader the frustration and helplessness that the heroine felt due to her situation. She tried her best with her limited resources and it made her a character I could respect. I was thrilled when she got all hot and bothered over her chance meeting with Malcolm because she wasn’t the only one affected by their meeting. Add in an amazing new decree from the king and life would never be the same for either the heroine or hero. Fun times for me, not so much the protagonists.

I got to see Dougald again and he’s even more intriguing than he was in the other book. It’s like I’m getting to know the other brothers as another steps into the spotlight to get his happy ever after. It’s getting to feel like family yet this story is completely a standalone read. That’s an amazing feat and a terrific bit of writing – to make a reader happy with the complete story of one brother while acknowledging the presence and slow development of the others as secondary characters, yet insuring a reader never feels lost or that something is missing. And, I’m absolutely chomping at the bit to read more. If the other books are as good as this one and the one before, I think I just found a new series to fall in love with.

As I alluded to in the first paragraph, there is some gripping and entertaining suspense and drama that kept me flipping the pages. The writing was tight where it needed to be to make the most impact. The dialogue was well placed, paced and fascinating and really allows a reader to get a feel for the hero and heroine and their relationship to each other. Secondary characters, friend and foe alike were well placed and effective. Those I was supposed to like, I did and those that I was supposed to be suspicious of or to actively dislike, I did that too. All thanks to the Ms. Spear’s notable writing skills.

Winning the Highlander’s Heart embraces all the best parts of storytelling that I’ve come to associate with the talented Ms. Spear. She has created characters that I enjoy getting to know, a story that has merit and grabs the attention, and a happy ever after that satisfies the romantic inside me. When Anice and Malcolm get together it’s steamy good and very well written. Overall, this book is very entertaining. What a great way to spend an afternoon – with a good book that delivers what a romance reader wants. I had fun.

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