Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Conquered by a Highlander by Paula Quinn

 Conquered by a Highlander
(Children on the Mist, Book #4)
by Paula Quinn 

Review on behalf of NetGalley
(via Grand Central Publishing)

Genre: Historical Romance

Colin MacGregor was born to fight-for his beliefs, his king, and his family's honor. After years away from his beloved Scotland, he yearns to return to its lush, green hills-and he can, after he completes one final mission for the king. Sent to infiltrate a traitor's home, Colin is determined to expose the treasonous plot and triumph on the battlefield . . . until he meets a sensual lass who tempts him towards other pursuits . . . .

Lady Gillian Dearly is no stranger to temptation. Cast out of her family for bearing an illegitimate child, she's now the ward of a barbarian conspiring against the king. Her only desire: freedom for her son and for herself at any cost, even if it means making a deal with the devil. Yet when a mysterious Highlander appears in their midst, his braw strength and smoldering gaze give her hope for a future beyond the castle walls-and promise a desire unlike any she's ever known. But passion comes at a price . . .

During the reign of the Catholic King James Stewart in 1688, Colin MacGregor, a general in James's Royal army, is sent on a secret, and hopefully his last, mission to gather as much information as possible in regards to the enemy Dutch Prince, William of Orange. Under the alias Campbell of Breadalband, Colin plans on infiltrating the Earl of Devon's Garrison at Dartmouth Castle in hopes of preventing, at all costs, the threat of a royal take-over. Yet, when confronted by the strong-willed Lady of the castle, Gillian Dearly, Colin never thought he could be so easily impressed by her no-surrender mannerism and her sweet-tempered son. Having always thought that his kin/clan, training for battle, and the "desire to conquer with a blade in his hand" were the most important parts of life, Gillian truly catches him by surprise and those feelings seriously bother him.  Colin just isn't the type of man who rescues damsels (and their children) in distress since his sole mission is to prevent William of Orange from arriving on the English shores.

Cousin to Geoffrey Dearly, the cruel Earl of Devon, Gillian Dearly is all but condemned to Hell by her father due to a past mistake (i.e. child out of wedlock). Under the protection of Captain George Gates, Gillian is attempting to properly raise and educate her three-year-old son, Edmund, while in the confining way-of-life forced upon her.  Even though a new mysterious mercenary arrives at Dartmouth Castle, who adds excitement to her and Edmund's days, Gillian continues to secretly exchange correspondences with the Dutch Prince in Holland, in hopes that he can aid her in escaping her current nightmarish lifestyle for a brighter future with her son. The sooner William of Orange arrives the better, since Gillian and her son are in desperate need of a rescue.

In my opinion, this is how historic romance novels should be!! A rugged warrior plus a jaded lady equaling a truly refreshing tale full of suspense, great historical details, and a sweet budding romance. The overall story flowed so smoothly that I quickly found myself absorbed in the struggles of the characters late into the night. I really enjoyed the trust barriers that the protagonists had to overcome as well as their internal struggle with keeping secrets. From a readers perspective, their weaknesses really made them believable and even more likeable. The family aspect in this book was really interesting as well. It really made evident the broad range of some of the best and worst family traits: abandonment vs. compassion or arrogance vs. encouragement. All in all, a great read!

Likes: The leisurely pace in how Colin and Gillian built their romantic relationship was very believable and quite enjoyable to read about. Their interactions were full of those simple, subtle and sweet gestures that really build into a smoldering bond.

Dislikes:  Many parts of the story had spiteful undertones in regards to the cruelty toward women.

Chapter One/Paragraph One: "Hand over the bag and I won't run you through."

Favorite { Scene, Character or Setting }: Setting
Camlochlin, Scotland: Vast green vale deep in the mountains, enshrouded in mist on the Isles of Skye.
      "The vale rolled out before [them] in a lush array of heather and wild daffodils. Cottages of various sizes dotted the countryside with men and women working around them, beating blankets or hanging laundry out to dry. Some of the men pounded leather while others pulled their boats in from the glistening bay to the west. Sheep and cattle grazed the misty hills with lazy abandon, and [children] everywhere"
     "More than just a safe haven nestled within the mountains, the fortified castle rose up out of the side of Sgurr na Stri with dark, jagged towers piercing the mist rolling down from the Cullins."

Online Preview: Read Chapter One


No comments:

Post a Comment

It's all about the friendly conversation here at Books To Bury Yourself In :)

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Be sure to check back again because I do make every effort to reply to your comments here.