Highlander Most Wanted: The Montgomerys and Armstrongs
“. . . fairy tale love, after all.”
Genevieve McInnis is a woman whose life is in deep turmoil.
After a year as the sex slave of the rapscallion Ian McHugh, she finds herself freed by his murder at the hands of a vengeful husband. Shamed by her ordeal, she would rather her parents continue to believe her dead.
With no other option besides a peaceful abbey, she has neither funds for the journey nor protection to travel. Her only hope lies with the mercy of the new laird of the McHugh Keep, Bowen Montgomery. Thus begins Maya Banks’ Highlander Most Wanted.
Are we surprised to find that he is the most astonishingly handsome man to have ever walked the earth or that Genevieve is “quite possibly the most fascinating female Bowen had ever laid eyes on”? Not really, as reminders of these indisputable facts are given every few pages. The lavish, repetitive physical description of the beauty of the protagonists is a weak point in an otherwise workable storyline.
Otherwise, Highlander Most Wanted offers an agreeable story of a young couple falling in love amid a clan tussle (the true war is apparently looming for a later book).
Genevieve is a standard romance heroine: young, beautiful (aside from a nasty scar inflicted by the dastardly McHugh), and given her skill with a bow we can assume she’s imbued with a healthy dose of Merida in Brave.
Bowen is every inch the dashing laird of the manor: strong, brawny, gorgeous—and instantly in love with Genevieve. The bulk of the story concerns itself with her inexplicable mistreatment at the hands of the McHugh Clan and Bowen’s subsequent defense of her honor.
Their coupling, when it eventually happens, isn’t especially erotic, but neither is it silly. There is a rush to sexuality that is slightly implausible given her reportedly horrific multiple rapes at the hands of McHugh and his friends; some readers might find that troubling. As abduction and rape have become staples of some romance novels, perhaps not so surprising.
Ultimately, though, the novel ends about where expected: with a baby on the way and marriage in the wings. Both families are happy with the match, even Bowen’s brother and his wife—it was her kidnapping that precipitated the attack on McHugh Keep. Families are reunited and the womenfolk are empowered to learn Genevieve’s skill at the bow.
What could be better?
Highlander Most Wanted will probably sate the fantasies of lovers of Scottish romance. The characters aren’t especially deep, but the dialogue is decent and the history acceptable.
This is fairy tale love, after all.