Book Review: A Highland Rogue to Ruin by E. Elizabeth Watson

About the Book:

Title: A Highland Rogue to Ruin

Author: E. Elizabeth Watson

Page Length: 400

Publication Date: Aug. 23, 2023

Publisher: Entangled Pub.

Synopsis: Known as the “Demon of the Seas,” Tormund MacLeod only wants vengeance for his brother’s murder. At this year’s Lughnasadh festival, the vicious and unyielding Laird of the powerful MacDonald clan will know the bite of his sword. But the festival offers many distractions—including a fair and bonny masked vixen whose touch disarms Tormund, body and soul. And och, like the cursed MacLeod he is, he wants what he shouldn’t have…

Lady Brighde MacDonald might understand her brother’s overprotectiveness—but she doesn’t have to like it. What she needs is the reckless freedom in the arms of an imposing, rough, and sweet-talking Highlander. Only too late, they both recognize that they’re enemies. She’s the sister of the man Tormund wants dead. And he is the brutish blackguard of the clans…

Now their tryst could mean war. Brighde would see a truce, but it means she must convince her brother and the man she loves to lay down their swords. But Tormund hides a long-buried secret that could destroy both clans.

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon

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My Review:

I loved E. Elizabeth Watson’s new historical romance A Highland Rogue to Ruin! A highland Romeo and Juliet, this is a love story between Tormund and Brighde. Tormund’s brother was married to Brighde’s sister. Now both brother and sister are dead, and Tormund seeks revenge for his brother, who was killed by Brighde’s brother. Brighde and Tormund didn’t know each other’s identity when they shared a passionate night together, and both know their tryst could exacerbate a war that already seems an eventuality. Can Brighde convince the men to lay down their swords and call a truce for the sake of love?

Brighde is a wonderful protagonist. Sheltered for much of her life, she longs for freedom and is so excited to attend and participate in the Lughnasadh festival. Of course, this is where she meets Tormund, her brother’s enemy, and falls in love with him. I thought her character was intelligent and perceptive, and I love that she’s the one who becomes a peacekeeper that keeps the men in her life in line. She’s stronger and more resilient than many give her credit for, though I think Tormund saw what a gem she was from the minute he first met her.

Known as a vicious and villainous warrior, Tormund is so much more than that, though not many know it. I love that Brighde looks past his reputation and sees the romantic and kind man underneath. There’s a line in the story that says Tormund didn’t hide behind a mask. “He’d worn who he was on his face, and it was everyone around him who hadn’t looked deeply enough to see the clue he had given away for free.” This sums up Tormund’s situation so perfectly. Those close to him see the loyal, strong, and protective leader, but others judge him based on reputation alone, and he never tries to correct them, even when it’s to his detriment. There are some interesting messages here about prejudice, holding onto grudges, pride, and seeing things from different perspectives.

My favorite part of the story is the love story. (No surprise there! lol) Brighde and Tormund are wonderful together, and I adored their swoon-worthy romance. There is so much chemistry between them, and their feelings are so strong that it’s hard not to root for the couple. I love all the little ways Tormund showed he cared and how he really listened to her and respected her opinions and desires. I always love seeing a fierce warrior brought to his knees by the woman he loves!

The secondary characters are compelling too, as is the festival setting. There’s an air of tension amidst the joviality of the festival since Tormund and Brighde’s brother are both there. Plus, Tormund and his men are planning to kill Brighde’s brother as vengeance for the death of Tormund’s brother. There’s an interesting juxtaposition there, which is further highlighted when it appears there may be a traitor in their midst. Between fun festival times, there are many serious situations at play., and it kept me completely engrossed until the very end.

Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing for providing me with a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.



Favorite Parts:

  • The romance!
  • The messages.
  • The Romeo and Juliet vibes.

Favorite Lines:

“Everything that makes my life worthwhile has left its mark upon me.”

“It was easy to hate an enemy, or a devil. It was harder to hate a man.”

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