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Veena’s review of The Scottish Witch: The Chattan Curse (Book 2) by Cathy Maxwell
Historical Romance published by Avon 30 Oct 12

The cover of this book is gorgeous and the concept of men dying for love is definitely intriguing. The Chattan men continue to think death is well worth the price to pay for love and have been willingly paying that price for the past two hundred years, until the current generation vows to end it with them. Then the unthinkable happens: Lyon, the eldest, falls in love and willingly prepares to die in exchange with his for spending time with his beloved. His siblings Harry and Margaret are even more determined to bring an end to the curse and save him. You’ll need to read the book to see who wins: love, Fenella the Scottish Witch, who originally cast the curse, or Rose, the woman who was the cause of the curse but still believes in love.

Portia Maclean lives in genteel poverty with her mother and sister in the Scottish village of Glenfinan. When a desperate Harry Chattan offers big money to find a witch who can end the Chattan curse, she looks at it as a heaven-sent opportunity to solve her money problems. Armed with Fenella’s spell book that she found in the attic and accompanied by her cat, Owl, and dressed like a witch, she sets off to con Harry. Only she’s the one who gets swept off her feet by this passionate man who loves his family so deeply that he’s willing to do anything for the love of his brother, including putting his own life on the line.

Convinced that she’s bound to a life of spinsterhood, Portia is determined to experience life to the fullest and her passionate encounters with Harry open up a whole new world for her. Frantic and hurried, they tryst on the moors in a bothy, in the stable, whereever they can find an opportunity, determined to cram in as many experiences as they can while they can, her biggest fear being his reaction when the truth behind her deception comes out. While Harry has armored his heart against love, he finds himself softening toward Portia and wants to help her with her family situation. Intertwined into their romance are the secondary love stories of Portia’s mother and sister.

And then the clincher when Harry finds out about Portia’s deception? That is not a pretty scene, but I suppose ultimately good comes of it when both their masks are finally off and they get to see the real person. I actually love the scene where Harry humbles himself in front of the whole village when he finally admits his love for her.

The author subtly touches on paranormal elements with a possible reincarnation, psychic visions, etc., but does not fully explore these concepts, at least in this book, but leaves a lot to the reader’s imagination. When Margaret arrives on the scene and sets off to Loch Awe armed with Fenella’s spell book, accompanied by Owl and meets with an accident that seems to be designed to prevent her from getting to where it all began, it does seem that the author has decided to take the supernatural elements head on. I assume the next story will be quite an interesting blend of historical romance with paranormal elements.

I have not read the first book, so I can’t really comment on what I missed or how this story would have been enhanced for the reading, but I have to say I find the concept of the story a bit tongue in cheek with the dying for love. All in all, I enjoyed the various twists and turns and feel that the story is quite well told. I am looking forward to reading the next book and finding out how the curse really ends.

Grade: C


“If love means death . . . is it worth the price?”

Portia Maclean believes she is beyond love and marriage. Then one moonlit night, while attempting a daring masquerade in a desperate bid to protect her family, she finds herself swept off her feet by a powerful stranger. But what will he do once he discovers she has betrayed him?

Harry Chattan is fighting for his family. For two hundred years the Chattan men have been destroyed by love . . . and now he’s come to Scotland on the hunt for a witch to break the curse. Instead he finds himself bewitched by Portia. Harry has vowed to fight the demons that torture him.

But will that battle destroy her as well?

Read an excerpt.

Other books in this series:
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