4 stars and a half

Historical Romance Review: Highland Heather by Ruth Langan

Highland Heather, Ruth Langan, Harlequin, 1991, cover artist TBD

Harlequin Historical #65

4 1/2 Stars

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Highland Sisters, Part Two

Ruth Langan’s Highland Heather is the sequel to her previous Scottish romance, Highland Barbarian. I liked this Harlequin Historical much more than its predecessor. Why? I enjoyed the conflict between the hero and the heroine and the English setting, plus introducing Queen Elizabeth I to a story always makes things interesting.

Brenna MacAlpin is the middle MacAlpin sister, whose elder sister Meredith went and married her beloved Highlander. Brenna is now the leader of their Scots clan. However, it’s not easy going for her as she has enemies, namely the English. Moreover, Brenna does not have the same fierce disposition as her elder sister. Brenna is more even-tempered, dare I say, more lady-like. Her men are blindly loyal to her, regardless, but leading is no easy task.

The Queen’s Savage

One day, the Queen’s Savage himself, Lord Morgan Grey, arrives to implement Queen Elizabeth’s plan to marry the MacAlpin off to an English lord, which she believes will lead to peace. MacAlpin household warily welcomes Morgan and his men. Upon hearing the intentions of the English, Brenna flees into the wilderness. Morgan pursues her and takes Brenna as his “unwilling guest.” The scene where Morgan catches her in a field of heather is beautifully depicted on the front cover.

(I loved the old Harlequin Historical covers; they were works of art. Too bad they rarely gave credit to the illustrator. If anyone has any knowledge about the cover artist, please drop a comment below!).

The Queen believes that uniting the MacAlpins to a powerful English house will cause “the bloodletting will cease.” Brenna meets several prospects while under Grey’s captivity, but strangely, Morgan appeals to her more than any other. Morgan, too, finds Brenna captivating. But although Brenna and Morgan form a bond beyond captor and captive, Brenna is always cognizant that she is his prisoner. She vows she will never be forced into marriage. This will-they-or-won’t-they struggle is filled with erotic tension.

There are a few adventures in store for the potential pair that draw them closer together before their story comes to a thrilling conclusion.

Final Analysis of Highland Heather

I think one reason I was drawn to Highland Heather more than its predecessor is that I’m more partial to the English setting than Scotland. Sacrilege, I know, as there’s an entire romance genre built around Highlanders. There are only so many stories about feuding clans I can take before they seem the same. That also may be why I also preferred the third entry in this series, Highland Fire, as it’s set mostly in Ireland. Regardless, it was the overall love story that was compelling.

Despite his moniker of the Queen’s Savage, Morgan is gentle with Lady Brenna. While she fights her feelings for him, it’s obvious that if she must marry an Englishman, there’s only one man she’d choose. Seeing their romance unfold was a thrilling experience that had me looking forward to the next installment in the series.

Reviewed by Introvert Reader

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