The Outcast Highlander by R.L. Syme (Highland Renegades #1)

The Outcast Highlander by R.L. SymeAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Historical Romance

Publisher: Self

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Pam

He’s lost his family, his title, and his honor, but he can’t lose her…

Kensey MacLeod returns home after a failed marriage alliance in France to find her world in turmoil: her best friend married to an English sympathizer, her mother at death’s door, and her father imprisoned and thought dead. As an English lord descends to claim her father’s lands, Kensey escapes north with her mother and brother, and runs straight into the arms of the outcast Highlander.

Driven from home and family by a crazed father, Broccin Sinclair refuses to stand aside while the English invade his beloved Scotland. But who should he champion? The freedom fighter who saved his life, the family who has forgotten him, or the woman who captured his childhood heart?

I love reading books set in the Highlands of Scotland, they are filled with mystic, lore and the beauty of the land. The time is so different and the stories take me to places I will never see and characters that are bold and heroic. The Outcast Highlander is a perfect example of the kind of story I expect when I pick up a book set in this era.

Broccin Sinclair is the oldest of several sons, but hated by his father; he left four years ago with others in the clan, exiled to parts unknown. When his father dies, Duncan, his brother takes over as Laird as most believe Broccin is dead.

Kensey MacLeod came back to Scotland after living in France for several years. She knows the Sinclair family well and it was thought she would marry one of the brothers someday. She comes back amidst trouble between Scotland and England, her father is in jail and her mother is sick so she takes refuge at Castle St. Claire where she knows that along with her brother they will be safe.

On the way to Castle St. Claire, they find an injured Broc, he does not want to go with them, feeling they are better off without him, but the family all want him back as Laird and to protect Kensey he marries her. Distrust and responsibility hamper the marriage from the start, and when Broc goes away with his former love Elizabeth to rescue her husband and his friend, Duncan and Kensey are afraid he will not come back, but what they do not know is how much danger Broc is in, only to come home to find the castle is being attacked where they are all in peril.

I really enjoyed this story about Broc and Kensey, two people who live in a time where their responsibility to Clan or King outweighs everything else. Broc is an amazing character; he feels so deeply yet believes his brother is in love with Kensey and steps aside, even leaving his duty as laird. The turmoil of the times breeds mistrust and miscommunication as Broc and Kensey drift toward each other but are pulled apart several times. Kensey is a sweetheart, and a remarkable heroine, always thinking of others yet you can feel the heartache when Broc leaves to fulfill needed responsibilities not knowing when he will return.

The pace of the story works well as we follow the lives during a horrific time in Scottish history. Danger and betrayal is all around as people set themselves up on one side or the other of the conflict with England and knowing who to trust is vital.

I enjoyed the notes in the back of the book, as the author talks about the history of the times and the characters. And the notes actually cleared up some questions I had about some of the characters that were not present at the end. I thought the author wrote a great story and I am excited to read more about this series. The main story ends for Broc and Kensey as they find their HEA, but the overall story continues as we await word on those we met that are scattered around the land doing who knows what, not to mention what will happen to Duncan.

I give The Outcast Highlander by R. L. Syme 4 stars!

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