Reviewer: Robyn Roberts
Title: To Conquer a Highlander
Author: Mary Wine
Release Date: July 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: Historical Romance
Year/Setting: Scotland, 1437
Overall Rating: 4.5
Sexual Content Rating: Sensual
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: Mild
Violent Content Rating: Minimal
Mary's Website/Blog: www.marywine.com
Torin McLeren wants to keep the peace in the Highlands. Unfortunately, his neighbor—McBoyd—wants to take over his land and help in an attempt to overthrow the king. Torin learns of the plot and in order to foil the assassination attempt, he kidnaps Shannon McBoyd and takes her back to his keep. This daughter of his enemy proves to be trouble in her own right.
Shannon is tested and scorned at every turn. The McLeren’s aren’t too forgiving of the McBoyd family. It doesn’t matter that Shannon had nothing to do with the actions of her father…the McLeren’s see her as tainted. She faces scorn and ridicule, yet continues to work hard in the keep and hold her head high. Torin is slowly finding himself captivated by her unquenchable spirit. He wants to know more of this daughter of the enemy…but will getting to know her prove dangerous to his heart?
To Conquer a Highlander is an exciting start to Mary Wine’s new trilogy. Shannon is such a strong girl. She lived through so much abuse in her own home that is difficult for her to accept being treated better as a captive than she was at home. While she’s grateful to Torin for saving her from marrying the Earl of Atholl, she knows that she will have to pay the price for her father’s crimes. She finds one friend in the McLeren home and learns that one person can help turn the tide of hatred into milder resentment.
Torin kidnaps Shannon as a means to an end. He wants to make sure James II isn’t overthrown as king. He needs to help end this attempt at overthrow in order to keep his lands protected by the crown. As he gets to know Shannon, he finds more and more that he likes about her. Too bad there are so many obstacles between them, because he could imagine them together if things were a little different. Eventually, he throws caution to the wind and begins to try to convince her that it’s possible for them to have a life together.
Shannon is so stubborn and strong; it’s hard for her to accept anything that she feels is charity. Yet, her hardened exterior hides the heart of a true romantic. Torin starts to wear her down, just by his kindness. As his captive, her life is better than it ever was as the daughter of the Laird. And the fact that it’s so much better at the McLeren’s scares her to death.
While Torin is a strong man with the fire of a true Highlander, he is also a kind and fair man. He is aware of what sacrifices need to be made for the political good of the nation. But as he comes to care for Shannon, he begins to look for a way to save her from the noose.
A tantalizing story of betrayal becoming honor and beauty coming from the ashes of the past.
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