cover image Highland Guard

Highland Guard

Hannah Howell. Kensington/Zebra, $7.99 mass market (352p) ISBN 978-1-4201-3501-5

Howell splendidly depicts 1400s Scotland’s craggy rocks, rolling green hills, and complex inhabitants in the 20th historical featuring the sprawling Murray family (after Highland Master). Lady Annys McQueen doesn’t need guardian angels when she can call on Highland warrior Sir Harcourt Murray for help. The people of Glencullaich are teetering on the brink of war, and Annys needs Harcourt to protect the lands and her son from Sir Adam McQueen’s grasping hands. Harcourt has a high price for his help: he wants Annys back in his arms and bed. Surrounded by chaos and a besieging army, Annys protects her son, works with Harcourt and his friends to defend Glencullaich, and rediscovers love and all-consuming passion. Annys is a well-rounded character, practical when planning what to do next, kind to everyone, and fair when necessary. Harcourt embodies all the best traits of the Murrays, and fans will enjoy the latest piece of the family saga. Most satisfyingly, moral questions about adultery and child-rearing are never treated as black and white. Agent: Evan Marshall, Evan Marshall Agency. (Mar.)