THE HIGHLANDER'S PROMISE - Lynsay Sands
Scotland – the Middle Ages
Aulay Buchanan meant to take a few days of relaxation in his hunting lodge, but while out fishing he finds a woman tied to the mast of a ship, floating in the water. She managed to speak a few confused words before passing out, but it just made Aulay more confused than ever. Taking the woman back to his lodge, he and his brother care for her until she wakens… Only to find that she has lost her memory! And on top of that, since Aulay is in her bedroom alone with her, she assumes he must be her husband.
Jetta, the name Aulay gave her due to her jet black hair, is very upset that she doesn't remember anything, especially since her husband is being so kind and caring, so they must have a wonderful marriage. Little bits of her memory come back here and there, but she still doesn't recognize anyone, or know that the world Aulay has created for her isn't real. As she heals, Aulay is torn between telling the truth so as not to lose her love when her memory does fully return, and keeping her blind to the truth to protect her fragile mental state. If that wasn't stressful enough for them all, Aulay's people are getting attacked by an unseen assailant who seems to know secrets only family should know…
THE HIGHLANDER'S PROMISE definitely takes a different spin on the “pretending to be together” trope. I'll admit to feeling a little uncomfortable when it comes to the dubious lines of consent in this book. Jetta believes Aulay is her husband, and therefore allows him to get much more intimate than she would have otherwise. And she feels understandably uncomfortable when she learns the truth.
Aside from that, the hero and heroine clearly care for each other, and their romance is genuine. Aulay is a good man, who clearly cares for Jetta and for his family. He tries to do what is best for her, considering her amnesia and head injury. The suspense element that comes to a head towards the end of the book may leave something to be desired, but over all, this is an entertaining read.