Review by Veronica

Series Name: Secrets of Clan Cameron, # 2   

Her eyes closed and she savoured his touch, the feel of his warm, strong fingers along her skin, the calluses from his labours in the forge gliding along her smooth unblemished flesh. It has been far too long since any man had touched her and somehow even after all these years her body remembered him and longed for his touch as much as she loath to admit it.

The Lady’s Proposal for the Laird is a breathtaking romance filled with passion and family secrets. 

A betrothal bargain

With the Highlander from her past

When Susanna Cameron needs to thwart her brothers’ plan to marry her off, she turns to her childhood sweetheart, Laird Rowan Campbell, with a daring proposal—to be her pretend betrothed! In exchange, she’ll help the now-hardened Rowan get revenge on the man who killed his family. The only flaw in Susanna’s plan—their returning attraction! 

Goodness, just when I think I can’t love this Highland world Jeanine has created more, she writes another outstanding book, and I find myself falling more in love with the characters and world she has built. This is the second book in the Secrets of Clan Cameron and is also connected to the series Falling for a Stewart. This is one of those rare romance books where I would say it is beneficial if you have read the previous book in this series and also Conveniently Wed to the Laird from the Falling for a Stewart series. There is this detailed and ever-expanding story arc that really connects all these books together, and I think readers would feel a little lost if they haven’t read these previous books. This book focuses on Lady Susanna’s story, which we first met in Conveniently Wed to the Laird. Susanna has always come across as a more cold and distant character. She reminds me of Nesta, a character from the A Court of Rose and Thorns series. Both characters come across as frigid and unfeeling when, in reality, they feel so deeply that they have to distance themselves from the world in order to protect their hearts. They are both fiercely protective of their families and will do anything to keep them safe. I loved Susanna right from the moment I met her and couldn’t wait to read her love story. I am happy to report that Jeanine did not disappoint, and this book was everything I could have hoped for. 

Susanna finds herself in a position she never thought she would be. Her older brother Royce is forcing her to find a husband. Susanna knows that something is brewing, and her brother is hiding something important from her. The reason why he is forcing her to find a husband is so she will be protected if they are ever killed. Needing to find out what her brothers are hiding, Susanna makes a deal with Rowan. They will pretend to be courting in order to find out what is really going on. In exchange, Susanna promises that Rowan can get revenge on the MacDonald clan if he helps her. I loved this story; it’s an interesting take on the fake dating trope. Susanna and Rowan have a history. They had courted when they were younger until Susanna turned down Rowan’s proposal for marriage. Rowan has never forgiven Susanna for what she did. He sees her as a cruel and heartless woman who only cares about her family. 

Both characters have also experienced tragedy. Rowan’s wife and son were killed by the Laird from the MacDonald clan, and Susanna’s beau was killed in battle. There was this deep connection between Rowan and Susanna that comes from this understanding of the crippling grief that comes from losing someone close to you. I loved those quiet moments between these two where they shared their grief. It was heartwarming. On the flip side, Rowan and Susanna had this explosive passion. They both have strong personalities and every time they are close together, they clash in the most glorious ways. I loved every interaction between these two. It was just so delicious. 

This plot is a bit slower. There aren’t any battles or major action happening. The story focuses on Rowan and Susanna’s fake courtship. They are trying to navigate social gatherings and trying to prove to Susanna’s brothers that they are courting. I enjoyed the plot. It suited Susanna’s character arc. I loved watching these two navigate a world they have distanced themselves from for so long. Social gatherings really are a battlefield in disguise and have a lot of interesting drama. 

The romance in this book is wonderful. It’s a second chance; enemies to lovers, fake dating, and slow burn all rolled together to make a really entertaining and delicious love story. As I said before, Susanna and Rowan have strong personalities, which results in explosive chemistry and passion. They keep each other on their toes. There are also a lot of past hurts that have to be worked out before they can ever have a real relationship. 

The Lady’s Proposal For the Laird is another swoony and breathtaking romance by Jeanine Englert. 

Thank you, Rachel Random Resources and Harlequin historical for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.