Much like the previous book in this series, the heroine, Genevieve McInnes, is dealing with being ostracized. In this case it's from the clan she's been kidnapped into by the sadist son of the clan's leader. The whole clan is afraid of the guy, so instead of helping this young woman, they treat her like complete crap. They push their own insecurities and powerlessness onto her. It's pretty awful to watch. So not only is she being tormented by the guy who kidnapped her, but she is pretty much being spit on by his clan.
At the end of the last book this sadistic guy is killed and his father, the laird, runs off. Bowen Montgomery is appointed by his brother to run this McHugh clan until they can figure out what to do with them. Because of the way the clan treats Genevieve, he, at first, assumes she had willingly been the lover of the laird's son.
This romance really forms out of tragedy. Once Bowen learns the truth of Genevieve's kidnapping, he offers to take her home to her family. But Genevieve doesn't want her family to see her the way she is now. They think her dead, and she feels that is better than seeing their daughter scarred (physically and emotionally). The romance is slow, which I'm glad for. I just can't imagine Genevieve trusting anybody right away and quickly forming any attachments after what she had been through.
I like Bowen very much. Their are some misunderstandings between the two, but he does spend most of the book trying to help Genevieve, including helping her see she's worthy of her family. Genevieve shows her strength, even when she believes her self broken. She helps the clan that is still mostly treating her like crap. And she proves to be very useful when the keep is attacked.
I do really enjoy Banks' Scottish romances. This one is probably the darkest of the bunch. But it was lovely watching the heroine realize she doesn't need to hide from the world after what was done to her.
ARC provided through NetGalley.