The Laird of Blackloch

Amy Rose Bennett
The Laird of Blackloch
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Escape Publishing
Release Date
March 2018
Book 2 of Highland Rogue
Historical Romance

Revenge might be sweet, but love is far sweeter…

Following the Battle of Culloden, Alexander MacIvor returns to his ancestral home, Blackloch Castle, only to find the Earl of Tay, chief of the rival Clan Campbell, has laid waste to everything he holds dear. In the face of such devastation, Alex seems doomed to live the life of a fugitive Jacobite...until a stroke of good luck allows him to escape the Highlands and begin again.

Years later, styling himself as a wealthy Englishman, Alexander reclaims his forfeited estate, becoming the new Laird of Blackloch. But it's not nearly enough to quell his thirst for vengeance. Hell–bent on destroying Lord Tay, he single–mindedly sets about driving his nemesis to bankruptcy. When he learns the earl intends to marry the very beautiful English heiress, Miss Sarah Lambert, thus escaping penury, he devises a devious plan: kidnap Miss Lambert and ransom her to hasten Tay's ruin.

When Sarah Lambert learns Lord Tay is not the man she thought he was during a masquerade ball in Edinburgh, she is devastated. Reeling from her discovery, things go from bad to worse when a mysterious yet charming guest by the name of Alexander Black turns out to be a true devil in disguise. Abducted and whisked way into the wild Highlands by Black, Sarah is imprisoned in a remote, island–bound tower. Refusing to be a pawn in Black's diabolical plan for revenge, she determines that somehow, some way, she will regain her freedom. If only she could unlock Black's secrets...

Living in such close quarters, Alexander quickly discovers the spirited Sarah is more than a match for him, and even the best laid plans can go awry when passion flares and the spark of love threatens to revive his long–dead heart. When the shadows of the past begin to gather, will Alexander and Sarah find their way forward...or will the threatening darkness destroy them both?

Book Review by Blue (reviewer)
Apr 07, 2018   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
74 people found the following review helpful
Alexander MacIvor, heir to the title of Baron Rannoch, chose to fight on the side of the Jacobites, and suffered greatly as a result. After being wounded in the battle of Culloden, he returned home, only to find it destroyed, and his mother, sister, and fiancée brutalized and murdered – all at the hands of his rival clan leader, Malcolm Campbell, Earl of Tay, who fought on the side of the English. Now considered a traitor and a wanted man, Alex goes into hiding, planning his revenge. It takes eleven years, but Alex has reinvented himself as Alexander Price, wealthy English businessman, and has managed to buy back his own forfeited property, as well as much of the land Earl Tay has had to sell.

Tay has sold off most of his property and possessions, and is on the verge of financial ruin. He hopes to save himself by marrying wealthy heiress, Sarah Lambert. Tay has managed to keep his disastrous situation hidden from Sarah's father, and has charmed her into becoming his fiancée. It's now just weeks until their wedding, and Tay is barely keeping his creditors at bay. Alex puts his final plan into motion, and after allowing Sarah to have a glimpse into Tay's true character, he kidnaps her, taking her off to his estate. Alex doesn't plan to hurt her, but to hold her long enough until she comes to agree that she won't marry Tay, thus ensuring his absolute ruin.

Sarah has already been disillusioned by Tay's shocking behavior (thanks to Alex's machinations), but she certainly can't trust a man who kidnapped her and won't tell her his reasons. Sarah shows a lot of strength and determination in trying to reason with, and escape from Alex. She is also shows intelligence by being willing to listen to his side of the story. Although he's holding her captive, Alex does his best to see to Sarah's comfort, and he assures her that she won't come to any harm. He reluctantly admits that she's the kind of woman he might fall for if the circumstances were different. It seems that both Sarah and Alex are feeling a strong, but unwanted attraction toward each other. When it appears that this mismatched couple of kidnapper and captive have come to trust one another, there's a shocking betrayal that will throw Alex's plans out the window, and threaten to expose his identity.

I really hate how the need for revenge consumed Alex's entire being, though I can honestly understand it, considering all that he lost. I wish that he had found another method, instead of causing so much distress to an innocent victim. The romance between Alex and Sarah was steamy, and I appreciate how the love brought back much of Alex's humanity. The Earl of Tay is truly an odious man, and there's poetic justice in how he is finally removed from the picture. THE LAIRD OF BLACKLOCH is brimming with action, subterfuge, betrayal, revenge, justice, and, of course, love and passion. Rating: 3.5 stars
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