Sunday, July 10, 2011

Claimed by the Highland Warrior by Michelle Willingham

I’m a big fan of Michelle Willingham’s historicals, and so when I saw this book, I knew that I just had to have it!

Claimed by the Highland Warrior is the first book in the MacKinloch Clan series and we're introduced to an amazing family and a wonderful supporting cast of friends and clan members. Taking place during the time of William Wallace, Braveheart, it's a historical adventure that could have been bogged down with the necessary world building and character introduction that takes place in most first books in a series, but I didn’t feel any of that. In fact, the story was so well told that I read it in a single day and found the secondary characters to be every bit as important and compelling as our main couple.

Goodreads blurb –
Bram MacKinloch has spent seven long, torturous years in captivity with only three things to keep him alive—pure brute strength, a thirst for revenge and the memory of his pretty wife's face.

Shock is only one of the emotions coursing through Nairna's body when she sees Bram again. His scars tell of suffering, the hunger in his eyes speak of a burning desire so raw it could consume them both. But a lot has changed since they so innocently wed…
On his wedding night, Bram left his young bride, Nairna, and went with his father and brothers into battle, having never even consummated the marriage. Then came the news that Bram and his brother, Callum, and their father, were killed, leaving Nairna to mourn a man she cared deeply for. Seven years later as this story opens, Bram has escaped his hellish prison and makes his way back to his wife’s family’s holdings so he can finally claim the woman he loves. Of course Nairna is overjoyed to see him alive, but neither of them are the same people they were when they first married, so she isn’t sure what to expect. Then as if that isn’t enough to contend with, when they make their way to Bram’s family at Glen Arrin, they find the keep in near ruin, the clan divided, and the Laird and his wife barely speaking, but it’s all of these things that make the story so interesting – and keeps Nairna busy!

Watching Bram and Nairna deal with what we now know as PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - was at times heartbreaking, but Nairna is such a strong, grounded woman that even though she was dealing with her own tumultuous emotions, she was able to help Bram deal with the memories and nightmares of his years of torture and captivity, while devoting herself to her new clan and her role as a wife. There are so many things to love about this story, but first and foremost were Nairna and Bram, watching as they had to first learn to trust one another and then love.

While there were some slower moments in the story, Claimed by the Highland Warrior is a romantic, passionate, and exciting beginning to the MacKinloch Clan series, one which I’ll continue to follow.

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