by Laurin Wittig
Kindle Edition – Read July 31, 2013
Expected Release Date: August 6, 2013
Length: 270 pages
Official Description: This is book #1 in the Gardians of the Targe series.
Hidden deep in the rugged Scottish Highlands lies the Highland Targe, an ancient relic guarded for centuries by clan MacAlpin. It is said the Targe can shield the heart of the Highlands from invaders and now, as part of his plan to crush the Scottish rebellion, the English king wants the Targe for himself…
Rowan MacGregor, orphaned niece to the chief of the MacAlpins and the rock her family depends upon, is worried. With the dwindling health of her aunt, the Guardian of the Targe, the protections that have kept the clan safe and prosperous are fading, and the new Guardian, one of her cousins, has yet to be chosen. Rowan wants nothing more than to see the clan protected again, but when it seems that will never happen, she despairs—even when a handsome and charming stranger comes to her aid.
Nicholas fitz Hugh is not what he seems. Half-English, half-Scottish, he turned his back on his Scottish heritage early in his life, giving his loyalty to England instead. Now he is a talented and cunning spy charged with finding and stealing the Highland Targe for his king.
But when Nicholas finds himself falling for the bonny Rowan and wanting to protect the family she holds so dear, he is forced to choose between his king’s will and his own: Will he betray his king and his mission? Or will he turn his back on the woman he has come to love?
I think I am falling way to much in love with Highlander fiction, mostly because I have yet to read a bad one. So Highlander Betrayed, obviously, is a book set in the Highlands of Scotland, but this book does have a bit of the magical twist. I loved every aspect of this book, I even randomly started talking with a bit of a Scottish lilt, because my brain was so enamored with the world that Ms. Wittig has created. So characters, we have Nicholas who is part English and Scottish and is having a sort of inward struggle of what his identity should be and some coming to terms with his past. Rowan too is going through a bit of an identity crisis as she trys to remember repressed memories and copes with the illness of her only mother figure, her aunt. Then there are the minor characters who would have fantastic stories of their own, I totally would love reading those, we have Scotia, Rowans crazy 18-year-old cousin who is all about mischief. Then we have Jeannette, who is the oldest sister who keeps everything running smoothly. Then there are a few others, but I won’t bore you with all of that.
I totally could buy the romance in this book, mostly because they, Nicholas and Rowan, didn’t fall instantly into one another’s arms madly in love. The romance just kind of happened gradually, spurring from mutual attraction. They have such a organic and natural progression, though it does seem to have been speed up a considerable amount. Overall, I loved this book, I love the setting of Scotland, I love the characters and the world development. Every part of this book seemed really well done, it was clear, concise, and not the same formula other books liked to use, because alot of books use the romance as an excuse for sex scenes and this one is more about the plot and the romance comes from that. I also love strong female characters, and Rowan is one of those, but mostly I really enjoyed the story and setting. This one is worth a look at especially if you have a soft spot for Highlanders.
* I did receive this book for free for an honest review!