What I’m Talking About:
Catriona (Cat) Mackenzie lives her live on her own terms and does not care what polite society thinks. She, along with her Aunt Zelda, runs a shelter for less fortunate woman: those that society turned its back to. However, when Zelda passes she not only loses her mentor and partner, Cat discovers the British Crown is going to repossess their make-shift home. Petitioning her English uncle to help with the cause, Cat finds a new mission to occupy her time until she can return home; she plans to uncover the truth about what happened to the Duke of Montrose’s beloved wife.
Hamlin Graham, Duke of Montrose, stays in his home with his loyal servants and young ward. The town folks all believe that Montrose sent his darling wife away, or worse… he murdered her! However, the truth is much less thrilling, and more damaging to his reputation, so he lives with the gossip in order to win his bid to enter the House of Lords. Life continues as is until Cat blows into his world, turning it upside-down and breathing new life to his existence.
Tempting the Laird is a lovely standalone romance set in Ms. London’s Highland Grooms world. Although we’ve met Cat in previous titles, readers know nothing of this dynamic heroine. She lives in the shadow of her vast and powerful family, doing work that no others would even consider. She is passionate and kind, with little time for gossip and cruelty. Although this book is set in the past, Cat is very much the modern woman, making her relatable to most current-day readers. I love her strength and the way she can laugh at those who criticize her work and beliefs to her face. And while she is content with her lot, she is also strong enough to understand that in her heart she would like to find the love and happiness her siblings have enjoyed.
Hamlin makes for a wonderful historical hero. A duke of some note, he is shrouded in mystery and carries the burden of gossip over the disappearance of his much beloved wife. No one dares visit his estate, never mind confront him, until Cat arrives. She convinces her uncle that they should pay visit to his closest neighbor, and Cat is instantly taken my Hamlin’s direct ways. He’s dark, mysterious, a gentleman, and stands up for Cat when others would dismiss her: all very swoon-worthy! Plus he cares for and loves his former wife’s abandoned young cousin. He covets his time with Cat and although both know it can’t lead to anything, it doesn’t keep them from being together and falling in love.
In the end, Tempting the Laird is a lovely historical romance sharing the unlikely pairing of a Highland lass and imposing duke. Their journey is filled with joyous times and difficult decisions. The story flows smoothly from start to end, finishing with an HEA.
My Rating: B+ Liked It A Lot
About the Book:
Unruly. Unmarried. Unapologetic. Catriona Mackenzie’s reputation precedes her everywhere she goes. Her beloved late aunt Zelda taught Cat to live out loud and speak her mind, and that’s exactly what she does when Zelda’s legacy—a refuge for women in need—comes under fire. When her quest puts her in the path of the disturbingly mysterious Hamlin Graham, Duke of Montrose, Cat is soon caught up in the provocative rumors surrounding the dark duke. Never one to retreat, Cat boldly goes where no one else has dared for answers.
Shrouded in secrets, a hostage of lies, Hamlin must endure the fear and suspicion of those who believe he is a murderer. The sudden disappearance of his wife and the truth he keeps silent are a risk to his chances at earning a coveted parliamentary seat. But he’s kept his affairs tightly held until a woman with sparkling eyes and brazen determination appears unexpectedly in his life. Deadly allegations might be his downfall, but his unleashed passion could be the duke’s ultimate undoing.
Release Date: June 26, 2018
Series: Highland Grooms #5
Genre: Historical Romance
Format(s): paperback (384 pages), e-book, audiobook
Book Source: NetGalley