Review: The Warrior by Margaret Mallory ★★★★ 1/2

The Warrior by Margaret Mallory
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Return of the Highlanders #3
Publication Date: October 30th 2012
ISBN: 9780446583091
Page Count: 400
Rating: ★★★★ 1/2
Review Copy: ARC
Reviewed by: Lynsey
Synopsis: 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.

Star-Crossed

From the Isle of Skye to the battlefields of France, Duncan MacDonald has never escaped the memory of the true love he left behind. Deemed unworthy of a chieftain's daughter, Duncan abandoned the lovely Moira to prove his worth in battle. Now, when called upon to rescue her from a rival clan, one thing is certain: Moira's pull on his heart is stronger than ever.

Bartered away in marriage to a violent man, Moira will do anything to ensure she and her son survive. When a rugged warrior arrives to save her, the desperate beauty thinks her prayers have been answered—until she realizes it's Duncan. The man who once broke her heart is now her only hope. Moira vows never again to give herself—or reveal her secrets—to the fierce warrior, but as they race across the sea, danger and desire draw them ever closer.

REVIEW


Another gorgeous Highlander tale by Margaret Mallory.

Actual rating 4.5.

Reunited lovers aren't my favourite thing to read about in a romance novel, and I was very wary of that fact when I set out to read this book, and yet this was probably the best book using that trope that I've read. Instead of the bitterness and resentment they so often come parcelled with, here we have heartbreak and sad acceptance and a stunning star-crossed lovers set-up that I absolutely loved!

We begin this couple's journey at the tender ages of seventeen (Moira) and nineteen (Duncan) as they carry on a clandestine affair. They have to be extremely careful as Moira is a Chieftain's daughter, and Duncan is the bastard-born son of her nursemaid, and if caught, The Chieftain would be well within his rights to kill Duncan for soiling his only daughter (at least, that's how he would see it). But Duncan and Moira are deeply in love; and it's that first love that's so intense and all-consuming. Moira is a bit spoiled and demanding at this age—a bit of a pampered princess unused to the word 'no'—but she's also full of life and exuberance as well as breathtakingly beautiful, and Duncan is unable to resist, no matter how hard his honour demands he try.

As you've probably guessed from the blurb, they do get caught, and Duncan is given the choice to either leave for France immediately, or die, and Moira is married off to the first Chieftain's son that visits the castle.

And that's all just in the prologue!

Sadly, in her father's haste to get her married off respectably, he makes a grave error in judgement. Moira's new husband is not a good man. At all. He's an abusive, manipulative and cruel sonnova bitch, and more of a bastard than Duncan could ever be.

We catch up with Moira seven years later when Duncan is sent by Connor—Moira's brother, who is now the MacDonald Chief after her father passed—to check on her welfare. Duncan may have come seven years too late in Moira's eyes, but he's also just in time to save her from her husband's angry fists, and in a twist of fate, they end up in each other's company once again.

Both characters are greatly changed from last they saw each other, Moira especially. She's far from the spoiled princess she once was. And Duncan! Ahh, sweet, gentle Duncan. He was an absolutely gorgeous hero. So sensitive, intelligent and caring, yet still a fierce and infamous warrior. I can't fault him at all as a male lead, and their romance was fraught with tension as they tried to contain their emotions and get the answers they'd both waited so long for.

They had some lovely scenes together and some bitter-sweet ones, too. And Moira has to overcome her hurt and finally tell Duncan the secret she's kept for seven long years. All of this made for terrific reading!

Plenty of action was provided in the form of a battle for Trotternish Castle and a showdown between two adversaries with a score to settle. Of all the Scottish Romance authors I've read, I think Mallory gets the romance side of things, and the rest of the plot/action scenes, balanced out the best, as well as writing some really terrific heroes!


To sum up, this book was a true delight, and I recommend it to all fans of Scottish Romance!

4.5 Stars ★
★★★1/2
ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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