ABOUT THE BOOK
Title: THE HIGHLAND DUKE
Author: Amy Jarecki
Series: Lords of the Highlands, #1
On Sale: March 28, 2017
Mass Market: $7.99 USD
eBook: $3.99 USD
Indie author Amy Jarecki makes her print debut with a brand-new series about rugged Highland lords.
She’ll put her life on the line for him . . .
When Akira Ayres finds the brawny Scot with a musket ball in his thigh, the healer has no qualms about doing whatever it takes to save his life. Even if it means fleeing with him across the Highlands to tend to his wounds while English redcoats are closing in. Though Akira is as fierce and brave as any of her clansmen, even she’s intimidated by the fearsome, brutally handsome Highlander who refuses to reveal his name.
Yet she can never learn his true identity.
Geordie knows if Akira ever discovers he’s the Duke of Gordon, both her life and his will be forfeit in a heartbeat. The only way to keep the lass safe is to ensure she’s by his side day and night. But the longer he’s with her, the harder it becomes to think of letting her go. Despite all their differences, despite the danger-he will face death itself to make her his . . .
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Rating : 4.5 out of 5 Stars
This historical romance set in 18th century Scotland is fast paced, adventurous and action-packed. The story is well-constructed and filled with intrigue and memorable characters. The hero, The Duke of Gordon, aka Geordie, always stands for what he believes in. As a Highlander born and raised, he has challenged Queen Anne’s Government troops and ridden against the English crown. He is a fervent Jacobite, supporting the rightful king of Scotland, James Stuart, exiled in France.
Badly shot in the leg, he is saved by Akira, a street urchin with Gypsy ancestry and a skilled healer. She accepts to flee with him and gets into trouble for helping him. The sequences of their journey across the Highlands moved with rapidity and were exciting and full of drama. The Duke has powerful enemies, determined to ruin him, who will stop at nothing to catch him.
I loved the main characters in this story, they are well-portrayed and complex. They come from two totally different worlds, but they share a deep emotional connection. They just make sense together and I loved how their relationship progressed as the story unfolded. Akira has no notion of Geordie’s standing in society, he hides his identity to protect her. Akira is forthright, kind and competent, she is an endearing heroine. Her past is touching, she has grown up in poverty and she makes Geordie realize how privileged he has always been. His title comes with responsibilities, he can’t run from who he is, but he wants to become a better person for her. Akira doubts the depths of Geordie’s feelings, she isn’t sure she can trust him. He may have turned her world upside down, but she has values she can’t compromise on.
Amy Jarecki has delivered a cast of quirky, interesting characters and a suspense filled plot in a fast paced romance I didn’t want to end. The author’s love for Scotland, its rich history and tumultuous past is reflected in her imaginative, evocative and captivating storytelling. I’ll definitely follow this talented author in the future.
An advanced copy of this book was generously provided by the publisher, via NetGalley.
Curled under Geordie’s arm, Akira finally stopped shivering. All around them rain splashed. Everything was soaked and their little alcove smelled of horse—not a horrid smell, but not one she’d choose for her boudoir, either. If she had a boudoir.
She chose to ignore the voice in the back of her head telling her it wasn’t proper to allow a strange man to put his arm around her shoulders and offer her warmth. But there was something in the way Geordie looked at her that made her feel all warm inside and, moreover, protected. Aye, he’d been in a great deal of pain—was still in great pain—but since he roused from his last bout of unconsciousness, he’d behaved admirably. He’d brought the horse under control, figured out where they were, and formed a plan to take them to someone he could trust to provide her with an escort home.
With darkness, the air grew colder. Clutching her fists under her chin, Akira curled into Geordie’s heat. He smoothed his palm along her outer arm, his touch soothing.
When he turned his lips toward her, his warm breath skimmed across her forehead. “Try to sleep.” The gentle burr of his voice imparted all the more comfort.
But she couldn’t get too comfortable; she must to do her duty. He was still her patient. “I’m the healer. I should be telling you to do the same.”
His hazel gaze drifted to her mouth, and he grinned.
“Very well.” He pulled his arm away, but not before running his fingers across her back. Blessed tingles spread over her skin as if she’d been caressed by feathers. Oh, heaven help her, his touch was unbelievably sublime. If only she could ask him to run his fingers back and forth again—just one more time.
She reached for the hem of his kilt, then quickly snapped her fingers away. What had she been thinking? True, she’d applied the salve before, but that was when he was mostly unconscious and definitely before he’d put his arm around her shoulder and smiled at her like a…like a…brawny Highlander.
“Have you gone shy, lass?” he asked with a hint of humor in his deep brogue.
THE LORDS OF THE HIGHLANDS SERIES
THE HIGHLAND DUKE, #1
THE HIGHLAND COMMANDER, #2
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amy Jarecki is a descendant of an ancient Lowland clan and adores Scotland. Though she now resides in southwest Utah, she received her MBA from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. Winning multiple writing awards, she found her niche in the genre of Scottish historical romance. Amy writes steamy edge-of-your-seat action adventures with rugged men and fascinating women who weave their paths through the brutal eras of centuries past.
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