How to Abduct a Highland Lord
I’m sick of rakes! I say this to myself every time I read the opening scene of a Regency era romance where our hero is fleeing the jealous husband of his current mistress. This is how we find Jack Kincaid, lying in the mud after being flung from his horse during a storm. He is soon trussed up and on his way to Gretna Green where he will, willingly or not, marry one Fiona MacLean and be entertainingly reformed.
After the death of Fiona’s youngest brother, supposedly at the hands of a Kincaid, the fierce feud between the two clans is heating up once again. Fiona’s fear for her remaining brothers has given her cause to take matters into her own hands. Thinking the only way to make peace between the families is to join them, Fiona sets out to kidnap and marry Jack and make sure that the union cannot be annulled.
Jack has been living the debauched life of a young lord in London for the past fifteen years. He is perfectly happy with the constant rounds of alcohol, cards, and women and isn’t looking to change his life. At one time, before he left Scotland, he wanted something different. He was prepared to elope with Fiona fifteen years earlier after a magical few weeks together. When the elopement didn’t come to fruition, Jack and Fiona were left with bad memories of each other.
Jack and Fiona might strike some sparks where passion is concerned, but they are at odds with each other regarding how their new life will continue. Jack maintains that nothing will change. He can still attend gaming hells and keep ungodly hours, drink to excess and flirt with women. Fiona wants Jack to change his lifestyle and demands that if he can go out for a night of debauchery than so can she! It is amusing to watch as Fiona attends gaming hells and learns cards while trying her first champagne, much to Jack’s chagrin.
Fiona is a perfect match for Jack and they share tons of chemistry. Jack’s transformation is worked nicely without having an epiphanic moment – he grows to love her slowly, as she does he, and changes for the better. There is a bit of a suspense/whodunit near the end but the focus is mainly on Jack and Fiona’s relationship.
I had some problems with the characters’ speech and dialogue, which was all over the place. Within one conversation one of Fiona’s rough Scottish brothers calls Fiona a chit and a lassie. Most of the time it flowed nicely if you weren’t looking too closely, but at others it drew me out of the story. Luckily, it wasn’t enough to kill the book for me.
Don’t let the title, or the pretty cover with the lavender and blue plaid (which, by the way, belongs to neither clan) fool you – this is not a romance set in the Highlands. It’s a Regency London piece where they take a short journey to Scotland. And Jack isn’t a Highland lord but a Lowland lord. There is also something strange going on with Jack’s lineage. It isn’t brought up much, but did make me wonder. He is Viscount Kincaid, his half-brothers are also Kincaids but from a stepfather? Did his mother marry another Kincaid? Again, maybe I missed something (I don’t think I did!) but it sounds peculiar.
This is the first book in a series on the MacLeans. Fiona’s four older brothers will be featured in the books to follow and they sounded just fascinating enough for me to check them out, too. How to Abduct a Highland Lord is a fun, fast read. I know I’ll be keeping my eye on future books by Karen Hawkins as well as looking up her past ones.