Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Book Review: Never Cross a Highlander

I feel like I owe you a life post, and I promise you'll get one. It'll probably be a doozy. Just have some snacks at the ready. 

Never Cross a Highlander - Lisa Rayne

Ailsa Connery has waited three long years to finally escape her enslavement at Stirling Castle and reunite with her clan. But her carefully laid plans are completely destroyed by the arrival of the infamous Highland warrior known as Dubh Mahoun, the Black Devil...who has plans of his own.

Kallum MacNeill's fearsome reputation has long allowed him to keep hidden his secret double life of freeing enslaved captives across the land. It's only when he kidnaps a servant lass—quite by accident—that he finds himself facing a wee predicament. He must accompany the lass home or risk her exposing his true identity. It'd be easy enough...if the feisty hellion didn't fight him at every turn.

As they make their way to the Highlands, the perils the two must face are surpassed only by their constant sparring. Soon, their heated sniping sparks heat of a totally different kind. The kind that ignites a hunger that could consume them both. Yet the difficult journey is no match for the dangerous secrets they're about to uncover.

You know I love a good series, but I love getting into the series for the FIRST one. I am perpetually finding a series in the middle of it and feel like I don't know what's going on, with who, and where. Clueless and I'm slow, so there's that. But we're coming into The Shadow Lairds series and woo-boy... I am here for it. Lisa Rayne has made me decide that my new favorite thing is highlander based romances, so I'll just be picking those up left and right, thanks. 

Setting itself apart from others, Never Cross a Highlander uses actual historical facts of Black history in the United Kingdom way back in the 1700s day. (Trigger, the book does feature abuse, physical and sexual.) I love how everyone is always trying to get back to their clans, such is the case with Ailsa. Enter Kallum, a warrior who helps slaves escape, who accidentally kidnaps Ailsa and that's where their story converges. (I mean, haven't we all accidentally kidnapped someone?) Both of them are independent, strong willed, but also highly intelligent and absolutely against the idea of marriage. Ever. Like forever and ever, you guys. Of course you know this means their chemistry is literal fire so a large part of this book is their brooding and brewing romance until... you know. Stuff happens. 


If we're being honest I didn't think any of their sexy time was explicit, it was fairly PG from what I normally read, and I didn't particularly get the feels from this book. I do like their relationship and how it developed, and it probably works for that couple (imagining it as a real life couple), but not for me. Overall though? I liked the story. I think the series is set up well, I like that we're going to likely see Ailsa and Kallum again. I liked the light humor in this, I loved finally seeing a historical romance with some damn diversity! It's there, it existed, let's write about it! 

Overall this was a solid 3 for me. I liked it, I definitely want to see where Lisa Rayne does next with this series, this was a great start. Thank you to TLC Book Tours and Entangled Publishing for sending me a copy for review!

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