MacKinloch Clan Series:
Tempted by a Highland Warrior: Callum MacKinloch and Lady Marguerite de Montpierre
After years of brutal torture, Callum MacKinloch is finally free of his captors–but his voice is still held prisoner. He’d never let anyone hear him scream. Although Lady Marguerite de Montpierre’s chains may be invisible, they threaten to tie her to a loveless and cruel marriage.
When Marguerite discovers Callum waiting to die, her heart aches for the warrior beneath the suffering–but they can have no future. Yet she is the one woman with the power to tame the rage locked inside him. Maybe he can find another reason to live…for her.
This was my first book by Michelle Willingham and I have to say I am impressed! I didn’t quite know what to expect from this book, I was a bit reserved after having seen it was a third book in a series. However, that did not hinder my enjoyment of this book at all. I do not feel it was necessary to have read the previous two books to understand this title it easily stands up as a standalone. M. Willingham’s writing quickly swept me up in this tale starting from when Lady Marguerite is startled from her sleep by tortured screams and she finds herself tending to Callum’s tortured back. From their first meeting you feel the connection between these two kindred spirits. Both are locked in chains, but their chains are entirely different. Hers are of her title and gender and his are that of a prisoner of war.
From the age of 12 Callum has been held prisoner, tortured to the brink of death more times than he can remember, his voice gone after one especially vicious torture where he refused to let them hear him scream. His body eventually recovered but his voice never did, his flesh is yet again recovering from a whipping when Lady Marguerite is awakened and comes to his aid thinking it is him who screamed. There was something in the way she cared for him that gave him a renewed vigor for life, even for the possibility of seeing her once more before he dies. Callum, does not give up, even against insurmountable odds, he keeps on going, in chains or out of them. He is an inspiration and one of my favorite highland warriors to date. How can you not love a man that doesn’t give up on his woman even when facing his own death, you just can’t. There is no defense against that, his love just pours out of him and after the life he has led it is a miracle he can love at all. He is a proud, strong, intelligent, highland warrior and I too would have given up everything to be with this man.
With Marguerite, she is such a kind lady; when she tends to Callum’s wounds you immediately have a soft spot for her. She is so gentle with him and brings him back not just from the physical brink but from the mental too. When he is finally free and he is half out of his mind and she tends to him again with such caring and understanding, you just know these two belong. Then, she gets home and is locked back up into her invisible chains yet again and Callum comes for her, I about started to dislike her, but that was my modern woman coming out. I really had to set that aside and remember we are in the 1300’s and she is the daughter of a Duke, considered no more than mere property and then I’m ok, you go girl. These might be tiny rebellions in today’s standards but in 1300’s standards they were HUGE! She had some balls after all and I started liking her again. She had to work with what she could, how she could, it might not have been the best way but it was the only way she could figure at the time. And one huge thing to her credit is she doesn’t give up, if it meant her life or his, she’d do what she had to, to make sure he still had his. By the end she had some serious courage and did what a girl had to do, even if it meant plunging to her death, because even death was a better fate then what her father had planned for her…
I highly recommend this book, I thoroughly enjoyed it! I remembered why I loved highlanders so much, it’s been a while since I have read a highlander book that I enjoyed as much as this one. The characters leapt right off the page; their emotions felt real, the character development was well done. The scenes were rich and full of life. And oh how the sensuality smoldered as Callum and Marguerite discovered theirs together for the first time. This is a love that truly defies all odds and stands against all tests. And their loe is tested over and over, it is quite the roller coaster ride of events and emotion. I didn’t expect this historical to be as steamy as it was so I was in for a very pleasant surprise to find that the sexuality simmered and created a delicious tension between these two. I also found that in a strange way Callum’s inability to talk in a way increased their communication as they had to rely so much on the non-verbal, but from the beginning they had such a deep connection between them that Marguerite, never seemed to not know what Callum was thinking. I know as soon as I am able to find some time, I will be going back and reading the first two books in this series and finding any other books I can from Michelle Willingham, I believe she also has a series about an Irish family, I know I won’t be passing that up!
Rating: 4.5 Orchids
*Review copy provided through Netgalley for an honest review, no other compensation was given.