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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Highland Captive by Mary McCall

Highland Captive by Mary McCall
Publisher: Champagne Books
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (228 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Camellia

English-born Lady Alera of Arundrydge is a procrastinating defender and nurturer with a secret gift. She wishes to avenge crimes against her family and find her father, who is missing and presumed dead. When a nefarious uncle hands her over to Viking slavers, she escapes only to be caught by a big, sexy barbarian, whose touch ignites passion.

Laird Duncan Ranald has good reason to hate all things English. They nearly wiped out his clan. Discovering the luscious beauty who washed up on his shore and stoked his lust is English, he decides to keep her as his leaman for a little revenge.

Realizing she’s his soul mate, Duncan decides to wed her, but Alera won’t cooperate. Escaping Duncan becomes nearly impossible for Alera as she helps his clan and he creeps into her heart. But if she stays, how will vengeance be had and what will become of her father?

The irrepressible “gifted” Alera, daughter of deceased Brahana, the Scottish Highlander, and English Baron Robert of Arundryde, escapes Viking slaver that her Uncle Mortimer sold her to. Of course, she had the help of her guardian angel Henry. She struggles mightily to curb the raging demon inside her as she thinks about her conniving uncle and recalls her Uncle Julian MacKay’s saying, “If a snake slithers across your path, you should kill it”. She determines to do just that as soon as she can find her way back home.

Flung up on the Scottish coast by the icy sea, Alera is propelled into a life-changing drama that is full of humor, incredible love, and a challenging contest of wills, along with dangers that make the heart pound.

Duncan Ranald, Laird of Laidirken, is a warrior, a handsome massive giant of muscle that exudes raw power. He is amazed to see a near-nude golden goddess poised to kill a wild pig. Lust races in his blood. He wants her and takes her to his home to recuperate from the trauma she has suffered. Thus begins an absolutely delightful relationship woven into a a story full of intrigues, hatreds, unscrupulous clans, along with super natural beings and powers that communicate with and give aid to Alera, “the Gifted MacKay”.

The many secondary characters add sub-plots and back story as they reveal truths and relationships that had been kept secret from Alera for many years. The meddlesome little twins are great fun to know and they do much to propel the story along. Of course, the MacKay women like Aunt Hope, Aunt Toril, and Alera bring fun, common sense, and a bit of foolishness to a time in Scottish history when many call all Scots barbarians.

The hawks Baran and Caellach (love them), Chris “The Keeper of Wisdom”, and guardian angel Henry add a magical touch to Highland Captive.

Mary McCall weaves in much of the culture, mores, and superstitions of the twelfth century British Isles, but THESE never overshadow the consuming love story of two strong personalities who find their way to true love while protecting their own.

Ms. McCall’s writing style sparkles with humor, sings with incredible love scenes, and makes the heart jump up into the throat at times when viciousness threatens to overwhelm the good. Her Highland Captive is full of action, love, and fun. DELIGHTFUL!