The Highlander’s Bride -The McTiernays #1 – Michele Sinclair

This book started out great with the McTiernay brothers traveling through the Lowlands after attending their other brother’s wedding. They are traveling to the Highlands to their home when they find Laurel Cordell, an English woman, who had been beaten and had escaped from the clutches of one of the McTiernay’s enemies, Keith Douglas. Keith had stolen her and tried to force her to marry him but she killed him…she thinks…and escaped.

The brothers had just told a story about the Laird of the MacInnes clan had his granddaughter coming to visit from England; how his daughter had married an English man and how beautiful the daughter was supposed to be. And up pops Laurel but nobody connects her with the story. Laurel did not tell the brothers who she really was. She just let them believe she was English because, apparently, Keith and his father threatened to do harm to her grandfather. I wasn’t clear exactly on what the threat was or why Laurel thought that if she kept quiet about who she was, how she was protecting her grandfather but she planned on traveling with the McTiernays, staying the winter with them and then in the Spring, traveling back to warn her grandfather about the Douglas threat.

Connor McTiernay is a self-professed bachelor because he doesn’t have to marry to make a strong alliance since his clan already was strong and he believes all woman are after is his power. He is instantly attracted to Laurel. Actually, attracted isn’t a strong enough word. I think he was more obsessed like a dog with a bone. He was jealous when anyone talked to her and bossed her around. I found Connor to be a bit boorish and spoiled but I guess men of power were probably like that back then.

The book just stops progressing around 30% through. Nothing of importance really happens until close to the end. I was bored to tears. I think the author could have cut out two-thirds of the book and still told the story. If she just would have kept the pace up, I would have enjoyed the book more but because I was so bored throughout most of the book, I can’t rate this book very high or recommend it.

 

 

The Highlander’s Bride Trouble – The Sutherlands #4 – Mary Wine

Saer MacLeod was raised away from his clan on the wild Scottish isles. He and his mother were banished because his father wasn’t married to his mother and his new bride was too jealous to keep her around. But when his clan needed him after his father died while fighting on the wrong side of the Battle of Sauchieburn where King James III was killed, Saer took over as chief. Before he arrived, his clan had been raided, their livestock stolen and their crops burned or trampled so they were left with very little to survive the harsh winter but Saer was able to turn it all around. His clan is now thriving under his leadership. He has everything he wants…he thinks…until he meets the wild and beautiful Nareen Grant.

Nareen’s older brother sent her to live with her cousin for protection when she defied her father and their earl but her cousin tried to sell Nareen’s virtue to the highest bidder. She was able to escape but she feels betrayed, not only by her cousin but by her brother who sent her away too. She never wants to be under the control of a man again so when Saer pursues her, she fights him all the way.

Mary Wine knows her Scottish history and how to endear her characters to her readers and I found myself getting caught up in drama. It is sad that this was the last book in the series because I could have read more. I could see a storyline for Nareen’s brother and I would have really liked to see the Comyn’s, who live on the neighboring land to Saer’s clan get what’s coming to them too.

I’m on a Highlander binge right now and haven’t reached my fill yet. Sigh!

 

 

 

 

The Highlander’s Prize -The Sutherlands #1 – Mary Wine

This story was such a clever blend of historical fact and fictional characters that I found myself looking up King Edward IV to see if he actually had a bastard child named Clarissa. He didn’t. The author made it seem so believable with her knowledge of English and Scottish history.

Clarissa is one of many bastard children of King Edward IV. Her uncle has sent her to Scotland to be the leman of King James III of Scotland who thinks he can have a child with her and annul his marriage in order to disinherit his eldest son. King James III is an unpopular king with his Scottish subjects who would rather see his son on the throne.

Nobody wants the union between King James III and Clarissa because it could give him more power or something like that. I didn’t really understand how it could be so dangerous to Scotland or the backers of the king’s son. I guess since Clarissa is a noble woman with royal York blood, James III would have ties to England and that would give him too much power and be seen as traitorous in the eyes of a lot of Scottish citizens.

Laird Broen MacNicols kidnaps Clarissa to prevent the union between King James III and her. Broen has been ordered by his Earl to kidnap her and bring her to him so he can deal with her. Many other clans would like to either have control over Clarissa or kill her so she cannot ever be returned to the King so Broen has his work cut out for him.

I liked Clarissa’s character. She had spunk and was able to stand up for herself. Broen was the typical Highland macho man who was honorable and courageous.

I think Mary Wine did a spectacular job of writing this book. She made me feel like I was right there with the characters and I truly had no idea how she was going to pull off the ending but it was also very clever. She’ll be going on my list of favorite historical authors.

