Friday, March 8, 2013

Review: The Chieftain by Margaret Mallory

Four fearless warriors return to the Highlands to claim their lands and legacies. But all their trials on the battlefield can't prepare them for their greatest challenge yet: winning the hearts of four willful Scottish beauties.

A Warrior's Heart

Connor, chieftain of the MacDonalds of Sleat, holds the fate of his people in his hands. Rival clans are plotting to take over his lands, and duty determines whom he will fight, trust . . . even marry. Seeking guidance, Connor turns to Ilysa, a young lass with the gift of foresight, who reveals an approaching danger-and a passion that burns only for him. But the warrior must make a powerful marriage alliance, and Ilysa's bloodline is far too humble.

With her powers to heal and see evil where others cannot, beautiful Ilysa dresses plainly, speaks softly, and loves her chieftain from afar. Yet when Connor finally stokes the embers of desire that have so long burned within her, Ilysa feels bliss unlike any she's ever known. Now as he is forced to place duty before happiness, Ilysa senses Connor is in grave peril. Can she find a way to prove she is the woman he needs by his side?

The Chieftain is the final book of this series, and I wondered how I would like Connor as the sole focus of the narrative.  While he is chieftain of the MacDonalds, he tends to blend into the background versus Duncan, Ian, and Alex.  Ilysa, Duncan's sister, is unlike any of the heroines previously seen in this series.  She's strong, yes, but it's a quiet strength; the characteristic of a woman used to being in the background as well.  

There is a lot of tension between Connor and Ilysa, for many different reasons.  Connor is intent on making a love match for his marriage, yet he refuses to imagine such a match with Ilysa.  There are several twists and turns, and finally Connor is able to see he can have a love match which will be good for the clan as well.  

The Chieftain certainly ends the series on a high note.      

(A very special thank you to Forever Romance, Hachette Book Group and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of The Chieftain.)

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