The pacing was splendid and the repartee was on point! I just simply liked, enjoyed and appreciated this book.
Read an excerpt: here
The story starts off with our heroine, Pamela Darby, and her sister Sophie traveling through the Scottish Highlands unaccompanied (save, an elderly driver and his rusty, old musket) and precariously close to financial ruin. The Darby sisters recently lost their mother, an actress, in a horrific theater fire and their last hope of avoiding the work house (or the whore house) is a deceitful little scheme they hope to carry out by enlisting the help of "some strapping Scots lad with more brawn than brains". Back in England, the present Duke of Warrick has been searching for his long-lost son for years; ever since his wife, his son's mother, ran off to parts unknown with the infant after discovering the Duke in their marriage bed with another woman. It has long been agreed that the Duchess ran off to France with the child, but Pamela knows differently. Her mother, Marianne, was a childhood friend of the Duchess, and upon her death had a solicitor pass along an old letter of hers from the Duchess explaining where she'd planned to run off too (Scotland). With that piece of evidence, Pamela will be able to pull off her farce, but she must first acquire the puppet before pulling the strings.
Along the road in the middle of the night, the Darby sisters are accosted by a notorious Highwayman, whose got a sizable price on his head. Deserved or undeserved, as the notoriety surrounding him is, Connor Kincaid is still a dangerous man whom should never be trifled with. He subdues the elderly driver and instructs the occupants of the carriage to "Stand and Deliver" (I love that classic line). Pamela decides to take on the highwaymen in the hopes that her sister can flee for safety. After telling Connor what she thinks of his 'unoriginal dialogue', Pamela proceeds to flirt with danger as she goes on a stand of morals and debates the highwayman's rants of English injustice. She further presses her luck as she is saved from his tantalizing kiss by her sister's pink parasol and proceeds to take the highwayman captive. She intends to use him as her long-lost Duke's heir; and as she turns the tables on him, she never expects to have them turn back on her.
The elderly driver makes a run for it and it is the consensus that the party should leave while they can to avoid the authorities and take shelter somewhere until daybreak. Knowing the lands, Connor offers to lead them to the perfect hide-a-way. He directs them to the ruins of an old castle, and purposely to the lair of highwaymen he runs with. Upon swaying the numbers in his favor, Connor promises the women that no harm will come their way and agrees to speaks with Pamela privately about her previous plans for him. Pamela succeeds in convincing Connor to go along with the charade (after much bickering and reminding of irresistible perks) and the trio (plus Connor's right hand man, Brodie) set off for England.
Upon strong arming their way into the gravely ill Duke of Warrick's sitting room, Pamela's plan goes off without a hitch. Unless you define a reckless ploy by Connor; telling the Duke that Pamela is his fiancee'; a hitch. It was the first thing Connor could think of doing to keep Pamela in his life when she was attempting to collect her reward and disappear. Soon the idea begins to take on merit.
The Duke's sister, Astrid, and her 'whelp' of a son, Crispin, don't make the 'transition' for Connor any easier, but he has better ideas to keep his mind on.
Some shocking revelations are made; including a discover that turns Connor on his head and leaves Pamela at a difficult impasse. At first she chooses to abandon love for some greater good no one can really find practical, and then she decides to take a chance on happiness with Connor. Before she can inform Connor of her change of heart, she is abducted and her life is put in danger.
Connor makes the decision to sacrifice his own life for his love (Pamela), but after a few action-packed chapters, all is resolved and love is once again free to be as wild as it wants to be!
Rating: 4 Aww's
My Favorite Part of the Book: Is when Connor sets up a make-shift dress shop in the ballroom to have a new wardrobe made for Pamela. She had been crying and avoiding everyone all day and Connor thought it was because of the night before when they had engaged in some 'intimate' activities. The truth was that Pamela and her sister were facing poverty after their mothers death and it is an on-going fact of note that the Darby sisters aren't dressed in the first state of fashion.In the beginning of the story, Connor commands Pamela to hand over her drawers and determines by their current state that she is poor and thus, not worth the trouble of robbing. At this point in the story, when Connor commissions the wardrobe, the Duke recognizes Connor as his son and all the funds are open to him. I just thought it was a cute, high-handed way of telling Pamela he cared for her.
The cover of the book doesn't lie. Some do, indeed, like it wild, and Medeiros delivers. I don't usually fancy Highland tales, but this one was a keeper. USA Today got it right when they said "[Medeiros] will make you laugh and cry". This sweet and endearing novel is the first of hopefully many TM's for me.
*Check out the first book in this duet series, 'Some Like It Wicked', which is Connor's sister Catriona's story.