*This is just my opinion, my personal take on any given book, use as a reference. I will not be overly gushing. I will also endeavor not to give too much of the plot away.
I will not hand out 4 star ratings for every book, or try not to.*
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Avon Books 384 pages
Dec 2009 By Donna Fletcher
BLURB ON BACK OF BOOK:
She will pay for her sins. . .
After being freed from the hellish barbarians who held him captive, Ronan Sinclare knows he must return to his clan to claim his powerful heritage. But first he must destroy the woman who ruined everything. Even as he seizes Carissa and makes her his prisoner, Ronan is tormented by memories of the woman he loved and lost: the gentle Hope, whose death by Carissa's hand he has sworn to avenge.
Carissa knows nothing but survival. Raised by a brutal man, she shows only coldness to the world . . . but inside burns the heart of a woman longing for passion. Forced to hide her true self from the proud, fierce warrior even as she dreamed of someday being his bride, Carissa would do anything to keep her darkest secret. But she cannot hide the truth—or her desires—from her captor forever . . .~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ok. I am a sucker for Highlanders. Big time. Stuff a hunky man into a kilt, slap a sword in his hand and I am a goner. Stand him on some craggy cliff with the highland wind whipping through his hair and I am there. I can almost hear the lilting sounds of the bagpipes now...
This is the fourth book in Donna's Sinclare series, this follows younger brother Ronan. I have read one other book in this series, the 'Angel and the Highlander' (brother Lachlan's story)
The other two I hope to read sometime soon.
One thing that bothers me, both in this book and 'Angel' the heroine is annoying. And pretending to be something she isn't...or is she?
There isn't much to like about Carissa, daughter of the vicious barbarian, Mordrac. She is cruel with a cutting tongue that could slice through a side of mutton. She stomps about the place issuing orders in a snappish, bossy tone.
I guessed the heroine's secret by page 3. But it did not detract from the story. Maybe the reader is suppose to guess. I will not give it away here.
Regardless, our hero, the braw laddie Ronan Sinclare was captive of the barbarians, and suffered under the cruel administrations of the Barbarian and his daughter. Now released, he seeks revenge, being the passionate lad he is. Mordrac is now dead, so Ronan will exact his revenge on the cold, implacable Carissa. For she is responsible for one unforgivable act, seeing to the death of the slave Hope, a slave that compassionately tended Ronan's wounds while in captivity, a slave, he fell in love with.
He manages to catch up to Carissa and takes her captive, but they both soon find themselves trapped in a tiny cabin in a snow storm, with yes...one bed. You can imagine what happens. We find that perhaps Carissa is not as cold and unyielding as she outwardly projects, I mean, how can she not be attracted to Ronan? Tall, broad of shoulder, dark flowing hair, handsome, passionate. But also a highlander all the way, brave, strong, courageous, and he loves his family very much and is eager to be reunited with them and his clan. Ronan was very easy to like. And admire.
The heroine seems almost schizophrenic, but as we learn more about her horrendous childhood, it explains some of her behavior, but not all.
There can be a thin line between love and hate, no more so here than between Carissa and Ronan. After being in the cottage, he learns a few things, hey, she can cook like a dream, always a plus in medieval times, apple buns seem to be her specialty. But besides her cooking skills and her luscious curves, she can be a shrew. But Ronan is very patient and loving.
A villain seemingly pops up out of nowhere, but it adds to the story, there are also a few twists and turns I did not envision. It came to a satisfying conclusion, even though Carissa's personality was hard to take at times.
I figured if Ronan could be patient with her, I would be too.
Also loved the peek into the Sinclare family, the older brothers and their wives and children, I believe this also softened Carissa's hard heart, to see such love and respect between family members.
All in all, except for a few lapses, this was a highly entertaining and satisfying read.
3 and a 1/4 stars out of 4
KOVER KUDOS: Very attractive cover, and the models match the description of the characters perfectly. Och, but the male model IS Ronan! Even the tartan is the color described in the book, well done. 3 and a 1/2 out of 4.