Book Review: My Lady Captor by Hannah Howell

My Lady Captor by Hannah Howell is a historical novel that is currently being reprinted, but was originally published in 1996. Lady Sorcha Hay is devastated to learn that English soldiers are holding her young brother captive. Penniless, the only way she can pay for his freedom is by taking a hostage for ransom herself. Her captive--a wounded knight plucked from the battlefield--is furious to be imprisoned by a woman. But nothing will stop Sorcha from keeping Sir Ruari Kerr enslaved, even as the sight of his bronzed body sets her mind and body reeling.  With her dark mane and soft curves, Sorcha is everything Ruari has ever desired in a woman. As she tends to his wounds, Ruari fights the intense attraction that ignites at her very touch. But he can't afford to lose his heart to his tempting captor. For when he's finally rescued by his men, Sorcha will pay dearly for her treachery, and loving her could put both their lives in peril.

My Lady Captor is a fun historical romance with strong characters and the touch of the otherworldly that I expect from Howell. Sorcha and her family have a connection to ghosts, and occasionally get hints of what is to come. Unfortunately they also have very little money and few men left in their clan. When the search for Sorcha's wayward brother (and laird) instead offers up the knowledge that he is captive and will be ransomed she seizes on the opportunity to ransom the two wounded souls she finds on the battlefield in order to pay that ransom. I like that she is strong, resourceful, and willing to do what needs to be done for the good of all rather than focusing on what she wants. She is clever and quick to action, and shows up the men on many occasions. Ruari is strong, but heeds his pride and what he thinks he should far more than he ought. I like that while he falls in the trap of underestimating Sorcha and the women of her clan, he quickly comes to respect their quick wit and strength, even when it bests him. The added danger of a greedy English knight certainly made things interesting, but I was not sure it was completely necessary, and the resolution was a tad anticlimactic for me- although it did the job of forcing the action forward. I enjoyed the ride, but found it evident that it was an earlier work from the author, and noticed how much her style has evolved and grown.

My Lady Captor is exactly what I expect from Howell, but clearly one of her earlier works. The characters and story are engaging, but having read many of her books I can see how much her style and skill has grown over the years. This was a great read while trapped indoors due to bad weather. 
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