A Lair’s Promise (Highland Heartbeats #1) – Aileen Adams

© Aileen Adams

Historical Romance, Scottish Historical Romance, Clean/Sweet Romance

Author Blurb:
# of Pages (per Amazon): 245

Some promises are hard to keep…
Phillip promised he’d let her go home. He promised, after she completed her task, she’d be free. He didn’t promise her that he wouldn’t capture her heart before he released her.

For Sarah, captive of the Highland laird, that these promises are kept is paramount.
Phillip never expected to fall in love with the woman who was supposed to save his brother’s life. He also never expected to break a promise. But some promises are hard to keep, especially when he finds out the secrets she’s keeping.

What is it?
A Laird’s Promise is the first book in the Highland Heartbeats series.
There are 12 books in the series.

Release Date:
November 26, 2016

How I got it:
BookBub Feature Deal – it’s currently free on Amazon

I love getting my BookBub email every day, and in case you aren’t aware, I’ve been a sucker for a Highlands romance book for about as long as I can remember. So I was pretty excited when I saw this in the list the other day.

However, I have to admit when I saw more than the little thumbnail of the cover, I about gave up on this book without even reading the full blurb. It’s a bit cheesy and the man’s costume is pretty darn cheap looking. There is no author bio, which always strikes me as strange too. I also completely missed how many books are in the series until I’d finished reading this one; not that it would’ve stopped me, but that could get expensive!

The reviews had me a little concerned, though I will admit to skipping anything that seemed to have a spoiler, because that drives me crazy. Before making a final decision, I clicked for Amazon’s “look inside” option and realized I’d actually read the whole first chapter. If I got that far in the Amazon previewer, I figured it was worth snagging the free book.

Even though it says it’s 245 pages, the book actually ends at the 90% mark before giving the first chapter of Book 2, and it was a pretty quick read. That didn’t bother me too much, though I felt like it was a little rushed in places, especially at the end. One of the reviews complained about proofreading, and while I can honestly say I only really noticed a couple egregious typos (misspelling a character’s name, leaving a word out of a sentence, etc), it could’ve used better editing/proofreading. I got very tired of the words captor, kidnapped, abducted, and a few others.

Phillip, despite riding all the way down from the Highlands to kidnap Sarah, is actually a really decent guy, and a good Laird to boot. As terrible as it was to kidnap her, when his only living family member, his much beloved brother, is dying, it’s hard to hate him too much, especially when he’s beating himself up over it too. However, I think it took too long for him to question what family she may have left at home. Overall, though, I really liked him right from the beginning.

Sarah, an amazing healer whose reputation has spread far and wide, is a young woman beyond what’s considered a marriageable age, and whose stepfather blames for the death of her mother a decade prior. The man is a brute, a drunk, and and all-around despicable abusive man. However, Sarah defiantly takes him on to save her younger sister, Heather. If it weren’t for her, Sarah likely would’ve considered being abducted a godsend, and rightfully so. Despite being kidnapped, she takes the job of healing Jake very seriously and never considers not helping him.

What did drive me absolutely insane in this book was how easily she believed Caena’s lies after putting together the pieces of her deception right from the beginning. It made absolutely no sense to me, and is a sticking point I can’t give up on even after finishing the book.

There is at least 1 plot point that is left unresolved, but I do feel it was done deliberately to address again at a later point. And, maybe it’s just me, but I kind of wish we’d gotten to find out what happened to Patrick, the stepfather. Even though this is a “sweet romance” – as in there are no steamy scenes – there is a fair bit of violence, so if that’s a problem for you, be warned. However, neither Phillip nor his friends or staff are ever the ones delivering said violence upon Sarah (or anyone else who doesn’t wholly deserve it), and it does have its HEA, so take heart.

Will I continue the series?
This first book, I have a feeling, is a permafree. Each of the subsequent books are currently between $2.99 – $3.99 each.

Will I read the rest…? That’s a bit of a tough question, honestly. I really did like this book quite a bit despite some of the bits that got under my skin (I still can’t get over that cover, and the one for book 2 is even worse). However, paying somewhere around $28.00 for books that I think are “pretty good” makes the decision harder. I think I’ll have to wait and see. I know book 2 is about Heather and Jake, and I think they’ll make a great match, so I might give it a try and see how things go.

Final Thoughts:
Especially for a free book I do not at all regret reading this. I finished it a few days ago now and am still thinking about Phillip, Agnes, and Sarah. Hugh and Maccay are both potentially interesting characters that I’d love to learn more about in future books too.

Adams should definitely make some corrections and maybe some editing changes in this book to improve it, but it was pretty good. And oh please, please, please get a better cover – at least better people on the same background! That man is in no way indicative of Phillip and looks downright silly!

There were some great lines as well. I especially loved “Men. Sometimes they could be so foolish, wasting so much blood, life, and possible happiness in an effort to obtain what someone else had.”

I would recommend this book, but I would caution you to not expect to be doing back-flips over it.

How to find it:

Goodreads (Includes links to other sellers)

Find Aileen Adams:


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