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~Highland Ecstasy~

by Mary Burkhardt

      Heroine:   Rubenesque

       Lady Myrtle Prescott has arrived at haunted Castle Kilmarock to oversee the disposal of the estate of her late father's friend:  Laird Ian Sinclair, who having been deposed as leader of his clan opted for death over banishment from Scotland, and took his own life by flinging himself over the castle's parapet into the churning sea hundreds of feet below.  Unwilling to be frightened off by ghosts and death threats, Myrtle is determined to do her best by the poor clansmen left behind by their chieftain, whose diary leads her to believe that he was unjustly accused by the Hanoverian king.   Soon Myrtle finds herself mourning a man she never knew and redoubles her efforts at finding some semblance of justice in his name.

       Ian Sinclair, loyal leader of the clan Sinclair could not bring himself to leave his underlings, no matter what edict the English king might declare.  Having staged his death, he continues to lurk around his castle, trying his best to lead his clan at night from behind a ghostly mask.  A servant possessed of the "sight" warns him that a woman with sapphire-colored eyes will either save or destroy the clan.  Ian keeps wary watch on the lady sent to settle his estate and soon finds himself enthralled with the buxom girl, English though she is.

      Can Myrtle be the blue-eyed lass of the prophecy, the one who holds the fate of the clan in her hands?  Can Ian's devastating masculine charms sway Myrtle's decision and save the people from further suffering?

 What worked for me:

     I always love a braw man in a kilt, and Ian made a fine hero, but I actually enjoyed disliking the villains in this story more than I did rooting for the protagonists.

     Size-wise Myrtle was a tall, sturdy, girl but very uncomfortable in her body thanks to growing up with petite, dainty stepsisters who declared her as being "too broad in the beam" to be attractive.

       What didn't work for me:

       I had trouble swallowing the plotline wherein Ian was simultaneously portraying his own "ghost" and a masked, simple-minded servant.  It ought to have been humorous, but was so far out of the realm of plausibility I really felt it just damaged Myrtle's characterization. Instead of coming across as sweet and naively trusting she appeared more as a bit of a slow-top for not catching onto the ruse sooner.


    A solid read for fans of Highland romances if they can overlook the occasional extreme plotline.

Warning: There are some sexy scenes in this story.

   If you liked "Highland Ecstasy" you might also enjoy "Only in my Dreams", "The Bride and the Beast", "The Accidental Bride", "The Last Days of a Rake", "Unmarriageable""The Fire-Flower", "Suddenly You", or "Enchanting Pleasures".

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