About the Book:
Title: Highland Treasure
Author: Lynsay Sands
Series: Highland Brides (Book 9)
Page Length: 384
Publication Date: Jan. 26, 2021
Synopsis: After escaping from the English soldiers who attacked her home and imprisoned her in a dungeon, Lady Elysande de Valance is grateful for the rugged Scots who are escorting her to safety in the Highlands. Even with danger dogging their every step, she hadn’t expected to welcome the strong comforting embrace of their leader, Rory Buchanan. They say he’s a healer, but she finds the heat of his touch does so much more…
Let his brothers get married—Rory is too busy tending to the sick to be bothered with wooing a bride. But when he is tasked with accompanying a family friend’s “treasure” to the Highlands, he is surprised to learn the treasure is a beautiful woman on the run—and even more surprised to discover bruises hidden by her veil. Rory makes it his mission to tend to her injuries and protect her, but the thought of losing her makes him realize that perhaps it is his heart that is most in need of healing…
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As a big fan of the Highland Brides series, I couldn’t wait to read Rory’s story! A gifted healer and one of the younger of the Buchanon brothers, Rory appears in many of the previous books in the series. In The Wrong Highlander, for example, it was Evina’s intention to kidnap him. Of course, she took and fell in love with Rory’s brother Conran instead. (Love that story!)
In Highland Treasure, (Don’t worry! You can totally read it as a standalone!) Rory’s story begins as Lady Elysande flees her home where her parents, soldiers, and others have been slaughtered. Elysande, beaten horribly, barely manages to escape, and with the assistance of two trusted knights, implores Rory’s help in getting her to safety and delivering a message to the King.
Rory is well-known for his healing abilities, but when Elysande’s mother asks Rory to escort her “treasure” to the Highlands, Rory agrees. However, as Elysande is threatened along their journey, it is clear that her life is at risk, and it has something to do with the message for the King. Can Rory figure out who is behind the attempts on Elysande’s life, and will Rory and Elysande succumb to the growing feelings between them?
This is a great addition to the Highland Brides series. It’s a well-paced and exciting story with dynamic characters and an interesting mystery. Plus, there’s the lovely romance!
Rory and Elysande have a great romance built on respect and admiration. Their love story is slow-building and not based solely on attraction. In fact, Rory doesn’t even see Elysande’s face for the first part of their journey, as she is veiled to hide the bruises she received when her castle was overrun. Rory is attracted to her intellect and courage, as well as her fierce determination before he notices her beauty.
Elysande, in turn, admires Rory’s take-charge and protective demeanor as well as his steadfastness. That’s not to say Rory and Elysande aren’t attracted to each other. They definitely are! Their chemistry is fantastic, and their sexy scenes are amazing. Their attraction to each other is powerful, but their relationship is also built on a strong foundation, which makes it even more lovely.
Another interesting aspect of the story that I really enjoyed was the development of Rory’s character. Much like the reader, many people in Rory’s life see him in a one-dimensional kind of way. Rory, who is revered for his healing skills, struggles to define himself as anything but a healer and a Buchanon, and, as much as he loves Elysande’s independence and self-sufficiency, it makes him wonder what he can offer her. The fact that Elysande sees him as so much more than a healer is new and empowering for Rory. He is a healer, a fierce protector, a warrior, a good friend, and an honorable man, and throughout the story, he begins to see himself as such.
The minor characters in the story are also quite interesting. The citizens of Carlisle are fantastic! Staunch supporters of the King, they work together so seamlessly to help Elysande on her journey. The other men traveling with Rory and Elysande are also well-developed, and I loved the witty banter they share throughout their journey.
The story exposes some of the more complicated realities of the time as well. The animosity between the English and Scottish is evident as Rory and his Highland companions travel with Elysande and her English knights. Judgment, fear, and a lack of trust abound and pose problems for Elysande and her fellow travelers while enhancing the setting and suspense and progressing the plot.
Lynsay Sands never fails to entertain and captivate readers with wonderful stories and swoon-worthy romances, and Highland Treasure is no exception. I loved it, as I loved all of the book is this series!
- The romance, of course!
- The fun and witty banter, as well as the excellent use of dialogue.
Elysande murmured sleepily, shifted closer and cuddled up to his chest, her arm and leg snaking over his body possessively. Glancing down, he stared at the top of her head and found himself smiling faintly. Sleep was valued too highly, he decided. Sometimes going without was worth it.
This is a great story for readers who like historical romance with swoon-worthy highlanders! Though this is part of a series, it is easily read as a standalone. However, I’ve read every book in the series and totally recommend them all!