THE HIGHLAND DUKE – Amy Jarecki
A Lords of the Highlands Novel
Grand Central's Forever
Audio book: 978-1-4789-1359-7
Scotland – 1703
Akira Ayres is a healer who is working her way through the battlefield to help whomever she can. She hears moaning coming from the woods and finds a big Highlander with a nasty musket wound in his leg. He insists on getting out of the area, although he won't tell her why, and he gives her money to buy a horse so that he can escape. However, he realizes that he needs her help, so he takes her with him as they ride quickly away from the English dragoons looking for him. Akira is stunned at the turn of events, but her first concern is caring for the wound that is in danger of killing the injured man. All she knows about him is that his name is Geordie.
“Geordie” is also known as the Duke of Gordon, which is why he doesn't want the dragoons to find him. His opposition to Queen Anne and support of the ousted King James is well known, and if it's discovered that he participated in a battle against the Queen's and the Marquis of Atholl's troops, his land and title will be forfeit. Geordie must trust the healer and hope that he can get them as far away from the battlefield as possible. But things don't go exactly as he wants, and his wound slows them down. He's intrigued by the lovely young woman who is so determined to save him, and knows that his life depends on her skills.
Akira comes from a family of healers and tinkers. She realizes immediately that the man she's trying to heal is someone of wealth and power, although he refuses to give her any more personal information. Struggling to keep his leg from festering, Akira must put herself in danger to find the necessary help to treat the Highlander. He is handsome and kind to her, and she fights her feelings.
THE HIGHLAND DUKE is a fascinating look at the Jacobite rebellion. Most of the highlands was for King James, and Geordie knows that he must get to one of his allies in order to keep himself and Akira safe. In the meantime, a very determined English dragoon is close on their heels, equally determined to find and arrest the Duke, who, he suspects, participated in the battle. If it means targeting the healer, so be it.
I thoroughly enjoyed THE HIGHLAND DUKE. It is well researched and the characters are realistically portrayed. The writing is excellent. I highly recommend this book and look forward to the next one in the series THE HIGHLAND COMMANDER – a character we meet briefly in this tale.