This was my first book by Hannah Howell. I haven't seen any reviews of her books that I'm aware of, but I've seen a lot of her books at the bookstore so I picked up a few. I hope they're not all like this one.
It's not that I didn't like the story - the premise was good: Avery, a highland lady, and her cousin, Gillyanne, are kidnapped and given to Cameron, a rival clan leader, as payment for a debt. When he realizes Avery is the sister of the man who dishonored Cameron's own sister, he thinks fate has kissed him. He plans to dishonor Avery, and hold her as ransom to force Avery's brother to marry Cameron's sister, Katherine.
This was another story where you had to suspend disbelief a bit - Avery of course falls in love with Cameron, who is still planning to deflower her and return her to her family after her brother marries Katherine. I had a hard time buying that she would fall in love with a man like that. I liked two of the secondary characters, Gillyanne and Leargan, Cameron's second-in-command. Gillyanne was a bit creepy as she was only 13 but had the demeanor of a much older woman, so in my head she was a peer of Avery's and not a child. Leargan was a good foil for Cameron and I enjoyed him quite a bit. All I will say about Cameron's sister Katherine is that she was a real piece of work!
My main issue with this book was the way Ms. Howell wrote the dialogue - she used a lot of phonetic spelling and it was confusing to me; I couldn't just read clean through but had to think about what the words actually were. Phrases like "Ye cannae and ye ken it. " and "She has kenned my plans from the beginning." Cameron said tersely as he mounted. "I have ne'er lied to her." I found it a bit frustrating; I don't want to have to stop and sound it out. Also, they said "mon" for man and that bugged me because a)I kept waiting for a Jamacian to jump out of the background, and b) it was too close to mons - which, well, I'm not going there.
I will say this - this book had one of the best final paragraphs ever. It was so sweet and in my mind atypical for an ending in that it was not the hero and heroine kissing and fading into happily ever after, although you know there will be one.
I have two more of Ms. Howell's books and am going to give them a try - it's possible this particular book was just not the book for me.