For most of the book, I couldn’t stand the leading lady of this book, Jeannie Grant. I liked her well enough at the beginning but later in the book, I thought she was kind of selfish and mean. I think she was supposed to be conflicted but that’s not how she came off to me.
Jeannie Grant was the eldest daughter of Chief of Grant of Freuchie. Her mother was flighty and ran off with an Englishman when Jeannie was eight or nine years old. She caused a scandal at court and ruined her family’s reputation. Jeannie has tried not to be impulsive and to be the good daughter so as not to cause her father grief but she is willing to risk everything for Duncan Campbell, a bastard born son of a chieftain, who is not an acceptable husband for a lady of her standing, but she doesn’t care because she is in love with him. She realizes her mistake when after she gives him her maidenhood, he betrays her and leaves her pregnant.
Her only choice is to marry the Earl of Huntly’s son who has agreed to raise her child as his.
Duncan Campbell is the eldest son of a powerful chieftain. He was born a bastard and abandoned by his mother just after he was born but his father took him in and treated him as a favored son. He is bound for greatness even if he is bastard born. His father put him in charge of getting the Chief of Grant of Freuchie to side with them against the Earl of Huntly in the impending battle soon to come. When he lays eyes of the Chief of Grant’s daughter, he is instantly enamored. They have a short romance where he takes her innocence during a swim at the loch and when he asks her to marry him she agrees.
But then Duncan is betrayed by the Grant chief. He believes Jeannie was part of it and accuses her of it, not believing her when she denies it. He is forced to flee Scotland because he was convicted of being a traitor.
Ten years later, Duncan is back in Scotland to clear his name. He needs to find proof of his innocence and has asked Jeannie to help him but she is reluctant to help him after he accused her of betrayal and left her. She also doesn’t want him to find out that her son is not her recently deceased husband’s child but Duncan’s child. That could ruin her and her son’s reputation.
As with most of Monica McCarty’s books, the leading male character is bullheaded, quick to believe the worst in their love interests and quick to anger which drives me nuts. I don’t know how I end up liking their characters because if I met a man like this in modern times, I wouldn’t have anything to do with them. I guess I give allowances for this behavior because it is the 1600s and men had absolute authority over women back then and they are eventually tamed by the heroines of Monica’s romances.
This was the last book of the Campbell Trilogy. I usually read paranormal romances but I’m a sucker for historical romances based in Scotland so I am debating whether or not to read Monica McCarty’s other trilogy, MacLeods of Skye. I probably will.