The first book in the Highland Warriors trilogy, in which three heroes make a pact to insure that a rival clan does not take over their Glen of Many Legends. At the same time, three women plot to marry these heroes to insure peace.In SINS OF A HIGHLAND DEVIL, James Cameron is concerned when the King's decree states all three neighboring clans must have a battle to the death in order to lay official claim to the scared Glen of Many Legends. James attempts to make a pact with the heads of the other clans to fight this decree. But he ends up fighting his own fierce desire when coming head-to-head with Lady Catriona of the opposing MacDonald clan, who has her own plan for peace.
The Glen of Many Legends is a beautiful, mystical place, and three rival Highland clans lay claim to its ownership. Tired of the constant feuding between the Camerons, MacDonalds and Mackintoshes, King Robert orders a battle to the death to decide the fate of the glen. The clan with the last man standing (or most men standing) at the battle's conclusion wins control of the land. If the clans forfeit the fight, then all three are banished forever from the glen. Determined not to have outsiders take the glen, the three leaders devise a plan to keep it in their hands, while their sisters secretly concoct a plan of their own to bring peace between the clans.
The romance in this story is between James, the leader of the Camerons, and Catriona MacDonald, the sister of a rival laird. As members of feuding clans, they've spent years both hating and lusting after each other. While I love volatile relationships like that, James' and Catriona's stubbornness over getting together when on a very long time! Maybe it was just that their desire for each other wasn't as convincing as I'd have liked. I loved Catriona. She was strong, clever and spirited. I wanted James to be more of the "devil" that he was labeled to be. He seemed way too tame to be a devil!
Two things that really stood out for me in this book:
(1) The glen itself. The author described The Glen of Many Legends so beautifully! Complete with hills of heather, forests, moors, and a rugged coastline, the place sounded like it was worth fighting for. The MacDonald Clan's Blackshore Castle sat on an island with a stone causeway to shore. At high tide the residents were cut off from shore except by boat. Castle Nought, home of the Mackintosh Clan was located in the harsh, hilly northern terrain surrounded by Dreagan Stones - mysterious rocks thought to change into dragons. I can understand why all three clans wanted to claim it as their own.
(2) The paranormal elements. I wasn't expecting the story to have a paranormal twist! I was pleasantly surprised. There is a beautiful yet melancholy ghost named Scandia, who haunts the glen for mysterious reasons. It's thought that spotting her is an omen of doom, but she's just searching for her happily ever after. There's also Gorm and Grizel, two magical beings who practice the Old Ways. They are the Maker of Dreams and spiritual advisers to the Cameron chieftains. The paranormals were my favorite characters. I'm always drawn to them.
The next book in the series is Temptation of a Highland Scoundrel set for release in August 2011. I'm excited about book two because it's the story of Kendrew Mackintosh (my favorite of the men) and the stone dragons surrounding his castle.
Review copy courtesy of the publisher.