by Jane Henry
I have read and enjoyed this author’s series about the Irish McCarthy Clan, but this book about the Scottish Cowan Clan of the North is even better! I was so pulled into the story that I couldn’t put it down until I finished, which was at nearly 3 o’clock in the morning.
The heroine, Cairstine, has been unable to speak since a violent incident that happened to her years ago, and she lives a very lonely life full of daydreams and thoughts that give her refuge. The 2 family members she has treat her despicably, especially her vicious, abusive brother. While fleeing one of his alcoholic rages, she ends up seeing a fight between groups of men at the local churchyard. She becomes a witness to murder and is summarily abducted by the killer … who had actually saved her life. Leith, her rescuing hero, has recently taken over leadership of the Clan when his father steps down from the position. He is coping with a family tragedy, adjusting to the leadership role that was recently thrust upon him, trying to protect his family and Clan, and trying to understand the intense feelings that his beautiful, mute prisoner brings out in him. Leith is a complicated man, constantly balancing the world he lives in, where things are not conventionally right and wrong but are governed by a complex code of responsibility. Cairstine and Leith are each trying to find their own way and almost miraculously end up finding one another. As he thinks when he first grabs her hand, “Sudden warmth sends a tingle through me, and for one wild second I wonder if she’s heaven-sent.”
The connection that quickly develops between the 2 main characters is fascinating and so very compelling. The chemistry between them is electrifying. The action and character development in this story moves nonstop, pulling you in and increasing the level of excitement as it goes along. The characters in the story are well-established, and the author does a great job vividly depicting the world of the Cowan Clan. There are some questions left open that will clearly be explored in future books, as part of the stories of the rest of the family. I was really entertained by this story and I already ordered the next in the series.