Torn by tragedy from her sheltered life in London, Lady Sarah is unprepared for the harshness of the frontier—or for the attraction she feels toward Connor as he guides her first through the consummation of their forced union and then through the dangers of the wilderness. When they reach civilization, however, it is she who must protect him. For if her uncle knew all that Connor had done to save her, he would surely kill him.
But the flames of passion, once kindled, are difficult to deny. As desire transforms into love, Connor will have to defy an empire to keep Sarah at his side.
My own foreword:
I first want to say thank you, Pamela, for giving me the opportunity… the excitement and honor… of reading this book, chapter by chapter, as it was being written, then again once it was completed. I’m not in the least embarrassed to say that even after that, I read it again, twice more in its entirety, and still knowing what was coming, what to expect, I laughed, I cried, I sighed, I was angry, my hands shook, my heart raced… you name the emotion and while reading this book, I felt it, again and again. Such an incredible experience! So yeah, thank you, Pamela, truly.
Now, let's move on to the reason you’re all here…
Defiant is the third book in the MacKinnon’s Rangers series and one of the most beautiful, amazing, heartbreaking, joyous, poignant, exciting, perfectly wonderful romance novels I’ve ever read. No, I take it back, that's not what it is... calling it a romance novel doesn’t do it justice. What it is, is a true love story, in every possible way. I adored Iain and Annie’s story, and Morgan and Amalie’s, but Connor and Sarah… my absolute favorite of the three. It's such an adventure! An incredible journey from letting go of the past to embracing the here and now, and the future. Connor and Sarah have so many things to overcome, and I don’t just mean Indians, murder, kidnapping, pissy, asshat relatives and gossip and rumors… I mean, yeah, those things are there, but nothing compared to what they had to overcome within themselves… their own personal demons… anger, betrayal, hopelessness, a need for revenge so consuming it can destroy one’s soul… such a powerful story.
Okay, some things you need to know. Before you begin this book, stock up on the following:
1. Snacks and beverages that don’t require refrigeration. You’ll be needing plenty of these because you’re going to want to lock yourself away somewhere nice and quiet, and once there, you will not want to leave in search of sustenance. Trust me on this.
2. Tissues. Boxes and boxes of tissues. Don't skimp, you’ll need them.
3. And girls, ‘cuz I love you and I got your backs, this is critical… make sure you’ve got your significant other on standby, or a stockpile of batteries. Just sayin’…
Some final thoughts…
There are so many things to love about the MacKinnon brothers. Their passion, their sense of humor, their honor and need to always do what’s right, the way they take care of their women… and this quote from the book sums it up so, so well:
Joseph speaking to Sarah: “You are new here, so I will explain. In this land, nobility comes not from one’s fathers or a title or from the land one owns, but from one’s actions.” His voice was hard-edged, and his words seemed harsh to her. “The MacKinnon brothers are the highest nobility to those who live on the frontier—true warriors, men who know how to fight and survive, men who put the lives of others before their own. Your family’s wealth, your title, your virtue—they mean nothing out here. They won’t fill your belly, and they won’t keep you alive. What matters most right now is your survival.”And one of the most beautiful, romantic lines I've ever read, and when you read this story you'll understand why it had me in tears:
Och, Sarah, how shall I call augh’ beautiful again unless it be the sight of you?Yeah, not just in tears, sobbing so hard my chest hurt.
But this wouldn't be a MacKinnon's Rangers story without those laugh out loud scenes we've come to expect, those moments that bring some light to the darkness… and this exchange is one of them: Joseph and Connor:
Joseph stood, his gaze traveling over Connor’s clean-shaven face and hairless chest, his lips curving in a grin. “What’s this? The cub is not so furry.”So yeah... I could go on and on and on, sharing quotes and telling you how much I love every single word of this book, but I won't do that, I won't deprive you the pleasure of experiencing the story for yourself and discovering all the amazing little gems that make Defiant one of my very favorite historical love stories ever.
“That devil woman’s granddaughters waylaid me, took me to her lodge, insisting they had to prepare me for the ceremony. They bathed and oiled me, shaved my face, then plucked every hair out of my chest and belly. God’s blood, it was torture!”
Connor’s skin still smarted.
Joseph chuckled. “You look good—just like a human being should look. Only animals have hairy faces and bodies.”
This was a familiar disagreeance, one they’d debated many times afore.
“Real men have hair on their chests,” Connor fired back. “You look like a lass wi’ smooth paps.”
But this only made Joseph laugh harder.
Connor’s temper snapped. “Dinnae be laughin’ at me. They went for my cods, so they did! I had to thrust them away, else they’d have plucked me bare there, too. I willna submit my bollocks to such abuse.”
Joseph bit his lip, clearly trying to rein in his mirth. “So you prefer to make women search the bush to find the snake?”
“My snake is no’ so small that the lasses must search for it.”