THE HIGHLANDER’S OUTLAW BRIDE by Cathy MacRae-a review
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date March 6, 2015
Thrust into the role of laird upon his father’s unexpected death, Connor MacLaurey returns home to learn his cousin has usurped his lands and title. Furthermore, his betrothed–a lass he barely knows and certainly did not agree to marry–is hunted by the sheriff, accused of stealing cattle. His plan is to petition the king for clemency for the foolish chit, break the betrothal, and take his castle back from his treacherous cousin. Marriage is not in his plans.
Brianna Douglas has no use for men. Widowed young, berated daily for failing to give her husband a child, and sent home in subsequent disgrace, she devotes her life to holding her family’s land for her young brother as their sotted father drowns his sorrow in whisky over their mother’s death. Raiders have hit her clan hard, and to save them, she finds herself betrothed to Laird MacLaurey’s absent son to seal a pact of protection with the MacLaurey clan.
Forced into a marriage neither wants, it will take a king’s edict and sacrifice from both to discover what love means. But can they accept their losses and learn from their mistakes before Brianna marries another?
REVIEW: THE HIGHLANDER’S OUTLAW BRIDE is the second installment in Cathy MacRae’s The Highlander’s Brides historical, romance series. This is Lady Brianna Douglas and Laird Connor MacLaurey’s storyline. We were first introduced to Connor in book one-The Highlander’s Tempestuous Bride wherein Conn fell in love with his best friend’s wife. Although THE HIGHLANDER’S OUTLAW BRIDE is the second book in the series, it can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty.
The premise follows Brianna Douglas as she and her guards are sentenced for ‘stealing’ cattle. For two weeks, Brianna has stood by and watched as thieves have stolen livestock from the neighboring lands and farms. Unwilling to sit back and do nothing, Brianna attempts to take back what rightfully belongs to the others and in doing so finds herself facing the hangman’s noose. When presented before the King, Brianna announces her royal lineage and the King soon promises Brianna’s hand in marriage to Laird Connor MacLaurey, the man who rescued a fallen Brianna, after her escape from custody. Brianna is unwilling to fall under another man’s command, and does everything possible to prove to Connor that she is the wrong woman to become his wife. There is also the possibility that someone wants Brianna out of the way, and will go to any length to ensure Brianna’s head in a noose.
The relationship between our couple begins as a one-night stand following Conn’s rescue of an injured Brianna wherein our heroine does not reveal her true identity. Throughout the storyline Brianna continues to push Connor away in the hopes that he dissolves their betrothal, anointed by the King but a good portion of the storyline finds our couple separated when Connor must return home and claim his rightful position as Laird of Morven. When Conn fails to appear for his wedding to Brianna, Brianna ensures that Conn will never again, have any chance to break her heart. The $ex scenes are mostly implied and the building romance suffers when the couple are no longer together.
The secondary and supporting characters include Brianna’s family: her long suffering and grieving father the Laird of Wyndham, five year old brother Jamie and their Uncle Willie. We are also introduced to Brianna’s warriors and guards including Gavin-a long time friend who has fallen in love with Brianna Douglas. Connor MacLaurey’s men include friends and fellow guards Bray and Gillis, as well as his cousin Malcolm who has set his own eyes on the MacLaurey Lairdship.
THE HIGHLANDER’S OUTLAW BRIDE is a quick read; a fast paced and engaging storyline of revenge, betrayal, family and love. The characters are animated and control a good portion of the premise. The conversations are rich in Scottish brogue, and you can almost smell the clean, fresh air of the Highlands.
Copy supplied by the author.
Reviewed by Sandy