Series: Clan MacKenzie #2
Published by Pocket Books on July 1, 1991
Genres: Historical Romance, Scottish Highlands
Source: Self Purchased
An indentured servant from Virginia, Juliet White came to Scotland to find her niece, the child her sister had borne before she died. The search took her to the castle of Lachlan MacKenzie, duke of Ross, where she was accepted as governess to the four illegitimate daughters of the lusty aristocrat, all sired in one lascivious season at the Scottish Court. Seeking to know for certain if her sister's child is among her small charges, Juliet probed into the notorious duke's family history... while the girls, each in her own fashion, begin to find a place in Juliet's heart.But Lachlan was not a man to let a lovely young woman keep her innocence under his roof. When the renowned rake stirred her girlish dreams into a woman's desires, Juliet was stunned to find her resolve succumbing to the virile charm of the man she suspected of seducing her sister. Powerless to resist the wild rush of yearning, Juliet plunged into a river of passion whose waters might be too turbulent to carry her to a safe shore...
Highland Rogue is a bit of a prequal to the Clan MacKenzie series. There is a previous book that is slightly connected, but not necessary to read it before this one. This series is based primarily on the daughters that Lachlan MacKenzie (the hero) adopts and raises. And this is Lachlan and Juliet’s book. I have yet to pick up Arnette Lamb, but she has been on my TBR for years and when I saw this book at a used book store, I snatched it right up. I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I first picked this book up and I really enjoyed this book quite a bit, more than I expected to. From the first chapters, I was drawn into this story, it has a more old school feel to it considering it was written in the 90’s however its probably one of the best old school romances I have ever read so far.
So our tale begins with our heroine, Juliet. She is from the American Colonies, its the year 1768, and she sold her freedom as a indentured servant, for passage to England to find her sister who has passed but had a daughter and she wants to search for her niece and raise her. She knows very little about her niece, only that a man took her and now she is on the hunt to find her niece in the Highlands. She comes to the Clan MacKenzie and its Laird, to get the position as his children’s governess, in hopes of finding some clues to the location of her niece. She has worked with children and love them. She knows that their father is a bit of a scoundrel, who likes women and isn’t ashamed of it. He has four daughters, all a bit wild and rambunctious and he wants them raised as ladies. But sparks fly between Lachlan and Juliet, and even though Juliet doesn’t want to become another of his “women” there is something more than just sexual chemistry between them. But Juliet is keeping a secret from Lachlan that could make Juliet lose him forever.
This is a bit of a shorter book, with slightly less than 300 pages but I was completely drawn into this book. The four girls are quite entertaining and each daughter is a bit unique and different. But I truly was drawn to the connection between Lachlan and Juliet. From their first meeting, you can feel the sizzles and sparks between them however there are other factors involved. With Lachlan’s history with women and Juliet’s pride and stubborness. Juliet doesn’t want to be cast aside or just be another mistress, she wants more even though she has other responsibilities like finding her niece and living up to her agreement as an indentured servant. She knows she can never have a future with Lachlan.
I was very intrigued with this book here, the writing is not what you would find in modern historical romance authors. The dialogue is pretty realistic and I admit I did have to look in the dictionary for a few phrases and words but honestly I loved having to do that. There is so much research that has gone on in making this book. The setting is so intriguing, this is set in Scotland and its in the late 1700’s, so this is where the clans were forced to be disbanded, no plaids or tartans were allowed to be worn or bagpipes allowed to be played. This is a sad part of Scotland history, but I really felt like the author balanced out the tough setting with humor and children antics. I love the strength of the characters and seeing them grow in this book.
The romance is a slow burn romance, we see the chemistry of course that builds between them from the beginning. But quite frankly it isn’t acted on for about 200 pages. So we see this flirting game that goes on between them but I liked that the hero waits until Juliet is willing and eager to have sex with him. Of course, he isn’t the type to rape anyone, but times were different back then, but you see the respect he has for Juliet and the talented way she handles his girls. It was interesting to see how Lachlan would handle the truth of Juliet’s motives and this is where some angst comes into play. Because he doesn’t tell her he knows…just plays games with her, teases her but has a bit of a cold shoulder not certain of her intentions and if she plans on taking one of his daughters away. So I can understand why he acts the way he does but boy both Lachlan and Juliet could write the book on pride.
The ending was simply fantastic, I loved the development of the plot, a friendship is healed and boy I loved what Juliet does here in finding a way to resolve the differences here and it really was pretty funny actually the way the Scots view kidnapping….like its a matter of fact daily acts of living LOL Honestly, it was pretty amusing because they don’t take it seriously…more as a way to resolve problems and face the person you are having a conflict with. Quite a unique take from what I have seen in other Highlander romances so BRAVO to this late author that I have fallen in love with.
Overall I found this book to be endearing, full of smiles and laughters, and packed with sexual heat that curls your toes and makes you eager for the next book. ENCHANTING!