cover image Never Cross a Highlander

Never Cross a Highlander

Lisa Rayne. Entangled Amara, $8.99 mass market (400p) ISBN 978-1-64937-095-2

Rayne (Romance on Ice) introduces a highland clan that “offers refuge to fugitives from enslavement and others of African descent who swore to honor the clan’s laws and contribute productively to clan life” in her excellent Shadow Lairds series launch. Despite being born a free Highland woman, biracial Ailsa Connery has spent three years enslaved at King James VI’s Stirling Castle after having been captured as an “escaped slave.” Now the Highland clans are gathering at the castle for a tournament, providing Ailsa the perfect opportunity to escape and rejoin her people. Kallum MacNeill, the adopted nephew of the MacNeill Laird and the descendent of Africans stolen by pirates from Portuguese slavers, is a fierce and respected warrior who harbors a dangerous secret: he’s part of an underground group that rescues enslaved people and provides passage to freedom. When Kallum attempts to rescue Ailsa in the middle of her own planned escape, both schemes go awry and the pair find themselves surrounded by danger. Rayne meets all the expectations of Highland romance while bringing in a unique perspective that makes things feel fresh and exciting. Readers are sure to fall just as hard for the page-turning adventure as they will for the swoonworthy Kallum MacNeill. (Jan.)