Ballantine, Mar 2009, $6.99
In 1606 Patrick MacGregor and his cousins are on their way to Inveraray Castle, home of their enemies the Campbells, who under the King’s decree have outlawed their clan; Alasdair wants to win the archery contest. They stop at a tavern where they hear John Montgomery, brother to an earl, talk derogatorily about his plan to wed the Campbell mouse Stammering Elizabeth Montach to forge an alliance; besides he says she is wealthy and owns land. To John’s chagrin, as he and his pals discuss his pathetic fiancée, Elizabeth enters the tavern hearing the derogatory comments. She slips as she walks out so Patrick although he knows to do nothing helps her up; he exposes himself to her dangerous brother the bloody Henchman before they escape with a diversion they created.
Two years later, Lizzie is on her way by coach to Castle Campbell where her family wants her to marry; the only man who ever showed her kindness was a MacGregor, but he is an outlaw. The MacGregor outlaws attack her coach, but Patrick realizes Elizabeth is inside and keeps her safe. He risks his life to insure she arrives at her uncle’s castle safely. She assumes he is not a MacGregor, but her brave champion. As they fall in love, she learns who he really is, but vows to marry him anyway. He loves her but his clan must come first.
This is a terrific Scottish Highlands historical romance due to the deep support cast who insure the feuds remain ignited, which in turn leaves the lead couple as star-crossed lovers in which each side’s kin wants the blood of the other. Fans will enjoy this fine tale as Patrick wants to kiss his Lizzie, but must dodge her brother who wants him dead because he is a MacGregor.