Captured by the Pirate Laird (Highland Force #1 ) by Amy Jarecki
1559, Scotland in the time of Elizabeth I.
Lady Anne Wriouthesley, daughter of Lord Southampton, sets sail to join her new husband, a man she's never met. She has been married by proxy to Lord Thomas Wharton, First Baron of Wharton. A man thirty-nine years older than her. A man with children older than she. Indeed, the impersonality of the marriage left Anne feeling like a chattel, like bartered goods. Anne however has been raised to carry out her duty to her family, a duty she is honour bound to transfer to her husband. Wharton is a ruthless man thoroughly hated by the Scots, who'd earned his title by joining the Earl of Northumberland raiding, killing and burning his way across Scotland, showing no quarter, in his endeavours to keep the Scots in check. Wharton is now Northumberland's sheriff for the region, 'the plundering bastard and his murdering sheriff,' as Calum describes him.
Enroute to meet her new husband, Baroness Anne's vessel, a wealthy merchant ship, is attacked. Captured by pirates, Anne is locked into her quarters and into the pirate laird's heart. And Anne, her first thoughts are panic, her second are why must the pirate captain, Calum MacLeod, be so wickedly handsome.
MacLeod's people are a poor highland clan scrounging for a living doing what they must to survive, including taking to piracy and plundering wealthy English ships.
Abducted to the MacLeod's island refuge of Raasay, Anne finds more in common with his people than she thought. She also finds out what love could be, but her path must follow a different route.
This is really just the beginning of Calum and Anne's story. As Calum finds a way to ransom his love back to her rightful husband, Wharton's vengeful soul plans bloody retribution against him and his clan.
Jarecki's story line takes a different tack to most Highlander romances and the result is definitely rewarding.
I was spurred to read Captured by the Pirate Laird because of the great write-up another reviewer , Julie on Goodreads, gave this title. I see that the talented Grace Burrowes is a mentor. Jaraecki has produced a fine tale.
A NetGalley ARC