Publisher: Avon (April 2, 2002)
The second book of The Highland Lords series takes place thirty years after One Man's Love. I couldn't wait, frankly, to find out what happens to the MacRaes.
Alisdair MacRae has heard about Gilmuir Castle all his life, from tales his parents, and the other members of the clan have told him. He's grown up with feeling a tie to the land, and to the fortress, but he never thought that he would have to nearly beggar himself in order to buy back land that was rightfully his.
All his plans are destroyed the minute he steps onto MacRae land. First, he thinks he hears ghosts, but discovers that the voice is only too corporeal. The woman he sees turns out to be the same woman he finds himself married to less than a day later. So, a man who was on his way to decline an earldom finds his life suddenly altered in ways he couldn't have envisioned.
Iseabal Drummond, on the other hand, is thrilled to be married. Of all the suitors her father has considered for her, none was young and healthy. Also, it appears that this new husband has a kind nature and gentle temperament. There's only one thing wrong. He doesn't want her.
How they learn that Fate might well have had a hand in their meeting and their marriage is the story of When the Laird Returns. I like to think that Gilmuir had a part in it, too.
Alisdair MacRae sails to Scotland for Gilmuire, the place of his family. He finds it in ruins and taken by his neighbor and clan enemy, Magnus Drummond. He rides up to Drummond’s place wanting Gilmuire back, tha land belonged to the MacRae and will do so again. But greed shimmered in Drummonds eyes as the price is a large sum…..plus Alisdair needs to marry his only daughter. Alisdair feels cornered, he did not intent to get married any time soon but his Scottish blood and pride lives strong within Alisdair and so he agrees.
Iseabal is ashamed for the way she’s presented to her new husband but at least he has all of his teeth and hair….a big improvement on all the others. The moment they are wed they leave for his ship, the Fortitude, they will sail to England where Alisdair has to renown a Earl title. A tremble of fear blossoms in Iseabal’s heart, will she ever see her Scotland back? Alisdair is not like any man she’s ever known, he treats her kind and fair. In the days sailing to England hope floats and a longing for his caress craves within her.
Then, just as she relaxes a little, her hopes are crushed when she overhears a conversation were Alisdair is saying he’s going for an annulment. To make matters worse Drummond is planning an evil plot for greed and hate thrives within his heart.
Two people, both with their own hopes, fears and plans for the future, come to learn that the heart draws its own plans…..now they must find courage to claim it!
A lovely story placed in troubling times of Scotland where the tartainplaid and bagpipes are forbidden. The fight of Culloden still bears it’s scars on the people and it’s land when it struggles to survive. The story of Alisdair and Iseabal flows in a pleasant pace and focuses on the thought and feelings of these two as they try to manage their new life. Alisadair is a proud Scot with strong ideas for his future and Iseabal is an endearing woman who tries to find a voice for her feelings and thoughts. The growth of their love sparkles with their interaction as secondary characters pass by swiftly. They each have a purpose to the love story of ALisdair and Iseabal. We also get to meet the MacRae brothers and obviously they are men whom scream for their own story.
Karen Ranney writes as a spring breeze, warm and full of promise!