HIGHLAND LOVER – Amanda Scott
Scottish Nights Trilogy , Book 3
Grand Central's Forever
Scotland and England and their Territorial Waters, 1403
Never a strong king, William III of Scotland was further weakened with the death of his beloved queen and the mysterious death of Davy, his elder son and heir. In an effort to safeguard his remaining son, Jamie Stewart, the king calls on the loyal Earl of Orkney to smuggle the boy out of Scotland on one of his ships. Also on board besides Jamie are Jamie's servant and friend, Will Fletcher; the earl, himself; his secretaries, Sir Kintigurn Lyle and Niall Clyne; along with Niall's bride, Lady Alyson MacGillivray, who hasn't seen much of her groom in the few weeks of their marriage. Lady Alyson needed to work her wiles to accompany her husband, though she's unaware of the purpose of the voyage until later.
Some believe Davy Stewart died through the machinations of the king's ambitious brother, the Duke of Albany, next in line as heir after young Jamie. Is he also behind the attack by pirates on the ship carrying his nephew? For, indeed, four English pirate vessels attack the ship and carry off the boy, the earl, Mungo and Lyle. Jamie orders Will back on the sinking ship to look for the Alyson, who has befriended the boys.
As a further precaution, the king had called on Sir Jacob Maxwell, captain and owner of the Sea Wolf , to shadow the larger ship and report back when Jamie reaches France . Unable to fight off four large, armed vessels, Jake can only check to see if anyone remains on the sinking ship. The Sea Wolf is in time to rescue Alyson and Will. What follows is a long, difficult journey on foot and by ship back to Scotland where Jake must deliver the bad news to the king. Jake speculates that Jamie is on the way to the English court where he would be more valuable alive than dead. So, too, would be the immensely rich Earl of Orkney and any other who could pay a ransom. After learning that many aboard the sunken ship were tossed overboard, they can only speculate about who else is dead. What about Alyson's husband? Will she go through the rest of her life not knowing if she's wife or widow?
With multiple dangers, intrigues to unravel, daring rescues, and a growing attraction between Jake and Alyson, HIGHLAND LOVER offers hours of enjoyment.
HIGHLAND LOVER may be the last of this excellent trilogy, but we have more enjoyment to look forward to. The back of the book contains an excerpt from Ms. Scott's next Scottish historical (title not given in the advance copy) which jumps ahead a couple of decades.