Friday, January 5, 2018

Audiobook Review: When a Laird Finds a Lass by Lecia Cornwall

Series:     Highland Fairytale #2
Pub. Date:Aug. 31, 2017
Publisher:Tantor Audio
Narrator:Ruth Urquhart
Length:9 hrs 25 min
Source:Publisher

I love retellings of fairy tales, and the historical Highland twist just makes them too delicious to pass up. When a Laird Finds a Lass is very loosely based on The Little Mermaid. I actually had to think about this one a bit as I didn't see many correlations between this book and the Disney adaptation, but there may be more similarities between this story and the original written work (which I have not read).

Malcolm ban MacDonald was making a living as a lawyer in Edinburgh when he unexpectedly becomes the Highland laird of Dunbronach and is forced to return to his childhood home. Malcolm has been a lowlander for most of his life, so he returns home as an outsider and not fully trusted by his clan. They don't like his lowland ways or dress, and he doesn't believe in the magic, legend and superstition that is bandied about by his clan members. So Malcolm finds himself undertaking many tasks and responsibilities for which he was not prepared, though the clan has only given him one rule really - he must marry a Highland lass, and not one from their dreaded enemy, the MacLeod clan. Malcolm is not your typical Highland laird or Highland hero. He is not an alpha male, nor a rough and tumble Highlander. He has book smarts and some street smarts, but is more comfortable with a rapier than a claymore. Admittedly I prefer a more typical Highlander with kilt and claymore, but Malcolm was still a good hero. He was honorable and wanted to help his clan and our heroine both, even when those desires were at cross purposes. Our hero experiences a good amount of personal growth in this story and discovers that book learning is not the only way to approach the world. He also gets some of his belief in magic back, but I also liked how he made some magic of his own by things that he did for the clan.

Marcail MacLeod is one of the twelve daughters of the Fearsome MacLeod, a fun brood of Highland females who all want to find love. Marcail is desperately seeking love in the wrong places, and keeps discovering that she has cast her lot in with faithless men. When she washes up on a Highland shore with no memory of who she is, and is rescued by our hero, Marcail faces her plight fairly well. There were no female hysterics, and she got along with her rescuer and caretakers very well. While she couldn't remember her name or family, she did not lose her personality. She remained the assertive and caring female that seems to be a common trait of the MacLeod daughters, and she fit in with the MacDonald clan very well. Of course things may have been different if the two would have known they were supposed to be enemies, but I was glad that secret remained for a good portion of the book. Marcail was a good heroine while her amnesia remained, though I did question her sanity once her memory returned. I liked that she stood up for the women of the MacDonald clan and taught them that it was okay to defend themselves. 

The relationship between Malcolm and Marcail was a very slow burn. Malcolm knew Marcail's identity and was determined to be honorable and do the right thing, and Marcail was torn between his obvious reluctance and the fact that she didn't know if she might be married or have a family of her own. Marcail did struggle with her growing feelings for Malcolm and her unknown past, and Malcolm was struggling with the very large secret that he was keeping. There is some drama in the story and Malcolm was able to play the hero, which is always good in a romance, and it all turned up roses in the end. So I did like how everything turned out.

I was listening to this story as I drove home for the holidays and it unfortunately started to drag for me a bit and I found myself losing interest and wanting to fast forward to get to the action. I can't pinpoint any one thing that caused me to lose interest so I have a feeling that it was more about the length of time that I spent in the car rather than something to do with the story itself.

The narrator for this series is Ruth Urquhart and she tends to do a good job at historical narrations. I have listened to a good amount of her work and I never have anything bad to say about her performances. She does accents well and is able to affect both male and female personas with no problem. I think she does an exceptional job with the MacLeod daughters and I look forward to hearing her narration of the next installment.

I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book that I received from the publisher, Tantor Audio.

Purchase Links


Highland Fairytale