Review – The Taming of a Highlander by Elisa Braden

About the Book:

A Scot on fire

Wrongfully imprisoned and tortured by an unseen enemy, Broderick MacPherson lives for one purpose—punishing the villain who targeted him. But when a wayward English lass interrupts his revenge, he loses his enemy in the dark. Now, her compelled testimony could send Broderick back to the prison that nearly killed him. Unless they find a loophole—an inconvenient, shockingly tempting loophole.

A beauty under pressure

For Kate Huxley, visiting her brother in the Scottish Highlands is a blissful escape from the stifling expectations of the marriage mart. Blissful, that is, until a scarred, beastly Highlander with a heartbreaking past frightens her out of her wits, making her a witness in a criminal inquiry.

A match to light the darkness

Kate has no wish to testify against a man who’s already suffered too much. But the only remedy is to become his wife. And she can’t possibly marry such a surly, damaged man… can she? Well, perhaps. If it means she can stay in her beloved Scotland. And if he promises they’ll never fall in love.


My Review:

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

Kate Huxley, while only twenty-one years old, is already weary of English society and the marriage mart.  She has also witnessed her sisters fall in love, marry, have children, and seemingly become different people.  Kate likens love to a malady to be avoided, feeling that it absorbs ones individuality and makes a person forget their other dreams and goals.  She and her family are visiting her brother, John, and his new wife, Annie, in Scotland.  Kate has always felt the need to write, and feels that Scotland has inspired her as nothing else ever has.  She’s desperate to find a way to live here permanently, when her wish is fulfilled in a way she never expected.

Broderick MacPherson is one of four of Annie’s stepbrothers.  He’s a large, handsome, and charming man, one who is a favorite with the ladies.  When he learns that his current lady friend, Cecilia, is actually the mistress of another man, he immediately breaks the affair off.  He had no notion of the horrible revenge that man would enact on him.  Broderick is framed for a crime he didn’t commit, jailed, and regularly tortured by jailers and fellow prisoners whose pockets have been greased by Cecilia’s lover.  A final brutal attack leaves Broderick maimed, scarred, and near death.  When his family is finally able to have him released, his goal is to find the man who did this to him and have his revenge.  When he has his tormentor in his grasp, an unsuspecting Kate is passing by, horrified at seeing a “giant monster” severely beating, and surely killing his victim.

A terrified Kate runs back home, traumatized by what she saw, and greatly exaggerating in her mind Broderick’s size and damaged face.  When her sister-in-law reveals that the man is her stepbrother, and the torture he suffered, Kate begins to calm down and to see the reason for Broderick’s violence.  There is a police inspector who doggedly pursues Kate, sure she knows something about the missing man, named Lockhart, and that Broderick played a part.  Though she tries to protect Broderick, she is terrible at lying, and fears she’ll unwittingly blurt out something in spite of her good intentions.  When she hears a comment about a wife not being able to testify against her husband, she jumps on it, and works to convince Broderick to marry her.  This will allow her to stay permanently in Scotland, and there’s no chance of their falling in love.  If necessary, she’ll provide him with a child or two.  Of course Broderick refuses, but he eventually gives in and they marry.

The marriage starts off on very shaky ground, with Broderick resenting Kate and the fact that he was basically forced into marriage.  Though he finds her attractive, he has no intention of making it a real marriage.  He is bad tempered and surly, but Kate soon wins him around with her artless charm.  At first, I found Kate to be somewhat silly, with her less than perfect writing, her poems that didn’t rhyme, and her off-key singing, but I soon found her to be solid gold underneath.  Her care of Broderick and her acceptance of his scars caused me to grow to admire her character.  Once Broderick let Kate get close to him, he truly began to cherish her.  He accepted her odd habits and passions, and showed a genuine interest in the things that mattered to her.  Surprisingly, they discover an explosive passion, one which bodes well for a very satisfying married life.  If only they didn’t have a relentless enemy, one who is determined to destroy Broderick, and the new bride he’s come to love.

THE TAMING OF A HIGHLANDER is a compelling read that was hard to put down.  I always love an injured hero, whether it be physical or mental, or both.  The violence done to Broderick, though, was especially brutal to read about, and his tormentor was a true lowlife.  Kate and Broderick quickly formed a solid and steamy attachment which was a delight to read.  Elisa Braden has written an intense and sexy romance with plenty of excitement included, one that kept me reading nonstop, until the sweet and satisfying conclusion.    ~Rose

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