REVIEW: Conquered by a Highlander by Paula QuinnFriday, July 13, 2012 1:00
Veena’s review of Conquered by a Highlander (Children of the Mist, Book 4) by Paula Quinn
Historical Romance published by Forever 1 Jun 12
Paula Quinn concludes her Children of the Mist series with Colin MacGregor’s story. As Colin’s brothers and sisters and cousins find love and start their families, Colin, far from his beloved Skye, dedicates his life to keeping James, King of England, safe and flourishing on the throne. As James cracks down hard on his protestant subjects and makes some unfair decisons regarding religious differences between catholics and protestants, a wary England invites William of Orange and Mary to dispose of James and take the throne of England. Colin, general of the King’s army, is dispatched as a spy to Dartmouth to investigate the English nobles behind the plan and to stop the arrival and possible invasion.
At Dartmouth, Colin finds his discipline shaken for the first time in his life when he meets the Lady Gillian Dearly and her son Edmund. As he gets to know Gillian and her guardian better, he starts to question his unwavering belief in the actions of the King. An attack on Gillian ordered by the King also shakes his loyalty, until ultimately Colin, who only cared for the safety and wellbeing of his clan and his loyalty to his King, begins to quesion his belief system and place Gillian into the place where that ultimate loyalty and love lie.
Gillian is a very unusual heroine for her time. Born into the English nobility, daughter of the Earl Of Essex, she is an unwed mother dedicating her life to her young son. Geoffrey Dearly, Earl of Devon, has had a thing for Gillian since childhood, but to his dismay she has always spurned his feelings. To further rub salt on his wounds, she has a child out of wedlock with a common man on her father’s estates. Now he is in a position of power hosting her and her son in his castle to hide her from the public and keep her family from being dishonored because of her actions. He uses Edmund as the leverage to keep her in line while subjecting her to his emotional abuse as an outlet to vent his feelings of frustration and jealousy.
Colin quickly establishes a relationship with young Edmund, who is starved for attention and a male role model. Gillian finds her heart melting when she sees the developing relationship between Colin and Edmund. As the days pass and Colin teaches Edmund to fish and catch frogs and keeps him safe from abuse, he and Gillian also start to develop a deep and abiding friendship that is turning into love. While talking with Gillian he finds out that she is well informed and, in fact, supports the plans to welcome William to England. With the help with her loyal guard, he rescues Gillian and Edmund and sends them to safety with his family, while he figures out how to keep his clan and his newly established family safe from the King’s wrath.
Of course, the path of true love and deception never runs smoothly. As Geoffrey unmasks Colin and takes action to gain his revenge, Colin is saved by the skin of his teeth by the arrivalof his men at Dartmouth. Colin’s men attack and overrun Dartmouth Castle. Will this keep the threat of William at bay? History tells us that William of Orange took over the crowns of England, Scotland, and Ireland from James in 1690 and established protestant rule in England. Of course, the story leaves the reader wondering would the path of history have been different if Colin had not met and fallen in love with Gillian but instead had stayed loyal and faithful to James.
The author has done a masterful job in blending historical facts around her love story. I have read and enjoyed all the Children of the Mist books and feel sorry to leave the MacGregors behind. As children flourish and Clan MacGregor survives, will there be more stories in the future? I certainly hope the author revisits this period of history and the Scottish clans in future stories.
BOUND BY DUTY
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 . . . .
BETRAYED BY PASSION
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 . . .
Read an excerpt.
Other books in this series: