Dangerous Highlander

Wicked Highlander
by Donna Grant
(St. Martin’s, $7.99, PG) ISBN 978-0-312-38124-0
Wicked Highlander is a story that encompasses history, romance, and adventure as two people stuck in a very undesirable situation fight to be free and end up finding love.

Deirdre is a drough Druid who practices black magic and has been invaded by evil. She captures and kills the good mie Druids in order to inherit their magic and make her stronger. She wishes to take over the world by doing this and holding Warriors as her prisoners allows more Druids to be taken undefeated.

Marcail is a mie Druid who was captured by Deirdre in 1603 Scotland. She is trying to stay strong as she waits for what Deirdre has planned for her. To her surprise, Marcail is not taken by Deirdre to be killed for her magic, she is lead to the entrance to the Pit. She is holding on to the wall as best she can, but when the trap door starts to open, she frantically tries to hold her grip, but a Warrior pushes her down. She lands in the center of the Pit far below and is immediately surrounded by Warrior prisoners. Before she can move a black figure takes hold of her and throws her out of the way causing her to black out.

Quinn MacLeod is a Warrior who is being held prisoner by Deirdre in the Pit. Warriors are immortals who had their god unbound by Deirdre’s magic. With their god unbound, they can transform into fighting machines, which Deirdre hopes to use to her advantage. Deirdre has already turned some Warriors to her side, but those who refuse are held prisoner. Quinn is Deirdre’s main focus as she believes there is a prophecy that she will have his baby and together they will create the greatest and most evil child. Quinn, of course, is going to do anything to prevent that.

Quinn is the black Warrior who saves Marcail from the attack of other Warriors when she is thrown into the Pit. He doesn’t understand why he saves her as that will make him vulnerable to the other Warriors that he has already established command of in the Pit. There is something about Marcail that enthralls him and he thinks it’s the centuries that have passed since he has been with a woman.

When Marcail wakes, she is very confused, but when she sees Quinn she immediately remembers being saved by him. She is very attracted to Quinn and cares for him even though they just met. Quinn is hiding her in his cave in the Pit and is very careful to ensure no one that is not on his side knows she is there, especially Deirdre. This becomes even more vital when he discovers Marcail is holding the secret spell to re-bind their gods and end the evil that has everyone at Deirdre’s mercy. The hitch is the spell is buried deep in Marcail’s mind and she struggles to get it out.

Donna Grant tries to combine several elements of history, adventure, and romance in the Wicked Highlander. I think the story falls a little short in each of those categories and it would have been better if the story had romance as the primary theme, and then history and adventure as the supporting secondary themes. Without a primary theme, the story is not attention grabbing.

I’m not familiar with the language in Scotland during the 1600s, but this story includes bits and pieces of dialogue that I can only assume are from this time. “Willna,” “didna,” and “doona” are commonly used in the dialogue, but the rest of the words are modern. This disrupts the flow and led me to struggle to stay absorbed in the story.

What I did like about the story was the characters. The author did a god job of developing the lead characters of Quinn and Marcail in a way that was engrossing. The secondary characters were also integral to the story and developed well, even though there were many.

Overall, I struggled to finish this book. The romance piece was pretty disappointing and left me bored. And even worse, the main mystery throughout the story didn’t get solved. I guess you’ll have to wait for the next book in the series to find out what happens.

If you are really into magic and warriors, then you might enjoy it a little more than I did.

--Nichole Howell

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