 

The Guardian – Return of the Highlanders #1 – Margaret Mallory

Here is an author who can toy with the emotions of her readers which is a very good thing in my opinion. I felt so bad for the heroine in this story because the hero was such a jerk to her for so long.

Sileas escapes her house at age 13 after her horrible step-father tries to marry her off to his son from another marriage just to gain control of her castle and lands because she is the rightful heir. She runs into her friend, Ian MacDonald who she has adored since she was a wee lass. He allows her to travel with him towards his home and even shares his plaid with her to keep warm when they camp but in the morning, his uncle rides into camp and thinks Ian has defiled Sileas and forces them to marry.

Ian is livid and despite knowing Sileas was in a bad situation and a good kid, believes she has trapped him into marriage. He thinks Sileas is too homely and skinny with wild red hair so he will never be attracted to her. He does not consummate the marriage and runs off with his friends to France to fight. He is gone for five years and never writes or asks about how Sileas is doing.

Five years later, he and his friends are back from France to discover their clan is in trouble. Their chief is dead, killed at the Battle of Flodden, and his brother has taken over but does not care for the welfare of the clan. He only cares about power and his own comfort. Ian’s father lost a leg at Flodden and has taken to his bed, depressed so now Ian has to become the man of the house and figure out a way to help the clan.

Sileas has lived with Ian’s family, working her finger to the bone, trying to help them out and she has grown into a beautiful woman. Ian notices right away and all of the sudden is interested in her which irked the heck out of me. What a tool!

I can tell this is going to be a great series. The other characters are interesting and the ongoing struggle of the corrupt chieftain will definitely be intriguing.

A Breath of Snow and Ashes – Outlander #6 – Diana Gabaldon

Warning!!!! This review has a lot of sexual content that may not be suitable for everyone.
This book spanned four years of events. The Revolutionary War has definitely arrived and Jamie has to choose a side. Most of the Scottish settlers are loyalist bound by their oath to the king that they took in order to settle in the Americas but Jamie knows he is for liberty and he knows the future thanks to Claire, Roger and Brianna so he must choose to go against his fellow clansmen.

It is also leading up to January 21, 1776, the day the newspaper article that Roger and Brianna found in their own time and the reason they traveled through time to warn Claire and Jamie that it said they died in a fire that burned their house down.

The book starts out with a group of brigands roaming the countryside, robbing and killing folks who live in remote cabins in the back country. They then burn the homes for some reason. Ian saw the group of men traveling through the woods. He said there were about 30 of them but he didn’t recognize any of them. Claire and Jamie come across a family who were victims of these brigands and buried them.

The Browns headed up the Committee for Safety and thought they should be in charge of finding the criminals responsible for these crimes but the Browns seem to want to blame Indians for the murders. They seem to know something about the crimes but aren’t saying anything.

The new governor writes to Jamie and nominates him for duty as an Indian agent and insists that Jamie find 30 rifles to arm the Cherokee. Of course, Jamie is to do this with his own money and is assured that the crown will repay him in due time. Jamie knows that he’ll never see the money though. He also knows it will be hard to find that many guns and he has to find them without letting a lot of people know what he is doing or it could set off panic.

Claire goes to help Marsali in the malting shed which is about a mile away from their homes. I really like Marsali. She has turned out to be nothing like her mother, Laoghaire. She works really hard, probably harder than most women because Fergus isn’t able to do a lot of the farm work because of his missing hand and he refuses to do women’s work like cook or clean or take care of the kids. While Claire is helping Marsali, some men come and demand to know where they keep the liquor. Claire realizes that these are the men who have been terrorizing the back country. They struggle and somehow Marsali ends up on the ground and the men kidnap Claire. They set fire to the malting shed and when Claire looks back at Marsali, she looks dead.

The leader of the men, Hodgepile, thinks Claire can tell them where the liquor is. It’s valuable and they could sell it for a lot of money. He knows though that Jamie will probably send people after them and guard the liquor wherever it is so he divides the group into three to confuse the trail and tells all of them to meet up in a week in Brownsville. Claire recognizes one of the men as Lionel Brown and another as Harley Boble, the thief taker (bounty hunter) who must have turned into a thief. Claire realizes that Lionel Brown will try to kill her now that she has seen him. They travel through the countryside. At one point, they had to cross a river. Lionel Brown volunteered to take Claire across but she knew he would drown her if he did. She fought with him and he ended up falling over a small cliff and breaking his leg. When they camped, Hodgepile tied Claire up away from the men and campfire and gagged her.

