"Exciting Scottish historical romance"
In 1746 England, Duke Alaric Drayton becomes upset to learn
that his oldest daughter Elizabeth wrote the infamous "A
Letter in Favor of Women's Equality to Man". Alaric feels
that Elizabeth broke convention even if she anonymously
sent her letter to the Female Spectator. He informs her
that she will visit her aunt in Scotland until he calms
down. In actuality, Alaric is sending Elizabeth to marry a
On the trek to Scotland, the carriage becomes stuck in
mud. Douglas MacKinnon helps pull the carriage free.
Elizabeth, learning she is to marry, concocts a plan to
pretend that Douglas is her fiancÚ. However, a few drinks
later and by morning her sister Isabella catches the duo in
bed together. Though both insist nothing happened, Bella
insures they marry. Alaric learns that Douglas is a noble
seeking the return of his family lands taken because his
father participated with the Jaocbites at Culloden. Alaric
blackmails Douglas into remaining as Elizabeth's husband
for two months. The couple falls in love, but what will
happen to their relationship once Elizabeth learns the
intricacies of the deal between her beloved and her father.
THE PRETENDER is an entertaining Scottish historical
romance that provides a vigorous look at the too often
written post Culloden English-Scottish relationship. The
lead couple is a delight with their own agenda that love
ravages. The story line is loaded with plots and
counterplots that feel like an espionage tale, but instead
provides a robust historical romance. Sub-genre fans will
relish this novel while looking forward to Jaclyn Reding's
tales starring Elizabeth's four younger siblings.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted February 10, 2002