by Maya Banks
Publisher: Ballantine Books (March 2013)
Genre: Historical Romance, Adult
Format: eARC (352 pages)
Source: Free book from publisher (Edelweiss) for honest review
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Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 stars)
In Highlander Most Wanted, a reclusive woman content to live in the shadows shows a Highland warrior the true meaning of love.
Genevieve McInnes is locked behind the fortified walls of McHugh Keep, captive of a cruel laird who takes great pleasure in ruining her for any other man. Yet when Bowen Montgomery storms the gates on a mission of clan warfare, Genevieve finds that her spirit is bent but not broken. Still, her path toward freedom remains uncertain. Unable to bear the shame of returning to a family that believes her dead or to abandon others at the keep to an imposing new laird, Genevieve opts for the peaceful life of an abbess. But Bowen’s rugged sensuality stirs something deep inside her that longs to be awakened by his patient, gentle caress—something warm, wicked, and tempting.
Bowen seizes his enemy’s keep, unprepared for the brooding and reclusive woman who captures his heart. He’s enchanted by her fierce determination, her unusual beauty, and her quiet, unfailing strength. But wooing her will take more than a seasoned seducer’s skill. For loving Genevieve, he discovers, means giving her back the freedom that was stolen from her—even if it means losing her forever.
At A Glance
This one really hit straight to the heart. All those feels!!!
I have not read the first book of the series, but I wasn’t lost in anyway because each book has a new couple and new story. I am so happy I picked this one up on a fluke. I am not a heavy historical romance reader, but they are kind of my guilty pleasure (though I don’t often review them on my blog). I have not read many bad historical romances, and Highlander Most Wanted was no different. I loved it!
This was a dark tale of verbal, physical, and sexual abuse. It could be hard for some people to read (though I don’t feel like Banks goes into a lot of detail). I know my stomach turned knowing bits and pieces of what happened to Genevieve during her time in captivity with the sadistic laird. Genevieve’s pain goes soul deep and you feel that with every word Banks writes. But she is also a strong woman. She has found a way to deal with what’s happened to her. Even when the abuse continues from friends of the laird, she holds her head up high. Genevieve did the best in her situation and I respected her for that. Even when some of her own sins are revealed, showing some of her weaknesses, you can’t help but understand her motives. She is not perfect and she did what she had to in an attempt to save herself.
Bowen was my kind of man. At first, his views of Genevieve angered me. But you couldn’t blame him too much since Genevieve painted herself in a bad light. But once Bowen learned who Genevieve really was, he was the perfect champion. He did everything in his power to save Genevieve from further abuse. He also treated her like a precious gem. My heart ached with how sweet Bowen was. Genevieve was a lucky girl to have him at her side, and she knew it.
Highlander Most Wanted focused on the romance, and boy what a romance it was. These two where perfect for each other. Bowen saw past Genevieve’s scars, internal and external, and saw the beautiful, brave woman she really was. I loved how their relationship built slowly. They spent time together and became friends before ever taking things physical.
The plot was narrow but still great. The writing flowed well and the pacing seemed just right. The side characters added a lot to this book too. I loved to love the goodies and loved to hate the badies. I’ve read Banks’ books before, but I forgot how much I love her stories. I need to read more from her soon.
Highlander Most Wanted focuses on the romance, but me being an action gal, I missed having more action. There was only one fight/battle scene that went by quick. I think I wanted to see conflict somewhere else besides the main couple. More could have happened when it came to the plot too.
Genevieve and Bowen had such an amazing connection, I was okay with waiting for the sex until 65% in the book (lol). When the sex finally came, it was magical. Any girl would feel comfortable with Bowen. And I was proud of Genevieve for conquering her fears of sex and enjoying what Bowen had to offer.
Sexual content leans more towards an adult audience. There is an attempted rape scene and references to past rapes.
If you are looking for a heartfelt and deep historical romance with equal parts pain and happiness, then Highlander Most Wanted is the book for you. There is a major focus on the romance and Genevieve’s past and present abuse, but even with the sad concept, you easily fall in love with the characters and their journeys. Very recommended.
“There were worse things than death, as she’d discovered. Sometimes living took far more courage. Facing another day. Enduring. Those things took strength. Far more than dying.”
“You’ll never have to beg me for anything, my love. If you ask me for the moon, I’ll fetch it for you.”
“He kissed her temple, nuzzling her skin, and murmured again that she was the most beautiful lass in the world. They weren’t just words he offered. Platitudes he didn’t mean. He cared not about the scar that marred her face. In his eyes, she was the most beautiful lass he’d ever known and nothing would change that. Not a scar. Not circumstances. She was his, and he didn’t give one damn what others thought.”