Wednesday, June 28, 2017

ARC Review: Highland Commander by Amy Jarecki

Series:     Lords of the Highlands #2
Pub. Date:June 27, 2017
Publisher:Forever Romance
Length:384 pages

I'm traveling and working in a remote location right now, so it took me forever to read this book. Like a whole week or more! That is an eternity when it comes to how fast I can normally get my books read. I find that it takes some of the enjoyment out of the story when I keep having to put it down and pick it back up. Luckily, Amy has written a captivating page turner full of attraction, political intrigue, and espionage! 

Aiden Murray is our virginal hero - the second son of a duke and an officer in the royal navy for her majesty, Queen Anne. As a testosterone-filled young man, Aiden is somewhat obsessed with losing his pesky virginity, and finding a willing widow to tutor him in the amorous arts. He was not expecting to be captivated by a beautiful maiden at a masquerade. I thought Aiden and his pesky virginity were endearing, and I loved that he was a sometimes bumbling and awkward hero - but at other times he seemed like a seasoned seducer. Other than a couple of foolhardy decisions, Aiden was superb hero and honorable man. 

Lady Magdalene Keith is the illegitimate daughter of an earl who has been ousted from her family by her new stepmother. Taking refuge in her work at a woman's hospital, Maddie would have never guessed the turn her life was about to take. When her father is arrested for treason, Maddie hies off to London to intercede on his behalf, and she gets caught up in court intrigue and familial pressure to act in a way beneficial to the Jacobite cause. All the while, Maddie is pining away for our dashing hero, Aiden. Maddie was a brave heroine, if sometimes a doormat for her family and some of the viperous ladies at court. 

The relationship between Maddie and Aiden was more on the sweet side, though they did have a couple of sultry moments. The couple was not together for the entire book, which prevented the romance from feeling like instalove. So I felt like the romance unfolded nicely along with the pace of the plot conflict in the book. 

I found that the court intrigue and drama was most interesting, and I really enjoyed the last third of the book when all the action was happening. I do wish the ending would not have been resolved so quickly, as I was hoping for more ceremony and consequence to our couple's plight. But overall, this was a great story - one that I hated having to put down repeatedly. 

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received from the publisher, Forever Romance.  This is a bit of a quickie review due to my aforementioned travel, so I hope it makes sense. The heat in Yuma and Tucson has fried my brain a bit so I'm not even making sense to myself presently.  Happy reading!