The Fearless Highlander (Highland Defender Book One) by Amy Jarecki
Overview by Publisher:
Heir to the most notorious clan in the Highlands, Hugh MacIain hides his identity while imprisoned in the bowels of Fort William’s hell. Aye, this braw warrior has endured horrors that should have seen him dead, though now it appears it’s the bloody flux that will send him to Satan’s fire. Optimistic, competent, and captivating, Charlotte Hill takes pity on the fevered prisoner sprawled atop a cot in the fort’s surgery. When finally the Highlander opens his eyes, he seizes her heart with a pained stare. Truly, this is no commoner—but in 1692, a warrior loyal to the Jacobite cause and the daughter of a government colonel may as well be worlds apart. After his escape, Hugh snatches his chance to woo the lass, until disaster strikes. While war and lust for vengeance force Charlotte further from Hugh’s arms, the couple’s romance seems aimlessly adrift on the open sea. Before they sail too far apart, can the tender love of an English lady coax a determined Highlander from his path of revenge?
This book felt like reading an episode of Outlander. It begins with our hero on the verge of dying from imprisionment in an English fort. Charlotte Hill is the governors daughter and assists in the infirmary. She tends to Hugh’s wounds and assists him in escaping. They share a moment that will unite them.
Months later, Scottish lairds are called to swear fealty to the King. Hugh’s clan is one of the most notorious and that’s not in a good way. Charlotte and Hugh reconnect and lay the ground work for a relationship. Charlotte is sweet and biding, Hugh is a rogue and charmer, so their interactions were full of innuendos and blushing.
When I said this felt like reading Outlander, it is because so much of the book deals with the politics of the day. The MacIain clan is made an example by the English and the events leading up to a major disaster are tense and yet fascinating. I would suppose this is also because this is a true story. Not of Charlotte and Hugh, but the fate of the MacIain clan. The author is able to bring the suffering and futility of war to the surface. The love between Charlotte and Hugh doesn’t fade but must step aside while the future is so uncertain.
So, if you loved Outlander, here are the similarities between the two:
- Clan politics
- Fugitive from the law
- Imprisionment in an English garrison
- English lady/Highland laird
- Redcoats dealing with Scots
- Sneaky and terrifying English officers
I literally could go on and one. What I really liked about this book is the brutal honesty of it. The author doesn’t shy away from hardship and facing that reality. When Charlotte wants to stay with Hugh, he is frank with her about the reality of his situation and refuses to entangle her in the situation. However, when it becomes advantageous for him and the clan, he has no qualms about using her position for his gain. I make him sound conniving, but this is honesty and reality. At the start of the romance, Hugh is a persistent suitor, as well as charming and candid. When everything is taken from him, he is bleak and broken. While he doesn’t turn away Charlotte’s love and loyalty, he is respectful of his obligations.
I think I really enjoyed this book because there was so much historical content. In some ways, it reminded me of a Monica McCarty book, but there tends to be more romance. While there is a love story at the heart of this book, it draws heavily from the disaster at Glencoe and the English-Scot relationships. If you are a fan of Highlanders and Outlander, then you should definitely pick up this book!