Tuesday, October 11, 2016

ARC REVIEW A Highlander's Christmas Kiss by Paula Quinn

Book Five in the MacGregors: Highland Heirs series is not the cheery happy Christmas book you think a book with a title like A Highlander's Christmas Kiss would be. There was quite a bit of the two main characters falling in love and dealing with their angst. It felt like filler because they fell quickly in love and it was just Temperance dealing with her grief and need for vengeance and Cailean dealing with his grief and guilt. Once your get to the good part the book is half over and then it goes quickly. I liked the characters and the best ones were the secondary character, Patrick and Grams. It's fine as a standalone but to really understand the the pain and grief Cailean has suffered you have to know what he's gone through, first he lost his beloved dog Sadie and then he finally started to fall in love when he lost her to shot in the back by a bullet that was meant for him. Alison's death pushed him over the edge and now with no reason left to live he joins a group of bloodthirsty mercenaries, The Black Riders. His cousin Patrick doesn't know the details of why Cailean is so unhappy but he doesn't want to leave him alone, he's trying to convince him to return home but what happens sents Cailean on a much more painful path but one with such a sweet reward.

On their way back from market Patrick is struck by an arrow, in Cailean's grief and need for vengeance he allows the heinous Duncan Murdoch to convince him to acting upon his vengeance against the neighbouring family Menzie. It leads to the murder of the head of the family in front of his family. Temperance is devastated by the murder of her father. She knows he was innocent of the crime they accused him of, she wants Duncan Murdoch dead and she's going to be the one to kill him. Cailean regrets what happens and as an act of penance he returns to Linavar but while there he is betrayed by Duncan and stabbed in the back and left for dead. Temperance finds him and Grams and her nurse him back to health. Temperance is technically engaged to her best friend but she doesn't love him and doesn't want to marry him, he's not even in love with her either but with another woman who went missing weeks ago. The longer Cailean stays there the more guilt he feels and the more he falls in love with Temperance. Cailean is determined to set things right but is he to late? What will Temperance think of him after she finds out the truth about him?

Overall, it was an entertaining read, it's more of an angsty historical romance that happens to take place at the same time as Christmas.            

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