The Highlander Who Loved Me by Adrienne Basso
Published by Zebra
Publication Date: December 29, 2015
Genres: Historical, Medieval
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Scottish Highlands, 1329. Sir James McKenna, second son of the powerful McKenna Chief, knows he has found his destiny when he falls in love with sweet Lady Davina Armstrong, niece of the Armstrong Chief. Orphaned in childhood, Davina has always felt like an outsider, and with James finally feels that she belongs. But their plans for a happy future are shattered after a brutal attack by a band of rogues. Horrified, Davina’s overprotective family quickly shelters her from everyone—including James…
Five years later, James is a changed man. His fighting skills sharpened to perfection, he is hardened by the war and destruction he’s endured as a Scottish knight—and by the loss of Davina. Weary, he returns home—and is shocked to find Davina there. Is it too late for them to start anew, or will the past dare to lay claim to their future once more?
James McKenna is completely smitten with Davina Armstrong in the first days that he meets her. He stays at her father’s keep for a while and they end up falling in love. He proposes and she accepts but before they can even blink they’re attacked by brigands and Davina is assaulted. She tells James that not only can’t she marry him now but she can’t marry any man (as she has no idea if she was raped or not). Just looking at James brings it all back to her and she sends him away.
Five years later Davina is corresponding with James’s mother and is invited to McKenna lands for Christmas. She has pretty much made herself a prisoner for the past five years and hasn’t even been out of the castle gates in all that time. She can hardly stand the sound of loud male voices and she certainly can’t take being touched by one. She is determined, however, to be a stronger woman and ends up going traveling against her aunt and uncle’s wishes.
The first night she’s there they family is eating dinner when James, who hasn’t been home in five years because of being the Crusades, returns. He’s not necessarily happy to see Davina as he’s worked hard the past years to try and forget her. He wasn’t successful and seeing her again brings back all of the old feelings.
When the McKenna finds out that Davina’s traveling party was attacked while en route to the castle he feels that it would be safer for her to be married and have the McKenna protection so strongly encourages her to pick either James or his brother as a husband. Davina refuses but that doesn’t stop James’s brother Malcolm from giving it his best shot. Davina is still in love with James and as much as James tries to stay away from her he find he just can’t. Getting married, however, doesn’t keep Davina safe and together the pair has to find out who is behind all of the trouble.
The first part of this book, with James and Davina getting attacked was pretty heart wrenching. I felt so horrible for Davina that she had no idea if she’d been raped or not and certainly didn’t blame her for her self-imposed seclusion. She truly wanted to be “normal” again but her aunt and uncle (who she’d lived with since her parents died) encouraged her hermit-like behavior. I wanted her to break out of her shell because I knew that she could do it.
When she got to the McKenna keep and Malcolm started paying attention to her I wasn’t thrilled. He had no idea that she had been romantically involved with James or how deep that relationship had been. I don’t feel she purposely tried to make Jame jealous but I was a bit miffed that she felt so comfortable with Malcolm. He wasn’t a bad guy but he need to grow up a bit, that’s for sure.
I was happy that James finally broke out of his gruff I-don’t-give-a-shit attitude he became a really nice guy. He was so determined to not let Davina effect him again that he was a bit of a bastard but he finally became the loving man he had been before – just able to protect her better.
Overall I liked the story. It was a decent romance and the suspense portion of the story was enough that it kept me interested.
Rating: 3.75 out of 5