Highland Outlaw – Monica McCarty

Back Cover copy:
Patrick MacGregor is a hunted man living on the edge. With his land stolen and clan outlawed, Patrick and his MacGregor clansmen have been forced into hiding—blame for which Patrick puts squarely on the shoulders of the hated Campbells. Patrick will stop at nothing to save his clan from destruction, and marriage to Elizabeth Campbell, whose quiet beauty he’d admired from afar, just might be the answer. Arranging an attack seems to be the perfect means to win the trust of the protected lass, but soon Patrick realizes that it isn’t just his life at stake if she discovers the truth of his identity, but something he’d thought lost long ago—his heart.

Elizabeth Campbell has never done anything reckless in her life. Shy and dutiful, Lizzie has always tried to do the right thing—even suffering through the humiliation of two broken engagements without complaint. But behind the serious façade is a passionate woman fighting to get out. So when a handsome mysterious warrior rescues her from an attack, Lizzie boldly asks him to stay. Seduced by his kiss and mesmerized by the edge of danger that surrounds him, Lizzie succumbs to the promise beckoning from behind his shadowed gaze, believing she’s found the perfect man. But soon Lizzie wonders whether in risking her heart, she’s lost everything.

Patrick MacGregor’s life has always revolved around his revenge on the Campbells. They destroyed his family, they took what was rightfully his and now they are hunting him, forcing him to live like a barbarian, a life of running and hiding and suffering. But now he has contemplated a plan to exact the perfect revenge and in the process, get the lands back that where wrongfully taken from his family. It has come to his attention that Elizabeth Campell’s dowry has been expanded with those very lands and he devises a ruse to win Lizzie’s trust and trick her into marrying him.

Lizzie, unsuspecting of Patrick’s lies, soon falls for the fierce warrior who came to her rescue during an attack by MacGregor outlaws. What she doesn’t know is that he is one of them and the attack is a set-up. But things don’t go exactly as planned for Patrick when he discovers that he is not immune to Lizzie’s charm and bravery and he has trouble carrying out his plans.

Lizzie is a true lady of the keep. She is delicate, sensible, kind and dutiful. But she’s also brave and a fierce spitfire when push comes to shove. I loved her character and think she has come a long way from the stammering, insecure girl in the McLeods of Skye Trilogy. She has grown into a fiery and strong woman whose heart is vulnerable but in the hands of the right man, which happens to be Patrick, it is safe.

Patrick is a true warrior. He is calm, controlled and proud. He has a fierceness that he tries to keep in check by using his wit and cunning intelligence. He is determined and despises his life as an outlaw, forced to run and do things that go against his nature.

Together Lizzie and Patrick were great. Their story that was covered with complications warmed my heart. They were perfect for each other and I loved their journey to love and trust in a tale of injustice, deception, duty, vengeance and star-crossed love.

This book was elaborate, intricate and passionate. Families, loyalty to them and the sense of duty run strong throughout Monica McCarty’s books and in this one the portrayal of these themes was perfectly matched with lovely romance and passionate attraction. The love story between Patrick and Lizzie is one that is complicated but inevitable. McCarty brought it in an amazing way. It was fast-paced, emotional, sensual and suspenseful. By inserting complicating factors like Patrick’s family being outlawed and hunted by Lizzie’s or Lizzie being courted by the son of the man who killed Patrick’s parents, she gave the story depth and intrigue where it would otherwise remain average.

With this book the feud between Clan Campbell and Clan MacGregor seems to be solved and I look forward to what Monica McCarty brings to the table in the final installment of this trilogy. In my opinion this book was another formidable Scottish tale of romance and loyalty. With a compelling writing style and a story build-up that was excellent McCarty kept me entranced and glued to the pages.

Lizzie’s story was absolutely worth the wait and her journey to happiness was a complicated but beautiful one.

Quotes:
He was a Greek god carved not from marble, but from hard Highland granite.

She might be tiny and delicate, but she’d been made for him. She wouldn’t break—he smiled wickedly—though he intended to make her shatter.


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