Title: Desired by a Highlander
Series: Macardle Sisters of Courage Trilogy #2
Author: Donna Fletcher
Format: Paperback/eBook, 357 pages
Publication: July 10, 2019 by Donna Fletcher
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Source: Giveaway from author
Rating: 1.5 out of 5 Wine Glasses
Will he ever speak the truth to her? And will she ever believe him?
Willow is the dependable, sensible sister and, due to her mum’s tutelage, has become a fine healer. She’s on her way home from visiting her sister Sorrell when the small troop escorting her is attacked. She’s taken prisoner and lowered down into a hole in the ground where a male prisoner is being kept. She has no idea what awaits her and all the reasoning in the world isn’t going to help her.
Slatter is a scoundrel and a good-for-nothing. He’s a liar, far from dependable, has no common sense, and is the one responsible for a fire that was started on Macardle land. He’s a man of fine features and many a woman has lost her heart to him. Or is there more to the tales about Slatter than anyone knows?
Thrown together and forced to marry under bizarre circumstances, Slatter and Willow make the most of their situation until things can be made right. And for the first time in her life Willow finds herself not being at all sensible and Slatter finds himself wanting more than he ever thought possible.
Danger threatens both their lives along with an old secret waiting to be revealed and instead of following her steadfast common sense, Willow allows herself to follow her heart and does something others warn her against… she trusts Slatter.
Will Slatter disappoint her or will love conquer all?
Captured on her way to her sister, Willow finds herself in a precarious situation. When her jailer decides to throw her in a hole with a naked man, things go from bad to worse. Slatter is currently on the losing end of his back and forth battle with a man named Beck. He's been planning to escape but when an innocent woman is thrown into his jail with him, he knows he must stay to protect her.
Willow thinks she knows Slatter but lies, revenge, and the truth are all about to be revealed.
“A woman only belongs to a man if she’s wed to him. So if you want to leave here with her, you’ll wed her,”
Second in the Macardle Sisters of Courage Trilogy, I would highly suggest reading the first. The story begins right away with the action, Willow being kidnapped, and I had no idea the who and whys of the situation. There was other background information that would have been helpful, character motivations and how they were all tied together, by family or enemies. There was also an overuse of the word “poke” (sex), it was used 22 times with the second and third chapter, that became extremely tiresome and redundant to read. I personally like to see emotional/mental growth in my leads romance before the sexual occurs and this had Slatter giving Willow an orgasm within the first three chapters. This put me in the mindset that the story was going to be steamier but the tone changes and the sexual aspect actually doesn't really appear until later in the story, this made the beginning feel even more separate from the rest.
The war between Slatter and Beck, was confusing for me and I didn't understand their connection and animosity (maybe something I missed from not reading the first) and when the story moves on to Willow and Slatter at her brother's, it is forgotten for while in favor of a different one, involving characters thinking Slatter is a lying, adulterous, killer. The author keeps Willow and Slatter together through a forced marriage and they move to caring for each other and suddenly not wanting to get divorced very quickly. Willow and Slatter try to convince everyone that someone who looks exactly like Slatter is impersonating him and that guy is the true villain. This story thread also left me confused and not feeling it was fully fleshed out, again, characters and reasons felt left out.
“A husband sees to his wife’s care. I am your husband and I will be your husband until I am no more.”
I really think if you read this series in order, you would get more out of it. You'd have the foundation for the three sisters each book centers, the hows, whys, and character relationships. The first sister isn't shown in this but the third and youngest sister, Snow, has a teased enemies-to-lovers romance with the Lord of Fire, someone wanting Slatter dead for supposedly killing one of his warriors.
As a new reader to the series I was lost on character relationships and didn't fully grasp storylines. There was an interesting revenge plot but with the other threads going on, especially the whole Slayer, a man who mysteriously appears when you ask for his help in killing the “unjust”, mystery that felt tagged on in the end and didn't land the shock or emotional impact it should have. I ended up feeling lost for most of the story and never really connected with Willow and Slatter's romance.
Suggested Reading Order:
Book #1 Highlander of My Heart
Book #2 Desired by a Highlander
Book #3 Highlander Lord of Fire