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.
This was actually kind of a sad book, not sad in bad writing but sad emotionally. It starts off with Eva MacKay giving birth and the baby girl gets taken away. She isn’t even healed from giving birth when her father announces she is to be married off to another clan far away. She wants to find her child so she runs away to look for her.
We met Rob Mackintosh in the first book of the series. He’s a bit of a womanizer and does not want to get tied down but he agrees because he’ll do anything for his chief and his clan. He travels quite a long way just to find out his intended bride has run away.
Rob goes in search of Eva and finds her injured and fevered in a cave. He takes her back to her father’s but soon learns that her father is a cruel man who has no problem beating Eva when she does something that displeases him. Rob marries Eva but does not consummate the marriage because his new bride is skittish and has been ill. He has no idea that Eva has a child and that her father is using the child against her to do his bidding.
Later, after Rob had taken Eva back to the Mackintosh castle and Eva had just started warming up to Rob and had become friends with the chief and his wife, Eva’s father comes to visit and orders Eva to do something she does not want to do. He threatens her that he will kill her child. I kept thinking that her child was already dead and it made me so sad for Eva and even if the child was alive, her father would continue to use Eva for his own gain over and over again. And because she hadn’t been honest with Rob in the first place, she could lose him if he finds out.
I so wanted someone to beat the crap out of Eva’s father. What is really sad about her father is that it was common for men to abuse woman back in those days and nobody stuck up for them because a daughter was considered chattel so anyone who interfered would either be arrested, fined or shunned by the clan. I am so glad that I live in the 21st century!
I’m not sure if there will be more books in this series or not but these two books were very entertaining. I can never get enough of Terri Brisbin’s writing.
Somehow, I missed this series by Terri Brisbin. I follow her on Facebook and saw that she put out the second book of the series. I stopped what I was doing and downloaded both books. Usually, I worry about downloading more than one book at a time of a series because, if the first book bites rocks, I would have wasted money on a second book that I won’t read but I never have to worry that a Terri Brisbin book will be bad. Her books are always satisfying.
Arabella Cameron has been offered up by her father like a sacrificial lamb to end a centuries long feud between the Camerons and the Mackintoshes. She is to be married to one of the two Mackintosh cousins, Brodie or Caelan, whichever one becomes chieftain of the clan. The decision will be made by the current chief, their uncle and the Mackintosh council. But when Brodie is blamed for killing her brother, it is decided that she will marry Caelan.
Brodie ends up stealing Arabella before she is married to Caelan. He has to convince her that Caelan is not who he pretends to be and he has evil plans in the works
The romance was great but I did get a little irritated about how nobody thought it was odd that everyone fell asleep the night of Arabella’s brother’s murder and couldn’t remember anything except for Caelan and a few of his friends who happened to witness the murder. But besides that, this was a great beginning to a new series.
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!
Moira Frazer is the half-sister to Bari Frazer who is the Laird of her clan. Bari has only one thing on his mind…REVENGE…for the death of his favorite sister Sandra, his full sister with whom he seemed to have had an abnormal obsession. He believes the Sutherlands put her to death after she poisoned the earl and almost killed him. Bari who has treated Moira like a servant her whole life, has now contracted her to marry and old decrepit laird from the Matheson clan. The Matheson laird has lead him to believe that he will ride with Bari against the Sutherlands if he can marry Moira.
Moira thinks that if she marries the Matheson laird and can make him happy, he will not ride against the Sutherland along with Bari. She knows her brother is half mad but she needs to save her clan from total destruction because that is what would happen if they went up against the Sutherlands.
Gahan Sutherland is the bastard son of the Earl of Sutherland. He is keeping a close eye on Bari Frazer when he hears about the upcoming nuptials. He decides to go witness them to keep a better eye on things. He knows Bari is up to something. What he doesn’t count on, is that he would fall for the bride.
I was shocked when the marriage actually happened. I thought Gahan would run away with her before she had to sleep with that foul man but luckily the old geezer is impotent and the marriage is never consummated. But Gahan doesn’t know that, at first.
These two had to overcome a lot, especially dealing with Bari and his evil sister who happened to be still alive. I hate when the good guys have a chance to kill an evil character but they show compassion or have too much honor to kill them and as a reader, I know the bad guy will just come back and cause more trouble. It’s exasperating!
Mary Wine did an amazing job with this story. I loved the historical accuracy of it. Now, I am off to read the next book in the series.
Mary Wine continues to amaze me with her clever mix of fiction and historical fact. She knows how to endear her characters, especially the heroines, to her readers.
I liked Daphne Macleod already from the last book because of what she did to stop a clan war. First, she runs to the Church to become a novice rather than see two best friends fight over her. But what really was the clincher for me to fall in love with her was when she gave up her virginity to the overlord Norris Sutherland in order for her betrothal to be broken and for her betrothed to marry the woman he truly loved. It was a selfless and brave act.
Daphne’s father fought and was killed on the wrong side of the Battle of Sauchieburn so now clans who supported the new king have raided and ruined most of her land, leaving her clan struggling to survive the winter.
Norris Sutherland comes to her rescue…sort of…in his own macho way. The romance is sizzling but they have to overcome a scheming woman who, with the help of her brother, have malicious plans to make Norris her husband whether he agrees or not.
This was a great story. I loved all of the characters and hated a few too. I can’t wait to read the next book which I have already downloaded.
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.