‘She looked unearthly, pale face surrounded by darkness. The ghost he had thought she was.’
Lost in the Highlands
Found by the Scottish Earl!
Part of The Lochmore Legacy: a Scottish castle through the ages! Far from her home in France, Marguerite Vallon escapes her arranged marriage to a man she despises. Stowing away in a stranger’s cart, she finds herself headed deep into the Highlands with Ewan Lochmore, new Earl of Glenarris! Ewan vows to protect her. But maybe the freedom Marguerite has been searching for can be found with this rugged warrior…
Before I get to the review, is it okay if I comment on the book cover first? Oh my goodness, it is gorgeous! I love the pose, the style of the dress, and the colour. That I love the colour is actually surprising, because I’m a Taurus and we all know we’re supposed to hate red!
Now for the story, which I loved very much. It’s straightforward enough; Marguerite Vallon is being used as a pawn by her father, and has been sent to Scotland to marry Duncan McCrieff, who she’s never met. This isn’t an ‘Arranged Marriage’ story though, for me, this is a ‘Transformation’ story. Marguerite runs away from McCrieff by hiding herself in the cart of Ewan Lochmore, which causes problems as he is the hated rival of the McCrieffs. Naturally, she is discovered, and the story then becomes a beautiful blend of integrity, clan rivalry, suspicion, and longing.
I really love Marguerite. When we first meet her, she’s almost like a ghost, fading into the background, and in fact Ewan does at first mistake her for one. Her inner journey is reflected outwardly by a clever use of colour (clothing) as she transforms from being insubstantial to corporeal. Her name too reflects this, as it’s French for the Oxeye Daisy, and just like a daisy unfurls its face to the sun, Marguerite slowly unfurls to Ewan. It really is a joy to experience this transformation with her.
Ewan on the other hand, is a Scottish highlander, the complete opposite of French Marguerite. He is a physically strong man, though learned, but his position and title of the Earl of Glenarris has been thrust upon him unexpectedly, and he feels he is untried in the eyes of his people. Ewan’s journey to becoming the Earl in truth, is an other joy to experience. His decisions about Marguerite, his care for her and his people, his interaction with her, all reflect his inner growth in becoming. I love him!
It’s no secret I love Elisabeth Hobbes. She’s the author responsible for causing me to fall back in love with Mills & Boon Historical, after about 10 years of being disillusioned with romance novels in general. I love the way she evokes mood, atmosphere and a genuine sense of the era. Her research, attention to detail, sense of humour, and ability to tell a story, all combine to make her an excellent author time and again. Her characters and their stories are always ‘real’, and true to the age, while still retaining the sense of romance and glamour that are the hallmark of Mills & Boon.
This is the third book in the Lochmore Series, (reviews of the first two can be found here and here). I really am loving the unfolding of this shared mystery. I didn’t think it would work, but a little piece of the puzzle slots into place as each subsequent book moves us backwards through time.
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Elisabeth’s writing career began when she entered her first novel into Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write contest in 2013 and finished in third place. She was offered a two-book contract and hasn’t looked back.
Elisabeth also works as a Primary school teacher but she’d rather be writing full time because unlike five year olds, her characters generally do what she tells them. When she isn’t writing, she spends most of her spare time reading and is a pro at cooking one-handed while holding a book. She loves historical fiction and has a fondness for dark haired, bearded heroes.
Elisabeth enjoys skiing, singing, and exploring tourist attractions with her family. Her children are resigned to spending their weekends visiting the past. She loves hot and sour soup and ginger mojitos – but not at the same time!
She lives in Cheshire with her husband, two children and two cats with ridiculous names because the car broke down there in 1999 and she never left.
Elisabeth on Twitter Elisabeth’s Facebook Page Elisabeth’s Blog
Disclaimer: I received this as a free digital copy from the author, in return for an honest review, and also in paperback as part of my paid subscription for the Mills & Boon Historical bookclub.