Published by Swerve on November 1st 2016
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
She is his greatest enemy and his only salvation.
Malcolm MacDonald, a lawyer in Edinburgh, unexpectedly inherits his father’s title of Laird of Dunbronach, forcing him to return to a place he hasn’t seen since he was a small child. To gain the trust of a wary clan, Malcolm must act upon their insistence that he cast aside his English betrothed and marry a Highlander.
However, they have one condition—no lasses of the barbaric clan MacLeod.
When he finds an unconscious woman in the sea, he brings her back to his clan but not before doing the one thing that could save her life—hiding her all too telling MacLeod plaid. When she wakes with no memory of who she is, Malcolm vows to keep the little he knows about her identity a secret. As new dangers threaten his clan, the mysterious lass teaches Malcolm some very important lessons about how to be a Highlander and a laird.
But secrets never stay secret for long, and when she finds her plaid, her memory returns and she flees. Malcolm is forced to make a difficult choice to win her back, facing his darkest fears and his worst enemy for a chance at true love.
¬¬Reviewed by Amy¬¬
I’ve been a fan of fairy tales, myths, and legends since childhood. They’re timeless, nourish my imagination, and inspire my hope for happily- ever -afters. My introduction to Lecia Cornwall’s Highland Fairy Tale series does not disappoint. Though there are no pumpkins that become carriages or mice that turn into footmen, there is a handsome, kind lawyer and a beautiful, brave highland lass whose story is every bit as magical.
Malcolm MacDonald had known nothing of the highlands since his mother had taken him from his home of Dunbronach when he was just a child. Having lived the majority of his life thus far as a lawyer in Edinburgh, he is surprised when he suddenly finds he has inherited his father’s title of Laird of Dunbronach. The MacDonald clan is dying out after sickness claimed half of their population. Malcolm, being the last of Malcolm The Bold’s line, is the man they look toward to restore the clan’s future by carrying on the clan tradition of making a wish to the sea maiden on Beltane, and giving up his Sassenach fiancé and selecting a highland girl. Any girl but a MacLeod.
Marcail MacLeod was a girl who fell in love too often and gave her heart too easily. She wanted the man to whom she gave her heart to love her and belong to her completely. She wanted to be more than a suitable match. So when she is betrayed by her fiancé while sailing to his home, she jumps from the boat and plunges into the sea.
While walking the beach of Dunbronach, Malcolm finds an unconscious woman in the water. When he realizes the plaid she is wrapped in is from the MacLeod clan, he hides it in order to protect her. But when she awakes, she has no memory of who she is or where she came from and Malcolm decides to keep her identity a secret. The clan is eager to welcome her, imagining she might be an early gift from the sea maiden or a selkie- a seal who sheds their skin and walks in human form. If a man finds the skin and hides it from her, he can keep her for his own.
Malcolm quickly discovered that in Dunbronach there were many traditions that had stood for generations. The clan held a deep belief in magic, fate, and the old ways. He’d come with blueprints and modern ideas but they didn’t want change. Marcail encouraged him and advised him on how to approach his clan and bring about the changes he sought to make. She looked at him with admiration. No other woman had ever looked at him like that. She made him feel like a rightful, capable laird. He began to feel as if he belonged in Dunbronach. As if he could protect his people and change lives for the better, including his own. The longer he was with Marcail and his clan, the more he loved Dunbronach and its people. He enjoyed working with his hands and seeing his clan smile at the simple changes he made. Edinburgh and being a lawyer had touched his mind and ambition but Dunbronach spoke to his heart and imagination. With Marcail’s help, he believed he could make a difference. She made him believe he could do anything. If the wish on Beltane were just for him alone, he knew what he’d ask for. Malcolm wished Marcail were a selkie and he could claim her but there was no such thing as magic. She was a MacLeod and thereby would be hated by his clan. She wouldn’t leave if she couldn’t remember where she came from and so he continued to keep her identity a secret from his clan and from Marcail. He knew the day would come when she’d remember who she was. Then she’d leave and go back to her home. It would be harder on that day if he loved her. And he was falling deeper in love with her every day.
The longer Marcail was in Dunbronach, the less she worried about her loss of memory. Her feelings for the laird were growing. He was quick, considerate, and smart. He treated his people well and put their needs above his own. He didn’t give up even in the face of doubt and opposition. She’d be happy to begin a new life in Dunbronach, making new memories. She was falling in love with Malcolm. But what if she had a husband and family where she came from? And when she did remember, who would she choose?
What a sweet, beautiful love story! Malcolm and Marcail were the perfect match and helpmate for each other as they each struggled to find their way in their new environment. I loved the secondary characters as well. The Dunbronach clan touched my heart when they expressed their wishes for the sea maiden. After the tragedy and heartache they had endured, rather than wishing for themselves, they wished for others, for the survival and improvement of their clan. Their hope and belief in destiny and goodness was moving and uplifting. This story is filled with humorous and tender moments, romantic love, and love of family. I’m hoping future books will feature Marcail’s feisty sisters. This was my first Lecia Cornwall book and I am anxious for more.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Readers Copy of this book.