Ceana MacNab has terrible luck with men. Resigning herself to the healing arts, she has steeled her heart against love. Then fate sends Cam her way. Even though he's a well-bred Earl-and Ceana a low-born Highlander-their all-consuming passion may lead the way to lasting bliss.
After nearly losing his best friend Alan due to his all-consuming passion for Alan's wife, Cam has determinedly changed his ways. He sets about doing that by chosing a proper wife, a lovely woman, yet one who does not inspire the intense lust such as Sorcha once did. He has brought Lady Elizabeth to Scotland and to Camdonn Castle in preparation for their wedding.
I had mixed feelings about reading this book because I really didn't like Cam so much in Highland Obsesssion, after what he did by kidnapping Sorcha. However Cam is a changed man here, thinking of others besides himself, and I had to respect him for that.
So here we have four incredibly likable people: Cam, Elizabeth, Ceana and Rob. Elizabeth is betrothed to Cam but develops feelings for Rob, who feels the same but won't betray Cam, who is in love with Ceana but she believes in her family's curse and won't ever marry but insists Cam marry Elizabeth even though it will break her heart. Whew! Quite a tangle it turns out to be.
This book is unexpectedly romantic, very much about the characters, and I enjoyed it very much because of it. We see that Cam has a lot to make up for, having been absent from Scotland so long that even his own people are wary of him, some even distrustful. He genuinely wants to put the needs of his people before his own, but when it comes to his heart, he has a difficult time fulfilling his duty.
Ceana is a wonderfully independent character, well-regarded by the people of the Highlands, educated yet respectful of the old ways she was taught by her mother and grandmother. From the moment she sees Cam, she knows he's different,that he might be the man who gets past her strongly guarded heart, but even so, she cannot risk the chance of loving him only to see him die.
Elizabeth is not the typical "woman in the way of hero's happiness" here. She's quite charming and I found myself really liking her for her true nature. Elizabeth knows pain and loss, and is not the shy, dependent woman she's lead everyone to believe. Falling for Rob is so against what her plans are, but she can't help herself once she recognizes in him the man who will finally let her be who she truly is.
Rob may be quiet and stoic, but he has his own secrets. He feels strongly for Elizabeth from their first encounter, but can never betray Cam like that. He has his honor. Yet the lovely Englishwoman warms him as no one ever has, and he cannot fathom that such an elegant, pristine woman could ever want anything to do with him, but the more he sees inside her heart, the more he realizes how well they suit. Only she's promised to another man....
So yeah, this is a dilemma, one that will have you rooting for the characters to find their HEA and yet not get hurt in the process. I was quite pleased with the story and though it's the sequel to Highland Obsession, don't feel like you absolutely have to read the previous book prior to reading this one.
Rating: **** out of *****