The Highlander’s Dangerous Temptation – The MacLerie Clan #7 – Terri Brisbin

The Highlander’s Dangerous Temptation (The MacLerie Clan Book 7)

When I was in my twenties, there was no way that I would lust after some old guy who was at least fifteen to twenty years older than me but that is exactly what two of the heroines in this series have done. I guess it was different in medieval Scotland when a noblewoman rarely were able to marry for love and could get married off to someone even older if their father’s arranged it so marrying someone they had feeling for would be more than they could have ever hoped for.
Athdar MacCallum was in the very first book of the series. He is Jocelyn’s brother who got into some sort of fight with Rurik while at the Clan MacLeries and ended up being imprisoned. Jocelyn’s father, the laird of Clan MacCallum traded Jocelyn’s hand in marriage to Connor MacLerie, laird of the MacLerie clan, to get his son back along with much needed supplies to help the MacCallum clan.
Athar is now the laird and chief of his clan. He believes he is cursed because he has had two wives and one betrothed who have all died. One died just days after giving birth along with the bairn. He never wishes to marry again.
When he was a boy of seven years old, he was out with some other boys playing at the old mill. He jumped over a deep crevice and dared the other boys to jump it too. They did but all of them fell into the crack. Only one survived. Athdar’s father covered up the accident by moving the boy who survived out of the village and ordering no one to ever speak of it again. For some reason, Athdar does not remember the accident but does have nightmares where he sleep walks or does things and doesn’t remember them.
Isobel Rurikdottir is Rurik’s eldest daughter. She has been in love with Athdar since she was a young girl but he has sworn not to marry again so she is desperate to get him to see differently. Plus, her father and Athdar have never seen eye to eye since before she was born and her father would never agree to marriage between them. Isobel is of a marriageable age now and her parents are getting ready to look into possible suitors. Athdar’s sister Jocelyn decides to take matters into her own hands as she does from time to time and she takes Isobel and her mother, Margriet, to visit her brother which is a two day ride over the pass before the winter storms set in and it is too difficult to travel. She think that her brother will change his mind once he has spent time with Isobel. She has seen the way he looks at her so she knows he likes her.
They enjoy their visit but have to leave before the weather turns bad. There’s a storm brewing and they have a day or so to get over the pass before it hits and the pass could be closed for weeks. Jocelyn tells Isobel of an old hiding place of hers when she was young. Isobel takes the hint and leaves a message that says she has ridden ahead with the outriders and will meet them at the first campsite but she really hides in the keep all day. By the time anyone knows she is missing or anyone finds her, Jocelyn and her mother are already through the pass and the weather is too bad for her to return to her home so she has to stay with Athdar.
I really thought that was such a manipulative thing to do and so wrong but nobody really scolded her for it or thought much about it.
During her stay, she got to know the healer who taught Isobel about different herbs and how to use them. The healer was not a friendly woman but rumor was that she lost two children and since then she has been bitter. Isobel also visited with the various weavers in the village since she was good at weaving and sewing.
One night, Athdar got drunk and went into Isobel’s room. He broke a pottery jug and when he tried to pick it up, he cut his hand. He was muttering things and might have thought she was one of his deceased wives when he tried to kiss her. Somehow, he passed out on top of her and instead of moving out from under him. She slept that way. In the morning, a servant screamed when she saw them laying that way and saw the blood on Isobel’s skirt. She thought Athdar had raped Isobel. Athdar thought so too. Isobel tried to tell him that he didn’t hurt her but he didn’t listen. She really didn’t try very hard to convince him that he hadn’t done anything especially after Athdar decided to handfest marry her to make it right.
Once again, I was disappointed with Isobel. I thought it was quite pathetic that she was so desperate to marry him that she misled him into believing that he took her virginity instead of telling him the truth. I was wanting them to be together but at the same time, I thought that misleading him was not the way to do it.
Isobel is out to prove to Athdar that he is not cursed and she is starting to believe that someone is out to get him which the readers know already because of the scenes that shows someone’s wicked thoughts about how Athdar doesn’t deserve to be happy but it doesn’t say who is thinking these thoughts. I’m thinking, at this point, that it is the healer Laria because she is older and had two children who died who I am thinking may have been two of the boys with Athdar when he was young but I could be wrong. Sometimes, the most obvious isn’t the one who is guilty.
This marriage has turned out to be pretty complicated. Isobel has to somehow keep Athdar from finding out she is still a virgin before she can convince him to stay handfested to her and marry her for real. Athdar has repressed memories that he needs to uncover before someone tries to hurt Isobel and there is still Isobel’s father to worry about when the pass opens. He will be out for blood.
I really liked Athdar. I thought he was super patient and understanding and he gave Isobel a lot of leeway to make changes to his keep and to the village. He was a good leader to his people and honorable to always do the right thing. I liked Isobel too despite her manipulative ways. She really did love Athdar.
I can’t go into much more detail without giving up the rest of the book. I enjoyed the book and it kept me interested enough to keep reading non-stop until the end.
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