FicCentral received a free copy of this book from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours.
Series: Highland Renegades #2
Publisher: Hummingbird Books (Self-Published) on April 18, 2014
Genre(s): Historical Romance (Adult)
He's sworn to return her, but she won't go willingly...
Anne de Cheyne has a choice. 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 match. After a frightening run-in with her promised husband reveals a dark secret, she makes a desperate choice. Flight.
Aedan Donne needs easy money and no-questions-asked. When Milene de Cheyne offers him enough to pay all debts, requests complete silence, and pays half up front, just for a simple recovery, he can't believe his luck... until he meets his mark. Anne's beauty and passion ignite something Aedan can't ignore, even as she leaves him in the dust. Suddenly, he finds himself wanting to capture the runaway Highland lady for himself.
This book includes mature subject matter that may not be appropriate for readers under the age of 18.
Anne knows her mother means to sell her in marriage to the fat English sheriff, but she knows better than to try to escape her fate. As much as she wishes she were anywhere else, she can’t leave her flighty, innocent sister Elena to become the next pawn. But when a Scottish mercenary shows up with a wanted man, she begins to wonder if there is a way out after all. If she helps free the men in the dungeon, perhaps they will take her and Elena with them, somewhere they won’t be sold in marriage, somewhere like the green hills of Scotland where they belong.
After reading The Outcast Highlander, I was pretty sure I knew what to expect. This would be a love story set in the midst of English/Scottish conflict, any bedroom scenes would fade to black, and the characters would live happily ever after. However, it was a lot more angsty than I anticipated, and there was one very disturbing scene that really soured my opinion of the whole book. I know that unless someone else mentions plot points in an online review, one can never really get a content warning when it comes to books, but had I known about it ahead of time, I probably would have just avoided the book altogether. That’s not to say it’s a bad story, just something I would not have chosen for myself.
Despite my misgivings due to one particular scene, The Runaway Highlander is a sweet romance, filled with adventure and a sense of constant danger. It takes place during the time in The Outcast Highlander when Broccin left Kensey at home, so it was interesting to get a different perspective of that story as well.
Anne has been handed a rather difficult lot in life, with a mother who cares little more for her daughters than what she can gain from marrying them off, but Anne is surprisingly resilient and doesn’t lose her spirit or hope for a better fate, even when things get rather dark.
Aiden is mysterious and conflicted, selling out his own people in an effort to free his sister from his father’s debts, and while it may seem he’s a traitor, one can’t help but sympathize with him. Given a choice between national or ethnic loyalty and our own innocent family members, who among us would choose otherwise?
His romance with Anne is slow to build, as they both resist their feelings in favor of everything they must accomplish for their families, but there’s clearly a strong attraction, and there are moments of levity when Anne’s fighting spirit makes it clear just how determined she is to reach her goals, even if she can rely on no one but herself. It’s a great historical romance for anyone who doesn’t mind things getting a little gritty, with an incredibly sweet happy ending.