No Other Highlander by Adrienne Basso
Series: The McKennas #2
Publication Date: February 28th 2017
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Scottish Highlands, 1334: The McKenna clan flourishes under a family of warriors, fierce and righteous, faithful to their own until the last. But to produce an heir, the widowed eldest son must risk his heart again . . .
Lady Joan Armstrong Fraser was once the indulged and pampered daughter of a laird. But marriage to a brute changed her. When he sets her aside, she has only her wits and her beauty to protect herself and her child from the chaos of her former home. She will have to find another husband—a man whose strength is more than a weapon against the weak. A man she can trust . . . if such a man even breathes.
Sir Malcolm McKenna has known Lady Joan since her childhood, a spoiled princess as dangerous as she is lovely. But when she steps forward to protect him against a false accusation, he discovers a character stronger than he guessed—and an attraction he yearns to explore . . .
Malcolm McKenna has been accused of devirginizing a woman, promising her marriage and then disappearing. The woman is the daughter of the McPhearson laird and he’s so mad now that his daughter has given birth that he’s put a price on Malcolm’s head. When Malcolm hears about this he’s shocked! Though he was drunk during the fete that this liaison supposedly took place, he thinks he’d remember deflowering a woman! Malcolm’s father, Laird McKenna, decides to meet with the McPhearson to work out the issue. They decide to meet on Armstrong territory as it’s neutral territory.
Joan Armstrong is a woman who married a monster. He was brutal and abused her both verbally and physically. He finally put her aside and got an annulment stating that she was insane. She doesn’t like the stigma of insanity but she’s certainly happy to be out from under his thumb. Unfortunately coming home with her two-year-old son isn’t a happy reunion. Her father doesn’t want her there because of the embarrassment Joan has brought to him and the family/clan. She tries to do all she can to help but it’s never enough for her father. She knows she’ll never remarry so what will she do if her father does remarry – she’ll no longer be needed. When the McPhearson’s and the McKenna’s show up Joan is happy to look after them but being on the outside of the discussion she sees what no one else does – that Malcolm’s truly wrongly accused. When the truth comes out the McPhearson wants Malcolm to marry his daughter anyway but in a stroke of inspiration Malcolm states he’s already engaged to Joan.
To say that Joan’s not happy about Malcolm’s declaration is an understatement but Malcolm is attracted to her and knows that he can care for her and her son. He finally talks her into agreeing and they head off to McKenna lands. Joan has agreed to marry Malcolm but will she ever be able to trust a man again and open her heart.
This was a great story. I loved Joan and the love she had for her son. She’d had such a bad marriage and she truly deserved happiness but she never thought it would come to her in yet another marriage. I loved how Malcolm slowly brought her out of her shell and was so patient with her. He knew that she’d had a rough go of it with her previous husband and though he wanted to bed her he took things slow and easy with her. He was a good man through and through and he made a great hero. Once Joan opened up a bit we got to see that she was a good woman as well. I thought that the pair were perfect together and was so happy when everything worked out.
Besides Joan’s husband and his dastardly deeds during one portion of the book there really wasn’t a villain involved in No Other Highlander. I really enjoyed the story being relationship driven and not having to worry about a whodunit as well. The book was fun and funny as well as touching and emotional which to me was a good mix.
Rating: 3.75 out of 5