Claire has a rough night. First, she hears snickering from the bushes. A few of the younger brigands must have decided to dare one of them to rape her because one teenager gets on top of Claire and starts humping her. He obviously hadn’t ever done it before because he hadn’t entered her but he did orgasm on her thighs. Next, Harley Boble came and severely beat her. He then masturbated and released all over her face and shoulders. After he left, a man named Wendigo Donner came and asked Claire if she knew who Ringo Starr is and she told him she did. He told her he came from the future in 1968. He told her a group of five came through. He knew one of them died but didn’t know what happened to the others because when he made it through the stones, he was alone. In order to talk to her, he pretended he was raping her so the others wouldn’t get suspicious. The next man to visit her did rape her. She didn’t see his face though.

The next morning, Jamie along with Roger, Ian and a few others killed everyone in the camp except for Lionel Brown who couldn’t move so they took him as a prisoner. Claire didn’t see Donner amongst the dead. She figured he probably fled in the night.

At the Ridge, the men put Lionel Brown in the Bug’s home to question him. He gets away and crawls to Jamie and Claire’s home and begs her to help him so she does. She bandages his wounds and leaves her surgery. When she comes back she finds Mrs. Bug smothering him with a pillow. She tries to stop her but it is too late. Mrs. Bug told her that Lionel was telling her horrible things and laughing about Claire helping him because his brother would find him and kill everyone on the Ridge.

All of this happens and in my mind, I keep asking, “What the heck happened to Marsali? Is she dead? Is Claire that selfish that she hasn’t thought to ask?” There was no mention of her for the longest time and then…finally…it says that Claire had asked how Marsali was after she had been saved, on her way home and she was fine. Germain, her oldest child, had saved her and ran and got help. Even then, Claire didn’t go to see Marsali for a while after she got home. When she did, something was wrong with Marsali’s pregnancy. Claire brought her down to her home and helped her through labor….well, Fergus did most of the work. When the baby was born, he was a dwarf which set off a ton of problems on the Ridge with the new tenants who were superstitious and Fergus took off somewhere. Luckily, Marsali didn’t care and loved her new baby. Fergus ended up coming back but was depressed.

Lizzy, the girl who Brianna bought as an indentured servant for her trip from Scotland to America and then released her from her contract right away, became betrothed to Manfred McGillivray. Their engagement has lasted a long time, at least, a year or more. Shortly before their wedding, Manfred confessed to Claire that he couldn’t marry Lizzy because he has been in love with a whore from a nearby town who just died of the pox (syphilis) and he has it too. They went to Claire’s surgery and she took a blood sample but when he heard footsteps in the hallway, he jumped out of the window and ran before Claire could tell him that she could cure him with penicillin. His mother, a German woman named Ute, had a lot of influence with the Germans in the area. When the rumor about Manfred’s pox reached her, she said Claire was lying and basically wreaked havoc on everyone. She stopped a lot of people from doing business with the Frasers and they lost a lot of friends.

Claire decided to train Tom Christie’s daughter to be a healer. Tom Christie was one of the men who was in prison with Jamie. They butted heads a lot because Jamie was a Catholic and Tom was a Presbyterian. At least, I think that is the religion of the new tenants. I get confused with the different religions. Claire had been looking for someone to train and saw that Malva was interested, intelligent and calm in a crisis so she started training her.

Donald MacDonald who has been friends with the Frasers for a while, thinks Jamie is on the side of the Crown and meeting with the Whigs as a double agent of some sort. It cracks me up every time he comes to the Ridge, he either gets attacked by the white sow or by Claire’s cat who likes to steal his wig.

Phaedre, Jocasta’s body servant goes missing. It seems Duncan, Jocasta’s new husband, wasn’t as impotent as they thought. Duncan told Jamie that he had never been with a woman before like that but for some reason it worked with Phaedre. Jamie and Claire weren’t sure if Jocasta knew about Duncan and Phaedre or not. They ask Jocasta if she could have been pregnant and if that may have made her run away because she thought Jocasta might sell her. Jocasta said that she would never sell her because she was Hector Cameron’s daughter. They never figured out if she would never sell her out of loyalty to Hector or out of revenge. You never know with Jocasta.

Malva accuses Jamie of impregnating her. Then someone murdered her in Claire’s garden. Claire found her and tried to save the baby by cutting it out of her but couldn’t save it. Everyone accused Claire of killing her. Richard Brown and a few men came to the Ridge and arrested Claire. Of course, Richard Brown was using the murder as an excuse for revenge for his brother and would make sure Claire never saw a courtroom so Tom Christie stepped forward and said he would ride with them to make sure nothing happened to her.

