Genre: historical romance
Maya Banks, the New York Times bestselling author of erotic romance, romantic suspense, and contemporary romance, has captivated readers with her steamy Scottish historical novels, perfect for fans of Julie Garwood. In Never Love a Highlander, the youngest McCabe brother uses sword and seduction to save his clan - and seal his heart.
Caelen McCabe's young, reckless heart nearly destroyed his clan. Now, putting family loyalty above all else, he steps up to marry his older brother's jilted bride and salvage the uneasy alliance between two clans. While beautiful Rionna McDonald is a fit wife for any man, Caelen trusts no woman, especially not this sweet temptress who torments him with white-hot longing.
As the sacrificial lamb in her father's power game, Rionna will do her duty but vows to protect her heart and her pride from humiliation. Despite everything, though, the heat in Caelen's touch melts her defences, and she craves the sensual delights of a husband who guards his emotions as fiercely as his clan. But when the ultimate battle for the McCabe legacy is upon them, Rionna's true warrior spirit emerges. She will risk the wrath of her father, the fury of her enemies, and her life to prove to Caelen that his wife's love is too precious to lose.
Finally the day is there for Rionna to be married. Not to Ewan McCabe, who fell in love with Mairin, and not to Alaric, who fell in love with her best friend and cousin Keeley, but to the youngest brother and the fiercest warrior: Caelen. It is not a love match, but necessary to unite the McCabe clan and the McDonalds to their mutual enemy Duncan Cameron. The King approves of the match, and Rionna’s worthless father is dismissed as Laird of the McDonalds, with Caelen taking over.
Of course her father won’t take that lying down; all he ever cared for was his own pleasure and comfort, not the wellbeing of his clan. And in the middle of the night after Rionna is married, he sneaks out of McCabe Keep, taking many of his men with him. Men Caelen can’t miss if he is to defend the McDonald clan and Keep sufficiently. They are a lazy lot, and it will take a lot to teach and train them. But come spring, the three McCabe brothers and their neighbours and allies will wage ware on Duncan Cameron.
Rionna is not a typical lass; to be safe from her father’s lecherous ways, she disguised her feminity, and learned how to fight like a warrior. And truth be told, she is better than most of her father’s warriors. But Caelen does not want her to fight, she will be his wife, and she will learn how to be a good wife and do her wifely duties. But while Caelen is out hunting with some of the warriors, Rionna is attacked by Duncan Cameron’s men, and beaten severely. As a warning to her husband. If only she had been armed, she could have defended herself! Caelen reluctantly agrees, and he will train her himself. And he will not go easy on her! The clan still does not really accept Caelen as their new laird, it was a decision from the King, and they were not there when it happened, they had no say in it. Sure, their old laird was a bad one, he has ruined the clan to the point of poverty, but Caelen is not a McDonald. Caelen will get the warriors under his control, or he won’t be able to trust them in the coming war. Even if he has to fight all of them single handedly …
But when the battle is upon them, it is Rionna who saves the day …
I enjoyed this book thoroughly, and read it in 4 hours. Maya Banks is such a great storyteller. Her characters are so alive and likable, and of course the lovescenes are smoking. Still, there is no instalove in this book, it takes a while for Rionna and Caelen to trust and fall in love with each other. Rionna is a virgin; she has never been kissed before, and has no idea what to do in the marriage bed. She is also afraid of Caelen, as she was of his brothers.
And Caelen has been married before, but his wife betrayed him and his clan, causing the destruction of the McCabe Keep, and the death of his father and many clansmen. So he is determined never again to entrust a woman with his heart.
I really liked Rionna, she has no choice to marry a McCabe to ensure the safety of her clan, and she is willing to do her duty. And when Caelen forbids her to fight or dress like a men, she is upset and angry at first, but she is also realistic and willing to give it a try. She makes Caelen rethink what he really wants in his wife.
Caelen is strong and protective, and determined to do his duty to his clan and family, they need this treaty. He never expected to be laird to a clan himself, being the third brother. He is a fierce warrior, but a fair man. Their story is not easy, but they are just meant for each other.
© 2013 Reviews by Aurian