Series: The MacLearies
Author: Terri Brisbin
# of Books: 4 + a novella (Taming the Highlander, Surrender to the Highlander, Possessed by the Highlander, The Earl’s Secret)
The Novella is book 4.5 in the series: One Candlelit Christmas
Genre: Historical Romance, Highlander Romance
Heat Rating: Lukewarm
To be truthful, I only read the first 3 books of the series. The Earl’s Secret is sitting on my Kobo waiting to be read but I probably won’t get to it soon, if ever.
I LOVE highlander romances. I’m not sure why but I think it has something to do with the mix of action and romance. I like the suspense and fighting that these books often have. So because of my slight obsession, I have read a lot of highlander books which may be why I’m not the biggest fan of this series.
There is definitely suspense in Taming the Highlander but I felt like the plot was a mash-up of stories I have read before. I also found that there was a mash-up of Scottish dialogue as well. Some characters would talk one way and another from the same area would have a different way of talking. I just felt like it wasn’t consistent in writing style, especially when Rurik–a secondary character in the 1st book with a notable dialogue–gets his own story in Surrender to the Highlander and his dialogue changes again.
Rurik’s story was actually a disappointment for me. I loved him in the first book and was so excited to read the second novel. I enjoyed the plot more in Book 2–it wasn’t as predictable and based on the plot summary on Goodreads wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. I just didn’t really care for Margiet and I think that stopped me from enjoying the book.
Book 3, Possessed by the Highlander was actually my favourite. I had never really cared for Duncan’s character before this book but once I read it I realized what a sweetheart he was. Both characters are strong and I liked the plot for this one as well. I also didn’t mind the love-at-first sight bit either.
I’m not sure where The Earl’s Secret comes in. From what I can see, it doesn’t have much to do with past characters and is just set within a notable setting in the books. Thanks to Ms. Brisbin, I have been told that The Earl’s Secret and the novella feature the descendants of the first three novels and are set in Regency times. As I said before, it didn’t grab my attention so I will conclude the series here.
I’ve read a lot better and a lot worse in terms of highlander fiction. If you have the time and want a “cleaner” highlander novel, you might want to check out this series. I, on the other hand, will stick to my other favourites (see them in the “similar books” below!)
Similar Reads: In Bed with a Highlander by Maya Banks (McCabe Trilogy), Laird of the Mist by Paula Quinn (MacGregors Series) and The Highlander’s Bride by Michele Sinclair (McTiernay Brothers Series)
Synopsis for Taming the Highlander (from Goodreads):
Lady Jocelyn MacCallum had always believed she would marry for love. But the price of her brother’s freedom was to become fearsome Connor MacLerie’s new bride — a bargain that could cost Jocelyn her life. From the moment she looked into Connor’s sternly handsome face, Jocelyn began to hope that the rumors surrounding his first wife’s death were false. His reputation was as wild and untamed as the Scottish moors. Would she find a way to reach the man beneath that forbidding exterior?