Highland Flame by Mary Wine
Book Four of the Highland Weddings series
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley
Summary (from Goodreads):
Laird Diocail Gordon has just come into his title and inherited his father’s run down castle and rag-tag clan. He knows the sorry sight of the castle would send any woman running, but is determined to find a wife to help return his home to its former glory.
Widow Jane Stafford is on a mission—return to England even if it means trudging through the Scottish Highlands on foot. Her travels lead her straight to the path of danger until a mysterious, brawny man comes out of nowhere and saves her—and the spark between them is immediate. With a target on Jane’s back, she knows the only way to stay safe is to go with Diocail. But the real trouble will be guarding her heart from her newly ignited Highland flame…
What I Liked:
As soon as Diocail showed up in this series (which, if I remember correctly, was during Highland Hellion), I knew I wanted to see more of him and his story. He was the perfect combination of stern, authoritative leader and fair, good man. Reading this book was a delight and I was so happy to see him get a happy ending that suited him.
In the previous book, Diocail inherited the title as chief of the Gordon clan. He has returned to the castle, which is in a disarray. It needs repairs and a good semblance of order, especially with the clan unsure of Diocail's leadership. The last thing Diocail needs is an English widow crossing his lands wearing nothing but a shift. Jane Stanley's husband has died, and his gambling deaths have cost her. She was fleeing to England to return to her father's household, and she was not faring well when the Gordons find her. Diocail promises her that she will not be harmed by anyone in the clan, and he shows her much more kindness than she expected of anyone. Relying on Diocail becomes easy... as does falling in love with him.
I just want to gush about Diocail, is that bad? He's such a good man, possibly one of my favorite HR heroes. He's so honorable and sweet, yet commanding and unyielding. It's an irresistible combination, and it works so well with this character. I adored him since "meeting" him earlier in the series, and I adored him even more in this book. He is so patient and kind with Jane, and yet he goes after what he wants. He is stubborn and proud, and sometimes those traits get him into a little trouble with Jane, but she loves those parts of him.
Jane is a tough heroine, which is no less expected given how feisty the other heroines are, in the previous books. With her husband dead and no belongings, she has nothing to lose. She doesn't like depending on the kindness of Diocail, though she is grateful for it. I love that she was more than willing to help the Gordon men, whether it came to mending shirts, or owning up to a mistake that would have cost Diocail all of the hard work he had done to make the clan more unified. Jane is a good match for Diocail, and Diocail is a good match for her.
The two of them are so fiery together! There is a lot of chemistry between them. Jane is no timid English lady, and Diocail is definitely not a shy man. He's a leader and a born alpha, and she is a woman with a bit of a temper. Both of them are stubborn, both of them are passionate, and both of them don't deny their attraction to each other. There are some really steamy scenes in this book - it's easily the sexiest of the four! Diocail is a strong guy, and Jane loves his strength.
As with all of the books in this series, there is a wedding fairly early on (maybe halfway through), and then there is the rest of the story which involves the hero wooing the heroine. I didn't mind this setup in this book at all, because Diocail and Jane were somewhat forced to marry. Diocail wanted to marry someone who chose him, and he wants Jane to choose him, even though they are already married. It was sweet (and funny) to see him refuse her because of this. They are so good together, but he wanted someone to love him and want him. She never wanted to get married again. The two of them have to work at their relationship. Falling in love wasn't easy, but they stood no chance.
This story was a joy to read, and I breezed through it very quickly. It is a fantastic addition to the series, and an excellent Scottish romance novel in general. I do hope there will be at least one or two more books in the series!
What I Did Not Like:
I can't think of anything that I didn't specifically like or had issues with. This book was lovely!
Would I Recommend It:
I recommend this book if you enjoy Scottish romance novels. This author has become a go-to author when I am looking for books set in the Highlands. The heroes are sexy alphas, the heroines are bold, fierce ladies, and the romances are steamy and sweet. Plus there is always a good dose of humor and fun!
4 stars. I said this earlier but I really hope there is another book to this series, or maybe two! The ending of this book, in terms of some of the secondary characters, certainly left the possibility open, so I'm crossing my fingers. I would welcome it!
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