Welcome to my tour stop for Suzanne Enoch’s newest historical romance! Niall and Amelia’s love story clocked in at over 300 pages but was well worth every page!
———- Book Info ———-
London socialite Amelia-Rose Baxter is nobody’s fool. Her parents may want her to catch a title, but she will never change who she is for the promise of marriage. Her husband will be a man who can appreciate her sharp mind as well as her body. A sophisticated man who loves life in London. A man who considers her his equal―and won’t try to tame her wild heart…
IN THE HIGHLANDS
Rough, rugged Highlander Niall MacTaggert and his brothers know the rules: the eldest must marry or lose the ancestral estate, period. But Niall’s eldest brother just isn’t interested in the lady his mother selected. Is it because Amelia-Rose is just too. . . Free-spirited? Yes. Brazen? Aye. Surely Niall can find a way to soften up the whip-smart lass and make her the perfect match for his brother for the sake of the family.
JUST GOT A WHOLE LOT HOTTER.
Instead it’s Niall who tempts Amelia-Rose, despite her reservations about barbarian Highlanders. Niall finds the lass nigh irresistible as well, but he won’t make the mistake his father did in marrying an Englishwoman who doesn’t like the Highlands. Does he have what it takes to win her heart? There is only one way to find out…
———- Review ———
I lost myself in this and didn’t want to come back. I’ve been in a mood for romances lately and didn’t feel for any of the ones that I’ve been reading… but this story truly set my heart a flutter.
Arranged marriages is a popular trope among historical romances, but Ms. Enoch delivers a tale mischievous and fun as we see the brother of the proposed groom fall for the English rose instead. I loved how their attraction was immediate and straight forward leaving no room for fluff in misunderstandings and miscommunications. In fact, their forbidden romance was a highlight and I couldn’t wait for their love to be revealed and how the family would take it. The dynamics of the family structure was great as well and I feel that as the series continues, we’ll see more of the siblings bond and mature than we did in this first book.
I fell in love with Niall more than I did with Amelia – his character was just so fun and witty that who couldn’t? Definitely more likeable than his brother Coll who was very arrogant and a jerk to start. I can’t wait to see what woman changes him for the better. But Niall also has such endearing qualities – taking Amelia for his own, not letting her family’s opinions of him get in the way of their love and even offering to risk scandal with elopement for her. It’s sigh-worthy and a dream to have read their story.
———- Excerpt ———-
Once upon a time—in May 1785, to be exact—Angus
MacTaggert, Earl Aldriss, traveled from the middle
of the Scottish Highlands to London in search of a wealthy
bride to save his well-loved but crumbling estate. Aldriss
Park had been in the MacTaggert family since the time of
Henry VIII, when Domhnall MacTaggert, despite being
Catholic and married, declared publicly that Henry should
be able to wed as many lasses as he wanted until one of
them got him a son. Aldriss Park was the newly minted
earl’s reward for his support and understanding.
For the next two hundred years Aldriss thrived, until
the weight of poor harvests, the ever-intruding, rule-
making Sassenach, and the MacTaggerts’ own fondness
for drinking, gambling, and wild investments (including
an early bicycle design wherein the driver sat between
two wheels; sadly, it had no braking mechanism and
after a series of accidents nearly began a war within the
MacTaggerts’ clan Ross) began to sink it into disrepair.
When Angus inherited the title in 1783, he realized the
old castle needed far more than a fresh coat of paint to
keep it from both physical collapse and bankruptcy. And
so he determined to go down among the enemy Sasse-
nach and win himself a wealthy bride. The English had
made enough trouble for him and his over the centuries,
so they could bloody well help him set things right.
On his second day in London, he met the stunning
Francesca Oswell, the only offspring of James and Mary
Oswell, Viscount and Viscountess of Hornford—who
had more money than Midas and a bevy of very fine
solicitors—at a masked ball where he dressed as a bull,
and she as a swan. Despite the misgivings of nearly every-
one in Mayfair, Angus and Francesca immediately fell
madly in love, and married with a special license ten days
A week after that, Angus took Francesca back to Al-
driss Park and the Highlands, where she found very little
civilization, a great many sheep, and a husband who pre-
ferred brawling to dancing, and he discovered that her
father’s solicitors had arranged to keep the Oswell family
money in Francesca’s hands. This made for some very
spectacular arguments, because there is nothing more
combustible in the world than an impoverished High-
lands laird in disagreement with an independently wealthy
English lady about his own ancestral lands.
Over the next thirteen turbulent years the estate pros-
pered, and Francesca gave Angus three sons—Coll, Aden,
and Niall—and with each one became more concerned
that this was not a life for any civilized person. She wanted
to bring the boys back to London for proper educations
and to live proper lives, but Angus refused, stating that
what had been good enough for him would be good enough
for his lads.
When a fourth child, a daughter, arrived in 1798, Fran-
cesca reached her breaking point. No daughter of hers was
going to be raised with an uncivilized accent in a rough
country where she would be ridiculed by proper Society
and unfit to marry anyone but a shepherd or a peat cutter.
Angus refused to let his lads go, but he allowed Francesca
to take young Eloise and return to London—on the con-
dition that she continue providing for the maintenance
of the estate.
Francesca reluctantly agreed, but given that she con-
trolled the purse strings, she had her own conditions to
try to keep some influence with her wild sons: All three
boys must marry before their sister, they must wed proper
Englishwomen, and at least one of them must marry some-
one of her choosing.
She knew Angus would raise them as he pleased, but
they were her children, too, by God, and she meant to see
to it that they had some semblance of propriety in their
lives—she was a viscount’s daughter, after all, and certain
things would be expected of her offspring. She refused to
allow them to be viewed as unsophisticated wild men by
her London neighbors, and she remained determined to
have a presence in their lives.
To enforce her will, she convinced (or rather, coerced)
Angus to put his signature to the agreement, which con-
tained this provision: If young Eloise MacTaggert did
marry before any of the boys, Francesca would cut off all
funds to the estate. If they were to insist on defiance, they
would have a heavy price to pay for it—one they and their
tenants could not afford.
Angus had no choice but to agree, and considering that
Coll, the oldest, was only twelve at the time of Francesca’s
departure and Eloise was but a wee bairn, he was willing
to wager that he would have time to renegotiate. Angus
and Francesca remained married, but neither would bend
enough to visit the other ever again. As far as the lads were
concerned, their mother had abandoned them.
In the spring of 1816 Angus received a letter from Fran-
cesca announcing their daughter’s engagement, and he
promptly collapsed. He’d hoped his sons would have found
themselves Scottish lasses by now and shown their mother
she couldn’t control their lives after all, but the lads were
defiant and wouldn’t be rushed. Now it appeared to be too
He summoned his sons to his apparent deathbed and
confessed all—Francesca funding the estate, the perni-
cious agreement, and their mother’s grasping claws, which
he explained was a symptom of all Englishwomen and their
weak, clinging, cloying ways. For the sake of the property
and their tenants the young men must go to London. At
once. No sense even taking time to put him in the ground,
much less mourn him, because Francesca wouldn’t excuse
the loss of time, and they needed to marry before their
The lads—grown men, now—were not at all happy sud-
denly to learn about the responsibilities and rules foisted
upon them by a woman they barely remembered. Being
wily, freehearted, and exceptionally handsome men accus-
tomed to doing things their way and certainly not bowing
to the demands of a demented Englishwoman, they deter-
mined to go down to London not to comply, but to outwit
their mother and upend any plans she had for them. And
thus, dear reader, begins our story.