Friday, August 27, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: Surrender to an Irish Warrior by Michelle Willingham

Harlequin Historical September 2010

280 pages by Michelle Willingham

An Irish warrior with a thirst for revenge…

Trahern MacEgan—his body is honed for fighting, his soul is black and tortured. Women want to tame him, but he has loved once, and now is lost.

A woman who has suffered in silence…

Morren Ó Reilly—she has known pain and shame, but holds her head high, even though she shrinks from a man’s touch.

Their passionate redemption

Can Morren be the light to Trahern’s darkness, and can she be made whole again by her surrender?

DISCLOSURE: This review is also in the September newsletter of "THE SEASON" website~

This is the final book in Michelle's Irish Warrior series, though I am hoping someday, she decides to move to the next generation, personally, I never tire of anything with 'Irish' and 'Warrior' in the title.

Trahern, like all the MacEgan brothers, fights fiercely and loves fiercely. When this bard and storyteller loses his betrothed in a violent raid perpetrated by the Vikings, he withdraws, shaves his head and beard, and begins to reside in a dark, tortured shell. Trahern is in a dark place when he comes across Morren O'Reilly in the throws of childbirth. With only her 13 year old sister in attendance, Trahern cannot leave the woman in such dire straits. Reluctantly, he sends Jilleen to find help, while he attends the difficult birth. Morren miscarries, and almost dies, if not for the administrations of Trahern.
He soon finds out Morren is also a victim of the Viking raiders, the same that killed his beloved Ciara. This just fuels his thirst for vengeance even more.

Morren knew of Trahern, she had seen the tall handsome warrior in her camp when he was courting Ciara. While she is drawn to him, memories of her violation by the savage raiders has her fearing even the touch of a man. Even Trahern.

This couple has a lot of baggage to bring on their journey through this tale, and not just a bundle of woolen medieval clothes. The writer conveys the feelings of loss, grief, and sadness both these characters carry quite well. Very emotional.

And there is more to deal with, not only has Trahern lost his betrothed, but his very past and future is rocked by revelations that will change his life. Plus, he is fighting his growing attraction to Morren, who despite her vulnerabilities, shows surprising strength in all manner of ways, attracting Trahern even more. This heady mix of anger, sexual frustration and guilt make Trahern a tortured mess of a man, and entirely appealing.

And Morren is torn, Trahern's gentle but passionate touch and kisses move her, but joining with Trahern in all ways, still leaves her frightened. Watching this love story unfold with so many obstacles to overcome, was satisfying indeed.

A lot of well drawn secondary characters, and we get to see the MacEgan brothers and their spouses as well. You are completely drawn into this medieval setting, Michelle Willingham has created a fascinating family, if you haven't read any of the other books in this series, I do recommend them.
The backdrop of all these books is honor, family and love. No more so here, in this stirring conclusion.

3 and 1/2 Stars of out 4 for the book

KOVER KUDOS: Wonderful, exactly how Trahern is described, even down to the tortured look on his face. Great shot.

3 and 3/4 stars out of 4 for the cover

OTHER BOOKS BY MICHELLE IN THIS SERIES: Taming Her Irish Warrior, Her Warrior Slave (my fav of the pack) Her Warrior King, Her Irish Warrior, The Warrior's Touch


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