A lot happened during the ride. None of the towns had any officials to try a murder case because of the unrest in the colonies. Most of the loyalist had moved or were in hiding so the ride was long and Richard Brown was getting restless. Once he knew his plan to just kill Claire wasn’t going to work, he started trying to rile up the crowds to get a lynch mob going but when the mobs started throwing rocks, he was hit too so he just wanted to get rid of his burden. He ended up teaming up with Neil Forbes and having Jamie grabbed while Claire was taken to a jail. The plan was to have Jamie killed or taken by Stephen Bonnet but Ian had followed Jamie when he was grabbed and heard the plan and freed Jamie.
Claire was taken to a jail. She helped a slave give birth and then a man from the governor’s mansion heard about it so he took her to the governor’s wife to tend to her pregnancy. Claire ends up being the governor’s secretary after he sends his wife off to safety. They then board a ship and stay on it in the harbor watching a fort. Jamie found her but the governor told him that he won’t give Claire up unless Jamie finds two hundred men to fight for the crown. He told the governor he would think about it and return in the morning but instead of Jamie returning, Tom Christie showed up. He told Claire that he was in love with her and he confessed to Malva’s murder. He tells her that his wife was a witch…that he found her on the roof dancing and chanting in a pentagram drawn from the blood of a dove or pigeon. He said that he prayed for her but she wouldn’t change. He said that when he went to prison after Culloden, he had left his wife with his small son, Allen, and then she slept with his brother and conceived Malva. She was hung for the murder of his brother and the children were left with his brother’s wife until he was sent to America. He was lucky and the people who indentured him had money and sent for his children. He said he tried to raise Malva as his own but she had already been evil. Claire didn’t believe that he killed Malva though but she couldn’t convince him to change his mind.

We find out who really killed Malva later in the book.

Roger decides to be a minister. He leaves Brianna at River Run while he goes to a nearby town to be ordained. Brianna gets kidnapped by Neil Forbes, a lawyer who hates Jamie, and by Stephen Bonnet. Stephen takes her onto his ship and was about to rape her until she told him she was pregnant. He had some weird phobia of having sex with pregnant women. He takes her and Josh, the groom from Jocasta’s stables who was with Brianna to his home in Ocracoke to sell them as slaves.

Brianna finds Phaedre there. She tells her how she got there but I think I will leave that as a mystery for readers to discover. Bonnet lets a few buyers from the West Indies look at Brianna. He told her that he was going to auction her off to the highest bidder. Jamie, Ian and Roger save her and Phaedre though. Unfortunately, Josh was already taken away by the slavers.

Brianna couldn’t kill Stephen Bonnet so they took him to be tried. He was sentenced to drowning which was ironic because one night while Brianna was on the ship, Bonnet had a nightmare. He had made Brianna sleep in his bed. He wasn’t making her have sex with him but he still made her sleep by him. He woke up one night and Brianna asked him if he had a bad dream. He told her that he had a recurring nightmare of him drowning. He freaked out and she held him like a baby and soothed him by promising him she would never let him drown.

When they went to Bonnet’s execution, she saw John Grey and went to talk to him and was shocked to meet his step-son, William, who looks just like her father and her. She realized immediately that he is her brother. William had no clue though. After William left to go see to his men, Brianna grilled John on how it happened or how her father fathered another child.

Between being kidnapped and going to Bonnet’s execution, Brianna gave birth to a baby girl, Amanda. Amanda had something wrong with her heart or lungs which Claire could not fix but she told them it was a simple operation in their own time. Roger and Brianna decide to go back with their children to save Amanda but have to find two more jewels to be safe. John Grey gives them his brother’s ring which has a gem in it.

Jocasta, Duncan and Ulysses arrived at Claire and Jamie’s house. They were escaping to Canada because Duncan had promised to get guns and ammo for the crown but the gold that was hidden in Hector Cameron’s mausoleum had been stolen so he could not afford to buy the gold which made the English angry. Also they were known loyalist which could also end in death.

The book was interesting but long. I sometimes forget where one book left off and another begins because they have all run into each other. I think Jamie and Claire have lost a lot of friends and family by the book and some of it is their own faults because they always have to be in the middle of everything.

I think I covered the most important parts of the book but there was a lot more that happened in the book that I just couldn’t write about because it would take too long.

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Drums of Autumn – Outlander #4 – Diana Gabaldon

Drums of Autumn

I’m going to assume that people have read the previous books because if they haven’t, they’ll be getting some spoilers at how the last book ended.

Claire and Jamie have landed in America. They have a few gems that Jamie took from Geillis Duncan when Claire killed her after Geillis tried to kill Ian. Geillis turned out to be even more evil than I thought she could ever be. Even though Claire and Jamie have the jewels, it will be hard to sell them in this wild place. They give one stone to the people who helped them when they first shipwrecked on the shores of Georgia. In return, the family gave them horses, a wagon and supplies to travel north to find Jamie’s Aunt Jocasta Cameron in North Carolina.

