Wed by proxy to a baron old enough to be her grandfather, Lady Anne trudges up the gangway of a galleon that will deliver her into the arms of a tyrant. Crestfallen, she believes her disastrous life cannot get worse—until she awakes to the blasts of cannon fire.
Facing certain death, Anne trembles in her stateroom while swords clash and the chilling screams of battle rage on the deck above. When a rugged Highlander kicks in her door, she prays for a swift end.
But Laird Calum MacLeod has a reason for plundering the ship—and it’s not a stunning English lass. With no other choice, he takes Anne to his crumbling keep on the isle of Raasay and sends a letter of ransom to her husband. In time, Anne grows to understand MacLeod’s plight and finds it increasingly difficult to resist Calum’s unsettling charm—until the baron sends a reply agreeing to terms.
Ripped from passion that will be forever seared into their souls, will Anne and Calum risk everything for love?
Anne is just 19 and boarding a ship in England that will set sail to meet her new husband. She supposedly met this man while at Court but she doesn’t remember him at all. She’s not looking forward to meeting the man as he never courted her – just made the arrangements with her uncle AND he’s 58. Ew. She’s thinking grandfather with saggy skin.
During the voyage her ship is taken over by pirates who aren’t really pirates. They’re members of the McLeod clan and they need the goods on the ship to help their people survive. Anne doesn’t particularly care WHY they’ve taken the ship but she certainly becomes concerned when she gets taken to their island and put up for ransom.
The Laird of the clan, Calum, is a big, scary guy brute but the more Anne gets to know him the more she sees that he’s not such a brute after all. The two have an incredible attraction to each other but with Anne married Calum knows he cannot bed her. The tension this causes is palpable and everyone on the island can see that the two are perfect for each other. Too bad there’s that whole hostage/kidnapper thing to deal with.
Eventually word is sent from Anne’s husband that he will pay the ransom but what will happen to Anne with her new husband? She worries she will never see Calum again and since she’s in love with him she’s not sure she can live.
Oh what a tangled web! This story had me on pins and needles almost the entire book. I wanted so badly for Calum and Anne to be together but I just couldn’t figure out exactly how that would come about. Of course this a romance so I knew it would but Jarecki kept me hanging on for a darned long time before it all came to light.
I loved the way that these characters were written as they seemed bigger than life. No matter who was on the page they had a definite presence and I loved to love them or loved to hate them.
There was one part of the book that really slowed down for me near the end of the book and it was so unexpected that I was thrown for a bit. The story had been so riveting that I couldn’t understand where the lull was coming from. Luckily that didn’t continue and the book soon resumed it’s previously exciting story.
This is my first read by Jarecki and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’m SO happy that I took the chance and will look forward to reading more from her in the future.
Rating: 4 out of 5