LANA AND THE LAIRD – Sabrina York
Untamed Highlanders Series
St. Martin's Paperbacks
Scotland – 1813
For centuries, the Sinclair men have not lived past the age of thirty. It seems that a curse was placed on them when the MacAlpin Cross, which represented the heart of Scotland, had been entrusted to the Sinclairs for safe keeping. But in the 1300s, the Baron of Rosslyn had given the cross to the English king in exchange for the Caithness dukedom. King Edward then destroyed the cross and threw the pieces into the sea. Cursed by a local crone, the descendants of Sinclair began dying on the eve of their thirtieth birthday. And now, approaching that age is the present Duke of Caithness, Lachlan Sinclair, who has been raised in England. Now back in Scotland, he has resigned himself to his imminent death, knowing that he will be the last of his line. But he wants to restore his family castle before he dies. The nightly visits of his late father's ghost only add to the despair he feels. Lachlan also dreams of a beautiful woman who seems to want to reach him.
Lana Dounreay sees ghosts, all day, every day. Most are well known to her now, including the Duke of Caithness's mother who worries about her son. Lana's dreams are haunted by a highlander and she is stunned when the very English acting Duke of Caithness comes to visit her brother-in-law and sister. She knows he is the man in her dreams, and she sets out to return Lachlan to his Scottish roots, but first she must convince him that curses do not exist. Like Lachlan, however, Lana doesn't think she will ever marry or settle down. She is too independent, too outspoken, and doesn't see herself as others do as a lovely young woman.
Continuing the Untamed Highlanders series, LANA AND THE LAIRD is a tale of redemption and honesty. Lana is determined to change Lachlan's mind about his future, and is just as stubborn about making him into the highlander she knows is under the surface of the straitlaced Englishman. Lachlan can't believe the woman in his dreams is real, but his despair over his supposed imminent death will take some work.
Ghosts, curses, history, and romance abound in LANA AND THE LAIRD. With two wonderful lead characters and a myriad of secondary players, both good and bad, this a thoroughly enjoyable read.