This book starts out with a hanging. One of Jamie’s friends from Ardsmuir Prison was being hanged for theft. Jamie was there just to support his friend and to claim the body afterwards. They were also there to meet a ship so they could send Ian back to Scotland but the ship had already sailed so they would have to keep Ian with them until other arrangements could be made. Three prisoners were to be hanged but one prisoner, Stephen Bonnet, escaped while Jamie’s friend was being hanged.

The price to bury Jamie’s friend, Hayes, was too much so they snuck into the cemetery at night and dug a grave. They discovered Stephen Bonnet in the back of their wagon hiding from the soldiers. He talks them into sneaking him past the check points disguised as a dead body in a shroud. They then parted ways.

Claire and Jamie are invited to the Governor of North Carolina’s home for dinner where they are able to sell one of the jewels. The governor offers land to Jamie but Jamie knows there are ulterior motives for the offer. The governor says it is because they need settlers but Jamie thinks the governor will use the land against him later. He tells the governor that he will think on it.

They travel north but have to take a barge up the river to get to his aunts plantation. They send Duncan Innes over land but they take the river because it will be faster and safer…so they think. The boat is boarded by robbers. Their leader is Stephen Bonnet, the man who they helped escape. He robs them of their jewels and tries to take both of Claire’s rings but she puts them in her mouth to swallow them. She manages to swallow one but Bonnet grabs her face and squeezes so that one of the rings pops out of her mouth. She didn’t discover which one until Bonnet had left the boat and she threw up the other ring because it had become lodged in her throat. She still had Jamie’s ring. It was Frank’s ring that Bonnet had taken.

They make it to his Aunt Jocasta’s plantation. She is happy to see them and welcomes them with open arms. She is rich beyond belief and has many slaves. She is blind but gets around well and can even ride a horse. She wants Jamie to become her heir but Jamie knows that if he does, he will be stuck running the plantation under his aunt’s rule for another twenty to thirty years. He and Claire both do not agree with the owning of slaves and in the colony of North Carolina it is hard to free a slave. A council has to approve the freeing of a slave. After the slave is freed, the slave has to immediately leave the colony. The council would never approve freeing an entire plantation full of slaves.

Claire and Jamie decide to take the governor’s offer and find a piece of land north of his aunt’s plantation. He has Duncan Innes search for the remaining prisoners from Ardsmuir to help them settle the land but that will take a while. Meanwhile, Ian helps build a small cabin and some out buildings to hold a few animals.

They make friends with a few Tuscarora Indians from. Back then, Native Americans were called Indians so that is what I am going to use. Ian and his half-wolf dog, Rollo, hunt and visit the Indians often. He learns their language quickly too. There are other Indians around also who may not be so friendly but the Tuscarora have been very helpful. Claire becomes friends with their medicine woman.

Meanwhile in the 1960s, Brianna and Roger and dating. He asks her to marry him but she refuses because she wants to be sure before she marries him. She is afraid that she will end up like her mother who loved Frank Randall but then fell in love with Jamie and chose Jamie over Frank. Brianna and Roger agree that she will finish her degree before making a decision. Brianna wants to have sex but Roger won’t until they are married.

Roger finds a newspaper clipping of Claire and Jamie’s obituary. It says that they died in a house fire in the year 1776 on Fraser’s Ridge. He is afraid that if he tells Brianna about it, she will try to go through the stones to warn them but he believes the past cannot be changed because of how Claire and Jamie had tried to change the outcome of Culloden. He decides not to tell Brianna but she finds out anyway. Roger discovers that she had gone through the stones to warn them. By the time he is able to get through the stones, she is six weeks ahead of him.

Brianna rides to Lallybroch and meets her aunt, uncle, cousins and unfortunately, Laoghaire. She shows them the pearls that Jamie had given to her mother to prove who she is. They believe her but Laoghaire tries to take the pearls saying that they are hers since Jamie owes her. After Laoghaire says a lot of horrible things about her mother and father, Brianna stands up and tells Laoghaire just what she thinks of her and also tells everyone how Laoghaire tricked her mom into going to Geillis Duncan’s house when she knew Geillis was going to be arrested for being a witch. I was so glad that someone finally told on Laoghaire for trying to kill Claire. I have never understood why Claire never said anything about it.

Brianna takes a ship from Inverness to America. Her uncle and cousin insist on her having a maidservant so she ends up choosing a girl of about fourteen years old because she felt sorry for her situation. Elizabeth or Lizzie was about to be purchased by a man who would use her as a concubine so her father talked Brianna into purchasing her instead as and indentured servant. Her father promised to meet up with them some day in America. Brianna ended up taking care of Lizzie more than the other way around because Lizzie kept getting a fever. She’d get better but then get sick again. Brianna thought it was probably Malaria.

