Hello everyone, I hope you are all having a lovely day! Today, I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of Unlaced By The Highland Duke and do have to warn you I may babble on a bit, but seriously this book is stunning! It has taken me a long time to write this review, mainly because I couldn’t seem to find the words to completely express my thoughts. So, without further ado grab yourself a cuppa and let me tell you a wee bit about this book
A plain Regency governess
In bed with the Duke!
Part of The Lochmore Legacy: a Scottish castle through the ages! Unceremoniously packed off to Scotland to care for the Duke of Lochmore’s young son, practical widow Joane Langdale fears she will be ignored—as always. But the deep connection and heated passion that develops between her and Benneit is far more dangerous! When Benneit is expected to propose to another, how can Jo dream of becoming his duchess?
Firstly, before I waffle on about men in kilts – you know it’s going to happen 😉 let me say Lara Temple you have seriously outdone yourself with this beautiful, beautiful book! I found writing this review so hard, not that it isn’t good the complete opposite that this book is way too good to be true, I couldn’t find the right words. This book is testament to the fact that Lara Temple is a master in writing Regency Romance and I am in absolute awe of this fine ladies work.
This is book two in The Lochmore Legacy series, even though you can very easily read them as stand-alone’s I highly recommend that you do read all the series (once all four are released, of course) as there is links that are starting to emerge from the previous book; His Convenient Highland Wedding and I would hate for you to miss out on the mystery that is slowly being unravelled.
Widowed Joane a poor relation of the Duke of Lochmore’s late wife; Bella. Being from a poorer branch of the great Uxmore’s she is used to being basically ignored and treated as nothing more than a servant. She is then unceremoniously passed to the Duke of Lochmore as a governess for his young son Jamie; who is such an adorable and entertaining young lad. Benneit is in the middle of securing a marriage deal between him and Lady Tessa McCrieff, he is hoping that the marriage will not only help him with his plans for a new distillery plus finally put an end to a centuries long rift between the two mighty clans. But, as we know not everything goes to plan in historical romance and with the arrival of prickly Jo.
Jo is an amazing women she takes everything in her stride, she never complains and yet she isn’t a meek little mouse she has a lot of inner strength she has a stubborn, argumentative, witty and sarcastic streak in her that she keeps very well hidden beneath her staid grey gowns. But, be warned, if you ever find yourself on the wrong side of her, take shelter! She is also so caring and loving, she has a real passionate nature all of which Benniet finds so enticing – even if he won’t admit it.
Benniet is, well what a man! He is a brilliant father, when he allows himself to just have fun with his son and the way young Jamie looks up to his mighty father is heart-warming. He does feel a lot of guilt that he doesn’t spend as much time with his son as he would like to, and there is a little bit of jealously at how much Jamie has taken to Jo, and how they seem to be as thick as thieves. He is a good man, a man who is trying to do what is right and he genuinely cares deeply for his estate and those who live on it. As soon as I laid eyes on Benneit I felt that there was a fragility about him, there is something that he keeps locked a way, a pain lurking behind those green eyes that instantly made me love him. Not, to mention how good he looks in a kilt and those eyes…sigh, I have always gone weak at the knees for green-eyed men 😉
Stunningly beautiful, that is the first thing that popped into my mind whilst reading. This is regency writing at it’s very best, with enchanting and beautifully created character’s who are as mesmerizing, as they are realistic. Jo and Benniet are the perfect couple, there is a spark between them that shimmer’s below the surface. They are incredibly passionate even though they do start off rubbing each up the wrong way, the bantering between them is a lot of fun to watch, the frustration and tension that circulates around them is palpable and draws you fully into their personal story. You are willing them on, you know instantly that these two are going to be a sensual and very relatable couple and to me it is their journey to their happily ever after that is truly breath-taking, their relationship develops in a very natural way. It is like watching your two best friends finally realise that they love each other. Oh, and then there is Aunt Morag who lives in her own tower, she is such a weirdly compelling and very entertaining creature.
I have to comment on the scenery, I was utterly blown away with it. The attention to detail captures your attention from the moment Jo, Benniet and Jamie set off on their journey to Lochmore the whole scene is played out in your mind, you see the sweeping landscapes, the rolling seas the wind blowing through the trees. While they are on the boat sailing north, you can almost taste the sea salt in the air, and once in Lochmore you can hear and feel the eerie silence – if you’ve ever been in the middle of an empty wood or in the middle of nowhere whilst walking the dog, you will understand that last sentence. There were moments where I felt goose-bumps while reading, this book is stunning, in every way you can imagine!
Overall, this is exquisite! Beautiful, full of grace and passion, wonderfully atmospheric, a true love story with a hint of a Gothic-ish mystery. I honestly cannot recommend this book enough, I am completely lost for words at just how amazing this book is.
This was an Arc copy from the author in exchange for an honest review, thank you so much Lara!
Unlaced By The Highland Duke is to be released on 18 April and can be pre-ordered at Amazon, and yes do pre-order it!!
The Lochmore Legacy
The series is linked by setting – a castle in the Highlands of Scotland – and by a feud between two clans that spans the centuries. It is different in that book 1 (His Convenient Highland Wedding) is set in the Victorian era. The heroine makes a shocking discovery, and clues to the mystery are gradually uncovered as we go back in time through the Regency era (Lara Temple), Tudor (Elisabeth Hobbes) and finally Medieval (Nicole Locke), when the truth about that mysterious discovery is finally revealed.
#1 His Convenient Highland Wedding (Victorian) Janice Preston – Available now!
#2 Unlaced by the Highland Duke (Regency) Lara Temple – 18 April 2019
#3 A Runaway Bride for the Highlander (Tudor) Elisabeth Hobbes – 30 May2019
#4 Secrets of a Highland Warrior (Medieval) Nicole Locke – 27 June 2019
If you want to find out more about The Lochmore Legacy, then check out their Goodreads page and the new The Lochmore Legacy Facebook page.