MY ONE TRUE HIGHLANDER – Suzanne Enoch
St. Martin's Press
Scottish Highlands, Early 1800's
Lady Marjorie Forrester is just trying to fit in with the aristocracy of London, but it doesn't seem to be working. Three months ago an unknown uncle died, leaving her brother a fortune and a title, The Duke of Lattimer. Gabriel gave her a mansion in London, all the money she could need, and left her to go to his estate in Scotland. Despite getting a companion to teach her the ins and outs of London society, they are having none of it. Mrs. Giswell suggests paying someone to introduce her to society, or donating money somewhere would certainly help, but Lady Marjorie is having none of that. Then Marjorie gets a letter from Gabriel saying he is getting married. As Gabriel was in the Service for over ten years and she seldom saw him, she is ignoring Mrs. Giswell's advice and going to the wedding, even if Gabriel says the weather is too harsh for visitors.
Graeme, Viscount Maxton, has his own estate in the Highlands, despite it being poor and putting all his time and energy into keeping the land producing and all the people on it in good houses and fed. He was left with three younger brothers when he was twenty, after his mother died at childbirth and his father killed himself over her loss. Now the boys are 16, 14 and 8, and it has been his sole reason in life to make sure they grow up well and keep their house, Garaidh nan Leomhann. The leader of the Maxwell Clan wants Graeme's land and all that's on it to increase his holdings. Arthur Maxwell wants Graeme's neighbor, Gabriel Forrester's land also and lets Graeme know anything to help the Maxwell's position would be appropriately helped with more herds and taxes being forgotten. Graeme's brothers hear this exchange, and become worried that something bad is about to happen and start a plan that will forever change everyone's lives.
Brendan decides the best way to save his brother is to kidnap the English woman at the nearby inn and give her to The Maxwell and avert disaster for the family. Connell wants to show Lady Marjorie where some kittens are hiding, and the other two brothers put a hood over her head, bind her up and take her back to their home. Graeme is sure to be happy at how they've solved his problems! Now Graeme is in trouble; just by bringing Lady Marjorie there, her reputation is now ruined. Her brother will want to kill him for kidnapping his sister, and who knows what The Maxwell will do to her? Graeme is betwixt and between on what to do with this disarming and caring woman. He just needs time to figure out what to do, but marrying her for her money is one idea that might save his land.
Suzanne Enoch brings us solidly into the Scottish Highlands, a place where the land is wild and cold and beautiful, and there are many rules when you are part of a Clan, especially if the Clan Leader wants all the land for himself, and is not too particular about how he gets it. With a history of the Clan leader ignoring the people on his lands, Graeme knows what will happen if he loses the family inheritance. Devoted to his land and brothers, a kidnapped Sassenach (English) woman is almost more trouble than he can stand, especially because he cannot return her without dire ramifications to his family. Lady Marjorie has been trying in vain to join the inner circle of London society, but it doesn't look too good. Her relationship with her brother is fragile; she hardly saw him after he joined the Service when their parents died. She is caring and strong-willed, something that is vital in the Highlands, though.
There are so many other characters; Graeme's brothers Brendan, Dughlas and Connell, each with his own special personality. Mrs. Giswell spends days looking for Marjorie at the Inn, and foresees no employment again for her after losing her employer.
MY ONE TRUE HIGHLANDER is full of nail-biting tension with Lady Marjorie kidnapped, and I was so mad at Graeme for keeping her against her will. Lady Marjorie, however, was cool-headed and made a friend of everyone at the castle. First Graeme wants to marry Lady Marjorie for her inheritance, so it can be used on his estate. After getting to know Lady Marjorie he is confused over whether he wants to marry her for her money, or for her presence in his life that lifts him up. Don't miss the exciting conclusion to MY ONE TRUE HIGHLANDER and find out what happens when everyone finds out about the kidnapping and whether The Maxwell will confiscate Graeme's property.