Fiercely loyal to his older brother, Alaric McCabe leads his clan in the fight for their birthright. Now, he is prepared to wed for duty, as well. But on his way to claim the hand of Rionna McDonald, daughter of a neighboring chieftain, he is ambushed and left for dead. Miraculously, his life is saved by the soft touch of a Highland angel, a courageous beauty who will put his fealty to his clan, his honor, and his deepest desires, to the test.
An outcast from her own clan, Keely McDonald was betrayed by those she loved and trusted. When the wounded warrior falls from his horse, she is drawn to his strong, lean body. The wicked glint in his green eyes ignites a passion that will follow them back to Alaric’s keep, where their forbidden love draws them deeper into the pleasures of the flesh. But as conspiracy and danger circle closer, Alaric must make an impossible choice. Will he betray his blood ties for the woman he loves?
I have to admit, this series has come as something of a surprise. I looked at the cover and I read the blurb–for this book and In Bed with a Highlander–and was a little hesitant. As you know, I loved In Bed with a Highlander. But it’s been a while so I once again found myself judging a book by its cover. And once again, I was completely blown away.
Alaric is the middle McCabe brother. He’s not as serious as Ewan and not as grouchy and brooding as Caelen. He’s the nice brother. This isn’t to say that he’s any kind of slouch in the sexy badass department. His loyal to his family and his clan is absolute. There is nothing he values more in his life. Which is why, when Laird McDonald put forth the idea of uniting the McCabes and McDonalds through marriage, Alaric stepped up and offered to marry Rionna McDonald. He’s not totally enamoured with Rionna, but… she’ll do. Marrying her will also give Alaric the opportunity to be laird of his own keep, something that will be impossible if he stays with his family. In all, not a bad way for his life to go. But as it turns out, things don’t go exactly to plan. In fact, they go horribly awry with Alaric and his men being attacked in the dead of night. All of his men are killed and Alaric is gravely injured. He hops on his horse in the hopes of getting to safety as soon as possible.
Enter Keely. Keely’s been living on her own for years after being kicked out of her clan. She doesn’t get many visitors aside from those who seek her out for her healing skills. So you can imagine her surprise at seeing this huge ass horse riding up to her cottage and an unconscious man dropping to her feet. Keely’s a little uncertain. Which is smart given that she has no idea who Alaric is or where the hell he came from. But she can’t in good conscience leave him there so she manages to drag him into her cottage and nurses him back to health. Everything goes along swimmingly until the McCabes come to reclaim Alaric and insist on her accompanying them back to their keep. This is where Keely and Alaric are drawn deeper into their attraction to one another. Things are especially difficult for Keely once she realises that not only is he betrothed to another, but that this woman–Rionna– was once her best friend.
I enjoyed this book so very much. Keely and Alaric were wonderful characters. I especially enjoyed Keely. That girl had steel in her spine. She managed to survive after being kicked out of her home for something she didn’t do, she manages to heal the people who come to her for help and, especially impressive, she manages to hold her own with the McCabes. Despite knowing that the guy she loved was going to marry another, Keely had so much dignity. Alaric was… surprisingly sexy. I wasn’t too sure about him from the previous book. It’s not that I didn’t like him, I just wasn’t paying him very much attention. Trust me, all that changed pretty quick; it involved some sexy time featuring some light bondage. It may or may not feature for this week’s Holy Wow Wednesday…
I definitely recommend giving this book a try. Please, I know the blurb and cover are misleading, but this series is so definitely worth your time. You can get it over at Kobo, nice and cheap 😉