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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mac Liam by Renee Vincent

Mac Liam by Renee Vincent
Book Two of the Emerald Isle Trilogy
Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (306 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Camellia

A tortured soul…

Breandán Mac Liam, the strapping young hunter from Ireland’s lush forests, is in love with Mara, an ineligible beautiful princess. For seven long years, he has been vividly haunted by her memory, taunted by the throes of his heartache. And not even the thought of her marriage to a Northman can extinguish the fierce, burning desire running rampant through his heart and soul.

An innocent heart…

Mara, the spirited Connacht princess, has no idea she is the object of the Irishman’s longing. She is living out her days on Inis Mór, raising a troubled son and trying to endure the cruel loneliness that afflicts her.

A deadly secret…

Ordered by the king on his deathbed, Breandán must return to Mara and bring her through the perilous lands of Connacht to fulfill her father’s last dying wish. But as their worlds collide, Breandán not only finds himself wrapped in the arms of Mara’s embrace, but thrown into a struggle to defend his honor.

With Mara caught between the family she loves and the father she knows, can Breandán uncover the mystery of her past and still protect her from a secret that threatens them all?

“Love is not a choice,… ‘Tis what happens.”

Breandan Mac Liam loves Mara, a princess. Since she was a child invading his hunting ground, her natural beauty, grace, free-spirit, kindness, and joy for life has thrilled him. Mara fills his heart, leaving no room for another. In tenth century Ireland, a commoner, even a prosperous one, was not considered good enough to wed one of royal birth.

Mara married Draegan Raeliksins, who died leaving Mara and her six-year-old son Lochlann to the loving care of his family and followers that live in peace with the Irish King Nevan on Inis Mor off the coast of Ireland. She still morns her husband and refuses to marry the man that Tait, her husband’s most trusted friend picks out for her to marry.

Even though Breandan has not seen Mara in seven years, he dreams of her and in the dream, she says, “I belong with you”. Thus begins an absorbing love story that sparkles with a purity engendered by selfless love—a love that wants the loved one’s happiness above all else.

Gustaf, son of Raellif and brother to Draegan, has not known true love, but he knows HONOR and had spent all his adult life chasing down his father’s killers. He is weary, but one last man must be killed before he can move on with his life. How his hunt mingles with Mara and Breandan’s lives creates intriguing, adrenaline-pumping action. The foreshadowing of love in his future leaves the reader hoping that in book three he finds his special love—if Aesa has anything thing to do with it, she will take this weary warrior to that safe haven found when one loves and is loved.

Many of the secondary characters have strong personalities. They wield lots of power and hide secrets. King Nevan and Tait, Draegan’s blood brother, have a unique relationship that has a tremendous influence on Mara’s life. They guard her well-being especially after her father Callan Mac Choncubhair refused to see her and her son after Draegan’s death.

Three of the most delightful characters are Lochlann, Mara’s son, and his two friends Brondolf, who does not speak, and Alfarinn, Tait’s son who can beat Lochlann at swords.

Havelock is a fearless, stalwart warrior who fought at Gustaf’s side at one time. He has a stake in the last man Gustaf seeks. He and his five hundred mercenaries go with Gustaf to Inis Mor. His unshakeable sense of honor demands that he help right a grievous wrong. He is instrumental in putting paid to the devious treachery of the despicable antagonist.

Renee Vincent weaves another beautiful, intriguing, and mesmerizing tapestry of a tale. The wonderful metaphors, humor, undercurrents, personal agendas, fighting, and irrepressible love blend to pull the reader into this tenth century slice of life, captivating with well-developed characters, incredible descriptions, fast action, sub plots that enhance the main plot. The steadfast, true love Ms. Vincent creates in mac Liam takes one’s breath away.

A memorable, satisfying story!