Dugan MacMillan has only a few weeks to come up with a huge some of money to pay an unexpected rent on his clan’s property. His plan: to use the portion of a treasure map left behind by his grandfather to find a cache of gold coins. He really doesn’t have any clue where he is going, but he does have an idea of where to find another piece of the map.
It’s just after Dugan finds the second scrap that he runs in Maura. She is a woman on the run from her betrothal to a horrible old man. Coincidentally, she holds a third piece to the treasure map. And when she hears Dugan’s men talking about the gold, she steals their two parts and takes off. It’s not that she’s a bad person, but she figures she could use the gold to help take care of her beloved sister Rosie. Young Rosie is disabled and was cast out by their father. Maura wants only to rescue the child from the distant Loch where she was abandoned, and take care of her.
It takes very little time for Dugan to catch up with her, though. Once he does, he realizes he has two possible paths to get the money he needs. One possibility is for him to find the treasure. But even if he can’t, he can ransom Maura back to her fiance. It’s cold, but he figures that his greatest responsibility is to take care of his clan, and without the money, they’ll have no home.
Of course, Dugan and Maura fall for each other as they journey to the place where they’ll meet up with her betrothed. But I can’t say that I loved their romance. Maura was earnest enough. Her attraction to Dugan were the first feelings she has ever had for a man. But Dugan makes his moves on her with every intention of selling her off. Even when he comes to care for her… even when there is real hope of finding the gold.. he holds on to the ransom plan. I understand his loyalties, but this made it hard for me to root for them to fall in love.
Then there’s the sex. Something just didn’t click for me there. The scenes felt rushed and incomplete. I was disappointed.
The book isn’t bad. We’ve got a treasure-seeking adventure and a sexy brogue. And Maura inspired my sympathy, though it was hard to watch her be so powerless to her fate. It was just frustrating at times and I didn’t feel the love.
*ARC Provided by Avon
The Warrior Lairdby Margo MaguireRelease Date: July 31, 2012Publisher: Avon