Roger wasn’t able to get enough old money together before he went through the stones so he had to work as a sailor to get to America. The captain just happened to be Stephen Bonnet. The passengers were crowded below deck and were let up twice a day for air. When some of them became ill with smallpox, the captain had them thrown overboard. One woman hid down with the cargo hold with a baby who had a mild rash. She was afraid if the crew saw his rash that they would think he had smallpox and throw him overboard. Roger helped her with water and food but Bonnet caught him. He flipped a coin to see if he would let the woman and child live. They lived but Roger learned how callous Bonnet was.

When Brianna landed in America, travel was slow because Lizzie kept getting sick. She heard that Jamie would be in Cross Creek for someone’s trial and was in a hurry to get there before he left but Lizzie kept getting sick. Roger and Brianna met up. Brianna and Roger argued because she was so shocked to see him but then they went outside and made up. In fact, they handfested which is a kind of marriage between two people for a year and a day. They then made love in some sort of barn or shed. Roger told Brianna about how certain jewels would help them get back through the stones and into their time safely. He told her that he knew where some jewels were and he was going to steal them. I figured that he was stealing them from Bonnet. She told Roger that she had to find her father quickly and told him about the obituary that she had found then she asked him how he knew that she was in America. She figured out that he had seen the notice and not told her. She took it as a betrayal and stormed off. He yelled to her that he would get the stones and then find her.

Lizzie, not knowing the relationship between Brianna and Roger and only seeing their fight, believed Roger to be a threat to Brianna. This impression was confirmed when Brianna came back to their room after being gone all night in a foul mood and then when Lizzie washed Brianna’s clothes and found semen and blood in them, she thought Roger had raped her.

Brianna found Jamie. I was so excited and happy for them. The trial was because Fergus had hit Lieutenant Murchison, a creep of a man who dislikes Jamie. Fergus hit him after the lieutenant had taken the horse and saddle from Fergus’ wife, Marceli while she and their baby were riding it. He said it was for taxes and made her walk but at the trial, Jamie proved that Lt. Murchison was trying to cheat them since Jamie owed no taxes and since Fergus lives on his land, he also does not owe any taxes.

Brianna and Jamie leave Lizzie at Jocasta’s plantation and ride to Fraser’s Ridge where Claire is. The reunion was really weird to me. I thought they would be more shocked but they weren’t. Brianna settles in and tells them that Roger is there and should be coming soon but she gives them Roger’s adopted name of Wakefield when he is going by MacKenzie. She also fails to mention that they are handfested.

Jamie and Claire notice that Brianna is pregnant. Claire talks to Brianna who tells her that she and Roger did have sex one night but the child isn’t his. Two days after she and Roger had sex, Stephen Bonnet raped her. She had met him on his ship after seeing her mom’s wedding ring on his little finger and he had let her see the inside which said, “to C from F” so she knew it was her mom’s ring. When she met him on his ship, he raped her. He had no clue who she was and didn’t even ask her name but when he was finished, he said she could have the ring for payment like she was a prostitute. After she had told her mom the story, Claire asked her how she knew the child was not Roger’s if the events had happened only two days apart. Brianna said that Roger had used the pull-out method. Claire told her there is a word for people who use that method of birth control, “parents”. Brianna still omitted the fact that she and Roger were handfested.

While Clare and Brianna was having this conversation, Lizzie and Ian had spotted Roger at the mill. He was calling himself MacKenzie and asking for Brianna and the Frasers. She and Ian ran and found Jamie and Lizzie told Jamie that she thinks he raped Brianna. When Roger came up the ridge, Jamie and Ian jumped him. Jamie beat him and for a while, I thought he may have killed him because the book was vague about what happened next.

When Roger still hadn’t showed up, Brianna started getting worried. Jamie suggested putting up notices in the small towns and asked for his description. Brianna decided to draw him and described him as she drew him. Jamie and Ian gave each other strange looks which Claire and Brianna caught. Brianna and Jamie fought. Jamie still not knowing that Stephen Bonnet had raped Brianna because she had told Claire not to tell him the person’s name, called Brianna a whore because she had slept with Roger and then said it was rape. When Claire finally showed him the ring and told him it was Stephen Bonnet that had raped him, Jamie was shocked but it was too late. He had already called Brianna names and she had called him names too and told him that Frank was a better father plus he had given Roger to the Iroquois.

They took Brianna to Jocasta’s while Jamie, Claire and Ian went to find Roger. Jamie and his tenants on Fraser’s ridge had been making whisky to supplement their income. The crops fed them but did not give them much income. They took their portion of the whiskey to trade to the Indians for Roger.

