Avon, Dec 2002, 5.99, 384 pp.
In 1778 Scotland, Harold McDougal tricks Riona McKinsey into entering the gardens by informing the heiress that her sister was there weeping. When she goes into the gardens, she quickly realizes her sibling is not there. Harold follows Riona and insures everyone sees them together so that she is compromised and must marry him. Though she prefers to reject this odious money grabber, a scandal would destroy her sister's chances for happiness so a reluctant and irate Riona agrees to wed Harold in a month.
Riona's mother Susanna wants her daughters happy but cannot see Riona with this smiling con artist. She asks for help from her friend Fergus, but he is getting married so he sends his nephew James MacRae to assist Susannah. When he gets ready to go home, Susanna concocts a ploy to keep him here because she has a bigger plan that centers on James and Riona, whose passion for each other makes it easier to accomplish. However, Riona is betrothed and someone wants James dead making the permanency that Susanna envisions vey unlikely to occur.
Though the third Highlands Lord book reads somewhat like the previous two and has too easy solutions to Riona's dilemma, readers will relish this Scottish romance because the lead couple makes for a delightful pair that the audience will cherish. The story line is fast-paced and loaded with the intrigue of the late eighteenth century. Still the cast owns the novel especially Riona, James and that wile coyote Harold, who for the most part is, as clever villain readers will find in a historical.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner