Yield to the Highlander – The MacLerie Clan #8 – Terri Brisbin

Yield to the Highlander (The MacLerie Clan Book 8)

I think this may have been the final book in the series. Keeping that in mind, I savored the book as I read it and said goodbye to the characters of whom I came to love. I know, it sounds crazy that I get so involved in the storylines and characters but I love reading and when an author can make entrench me so deeply into their world that I start caring for the characters, well…that is just some darn good writing!
I have to say though, that I was not liking Aidan MacLerie at the beginning of this book. He was the typical eldest son of nobility back then. He was a womanizer who did what he wanted and just expected women to drop at his feet so he could use them and then walk away when he got bored. He didn’t think of the trouble he caused for the poor women he used.
Aidan is the eldest son of Connor and Jocelyn MacLerie, the main characters of the very first book in the series. Connor is the powerful clan chief of the MacLeries and expects Aidan to follow in his footsteps which Aidan is perfectly capable of doing. Aidan is educated and a strong warrior who takes his responsibilities serious but he takes time to play hard also. He loves women and they love him. His parents have delayed marriage plans for him because his mom wanted to give him time to get the womanizing out of his system but now it is time to find a suitable wife for him who will bring connections and wealth to the clan.
Catriona MacKenzie has had a hard life. Her father was a cruel man who married her off to a likeminded man who made her lose her child when he beat her while she was pregnant. Her husband died so her father took her to the village and tried to sell her as a whore but she fought back. That is when Gowan MacLerie, a guardsman for the MacLerie clan, found her and rescued her by marrying her. She was told she would never have children again and Gowan had a grown son already so he never expected children from her. It was a marriage of respect but not love or passion. Gowan stopped coming to Catriona’s bed years ago after it was clear to him she did not like it.
When Aidan sees Catriona fetching water in the village, he is determined to have her even though he sees that she is wearing a kerchief over her hair which means she is a married woman. He flirts with her but she does not flirt back. He sends her husband away a long trip to train younger warriors so he can seduce Catriona while he is gone but his seduction doesn’t work. Catriona slams into Aidan while hurrying through the village in a rainstorm on her way to her friend’s cottage one day. He steals a kiss from her and she slaps him then runs to her friend’s cottage. Unfortunately, some one saw the kiss and the rumors spread like wildfire around the castle and village and now people think the worst of Catriona.
Catriona’s step-son sends for his father to come home and punish Catriona. The villagers are all shunning her except for her friend, Muireall, who believes her. The baker has no room for her bread, the butcher can only sell her the worst cut of meat and the miller won’t grind her flour for her. Things get worse when Gowan dies while on his way home and her step-son kicks her out of her their cottage. Now, she is sleeping on the dirt floor of her friend’s cottage. People in her village are spitting at her and men are leering lecherously at her. She doesn’t know what to do. One man has offered marriage because his children need a mom and another has offered her to take care of his ailing wife but when he touches her inappropriately, she knows that the offer is for more than just taking care of his wife. Life looks pretty bleak.
Meanwhile, Aidan is living life as he always has. His parents have talked to him about the rumors and he admits to trying to seduce her but tells them it didn’t work. They go ahead with marriage plans for him and find three potential wives for him.
When Gowan dies, Aidan feels guilty. Catriona doesn’t know it was he who sent Gowan away in the first place. He buys a large cottage and offers it to Catriona. He sends his cousin Ciara to broker the deal with Catriona. Ciara tells her that no matter what, she owns the cottage and will receive an annual widow’s stipend for Gowan’s service to the clan but she also tells her that Aidan wants Catriona for his leman. A leman is a nobleman’s mistress. After thinking about it, Catriona agrees.
Aidan and Catriona start falling in love with each other but Aidan’s father would never agree to marriage between them and he Aidan needs heirs which Catriona could not provide. When Aidan’s potential betrothed women start arriving, Catriona realizes that their time together will soon end because she would never be able to share him with another woman. She decides to enlist the help of Ciara to find another village to live in but before she leaves, she discovers she is a few months pregnant. She was told she could never have children yet here she is pregnant. She thinks she should tell Aidan before she leaves so that he knows about the baby but before she does, her step-son tells her the truth about Aidan sending Gowan away so he could seduce her. She decides to leave without telling him about the baby.
Now that Catriona is gone, Aidan has to choose one of the women to become his wife or risk losing his family, his position and his wealth to find Catriona. His father has told him that he would no longer be his heir if he chooses Catriona.
It was nice to see Aidan grow up during the book and take some responsibility for the trouble he caused. He could have just let Catriona fend for herself like a lot of spoiled noblemen would do just because they think they are entitled to it but he did offer her a place to live. I thought it was sad that she could only be his leman because of his position and her low birth which is why he shouldn’t have chased her in the first place…not to mention she was married.
What really irked me the most was how easily the villagers turned on someone . When Catriona was accused of cheating on her husband, they all turned on her but the very next day, after she agreed to be Aidan’s leman, they treated her like royalty. To me, a leman is just a nobleman’s prostitute but for some reason, the villagers saw the position as something respectable. I didn’t get it.
So, that was the last book of the series that I know about now I will once again be looking for another series. I’m not sure if I’ll be looking for a Highlander series or a paranormal series. I have two books in my queue that just came in while reading this series that I have been waiting for from other series that I need to read. They are the next books in ongoing series from two of my favorite authors. I’m going to read those and then look for a new series.

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