dinsdag 22 maart 2011

Melissa Mayhue – Healing the Highlander

A book in the Daughters of the Glen series, published February 2011. I so love the covers of this series!

Healing the Highlander

ANDREW MACALISTER longs for a cure to free him from the excruciating pain caused by an old wound, but when he rescues a drowning woman, he has no idea how much his life is about to change. All Drew knows is that this mysterious woman is hiding secrets - and that he's never felt such a consuming desire before. Yet he cannot deny her request for help, even if it means bringing the detested English army to his Highland clan's home.
LEAH NOBLE MCQUARRIE still harbors a deep hatred of the Fae who tortured her eleven years ago, forcing her to escape back in time to the thirteenth century. A descendant of the Fae, Leah denies her heritage and her magical healing abilities. But the English army is holding her beloved adoptive grandfather captive, so Leah must seek help from the Fae - and the captivating man whose touch she craves.
Then Drew discovers Leah's secrets, and he's torn between old loyalties and trusting a woman who has the power to give him the future he's sought - but could destroy his clan forever. . . .

In one of the previous book in this series, Leah was send to the past, to escape the Nuadian Fae who wanted to keep her prisoner to exploit her healing abilities and to breed children on her. She has been safe in the Highlands of Scotland at the end of the 1200’s for 10 years now. Living with the parents of Robbie MacQuarrie, claiming them as her own grandparents.
But now Richard, the traitorous oldest son of Hugh and Margery has come home. He has renounced his name, become English, and is now taking over control of the keep in his English King’s name. He imprisons his own father, and tells Leah she will marry Lord Moreland, an old English Lord who is coming to fetch her in a few days.
Leah is determined, she will not be used by any man ever again. So with the help of her grandmother and some servants, she escapes MacQuarry Keep to get help from the MacKiernans of Dun Ard. They know her family, and are also descendents of the Fae. So Leah sets out on this perilous journey, with a handdrawn map to find her way. Unfortunately, it is not really a fit way to travel on foot, as she has to cross many streams and rivers and she has never learned to swim.
But just when she is about to drown after a fall in a swiftly streaming river, she is rescued by a very handsome Scotsman. She entrusts him with her story when he promises to escort her to Dun Ard, not telling her it is his own home.
Unfortunately, they encounter a bunch of English soldiers searching for Leah when they stop at a convent for the night. The only safe way out of that, is by telling they are married. Of course the Englishman in charge, a nephew of her intended bridegroom, doesn’t believe that, and insists on “protecting” them on their journey home. They are also looking for traitors, who fought for Wallace against the English King, and are convinced that this will get them access to the Scottish castles they visit. Anyone loyal to the King will not deny them access, now will they? And travelling with Andrew MacAllister and his lovely wife will give them even faster access.
So Drew has no choice but to take the English with him to his sisters keep, and to keep up the charade of him having married and being in love with Leah.
Just to get the help she needs to save her grandparents, Leah agrees to marry Drew for real, in church, in front of his family. But she will not admit to being Fae, to heal Drew! She hates this curse and will never use it again. She doesn’t know Drew hates the Fae as much as she does, for they are the reason he was wounded this badly in battle. He thinks the scars make him only half a man, not worthy of being loved by a woman, or ever finding his Soulmate.

But of course the Fae work in mysterious ways, and Leah and Drew fall in love. And when the Laird of Dun Ard refuses to help her grandparents, putting the lives of his own clan in jeopardy for some strangers, Leah runs away. She will help her grandparents, even if she does have to marry the English lord after all. But this time it will be her own choice.

I really like the world Melissa Mayhue has created. I only wish for some looking “back” at some previous couples, and what the bad Nuadian Fae are up to. But that was not in this book.
Leah started out as a bit week, taking the easy way out after the ordeal she had at the hands of the Nuadian Fae, but when needed, she really grew some backbone. She was not a meek lass who would obey her brawny Scottish husband blindly.
And Andrew, well what can I say about him? His leg has been badly wounded in battle, and he needs hours of daily exercise to keep it supple enough to use. If he doesn’t train in the lists, he will be bedridden in a few days. So when he finds out Leah has the powers to heal him, he totally doesn’t understand why she won’t do it. But he will persuade her in time …
Even though he thinks rescuing her grandparents is not a good move for his own clan, he asks his Laird, because Leah wants it so much. And when his Laird says no, he is ashamed of himself for not defending his wife more. So yes, he is a good man, even though he should just talk a little bit more with his wife. Ask questions instead of assuming things. After all, his family is not a stranger to time travelling and the gifts of the Fae.
And in the end, even some of the bad men are not totally bad …

There are some nice love scenes between Leah and Drew, but not as much laughter or witty bantering as I love. Perhaps that doesn’t fit in the time this story plays. And I do prefer some fighting between the good and bad men/Fae. Still, I liked it a lot and am certainly looking forward to the next one.

8 stars.

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