Jocasta was busy trying to find a husband for Brianna and since young women were hard to find in the colony, a lot of men were willing to overlook the fact that Brianna was pregnant. Claire, Jamie and Ian had been gone a long time and Brianna started to think something bad may have happened to them. She started thinking that she would have to marry someone lest she be ousted from society and called a whore. John Grey showed up and she learned that he was her father’s friend and then she caught him coming out of the slave’s quarter’s one night. She figured out that he was gay and tried to blackmail him. She figured if he is gay that they could marry and never have to have sex until he told her that he likes both women and men. He also told her that her father would kill him if he married her but he did offer her another proposition. They could pretend to be engaged and stall until her parents found Roger.

This book was long and a lot more happened than I can write. These people have interesting lives. I couldn’t imagine going back in time. I mean, I could imagine it and wouldn’t mind for maybe a week or so but I would miss modern conveniences like hot showers, cell phones, internet and electricity….oh and cars. Of course, the 1960’s didn’t have cell phone or internet so they wouldn’t miss that but hot water and electricity would be missed. But it is more than just the inconvenience of not having indoor plumbing and electricity, it is the travel time it took to get anywhere and the hostilities of the time. Where it would take us a few hours to go somewhere by car, it could take days or weeks by horse depending on the weather and terrain. English soldiers ruled over everything and when someone has absolute power, it gets abused. Also, there was the fact that white settlers were invading land and displacing indigenous tribes who were bound to strike out once in a while and did. It just seemed dangerous to live back then.

I’m off to read the next book. Okay, maybe I’m not off to anywhere because I really don’t have to move an inch to download and read the next book but it sounded good so I wrote it.

Voyager – Outlander #3 – Diana Gabaldon

Voyager (Outlander, Book 3)

This book was even longer than the first or the second book which were extremely lengthy but there was not one moment of time where I was bored in all of the 870 pages.

This book had Claire back in her own time after Jamie had made her go back through the standing stones at Craigh na Dun to save her life because she was pregnant with his child. She believes he went back to the Battle of Culloden and died but through some research, with the help of her daughter and Roger Wakefield, she finds out that he lived beyond the battle.

While Claire was living her life, going through medical school and raising her daughter, Jamie was going through hell. He leaves the battle field and somehow makes it to Culloden House with a terrible wound from a bayonet in his leg. There are other men in the house all with varying degrees of injuries or just hiding from the English. He is sure he will die because the wound is already festering. When the English come into the house, they take the names of each person and then take them outside to shoot them. The Englishman in charge happens to be the brother of John William Grey, the teenager who Jamie tied to a tree rather than shoot him in the last book. The boy told him that he owed him his life and would return the favor one day and must have told the brother because instead of shooting Jamie, he put him in a horse drawn cart under straw or hay and sent him off to Jamie’s home, Lallybroch. The Grey brother did not have any hopes of Jamie surviving the trip.

Jamie’s sister, Jenny, nursed him back to health but the English were combing the Highlands looking and killing anyone who fought for Charles Stuart so Jamie lived in a cave nearby for years. He would only go to his sister’s house once in a great while to bring them the animals he hunted. Scotland was going through a famine. People were dying from starvation.

After many years, the English had stopped killing everyone who fought for Charles Stuart and started imprisoning them. Because his family and clansmen were basically starving, he decided to have one of his clansmen turn him in for the reward money. Jamie spent the next ten years or so in prison where he was barely fed and was cold most of the time.

John William Grey became the commander of the prison and became enamored of Jamie who was considered the chief of the prisoners. I don’t know what it is about Jamie but woman and men both fall in love with him. Jack Randall had a sick obsession with him and made his life miserable, even raping Jamie repeatedly the last time he was imprisoned. Laoghaire, the young clanswoman, was in love with him and was the cause of Claire almost being burned as a witch. Now, John Grey is in love with him but at least, he is honorable and doesn’t act on his feelings.

The English close the prison and send all the prisoners to the colonies or America as indentured servants except for Jamie and one other prisoner who had lost his arm. They just released the latter and gave him a pardon and left him to struggle on his own in the world. Jamie was taken to England to work as a servant for a wealthy family. He worked in the stable.

The seventeen year old daughter of the family Jamie was serving was spoiled and demanding. She was angry that her parents betrothed her to an elderly man and she wanted Jamie but when Jamie refused, she intercepted the mail that Jamie was not supposed to have been getting and blackmailed him with it. She made him have sex with her a few days before her wedding. She died shortly after giving birth to her son. Her husband claimed the baby wasn’t his and when he almost through the baby out of a window, Jamie shot and killed him. The family covered it up and took the baby to live with them. They had given Jamie his freedom but since Jamie knew the child was his he stayed and enjoyed the boys company until he was about four or five years old but decided to leave when it became obvious the child was his. People were starting to notice and that would not have been good for his health.

