Title: Her Reluctant Highlander Husband
Author: Allison B. Hanson
Series: Clan MacKinlay
Publication Date: Nov. 30, 2020
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Synopsis: After nine lonely years as her father’s prisoner, Dorie McCurdy is forced to marry the new war chief of clan MacKinlay. Terrified and unwilling to speak, she imagines the worst of her handsome, imposing new husband.
Bryce MacKinlay Campbell’s wife and child were taken by illness years ago, and all he’s wanted since is to be alone. Unfortunately, he is ordered to marry the McCurdy laird’s daughter for an alliance between their clans. He’s appalled by the way his bride is treated by her family when she shows up looking like a ragged, homeless waif. Bryce can provide for her needs, and offer his name, but not his heart—that will never happen again.
In her husband’s strong arms, Dorie slowly emerges from her silence…and gradually the ice around Bryce’s heart begins to melt. But when she is unexpectedly offered an annulment, she must choose—stay with Bryce, who she’s fallen in love with but who never wanted her, or choose the unknown possibilities of a different future.
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Her Reluctant Highlander Husband is a fantastic historical romance that follows two wounded people from enemy clans who find each other under the most unlikely circumstances. When Bryce, war chief of Clan MacKinlay, and Dorie, the daughter of an enemy clan leader, learn that they are to marry, neither is happy. However, Bryce, who lost his first wife and child years ago and has no desire to remarry, sees how maltreated Dorie seems and vows to marry and protect her. With secrets, lost love, and past abuse plaguing Dorie and Bryce, can this reluctant pair find love or will fear and the past keep them apart?
I love Dorie and Bryce! They are so different, yet they relate to each other well. They both struggle to open up, trust others, and examine their true feelings. They fear losing the people they love, and they both understand the pain and grief of loss and the guilt of surviving. I think that their connection grows deeper and stronger because of their shared experiences.
I also like how much Bryce and Dorie respect and admire each other. Bryce knows Dorie’s secret but waits for her to reveal it to the others. He also knows about the decade of abuse Dorie received at the hands of her father and brother, and he does what he can to help her. Dorie understands Bryce’s conflicting and complex feelings when it comes to love, marriage, and commitment, and she gives him the time and patience to heal. They are both self-sacrificing and determined to do what’s best for the other before thinking of their own wants and feelings.
There’s another character in the book that stole the show for me – Rascal. I loved Dorie’s loyal, protective, fearsome, and lovable dog! Rascal helped Dorie to heal and was Dorie’s first real friend. He helped her feel safe and loved, and she helped her and Bryce more times than I can count. Rascal is an endearing and heroic pup that I absolutely adored!
Her Reluctant Highlander Husband is a heart-warming and, at times, heartbreaking story that I very much enjoyed. It made me feel all of the feels, especially when it came to Bryce and Dorie’s pasts. He mourned his wife and daughter so much and felt such guilt about moving on. Dorie’s story of guilt, abuse, neglect, and subsequent PTSD is equally heart-wrenching. They are a couple that deserves a happy ending, which I so hoped for!
Finally, I have to comment on the poignant messages about understanding different kinds of love, learning to live again after loss, escaping and healing from abusive people, and supporting family. The author weaves powerful and thought-provoking messages throughout the story. Plus, the romance is positively swoon-worthy! Thanks so much to Netgalley, Entangled Publishing, and the author for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
- The romance, of course! Though it starts off rocky, Dorie and Bryce have a wonderful romance.
- The strong and poignant messages.
- Rascal. He is a lovable and loyal dog who brought such joy to Dorie.
I wish to be more than tolerated.
Though this is not the first book in the series, it can totally be read as a standalone. That being said, if you like historical romance with great characters and a swoon-tastic romance, then this is the series for you!