"The Highlander's Forbidden Bride"
by Donna Fletcher
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Athena Smith, the costume curator for a Chicago museum, is elated to finally see the legendary vintage gowns worn by a city icon, Bertha Palmer. But the gowns are owned by the Clayworth family, who are not on good terms with Athena's family. The Clayworths just fired Athena's father from their company for unknown, but scandalous, reasons. So Athena has little hope of gaining the gowns for an exhibition at the museum. While looking at the gowns, she inhales a toxin which acts as a truth serum. Wh...more Ronan Sinclare and his brother, Cavan, were captured and tortured by the barbarian Mordrac and even tortured by his daughter, Carissa. Cavan managed to escape, but Ronan remained and endured even more torture from Carissa. His only relief was from the slave, Hope, who tended his wounds, including his eyes that were swollen shut, preventing him from being able to see her. After being sold to mercenaries by Carissa, Ronan vowed revenge on her, both for his own torture and for his beloved Hope's murder. Ronan succeeds in kidnapping Carissa, but learns that this barbarian is so much more than meets the eye.
Donna Fletcher never fails to disappoint me. I like my heroes to be sweet and loving, and she just writes this type of hero so well! Sure, Ronan is grouchy and even hates Carissa at first, but somehow, Fletcher has him as sweet and romantic as his brothers by the midpoint of the story. I love that even though the leads often butt heads, neither is outright disrespectful or does or says anything that is unforgivable.
I think it's pretty clear that I loved Ronan, and Carissa was an exceptional character as well. She was so complex and the layers of her personality become understandable as we learn her motives.
The Sinclare clan plays a big role in this story. All of the characters feel so familiar by this book, it's like seeing old friends again. I'm not sure if this was the final book in the series, but if there are more, I will be sure to read them too.
Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5 (I love those Sinclares!!)
Cover: 4/5 (love the retro covers, I can't help it!)
While this wasn't my favorite book by Donna Fletcher, it still lives up to what I have come to expect from her as an author- A super sweet romantic story with a hero who has that really rare mix of strength and tenderness. He's head over heels for this woman and he's not afraid to show it!