The problem with 'Devil of the Highlands' as a book was that the characters didn't come alive. A mixture of Scottish historical romance with a murder investigation plot thrown in, the book wandered around through various events without any of the characters ever feeling truly real.
Our heroine, Evelinde, finds herself escaping a wicked Stepmother when she is married to the man known as the 'Devil of the Highlands'. But Callum Duncan isn't as devilish as people think... or is he? His Uncle, father and first wife all died and there are suspicions that Callum might be to blame.
Evelinde decides to get to the bottom of the murders but soon discovers that her life appears to be also at risk. As she tries to settle in to living as Callum's life whilst delving into his history and trying to get to know him, she finds herself the recipient of several nasty accidents. Who is trying to kill her?
Callum was a strange hero - largely absent from the book; if not in person then in engagement. He's there but he doesn't do a lot, says even less, and felt very nebulous. There were other male characters who seemed more real than the hero. Evelinde, too, doesn't really change throughout the book, she just bumbles on doing her own thing. I found her fairly boring and many of the other characters were interchangeable.
The murder plot aspect worked a little better and I didn't guess the murderer until they were revealed - but this was perhaps because we didn't know enough about any of the characters to really get a handle on what they were like.
Lynsay Sands' writing isn't too bad and the story moved along, it's just that I found this story lacking any real fire or passion. It was an easy read but an unsatsifying one.
Originally published for Curled Up With A Good Book © Helen Hancox 2009