Book Review: The Runaway Highlander by R.L. Syme

The Runaway Highlander is the second book in the Highland Renegades series by R.L. Syme. Anne de Cheyne has a choice, but not much of one. She can play the dutiful daughter and allow her mother to sell her to a greasy English sheriff, or she can take control of her own life and find her own future. After a frightening run-in with her promised husband reveals a dark secret, she must find a way to save herself and her sister from a horrible future. Aedan Donne needs money and fast. Working for the English sheriff is not what he wants to do, but it will allow him to save his sister and be free. But when an attempted escape and Anne's bid for freedom go awry he has to make a choice that could destroy lives. can he find a way to save everyone that he cares for or will his desire for the runaway Highland lady destroy them all?
The Runaway Highlander is a historical romance that shows just how little power people have had over their own lives. Anne de Cheyne is seen as nothing more than her mother's pawn and a possession to be bought. The sheriff that her mother is currently courting and plotting to sell her daughter to as a bride is unpleasant in just about every regard. He promises a violent and brutal life for Anne, and her vulnerable sister, should the marriage take place. Discovering that her childhood sweetheart and his compatriots are in the sheriff's dungeons, most brought there by a man that has caught her attention, she plots to change her future. She is willing to risk everything to protect her sister, and has little thought of her own safety in comparison. She is strong, smart, and selfless. Like Anne, Aedan is putting himself in harms way to help a sister. His actions are honorable, even though he does not work for those that are. I loved his strength and dedication to doing the right thing, even when it is far from the easy thing. I did think that the final third of the book was a bit draggy and perhaps unnecessary, but it did add an extra element of realism to the story. 

The Runaway Highlander is a solid romance. The characters were wonderful and multidimensional, and even though i did not read the first book in the series I did not feel left behind. I was not thrilled with the final chapters, but the height drama of the middle was nearly perfect. I wish the book was consistently good, as some parts were absolutely fantastic but others left me feeling a little bored or let down. 

Trigger warning; the book has some sexual violence and threats thereof.
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