At The Highlander’s Mercy – The MacLerie Clan #6 – Terri Brisbin

At the Highlander’s Mercy (The MacLerie Clan Book 6)

This series is now into the second generation or the children of the characters in the first few books. The children are now all grown up. This book is about Lilidh MacLerie, daughter of Connor and Jocelyn who were the main characters in the first book of the series. Connor is an earl and the powerful chief and laird of the Clan MacLerie.
It starts off with Lilidh writing a letter to her parents to ask permission to come home after her husband’s death. She was only married a few short months to Iain MacGregor who was 50 years old. Can you say, “Ewww?” I know it was common practice to marry young daughters off to older men back then to make alliances for the clan but I never thought Connor and Jocelyn would do that to one of their children. Lilidh needs to speak with her mom about some things and doesn’t know how to tell her that she is still a virgin.
While she is writing the letter she thinks…how could she explain the private misery behind the very public death of her husband of only two months? But the family is keeping his death a secret until they can place an heir into the seat of clan chief or laird since Iain didn’t have any children. I thought there was going to be some big revealing secret about how her husband died but the book never followed through on how he died. That bugged me a little. I just don’t know why it was mentioned at all. Why say he died very publicly and then not mention anything else in the book about how he died?
The author did the same thing with Lilidh’s leg injury. She didn’t make it clear what happened to her leg and she tried to make it seem like a mystery so I kept trying to guess what happened but come to find out, the actual cause of the injury had nothing to do with the story. The leg injury had a lot to do with how Lilidh felt about herself and whatnot but there was no mystery behind it. I really don’t like when an author is deliberately vague about something to make you wonder what happened and then come to find out, it has nothing to do with the plot.
On the way home from the MacGregor’s, Lilidh is kidnapped by Symon Matheson. He and his men kill some of her guardsmen and she thinks her maidservant is dead also when she sees her lying on the ground. She fights back but one of the men hit her on her head and knocks her out. They take her to the Matheson home in Keppoch. When she is sore and limping after waking up, I thought that they had done something to her leg because, unless I missed something, it was the first mention of her leg injury but then I realized it was an old injury as the author referred to it as her “maimed leg” but the actual cause of the injury was still not revealed.
Rob Matheson fostered with the MacLeries. Connor MacLerie treated him like a son while he was there until he found out that Rob and Lilidh were sneaking off to be alone together. Connor threatened Rob and told him to break it off with Lilidh in a way that would be sure to make Lilidh not want him anymore so Rob humiliated Lilidh by telling her he didn’t want her because of her leg injury. Now, years later, Rob is the new chief of his clan, chosen by the elders even though he was the illegitimate son over his cousin Symon who wanted to be clan chief.
When Symon and his men bring Lilidh into the keep, Rob immediately recognizes her. Symon kidnapped her without his permission to start a war with the MacLeries. Symon wants to ally with the MacKenzies who are adversaries of the MacLeries and he wants to show the MacKenzies that he can stand up to the MacLeries. Rob knows that the MacLeries will crush them if they go to war with them. Symon wants to take Lilidh to his bed and bring dishonor upon her so Rob claims her instead right in front of his betrothed, Symon’s sister. His clan is divided and he is having a hard time keeping them in line.
I had a hard time liking Rob. I thought he was a weak leader because he couldn’t control the people in his clan. He should have ousted Symon when he kidnapped Lilidh but instead he went along with the plan and asked for gold from the MacLeries for the return of Lilidh because his clan needed it. He also, because Symon demanded it, made Lilidh work all day in the kitchen like a servant even though he knew she had a head injury and he knew about her leg which tired easily. He sleeps with Lilidh and didn’t offer any kind of future for them even after he found out she was a virgin. And then, when he released Lilidh to her father, he does her father’s bidding once more and rejects her again. Connor tells his wife that Rob doesn’t deserve Lilidh because he wasn’t man enough to stand up against him for their love. I agreed. I could see it happening the first time because he was young and afraid but the second time, he was a grown man and a chief.
There was one more thing that bothered me about this book. Actually, I noticed it in the last book as well. It has nothing to do with the storyline or plot but more with the way the author spells certain words and why she would change the way she spells those words in the middle of a series. She started spelling words that usually have a ‘z’ in them with an ‘s’ instead and certain other words used a ‘c’ instead of an ‘s’. Words that usually are spelled with a ‘z’ like realize and recognized were spelled realise and recognised offense was spelled offence. I’ve only seen this with one other author and I thought it was because she was from England. It drives me batty but what bugs me more is wondering why she would all of the sudden change the way she spells words in the middle of a series? Why would she go from the more accepted and standardized spellings to this form of spelling? I think it is weird and it throws me off because that is not how I learned to spell those words. Could it be the publisher or the person who proofreads her books? Maybe I’ll write to her and ask.
Back to the book – I think this was my least favorite of the series just because I didn’t like the leading male character but I did like Lilidh enough to want her to have a happy ending.
I have already started reading the next book.

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2 thoughts on “At The Highlander’s Mercy – The MacLerie Clan #6 – Terri Brisbin

  1. Thanks for the review!!

    Just an FYI — my books and most of Harlequin Historicals are edited in the UK office and use British spelling and punctuation. I don’t like it, but it’s Harlequin’s decision and style. It confuses the heck out of a lot of my readers. So that’s why words are spelled differently and the quotation marks are single instead of double as we’re used to in the US!

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  2. Hi! Thanks for all the recent reviews!! Go Highlanders!

    I did want to let you know – an FYI – that my Harlequins and most of the Historical line are edited in the UK office. It changed a few years ago. So, they use British spelling and punctuation which I hate. It’s confusing to US readers and looks strange but it’s Harlequin’s decision and there’s nothing I can do about it. So, that’s why you see the different spellings of words like realize/realise, offense/offence, honor/honour and more. And the strange quotation marks. Just thought I’d let you know!

    Terri B

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