Long a master of the historical and the heartfelt, Jane Bonander pens a sweeping Scottish romance, perfect for readers of Mary Balogh.
"Jane Bonander reaches out to her readers' hearts." —RT Book Reviews
As Fletcher MacNeil sat in a jail cell, the last thing he expected was a Scottish solicitor bearing news of an inheritance. Fletcher, half Comanche and half Scottish, is the only surviving heir to Castle Sheiling and a fortune beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he must escape his current predicament and travel across the ocean—to a world of loyal clans and kinsmen where Fletcher’s very appearance marks him as outsider.
Rosalyn Geddes, housekeeper of Sheiling, is relieved to hear that the new earl of Kintyre has been located in America. But the last thing she expected was the mysterious, darkly handsome man who appears on the castle doorstep. Rosalyn cannot believe he is a MacNeil, let alone the new earl. But there’s something about this man—a power and magnetism that draws her in.
Fletcher learns that his inheritance comes with a caveat—he must produce an heir within one year’s time or the fortune goes to a rogue cousin of the late earl. A marriage of convenience is proposed, and Roz reluctantly agrees. What begins as purely a business transaction blossoms into something more. Roz begins to feel herself open up to the possibility of love, but the question of whether Fletcher will leave her once he’s met the terms of the will continues to loom over their relationship. Can they overcome Roz’s tragic past and Fletcher’s uncertain future?
Bonander's fast-paced historical, the first in the MacNeil Legacy series, abounds in implausibilities. In 1857 Texas, Fletcher, who has abandoned his Scottish father's MacNeil surname and calls himself Maker of Arrows in the style of his Native American mother, is wrongly convicted of murdering his lover, Lindsay, who was actually shot by her husband. Belatedly, he realizes it's time to change his roguish ways. Two nights before his hanging, the MacNeil family solicitor, Geddes Gordon, rescues him so he can return to Scotland and take his rightful place as the Duke of Kintyre. But in order to keep his inheritance, he must produce an heir within one year, or he loses everything to his cousin. Geddes's widowed sister, Rosalyn, one of the few remaining MacNeil servants, can't believe a "half-breed savage" is their new leader, and she's even more appalled when her brother suggests she marry Fletcher and provide the requisite heir. After an unexpected sexual encounter improbably instigated by Rosalyn while Fletcher is asleep and dreaming of Lindsay the two decide to marry in order to save her reputation. Rosalyn decides to make the best of the situation, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead for them both. Bonander (A Taste of Honey) interweaves issues of women's rights with mystery and suspense to keep the story moving, but readers eager to see a mixed-race historical romance hero may struggle with the slurs that the suspicious Scots constantly fling Fletcher's way.
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I have bought all of her other books and loved each one. This is so completely NOT her that I could barely finish it. Wish I hadn't paid for it.