Title: Highlander Most Wanted
Author: Maya Banks
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Ballantine Books (March, 2013)
The legions of Maya Banks' fans will be thrilled with Highlander Most Wanted, the second book in her Montgomerys and Armstrongs series. The heroine of this book, Genevieve McInnes, is the hooded woman who helped to save Eveline Montgomery in the previous book.
(If you haven't read the previous book, Never Seduce a Scot, you can read this book as a standalone. However, reading Never Seduce a Scot will give you a better understanding of the characters, and you should read it anyway, because it's wonderful.)
There's a good reason Genevieve's hooded. Although one side of her face is perfect, the other is hideously scarred. Ian McHugh slashed her with a knife to ruin her beauty. However, the scars on her body mean less to her than the scars on her soul. Although she's still alive, she believes that the woman she once was is dead.
Genevieve's misery began when Ian McHugh saw her at court and became obsessed with her. When she was on the way to her betrothed, he slaughtered her escort and stole her. He's kept her a prisoner and tortured her over many months. Her family believes that she is dead, and she feels it's better that they never know what happened. Her rape and dishonor would kill her father.
Now that the monster Ian McHugh is dead, and his father Patrick has run away, the McHugh clan are left to face the wrath of the Montgomerys.
Although the McHugh clan have shunned and ill-treated her, Genevieve's deeply compassionate. With the Montgomery clan on the way to the McHughs to destroy them, Genevieve commits herself to speaking up, and to trying to save McHugh lives. She wants nothing for herself, other than to be allowed to leave, and if she's very lucky, to be delivered to a nunnery.
No one writes historical romance better than Maya Banks. The warrior Bowen Montgomery is instantly attracted to Genevieve, but he's suspicious, and doesn't trust her. Although she's saved McHugh lives, the McHughs hate her. They call her her Ian McHugh's whore. She doesn't deny it.
Reading the book is a real effort at times, because just when you think that things couldn't possibly get any worse for Genevieve, they do. If any other author had written this book, it would descend into melodrama. Maya Banks never allows that to happen. The book's engrossing, and you'll love both Genevieve and the hero, Bowen.
It seems impossible that Genevieve will ever find any happiness. Little by little however, Bowen begins to see the woman underneath the walls Genevieve's built around herself. He comes to respect her more and more, and eventually to love her.
I couldn't tear myself away from this book. I read it in one sitting, staying awake long into the night. If you love Highland romances, you'll adore this book. I've read every one of Maya Banks' highland books, and this is the best yet.
Rating: 5 (out of 5 stars)
(A review copy was provided.)