The Highlander Who Protected Me by Vanessa KellyPublication Date: October 30, 2018 Kensington Books Paperback & eBook; 352 Pages Series: Clan Kendrick, #1 Genre: Historical Romance/Scottish
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Bestselling author Vanessa Kelly returns with an enthralling new series about the men of the Kendrick clan—and the women who claim their hearts... Lady Ainsley Matthews, heiress and darling of the ton, was expected to make a magnificent match. Instead she’s hiding on a remote Scottish estate, terrified that her vicious former fiancé will use her pregnancy to force her into marriage. One man can help her—Royal Kendrick, son of a distinguished Highland clan. Though a mistake drove them apart long ago, Royal is the only person Ainsley trusts to protect her baby—even if that means agreeing to never see either of them again . . . Scarred in body and soul by war, Royal suddenly has a purpose—caring for an innocent babe and thereby helping the woman he can’t stop loving. But when Ainsley ultimately returns to Scotland, determined to be a real mother to her child in spite of the risk, there’s only one solution: marriage. And only one likely outcome: surrendering to the desire that’s simmered between them for so long, no matter how dangerous it may be...
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The Highlander Who Protected Me by Vanessa Kelly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Highlander Who Protected by Vanessa Kelly is a 2018 Zebra publication.
Serious subjects, but genuinely enchanting, delightfully humorous, and deeply romantic!
When Royal and Ainsley first meet, an obvious chemistry develops quickly. But, Ainsley is engaged to the Marquess of Cringlewood. However, when Royal realizes Ainsley despises her fiancé and is being forced into the marriage, he makes an impulsive decision that backfires horribly. The scandal causes Ainsley to run away to a remote Scottish estate to hide out for a while- or at least that’s the story she and her aunt are selling.
The truth is, Ainsley isn’t hiding from the scandal- she’s hiding her pregnancy. Needing to place her child with someone she can trust, she summons Royal, begging him to take the child and raise her as his own.
Recovering from physical and psychological war wounds, Royal finds a new purpose by raising this wonderful child. But, out of the blue, Ainsley tracks him down, explaining she has changed her mind. She wants to be a mother to her daughter and now wishes to marry Royal. Unable to resist the woman he is so hopelessly in love with, Royal agrees, even if the marriage is in name only. The marriage has a real chance, given Royal’s incredible patience, but, Ainsley’s parents and her former fiancé refuse to back down and let her live her life in peace.
I hate that I failed to get in on the “Improper Princess’ series, since apparently these characters were a part of that saga. But, this story works great as a stand- alone.
I fell for Royal right off the bat. Everyone knows I’m a sucker for the wounded and scarred hero. So, of course, he had that going for him automatically. However, his undying devotion to Ainsley, who would try anyone’s patience at times, was simply divine!
I enjoyed the banter between Ainsley and Royal, which is sharp, a little snarky, and sarcastic, slightly unconventional, but an awesome change of pace. They traded barbs in such a fun way, with the chemistry always sizzling just beneath the surface.
Ainsley’s story is a familiar one, and in today’s climate readers will immediately relate to her dilemma, the fallout of which, hasn’t improved a great deal, I’m sorry to say. But, she is a determined lady, holds her own against Royal’s curmudgeonly Grandfather, and her struggles with being a mother are all poignant and easy to relate to. Ainsley blooms and gains even more strength, as she faced adversity, maybe even surprising her own self, while Royal remains an oak, passing every test presented to him with flying colors- which is just the type of hero Ainsley needs. Ainsley has some character flaws, keeping things too close to the vest, for one, which wasn’t fair to Royal, but I thought she redeemed herself nicely.
This story captured my attention right away. I got caught up in the drama and suspense and had a hard time putting the book down. Thankfully, the story has a Scottish backdrop, which is a personal favorite of mine, and made this story even more appealing for me.
But, I must take the time to mention the difficult subject matter addressed in the book. Certain topics can be a slippery slope, needing just the right balance to avoid triggers, and maintain the gravity it requires, while keeping the tone light so the romance is enjoyable. Not an easy task. Kelly handled it beautifully, I thought.
I’m glad I got in on the ground floor of this new series. I think, if this book is any indication, it’s going to be a good one!!
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Blog Tour ScheduleTuesday, October 30 Feature at Passages to the Past Wednesday, October 31 Review at Bibliophile Reviews Thursday, November 1 Excerpt at What Is That Book About Friday, November 2 Feature at Donna's Book Blog Excerpt at Clarissa Reads it All Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit Monday, November 5 Review at Let Them Read Books Tuesday, November 6 Feature at The Lit Bitch Feature at CelticLady's Reviews Wednesday, November 7 Feature at Maiden of the Pages Thursday, November 8 Review at A Bookish Affair Friday, November 9 Excerpt at Bookfever Interview at Passages to the Past Monday, November 12 Feature at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots Tuesday, November 13 Review at Pass Me That Book Wednesday, November 14 Feature at The Book Review Review at The Reading Woman
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The Highlander Who Protected Me