Peril and passion on enemy sea…
Lottie Livingstone bears the weight of an island on her shoulders, under threat of losing their home, she and her clan take to the seas to sell a ship load of illegal Whisky. When an attack leaves them vulnerable, she transforms from a maiden daughter to a clever warrior. For survival, she orchestrates the siege of a rival’s ship and now holds the devilish Scottish captain Aulay Mackenzie under her command.
Tied, captive and forced to watch a stunning siren commandeer the Mackenzie ship, Auley burns with the desire to seize control – of the ship and Lottie. He has resigned himself to a life of solitude on the open seas, but her beauty tantalizes him like nothing has before. As authorities and enemies close in, he is torn between surrendering her to justice and defending her from assailant. He could lose her forever, unless he’s willing to sacrifice the unimaginable….
Devil in Tartan is book four in the Highland Grooms series, this series has just gone from strength to strength, as we have got to know each of the brother’s. I have been looking forward to reading Aulay’s story, we have seen him pop in to the series, he has been like a shadow in the background. He’s been there but not as fully formed as the other brothers have been – in my opinion, so when you finally come to read his story you read it as a standalone as though everything is new.
Lottie and her family on the fringes of ruination, their rent is over due and her father yet again just dismisses it and claims as always that they will be alright and all the while they are sinking deeper and deeper. Lottie is at her wit’s end, the only way for them to maybe get out of the hole they are currently stuck in is for her to marry their clan chief who will then go on to pa off the Livingstone’s debt’s but that route would come at an even bigger cost then the actual debt and it is something that Lottie just cannot face, but she would for her family.
That is until her father comes up with a plan; they will sell their illegal whiskey but not in Scotland or England where their laird can hear about their treachery. They all pile on to a ship, not one of them knowing how to sail and set off with their illegal whiskey, it is while at sea that the real issues start. After sinking a Royal Naval ship, they are sinking when Aulay on the Rhulaig Balhair comes along to save them.
Captain Aulay MacKenzie is on his way to Demark with his own cargo that he needs to drop off, he has made a deal that he will deliver his cargo and in return his family will be saved from their own financial ruin. But when he comes across a sinking ship, he is a good man and a good Captain at first after seeing the at sea battle between Lottie’s ship and the Royal ship he is a bit dubious whether to help or not – but his better side wins and he does the decent thing, only for the extraordinarily beautiful woman to knock him and take his ship – basically she pirated his ship!
Aulay is absolutely fuming and he wants justice for this traitorous act of piracy, and yes there is a lot of growling and threats about hanging’s coming from our enigmatic Captain. As Lottie and Aulay are forced into close quarters as they battle for leadership – not just regarding who Captains the ship either – Aulay learns that there was a reason behind Lottie’s actions, even if those actions could sentence her to death for piracy. Aulay is a compassionate man and on hearing her tale of woe he understands her plight, after all he is doing something very similar to save his own family. As his feeling for her grow is stuck between a rock and a hard place; does he do the right thing and turn her over, so justice can be served? Or does he do all he can to protect the woman he has given his heart to?
Aulay and Lottie go through so much in such a short space of time, they start of hating each other – even though Lottie doesn’t really hate him, she distrusts him, but it’s not hate, whereas Aulay can’t wait to string her up. I think the scenes where they are bickering are some of the best in the book, I really like how they seem to bounce of each other, how their personalities can be conflicting and yet they are hugely sensual.
As much as I do really, really like Devil in Tartan – and I do like it, the plot is fun and it makes you think about what’s going on and the characters are sexy and hugely likable, but I got the distinct feeling that there was something lacking, it has everything you would want in a ‘Enemies to Lovers’ Historical Romance so I can’t quite put my finger on what was missing, but for me this one didn’t seem to have that legendary London sparkle that I am so used to.
It is a really good story and one that I do very much recommend, even though it is a series I found that each one can be read as a standalone.
Devil in Tartan is out now and can be purchased at Amazon.
This was an ARC from the author via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.