What a Lass Wants by Rowan Keats
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: May 5th 2015
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In the Highlands of Scotland, danger and desire can be found anywhere—but finding them may lead to something much more perilous and passionate than anyone can handle.
Lady-in-waiting Caitrina de Montfort is in a terrible bind. With her sister held captive by a henchman of Edward Longshanks, she has been forced to spy on the dowager queen of Scotland. But the resourceful young noblewoman has a plan to set her sister free—until the arrival of a charming but steely-eyed courtier ruins everything.
Bran MacLean has made his living by his wits for most of his life. After stealing a valuable treasure, he evades pursuit by donning a disguise and joining the queen's retinue. All goes well until the lovely Caitrina pilfers his loot and demands his aid in rescuing her sister. But their enemy is ruthless—and they soon find themselves facing a desperate choice between love and survival...
Caitrina de Montfort is in a bit of a pickle. She has been recruited – under duress – into working for Edwards Longshanks and giving information to his henchman, Giric, about Queen Yolande of Scotland. She doesn’t want to, as she’s a Scot and giving the English secrets goes against everything she believes in, but they have her 15 year old sister held captive and she’s not sure what to do. Now not only is Giric demanding secrets, he wants Caitrina to actually steal the queen’s baby once she has it! Caitrina’s at her wits end until the new Marshal shows up at the manor where the queen and her entourage are staying.
Bran McLean is a thief. He’s not a man who has taken to stealing just to feed a family – he was pretty much raised to be one and he kind of enjoys what he does. He’s not always proud of the choices he makes when doing it but he soon manages to quiet his conscience. When the story begins he is riding to get away from the MacCurrans because he has stolen a crown that is precious to them. He decides to hide out and ends up playing the part of Giles Gordon, the new Marshal. He manages to pull it off without anyone the wiser until he decides that the manor is not a good hiding place for the crown decides to store it someplace other than his room in the manor. Caitrina happens to find it and deduces exactly what Marshal Gordon is – a fraud.
Caitrina then uses the crown as leverage to get Bran to help her with her sister. He agrees but knows that once he completes his initial task there will be more and more that Caitrina wants from him. As time passes, however, Bran finds that he loves being around Caitrina. Though he finds her a bit deluded as to what type of man he is, he also discovers that he wishes he were a better man so that they could be together.
What a Lass Wants was a different kind of story as we have a thief and a lady’s maid falling in love. It was unusual because Bran wasn’t really hero material when the book started and even throughout he wasn’t necessarily happy with the help he was giving Caitrina. That didn’t stop him from trying to be all that she wanted him to be. They fell in love even though the odds were stacked against them, knowing that they could never be together. I loved that neither actually expected an HEA. Though it was sad, to say the least, it was lovely to read about the love between the two of them.
Caitrina was a strong woman, no doubt about it and she played off of Bran’s character perfectly. The two were kind of a yin and yang despite their many differences. The story of an underdog like Bran coming into his own and liking the person he could be was definitely intriguing and quite entertaining.
I’ve really enjoyed Keats’ writing and this series so much. I’m looking forward to reading more from her in the future.
Rating: 4 out of 5