Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Highland Outlaw by Monica McCarty

Highland Outlaw  
(The Campbell Trilogy Book #2)
by Monica McCarty

Genre: Historical Romance

Patrick MacGregor is a hunted man living on the edge. With his land stolen and clan outlawed, Patrick and his MacGregor clansmen have been forced into hiding—blame for which Patrick puts squarely on the shoulders of the hated Campbells. Patrick will stop at nothing to save his clan from destruction, and marriage to Elizabeth Campbell, whose quiet beauty he’d admired from afar, just might be the answer. Arranging an attack seems to be the perfect means to win the trust of the protected lass, but soon Patrick realizes that it isn’t just his life at stake if she discovers the truth of his identity, but something he’d thought lost long ago—his heart.
Elizabeth Campbell has never done anything reckless in her life. Shy and dutiful, Lizzie has always tried to do the right thing—even suffering through the humiliation of two broken engagements without complaint. But behind the serious fa├žade is a passionate woman fighting to get out. So when a handsome mysterious warrior rescues her from an attack, Lizzie boldly asks him to stay. Seduced by his kiss and mesmerized by the edge of danger that surrounds him, Lizzie succumbs to the promise beckoning from behind his shadowed gaze, believing she’s found the perfect man. But soon Lizzie wonders whether in risking her heart, she’s lost everything.

Elizabeth Campbell, who has always secretly dreamed of having a large family, hasn't had the best of luck with her arranged marriages and unfortunately, her last one damaged her more than she would have liked.  Patrick MacGregor, the chief of his broken clan, is struggling to reclaim what his family had fatally stolen away.  Yet, Patrick is now falling for the enemy while working on a plan to gain lost property by hiding his true identity.  When all is revealed, will both Elizabeth and Patrick find something they've both been desiring?

I find I'm reading this series backwards and I'm loving it.  Book #3 was a nice surprise and Book #2 was even better!!! I loved how vulnerable Elizabeth came off.  She's emotionally hurt, yet remains strong in character for her family.  When she was betrayed by her third betrothed, Patrick (while on a secret mission of his own) was the only one to come to her rescue.  Years later, he does that again and he really only wants what is best for Lizzie, even if that goes against his clans wishes.  Patrick also shares the vulnerability characteristic since he has had a damaged past.  While known family enemies, both blend perfectly together. 

I love my male protagonists nice and hunky, but adding a little weakness really makes me smile.  I enjoyed how Patrick doubted his actions while "courting" Elizabeth and how they both shared the knowledge that they were going against their families by being together in the end.  It was a nice Romeo and Juliet twist, but each character was strong enough to carry the tale quite nicely.  I found no flaws in the side characters, the all over concept flowed wonderfully, the story kept me entertained till the end, and I loved the history thrown in as well.  I would highly recommend this book if you enjoy historical romances. Bring on Book #1.

Likes:  I liked how Elizabeth wasn't a sensitive virgin, something very rare in traditional historical romances.

Dislikes:  Nothing comes to mind.  I thoroughly enjoyed the whole story!


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