I think that this year has not been great for historical romances. Personally I have struggled to find a novel that is an equal balance of both historical fiction and of pure romance. Sadly I did not find those traits buried within the pages of this book. Once again I felt like I was reading nothing beyond historical fiction.
For the most part the author did a fairly decent job at maintaining my attention. The plot proved to be interesting and since I stuck with the story I was able to discover a limited amount of romance, but had it been present from the start I would enjoyed the book more.
To continue with the positives of the book I really savored Riona's character. At first I thought she was going to be a damsel-in-distress type but she turned out to be a heroine worthy of a highlander. One of the reasons I liked Riona was the fact that her life was turned upside down by certain events, one clearly obvious from the book blurb of a mistaken identity, and yet as the story grew Riona embraced such obstacles.
While I liked Riona I didn't care much for Hugh. I liked him, yes but not in the same likeness as I did Riona. The main reason I did not fall for his character in the way that a reader should a hero is that Hugh felt too eager to marry Riona. He kinda came off more of a teenager rather than a man that was trying to protect his clan. Unlike Riona, and the story itself, Hugh didn't change much throughout the progress of the book so his character overall did not work for me.
As for the last flaw, I think the book lacked scenery. Normally in historical novels there is a lush and descriptive writing style that highlights the era of the book. In this book those details were missing. I was disappointed and would have rated this story differently had such descriptions been included.
USA Today bestselling author Gayle Callen creates an unforgettable story of mistaken identity and irresistible attraction in this first in a wonderfully engaging series set in the Scottish Highlands
Shaken from sleep during the night and bundled off to the Highlands by a burly Scot, Riona is at first terrified, then livid. Hugh McCallum insists they were promised to each other as children to ensure peace between their clans. The stubborn laird refuses to believe he's kidnapped the wrong Catriona Duff. Instead, he embarks on a campaign of slow-burning seduction . . .
At first, Hugh cares only what their marriage can do for his people. Now he's starting to crave Riona for her own sake, but her true identity jeopardizes his clan's contract. And unless she chooses to risk all to be his bride, he'll lose the only thing he prizes more than the lands he's fought so hard to save—the passionate marriage they could have together.