After Claire discovers that Jaime would have still been living, she decides to go back through the stones and find Jamie. She finds him in Edinburgh where he has a printing business and a smuggling business. Jamie is ecstatic to see her and he accepts her back into his life. He had thought he would never see her again but he has secrets that he isn’t sharing.

Claire brought back pictures of their daughter, Brianna, who she named after his father. I don’t know why Jamie didn’t tell Claire about his son but he didn’t. From the time Claire arrived, there was excitement and chaos from all of Jamie’s criminal activities. First, he takes her to a whorehouse where he has a permanent room. He leaves her there in the morning to take care of some kind of business. She finds out, there is a secret entrance below the whorehouse where he stores the smuggled wine and brandy.

Jamie has a few aliases. He uses one while he smuggles and one for his printing business and hopes nobody will connects the two to his real name of James Fraser. He is also printing material for clients that could get him killed if the English find out.

Jamie’s brother-in-law Ian shows up looking for his son, Ian Jr. and Jamie agrees to help look for him but Claire discovers that Jamie had known all along that young Ian was there. After a lot of things happen, Ian Senior who has been Jamie’s best friend from childhood leaves without his son and lets Jamie bring him back to Lallybroch. When Claire decides to ride along, Ian asks, “But Uncle, What about” but Jamie cuts him off and won’t let him speak.

When Claire gets to Lallybroch, things are a bit odd. She gets a friendly enough welcome but everyone had thought she was dead for the last twenty years and are shocked that she is back. Then she discovers that Jamie is married to none other than Laoghaire who has two girls from a previous marriage. She can’t believe that Jamie married someone who tried to have her killed but then she remembers that she never told Jamie about Laoghaire’s part in it. She is so hurt that Jamie lied to her and let her come back to Lallybroch without saying anything about his marriage that she leaves and starts riding back to Craigh na Dun to go back to her own time even though she knows it could kill her. Each time she goes through the rocks, it is harder and it takes a lot out of her.

I hurt right along with Claire. I get that he didn’t think he would ever see Claire again but the fact that he lied or didn’t tell her the truth about the marriage was just cowardly and shady. He couldn’t have picked a worse person to marry either but of course, he had no idea about Laoghaire’s part in Claire’s being captured as a witch.

Young Ian goes after Claire and tells her to go back. She refuses at first but he tells her that Jamie is dying because Laoghaire shot him. Claire goes back and nurses him back to health. She brought penicillin back with her from her time through the rocks this time and gave Jamie a few shots of it. He explains to her what happened and why he married Laoghaire. He was lonely and she needed a father for her two girls but he couldn’t love her and Laoghaire was a cold fish in bed so he left and rarely came back to Lallybroch but he sent money to care for her.

They end up leaving Lallybroch after Jamie agrees to a legal agreement of giving Laoghaire a lot of money but to come up with the money, he will have to go on a dangerous mission. While he was in prison, he heard about a treasure nearby. He had escaped for three days and went to see it. He found a box with jewels and ancient Roman or Greek coins in it. He left it out on the secluded island but has gone back several times to get coins or gold from the box…just enough to feed the people at Lallybroch. He needs to take young Ian with him to swim to the island to get the gold because Jamie is wounded. His sister agrees.

Claire and Jamie wait for Ian on the cliffs while he climbs down and swims to the island. It is misty so they can’t really see what is going on but then they hear shouts. The mist clears and they see men on the island with Ian. One has Ian slung over his shoulder unconscious and then they get on a boat and start toward a ship. Clair and Jamie try to climb down after him but the ship shoots at them. They lose Ian but are determined to find him.

They travel to Paris where Jamie’s cousin lends them a ship. He believes the ship they saw was named the Bruja, a pirate ship that is headed to Jamaica where they will probably sell Ian as a slave.

They go off on a grand adventure that ends in a strange place. It is wild. During this adventure, Claire discovers a lot of Jamie’s secrets. She is a lot more understanding than I would have been. I just think he should have trusted her more and told her the truth.

There was a lot going on in this book and a lot of new people and a few old acquaintances. If I went into all of it, this would be a book and not a review so I tried to just hit enough of the book to explain it without giving up the ending.
It was an excellent book. I love Claire and Jamie. I also want to see their daughter come through time and be with them but I am not sure that will happen.

I’ve downloaded the next book. I haven’t seen how long it is but I’m sure it will be long. If it is as good as this book, I’m not going to get much sleep for a few days again.

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