Early Book Review: Highland Guard by Hannah Howell

Highland Guard is the 20th(!) book in the Murray Family by Hannah Howell. This historical romance is currently scheduled for release on March 3 2015. Lady Annys MacQueen has not had an easy life. Her parents were less than perfect, her fiance died in battle, and her husband has recently died as well. To shield her young son from the sword and her people from devastation, she must turn to the one man she could never forget. Sir Harcourt Murray lives by a strict code of honor. The only way he could repay the laird who saved his life was to agree to father a child with Sir MacQueen's wife, Lady AnnysNow he needs to balance his attraction for the widow with the need to secure her home from greedy relatives. Convincing her that his love is real means confronting her most wrenching fears, and putting everything they treasure most at stake.

While Highland Guard is the twentieth book in a series, this happens to be a series that you can pick up any book of and enjoy as a stand alone. The story line has a great build up- wife loyal to her husband but not ready to give up her son's inheritance to greedy and ruthless relatives despite him not being her husband's biological son. Betrayal, poisoning, and a attraction that lasted five years between Annys and Harcourt make for a great start. Benet, was an awesome little kid and really made parts of the story. Harcourt was a perfect blend of guy lusting after one woman and practical warrior looking after the long game. Annys was my least favorite character, but still had some great qualities. She was strong and pragmatic, although a romantic at heart which lead to the majority of inner dialogue about the relationship which left me a wee bit cold. On the other hand, her friend Jane was by far my favorite character. she was so honest, strong, and thoughtful that I want to see more. the final resolution was a little too predictable, and perfect. i rather saw it coming and it lost some of the shine because of that.

I would recommend Highland Guard to readers that already enjoy the work of Howell, and those that enjoy historical romance. The book still a solid read, one that will not have anyone throwing the book across the room for good or bad reasons. It worked, but just did not meet my high expectations. 

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