I thought about giving this book 3 stars, but no, that would not be fair for my 3 stars books. The 3 stars status is reserved for books that I actually liked but would probably not read again.
I cannot say that about this book. I love a highland romance and have read Donna Fletcher before. They never seem to catch much of my interest so it is possible that it is a style mismatch. At any rate it is not poorly written but I have issues with the heroine character, the plot development and, as many reviewers have pointed out, their insta-love.
It is only natural that while writing a trilogy of 3 sisters, each one of them should have a distinct personality. I get that. And what is out there? A beautiful one (the oldest, Heather) for sure, a warrior princess (the middle on, Patience) of course and a plain woman (the youngest, Emma). Knowing that this trilogy has such character types for heroines, I already knew that I probably won't like the warrior princess and the plain woman. The warrior princess is....(shoulders drooping).....not my type. There is nothing I can do about it. Emma, the poor plain girl who no one wants to marry is the heroine in this book. I have to sigh 3 times before I say this: why must an able woman be ugly?
So Emma's character is an extremely smart woman. She is capable and very smart, hungry for knowledge but you know what, nobody cares. She is plain-looking. I just don't understand why her appearance has to be "magnified". Whenever the writers write a plain heroine, they must repeat 5 times that she is no beauty, oh but you know what, she is very smart (ugh it is frustrating).
So Emma's character was already not great for me, but I read on. As I said, writing isn't bad. Enters Rogan the hero, a typical highland warrior who in the beginning appeared to be pig-headed but after spending a few days with Emma, boom, he was in love (I went: whaaaaaattt?? when I read that he thought to himself how much he loved Emma). They slept naked together for a few nights and ohhhh it must be loooooovvve and ride with me because only I can protect you (by this time my eyes were rolled all the way to the back of my head). Then boom they were married because conveniently the marriage contract between Rogan and Heather was so foresightly designed that it allowed a match between Rogan and Emma (yeah right, only in a romance novel).
By 70% I have completely lost my interest in the couple. So the ugly girl got the hot guy, the end already. But no, there is still the mystery of Heather's abduction. Patience wove in and out of the story, I have no intention to read her story anyways so I skim-read whenever Patience was mentioned. Emma and Rogan are in love, let's get it over with. All plain girls, rejoice, because as long as we are smart and very capable, somewhere over the rainbow there will be a Rogan.
I think it is just my personal preference: I don't like that the girl's plain looks are repeatedly mentioned. I don't like that they fell in love prematurely. Insta-lust, I get. Insta-love, I don't. I don't like that the plot development was contrived. The story did not flow. It was forced to happen. I cannot explain it better than that.
I will read Heather's story, which is the last. But my 3rd attempt at Donna Fletcher turned out just as unfulfilling as the last 2.