The Knight's Temptress (Lairds of the Loch #2)
by Amanda Scott
When Lady Lachina "Lina" MacFarlan of Tùr Meiloach and her new sister-in-law, Elizabeth, are captured by seditious villains who have seized the royal burgh, harbor, and castle of Dumbarton, the two young women unknowingly throw a hitch into the plans of Sir Ian Colquhoun, the daredevil knight of the realm who is on his own secret mission to recapture Dumbarton for the King of Scots.
Instead of securing Dumbaton, Ian must first rescue the women and return them to Tùr Meiloach. Their journey will be perilous—especially because Ian has long admired the lovely Lady Lachina, and for the first time she seems to show signs of returning his attentions. But for Ian duty must come before desire. The fate of the King of Scots and Lina's own father rests in his hands. He cannot afford to be tempted by anything—even the promise of Lina's love
Knight’s Temptress is the continuing story of the MacFarlan family, the mysterious, suspected magical, group that has made their home in an impenetrable and magically protected keep deep in the Scottish highlands. It is the second in the Lairds of the Loch series and pretty much picks up where book one ended. Though I thoroughly enjoyed book one in the series, sadlyKnight’s Temptress did not live up to the first book or my hopes for the series. I will definitely read book three, but I hope to have a bit more in that book to restore my faith in this author.
The story begins with the capture of Lina and Lizzie, by the dastardly son of the usurper of the MacFarlan clan. They are taken and kept captive at the recently overthrown Dumbarton castle, hoping that their families will soon bring them home, but in the meantime just trying to maintain their sanity. While the girls are in captivity, Ian is on his own mission, one for the king, but knowing that Lina is in danger he forsakes his duty, somewhat recklessly, just to ensure her safety. A bit of planning ensues on both sides, and finally Ian is able to smuggle the women out of the castle. But when they make it safely home, things get a bit complicated for poor Lina and ultimately lead Ian to offer for her hand. Shortly after they are married and then separated again as Ian goes to continue his mission to recover Dumbarton castle for the king. Once the battle is over and the dust has settled, Ian and Lina must come to terms with their personalities and their relationship to find their HEA.
I enjoyed reading about both Ian and Lina as they were very well written and loveable characters. Lina was intelligent, well-spoken, and crafty when needed. She is also loyal and protective of her family and will do whatever it takes to keep them safe, even if it puts a wedge between her and Ian. Ian is also a great hero. He is extremely honorable, strong of character, and loyal to his friends and beliefs. It was sweet to see him begin to develop feelings for Lina, but emotion and time for relationship building was where things began to fall apart for me.
While there was a lot of action and individual problems for both Ian and Lina to deal with, the truth is there just didn’t seem to be enough time they were together for them to build a meaningful relationship. They were only in the same town for about 30% of the booth (estimated) for goodness sake. While their time together was interesting, the emotions seem to be a bit shallow to me. I am all for love at first sight, but not seeing them get to spend time together and learn about each other made the ultimate declarations of love seem a bit far-fetched. Though I could obviously see how they could have developed feelings that went deeper it would have taken more time than they are given./ the love scenes were also a bit lackluster at points and i wasn't thrilled by them.
Overall, there was a lot to the overall series plot arc in this story, but the focus on the relationship between Ian and Lina was lacking for me. It was awesome to get to see more of Mag and Dree (the H/H from book one) and to get more hints about Muriella and what her story might entail. Getting to experience Ian’s military mind and his challenges and struggles to aid King Jaime was pretty interesting too. If there had been more time spent between Ian and Lina—though the time they spent together in bed was certainly fun to read—the story would have been a hit for me. I look forward to the next in the series and hope for a return of relationship building like there was in book one.
Rating: 3 stars
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review. No compensation was provided.