I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Highlander Mine by Juliette Miller
Series: Clan Mackenzie #3
Published by Harlequin on February 1, 2014
Genres: Historical Romance
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Deep in the lush Highlands, a powerful laird with everything to lose must risk it all for the lass who storms into his keep—and his heart.
Raised on the debauched margins of society, Amelia Taylor depends upon her quick wit and fiery spirit to survive. When danger closes in on her already precarious home, she flees into the Highlands and finds refuge in the iron-strong circle of Clan Mackenzie. There, her lack of propriety and intriguing beauty draw the attentions of their formidable leader. But to remain safe from pursuit, she must conceal her identity, even if it means deceiving Laird Knox Mackenzie.
A fiercely guarded and staunchly moral warrior, Knox never expected a ravishing stranger like Amelia to reawaken his desires. Yet as their heated confrontations unlock untold passion, temptation proves impossible to resist. So when Amelia's tapestry of lies begins to unravel, the secrets from her dark past threaten both his Clan and a future they can only dare to dream of…
The set up
Amelia Taylor is on the run from a powerful and wealthy Edinburgh ganglord. She and her nephew, Hamish, posing as her brother, have made it to the Highlands and are given refuge by the Mackenzie clan. She’s withholding the details of her true identity as it’s unflattering (she’s a professional card dealer) and just needs to have Hamish in place so she can return to rescue her sister.
Laird Knox Mackenzie’s wife and unborn baby died in childbirth over two years ago. He’s been celibate and unattached since their deaths and the beautiful Amelia has awakened some dormant emotions. He knows Amelia isn’t being entirely truthful about her past but feels he knows her heart. Knox is determined to help her despite Amelia’s efforts to handle things on her own.
What I enjoyed
Amelia was gutsy, fearless and resourceful, making her a great match for Knox, who, as clan laird was so serious but couldn’t hide his feelings for her. Their romance worked, even though his faith and belief in her stretched credibility at times, but I didn’t mind going along for the steamy ride. I also enjoyed the updates about the earlier characters in the series and would have loved having them more involved in the story. The final confrontation with the ganglord was exciting, providing a fitting ending for Amelia and Knox.
What didn’t work
The story is told from Amelia’s first person point of view, which added excess weight when brevity was in order, especially with the heavy prose used throughout. The lengthy musings in the middle of dialogue slowed the pace of the story. There were passages I had to reread just to understand the point and be reminded of what the responses related to. The first sex scene between Knox and Amelia was one of the most difficult to read in the book because it was poetically awkward. This was an issue in the first two stories but even more so with this one.
The bottom line
This was supposed to be the last book in the trilogy but the story ends with a shocker and I subsequently learned a fourth book is planned. Knox and Amelia’s romance is the highlight as there wasn’t a lot of action or conflict. I had expected more as Knox was the eldest and most conflicted of the brothers. It was interesting but not as enjoyable as the first two books in the series. However, the Highlands setting is always appealing and I love the Mackenzie clan.