Since I liked her other Highlander books so much, I grabbed Ransom with much anticipation. I was not disappointed! Ms. Garwood's stories are romantic, but I love the humor she infuses into her stories too.
Ransom is the story of Brodick, one of the characters from The Secret (my review here), and Gillian, and English Lady. As a child, Gillian and her sister try to escape as her father's castle is attacked. Her sister gets away, but Gillian is captured and brought back just in time to witness her father's murder. The murder, Baron Alford, sends her away to live with an uncle.
Fast forward a few years, and she has been brought back to Baron Alford to see what she remembers of a valuable box her father had in his posession that the baron is trying to find. He keeps her captive in the castle.
Meanwhile, in Scotland, the son of one of the Lairds, Iain, is kidnapped at a fair and brought back to Alford's castle in a plot to kill the Laird. BUT, they got the wrong child. Gillian overhears the barons discussing the Highlander who is coming to assist, and she knows the traitor will know they have the wrong child and kill him.
Gillian tries to escape with the child, Alec, and is injured while doing so. They are caught, and Alford beats her savagely and tells her she must go to the Highlands, where he hears her sister is hidden, find the box, and bring the box and her sister back to him before the Fall Festival. If she does not, he will kill Gillian's uncle. Gillian brings Alec with her, hoping to return him to his family, and travels a pretty good distance but, unable to go further, sends a request for help to Alec's protector, Brodick, through a Scottish soldier passing through. She doesn't know how to make sure Brodick will get the message, so she claims to be his bride, knowing he'll come out of curiosity if nothing else. She sees the traitor going towards England while she is hiding out, waiting for Brodick.
Intrigued by the strange message, Brodick does come, with backup, and is overjoyed to see Alec alive and well. He agrees to assist Gillian with her plan to bring Alec home and ask Alec's father to help her find her sister. On the long way back to return Alec, Gillian charms the Highlanders. They all treat her as if she really is Brodick's bride despite her protestations, "A claim's a claim" they state.
Once they finally get to Iain's keep with his son, she tells them what has happened and they agree to assist her. However, she refuses to tell them the names of the baron and his henchmen who kidnapped and assaulted her, as she fears the Highlanders will go after them and Alford will kill her uncle.
Over the few days at Iain's keep, Gillian and Broderick grow more and more attracted to each other and share a few kisses, and when he hears there's rumor that Gillian is his mistress, Broderick insists on marrying her to protect her reputation. She, of course, is having none of it, because she knows she must find her sister and the box and return to England, where she will probably be killed. The wedding scene was one of the funniest I have read!
They find Gillian's sister, but she doesn't want to speak with her. Gillian can't believe it's true and hatches a plan to see for herself. Meanwhile, she tells Brodick who the Barons are after he promises the Lairds will not to act unless she is with them. She wakes up the next morning and they're gone, so she goes off to find her sister, but is ambushed by the Highland traitors and rescued by an unlikley character.
The confrontation between Gillian and Alford is great. Ms. Garwood did a great job of tying all the loose ends into a satisfying ending. This book has good guys that are bad guys and bad guys who are good guys. There is a female character, Bridgid, whose part starts small and humerous at the beginning, and gets funnier as the story continues. I will definitely read this one again!