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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Warrior by Margaret Mallory

The Warrior by Margaret Mallory
Publisher: Grand Centeral Publishing
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (376 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Camellia


From the Isle of Skye to the battlefields of France, Duncan MacDonald has never escaped the memory of the true love he left behind. Deemed unworthy of a chieftain's daughter, Duncan abandoned the lovely Moira to prove his worth in battle. Now, when called upon to rescue her from a rival clan, one thing is certain: Moira's pull on his heart is stronger than ever.

Bartered away in marriage to a violent man, Moira will do anything to ensure she and her son survive. When a rugged warrior arrives to save her, the desperate beauty thinks her prayers have been answered-until she realizes it's Duncan. The man who once broke her heart is now her only hope. Moira vows never again to give herself—or reveal her secrets—to the fierce warrior, but as they race across the sea, danger and desire draw them ever closer.

Margaret Mallory, as she has often done before, pulls the reader into a memorable vicarious experience in long-ago Scotland. Her rich, eloquent writing style sweeps the reader into a sensory loaded adventure—spine-tingling, sometimes frightening, and, best of all, has magical love scenes that take the breath away, set the heart pounding, and assures one that true love finds a way—even if it is thwarted at every turn. The Warrior is another of Return of the Highlanders series. It sizzles with love and captivates with intrigues, and sends the heart racing with the dangers.

Eight years after the warrior Duncan last saw Moira MacDonald, Tearleg, the clan seer, tells him she heard Moira’s voice, sees a pool of blood, then a savage storm. He must go to her. It will change his fate and help the clan in its time of need. Connor, Moira’s brother now the chieftain of the clan, tells Duncan to go.

Seventeen-year-old, willful, beautiful, spoiled Moira MacDonald has her chieftain father wrapped around her little finger and thinks she has eluded detection as she meets Duncan in their special place. Then Duncan leaves without telling her goodbye. He goes to war in France. She doesn’t know the truth about why he left. But angry, bitter, broken-hearted and desperate, she marries the Irish chieftain MacQuillan. Her charmed first seventeen years of life deteriorated to years of a living hell, fearing for her life, trying to protect her son, and keeping both their souls from being destroyed by her cruel, abusive husband. She becomes a complex individual with unique strengths. She blames Duncan for her misery and guards her heart, feeling she could not survive it being ripped to shreds again. While some of her selfish traits seem ingrained into her very being, they serve her well. Her intelligence and understanding of human nature prove invaluable to her and her clan.

Now captain of guard for the MacDonald clan, Duncan is a mighty warrior and respected by his men. The bastard son of the nursemaid for Connor and Moira, he’d grown up with them. He and Connor watch each other’s backs as they fight the enemy. They trust each other implicitly—tried and true friends. Silently Duncan carries the shame of his sire violating the Highland tradition requiring the man claim his child, regardless of whether he is married to the mother or not. Their stations in life are very different, but it does not show in their relationship. However, Duncan knows it is different with Moira. Even though she is his forever love, he believes she has to wed a chieftain of another clan to strengthen alliances according to custom.

Secondary characters add a rich, varied texture to The Warrior. The antagonists are fearful, mighty force that test the mettle of all the Macdonald clan. They keep the tension high. One of the most interesting characters is the wolfhound Sar. He is forever loyal to Moira and her son Ragnall, but proves to be a true ally to Duncan in a time that is pivotal to the plot. Tearleg, the seer, adds a touch of humor as well as a touch of the supernatural, while Ilsya, Duncan’s sister, also adds a touch of the supernatural but most of all she lets the reader see loyalty, industry, and unrequited love. So many more of the characters are intriguing and all blend to create a mesmerizing story.

If you have read The Guardian and/ or The Sinner you will get to caught up on some old acquaintances. If you have not then The Warrior is a great place to start. I am looking forward to The Chieftain.

The Warrior is a riveting historical tale that throbs with life and love.