Friday, August 12, 2016
DEBUT AUTHOR LORI ANN BAILEY JUST SWEPT ME AWAY WITH HIGHLAND DECEPTION, BOOK 1 HIGHLAND PRIDE SERIES, COMES OUT 8/22/2016 5/5KILTS
Book: Highland Deception by Lori Ann Bailey
Reviewed: by Barb Massabrook
Heat Rating: Smokin Hot
Overall Rating 5/5 star
Background with historical detail:
Setting in 1642 Scotland was on the cusp of Another religious civil war or a third Bishops wars, as it was called. As the Covenanters who were committing atrocious crimes against innocent Catholics as they feel everyone should be worshipping the Protestant faith! Conal Erskine, Maggie Murray's betrothed was one of those people. He was murdering innocents for no reason but they were devoted Catholics a different faith! He truly was a sado masochist who enjoyed others pain and suffering-promising his bride to be that was her future! He was a brutal demon indeed!
Maggie swears she will never fall in love! Especially not like her deceased mother did! After all men only wanted one thing from women and then you are set aside! Don't they?
Lowlander, Margaret Murray is on the run after being betrothed to an abusive evil brute! She has stalled for over a year, but her time has run out! No matter how much she pleads her case-of how awful her betrothed is! It's a political match, as her father is the Duke of Kirk is forcing her to marry Conall Erskine! He will not listen nor will her as her betrothed and his family have a lot of political power and influence. Even Maggie's brothers won't defend her go against their father's wishes. Telling her she just must get used to his rough ways and love will come later! Like hell it will! Especially not after the he terrorized and used brute force against her best friend! Yet no one was aware of this due to fatal threats he made against her friend. He is so horrid and evil she doesn't dare doubt the threats he makes!
So after that she closes herself off from people fearing he would hurt someone else she cares for. This basically forces her to become a loners in seclusion. Yet deep inside wishes for family and friends that love and care for her. Even her dreams of children will never come to be. Better safe then sorry for herself and others connected to her. Her own mother ignored her why she basically ran wild and did as she pleased! Plus with an absent father never around who was unfaithful with many lovers. It is no wonder Maggie has no taste for men and wants to be a Bride of Christ! Yet what she wants most is freedom and for someone to love her,
It a frustrating no win situation for Maggie. So she decides she has no choice, but become a Bride of Christ and hide behind the walls of the convent. Well it's better then being beaten to submission! Alhough it saddens her too, as Maggie secretly dreamed of marrying for love and having a family. Now it wasn't even a possibility! So she steals a horse in boys clothes with her healing supplies as she is also a healer. As many of the women in her family before her were healers as well. Maggie takes off and this is when she starts her journey for the nunnery, heading north. Though she wants to taste true freedom and a bit of fun first!
Lachlan swears he will never marry again after his former betrothed plots against him and his clan in the worst possible way! He no longer trusts women thinks they are all liars and deceivers, but does still want them in his bed! Yet only in a physical way once his needs are met to be set aside.
Highlander, Royalist, Laird Lachlan Cameron, holds proof against the murderer, Conal Erskine! Whom is an Argyll and Covenanters supporter and Lachlan has proof of an asasination plot, plus he is protecting a young witness who saw him murder a Catholic priest. While in a skirmish with Conal's men, Lachlan mistakenly assumes Maggie was a plad. He nearly kills her as he thought shewas attempting to murder his brother, Malcolm. While in fact she had just stitched up a severe wound, probably just saved his brothers life! When honorable Lachlan realizes his mistake finding her a lass, he feels guilty as he would never raise a hand to a lass. He then brings the broken woman with him home to the highlands.
After Lachlan is able to question her he immediately mistrusts her knowing she lies, thinking she another faithless woman and having secrets. He suspects she as a spy when she wont answer his questions wont reveal who she is. Maggie knows if he knew whe a Dukes daughter he would just return her to her family. Then she would be forced to marry that monster who she fears will eventually kill her.
Maggie had never seen such a beautiful man in her life! This golden haired man with a warrior's body and protective heart, Of course Lachlan has secrets of his own. Lachlan fears she may be a spy and a threat, but once she's cleaned up is the most beautiful woman in Scotland! He puts his clan and family before anything! He will never let another woman into his heart nor put him or his people in danger ever again!
On their journey to his home to the Highlands, the attraction only grows stronger. Once he has her at his castle he sees her intelligence, caring for others realizing he wants her but still won't touch her until he knows who she is. He feels stirring of jealousy from the heady looks she gets from other men in his clan The attraction only grows stronger but both have so much mistrust in others and feel they sting of betrayal when bitter misunderstandings seem to surround them.
Maggie determined to feel true freedom to have a little fun before entering the convent but it gets harder and harder to leave as his clan gives her the family and friendship she has always yearned. Plus for the first time she feels safe and secure. She knows the braw man will have his fun and eventually set her aside. As that is the way of these deceitful men but as she he. Plus Maggie knows he needs a political match and believes he thinks her a commoner.Then she starts wondering why not have a first and last fling-before she enters the convent. Well as long as her heart is not involved. Yet she soon starts to learns more about this good, kind, untrusting, handsome golden haired Laird with a body of a God. Maggie then realizes her heart is in jeopardy!
Not realizing that she might be putting his clan in the midst of a civil war and betraying the man she has begun to care for in the worst way. Will the final result be the worst form of betrayal? Or will these two mistrusting souls finally open their hearts and begin to trust again? Will Lachlan set Maggie aside if he ever gets her in his bed? Will free spirit Maggie become a bride of Christ and live a dull restricted life behind the high walls of a nunnery for the rest of her life? Has Maggie, cost his clan a civil war not revealing her secrets and who she really is ? Will Lachlan fall to pieces if another woman betrays him? Will these two truly ever open their hearts and let the love in? You will have to read and find out the answers from this magnificent book!
Must read this heart string puller with characters that glide off the pages right into the reader's heart. Even the secondary characters are extraordinary. Hope there is future books fo shy Fergus, Lachlan's brother Malcolm, the handsome flirtatious cousin Brodie or the best friend Alan who is direct, open and honest.
Wow! Wow! Wow this is new talented author “Lori Ann Bailey” debut book, “Highland
Deception”book one in her new (Highland Pride Series). I was totally delighted by this exceptional book and totally swept away! Having all the elements historical romance readers are looking for. It has a potent mixture of true factual Scottish history with an exhilarating fictional Scottish romance! As its is set on the aftermath of the first and second Bishops wars 1639-1640 and on the cusp of the third! As it was a horrid time of deadly treacherous political and religious plots, schemes, murder, assassination attempts, and more. Plus her fictional story is beautifully and superbly written, as she writes like a pro she has been writing novels for years!
Beautiful Scottish setting, amazing dialogue, powerful plots within plots! There is so many weaving twists and turns that the reader heads will spin, when you think you know everything and boom another surprise!
Bravo Ms. Bailey is it is obvious you picked a craft you were born to do! So thrilled you decided to go on this marvelous journey as a writer and picking my favorite genre Scottish historical romance! I can't wait to read the next book in your a Highland Pride series. Definitely readers this is a new author you don't want to miss! I highly recommend Highland Deception by Lori Ann Bailey!
**I received this arc from the publisher in an exchange for an honest review through netgalley.com**