Surrender to the Highlander (Lynsay Sands)

Overall Response

I liked this book a lot better than the last few entries--the romance is a lot more interesting and I finally felt like Niels was different enough to get invested in his part of the story. The murder mystery was average--not the best in the series, but certainly not the worst. I thought it got a little convoluted in the middle because Lynsay Sands was trying very hard to put a bunch of red herrings out there. I liked the supporting cast, and the Buchanan brothers are dwindling into smaller numbers so that I actually can keep better track of them. It's an average read with a better than expected romance.

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Falling for the Highlander (Lynsay Sands)

Overall Response

So this reread was a little less satisfying than I remember. I liked this book a lot the first time I read it, but this probably the second or third time, and I wasn't as charmed by the things I liked the first time. I was looking forward to Murine's book because she was a bit of an atypical character. She had a penchant for fainting when we met her in To Marry a Scottish Laird, so I wanted to see how Lynsay Sands would write her HEA. I still really like Murine, even though I think her fainting spells were a bit oddly handled. Did she faint too much because she didn't eat? Or didn't have the tincture? I don't know. I just don't feel like it was that clear.

And Dougall doesn't really do anything to make himself separate from his other brothers or give me a reason I should want him for Murine above anyone else. That's kind of my problem with some of the heroes in this series -- apart from Ross in An English Bride and Aulay in The Highlander's Promise, the heroes are kind of the same. The plot is fine -- it doesn't drag nearly as much as the last book, but I thought the book ended a little abruptly.

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The Highlander’s Promise (Lynsay Sands)

Overall Response

This one is being reviewed out of order because it was only just released on Tuesday, June 26, and I didn't wait to wait to read it. I've been hoping for a good story for Aulay since we met him in The Highlander Takes a Bride and he showed up in subsequent books.

I was happy with this story for the most part. There were some...secrets being kept that I think bordered on problematic with the hero not telling the heroine the truth. Had Jetta known from the start what the deal was, things would have been different. Still, points for it never being Aulay's idea to lie to her, and for having a relatively decent reason for continuing it. (Better than most books).

I think this probably the last book in the series only because we're out of the women from To Marry a Scottish Laird and the Buchanan brothers didn't strike me as romantic leads, but I guess we'll find out. A solid entry in the series.

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To Marry a Scottish Laird (Lynsay Sands)

Overall Response

This book is fine. It's an average read. That's not to knock it -- it's like any other book Lynsay Sands writes. A reliable author who may not blow your mind but will always entertain you is worth its weight in gold. I know my money is always well spent. The characters are fun to read about, the murder mystery is engaging, and this book works well to set up the next four in the series with a series of female characters who didn't blur together. I was especially looking forward to Saidh and Murine's stories. What did distract me is a few typos--Cam refers to Joan as Annabel later in the book (that's her aunt) and there's also a mistake earlier in the book (Cam says the name MacKay before Joan reveals that's where she's going). I imagine that only gets noticed once you've read a few times.

That being said, it's a good book. It serves more as the introduction to the series than An English Bride in Scotland as Joan is the niece of Annabel and Ross rather than a contemporary, and the rest of the series takes place with Joan and Cam's generation.

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The Highlander Takes a Bride (Lynsay Sands)

Overall Response

The best thing I can say about this book is that I've read it three times but not in the last year so I had forgotten who the murderer was, and got a chance to be pleasantly surprised. It's lovely when that happens. This is probably the weakest of the six books in the series thus far, but that's mostly because the murder mystery plot drags a lot, and the romance is more lust than love. That being said, it's still a pleasant read and I'm not not mad that I spent my money on it.

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An English Bride In Scotland (Lynsay Sands)

Overall Response

Of the six books in this series, this one is probably my favorite so far. I've reread three of them when writing this review, and I think Annabel and Ross are the best couple. What I love about Lynsay Sands is that I know exactly what I'm getting when I read her stories: a frothy romance with two beautiful people who spend half the book lusting after one each other, mixed with a murder mystery. Medieval Scotland is a violent place, y'all, and everyone of these people almost gets killed a dozen times.

I really liked the playful banter between the two leads and how well they interacted. The story with them was rarely about misunderstandings or secrets, just trying to figure each other out while outrunning a variety of murder attempts.

Spoilers Ahead

One of my absolute favorite parts about this book is Annabel's background as a former oblate and her haphazard attempt to stick to the religious strictures about sex. Wearing a weird chemise with the hole cut into it and not bedding on certain days, etc. I thought it was lovely and sweet of her to attempt it, but I really loved Ross's response. He was a bit frustrated, but he didn't force her, didn't belittle her beliefs. He simply just worked around them. It was a lovely bit of trust building that you don't often see.

I liked the twist of Annabel's sister being a bad guy and the stable boy, Graham, actually being a little sympathetic. Not really rootable, but I was sad when he died. The murder attempts were engaging, the supporting cast was great.  I don't really have a lot to say about this. There's nothing wrong with this book, it just lacks that extra oomph to get you to five stars if that makes sense.