I enjoyed the first book in this series and have since read a few other books by Terri Spear…making her a new favorite author. This is the second book in a series, but can be read as a standalone.
Here is the set up.
Eilis is at the mercy of her evil uncle who is intent on forcing her to marry a rival clan chief in order to keep the peace. It's bad enough the man is much older and certainly not all that nice, but Eilis was not the one chosen to marry him, her cousin was. But when her cousin dies, Eilis' uncle wants her to pretend to be her cousin and marry this vile man without ever revealing her true identity. Without a choice she sets sail, leaving her young brother behind.
When a shipwreck has Eilis washing up on shore with a bit of memory loss, James MacNeill who is currently in charge of the castle while his brothers are away, is responsible for deciding what to do with his new guest. His first concern is that she could be from a clan he considered an enemy. After it is quickly determined Eilis is not from a rival clan, a plan is hatched to use her to entice the woman James is trying to wed to stop playing games and get the show on the road. If James doesn’t marry soon, he may lose his place in line for his heritage to one of his brothers. So, making Catriona jealous seemed like a good idea…at the time.
I love when destiny and fate meet and true love is the result. Two people destined to live their lives with people they didn't love is not only averted, but averted with panache. James is more laid back than fierce. He is still in charge and had that quality of leadership about him, but mostly he just wants to do the right thing. Eilis is a women in between a rock and a hard place when her memories resurface little by little, because by the time her true identity is revealed she is in love with James. But, does James feel the same way about her? Does he still intend to marry Catriona?
Catriona was one piece of work, a character I “loved to hate”. The other secondary characters were also well drawn and added substance to the storyline.
There is some violence, but nothing overly graphic. There were some really funny moments and Eilis could really get herself into some delicate situations sometimes.
Like the first book in the series, this one has action, adventure and intrigue, which made it a hard book to put down. I kept thinking. Just one more chapter! So, the story moves along pretty fast and kept me turning pages. I never got bored and the story never lost momentum.
So, overall this is a well-rounded and entertaining story. This one is 4 stars.
Lady Eilis Dunbarton’s life undergoes a drastic change with the death of her cousin, Agnes. Now she’s faced with the disagreeable prospect of marrying the man who was to be her cousin’s husband. Not by a change of contract, though. Instead, by deceit—pretending to be her cousin. But if her husband-to-be discovers she’s not really Agnes, her life is forfeit. So what choice does Eilis have but to flee? When Laird James MacNeill’s clan rescues a half-drowned lass from the sea, there is speculation she is of the enemy clan, especially since she doesn’t remember her own name. James is immediately enticed with the lady, but his focus must remain on finding the proper bride. For if he does not wed soon, he must give up his holdings to one of his younger brothers. Focus slips away with each day Eilis is close, and James finds himself contemplating the thought of taking her to wife without knowing her true identity. But how dangerous would the end result be? And what will happen if Eilis’s husband-to-be comes looking for her only to find her in the arms of another man?