Maggie Blackbird

Romancing Canada's Indigenous People

Yay, I won a free book.  And you all know what that means.  It’s time to thank Lori Ann Bailey for gifting me To Have a Highland Thief, book one in the Wicked Highland Misfits series, a historical romance, by reviewing her novel.  Check out what I have to say.

Title: To Have a Highland Thief
Series: Wicked Highland Misfits, book #1
Author: Lori Ann Bailey
Genre: Historical Romance
Length: 297 pages
Publication Date: March 16, 2021
Publisher: Old World Media, LLC

Blurb:  Having lost her parents at a young age, Flora MacGregor grows up as the substitute mother for a group of notorious criminals. She hates stealing, but to save her adopted brother, she takes to the streets to pick pockets. Her mission is accomplished when she lifts a jewel-filled box from a handsome Englishman. After she hides the treasure, he tracks her down, detains her, and demands the return of his goods in exchange for not reporting her to the authorities. When a dangerous man she’s wronged in the past closes in to exact revenge, she agrees to return the items if Isaac hides her from the threat. Although she’s becoming enamored with the earl, following through on their deal isn’t an option.

Isaac Nathaniel Hamilton, 7th earl of Dunbridge has spent years trying to regain the family shipping fortune lost by his gambling uncle. After winning the deeds back, a captivating Scottish lass bumps into him and takes his prize. She refuses to give it back until he offers to protect her from a crime lord intent on revenge. As he teaches her to act like a lady to conceal her at a country estate until the danger has passed, he soon discovers that there is much to admire about the person she already is.

She needs his protection, but can he trust the word of a thief?

Goodreads | Amazon

****

Flora MacGregor isn’t your ordinary thief.  This kind-hearted soul has devoted her life —after losing her parents—to helping other children in need who have found themselves out on the cold streets, as she’d experienced.  Picking pockets is how she feeds hungry mouths and pays the rent at “Camelot,” where she and the kids reside.

But Flora makes the mistake of picking the wrong pocket, and that man is out to get her and the children if she doesn’t pick another pocket to pay him back.  Again, she picks the wrong pocket of Isaac Nathaniel Hamilton, 7th earl of Dunbridge.  He’s not about to give up his goods to Flora because what she’s stolen from him, if he does not retrieve the box she’s taken, will leave him and his family destitute.

So the romance and plot begin.

I must say I really enjoyed Flora.  She may be feisty and a thief, but she’s got a heart of gold and she’s no pushover.  When Isaac locks her in a room, she more than fights back, but there’s a problem.  She never wanted to experience sexual chemistry with him.

The same goes for Isaac.  He’s all about getting his thief into bed.  Being an upperclassman, naturally, he doesn’t see her as his equal, and I liked this part of the story because it stays true to the times.  I didn’t want him to treat her as a woman from his peerage, but thanks to the wonderful writing of the author, he slowly does, the more he spends time with Flora.

I really enjoyed the plot, the chemistry brewing between the duo, and how everything unfolds.  The author did a great job leading me from one scene to the next with lots of excitement and romance while tossing in plenty of suspense.

Most wonderful, though, was how the author kept focused on the romance.  I find some authors tend to concentrate too much on the external plot, and don’t give the romance the attention it deserves.  Not this author, she achieved the right amount of balance and knew how to weave in the action in-between the duo falling in love, and falling into bed.

This is a great series.  I must say the character Kate really intrigued me.  That is one book for sure I’ll be checking out.  Yes, not only are the main characters interesting and fun to spend your reading time with, but so are the secondary characters, who add to the plot, never once overshadowing it.

The writing is top-notch, along with the wit and dialogue coming from all the characters.  The setting is truly Scotland without becoming overwhelming.  Do yourself a favour and indulge in this series.  You won’t regret it.

Have you read To Have a Highland Thief?  If so, do you agree with my review?  If you haven’t read the book, would you be willing to now?

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