Friday, June 15, 2012

Conquered by a Highlander by Paula Quinn

Conquered by a Highlander (Children Of The Mist, #4)

Colin MacGregor was born to fight-for his beliefs, his king, and his family's honor. After years away from his beloved Scotland, he yearns to return to its lush, green hills-and he can, after he completes one final mission for the king. Sent to infiltrate a traitor's home, Colin is determined to expose the treasonous plot and triumph on the battlefield . . . until he meets a sensual lass who tempts him towards other pursuits . . . .


Lady Gillian Dearly is no stranger to temptation. Cast out of her family for bearing an illegitimate child, she's now the ward of a barbarian conspiring against the king. Her only desire: freedom for her son and for herself at any cost, even if it means making a deal with the devil. Yet when a mysterious Highlander appears in their midst, his braw strength and smoldering gaze give her hope for a future beyond the castle walls-and promise a desire unlike any she's ever known. But passion comes at a price . . .

Delightful romance and endless thrills...
Conquered by a Highlander was sweet, suspenseful, and near perfect.

First of all, I really admired Gillian. She was betrayed by the man she thought she loved and had a bastard child. Her father sent her to live with her creepy cousin as punishment. But, though it all, she was brave. She sacrificed her dignity daily to keep her son, Edmund, safe, she swallowed her pride constantly, and yet she was still strong. It was very admirable. She was careful when she fell in love with Colin, but not stubborn. And she was able to trust him and the most important time, when he saved both her and her son's life. She's probably one of the best romance heroines ever.

Colin was sweet. By his own admission, when he arrived he was a heartless warrior. But he never really was, not with how kind he was to little Edmund, not with how sweet he was to Gillian. After falling in love with Gillian, he put her above his duty to the king. Their romance was both sweet and steamy, though neither were overwhelming; just the right amount of each, I would say. I loved them together, and I was SO happy with their ending.

Little Edmund was so freaking adorable! Oh my goodness, I wanted to give the little cutie a hug to many times. He was just precious, the cutest little thing ever. I adored him. But he wasn't just a cute face that kept me smiling, he was also instrumental in bringing Gillian and Colin together. He grew fond of Colin immediately and insisted that Colin come with him and Gillian whenever they went somewhere. I was happy with how things ended for him; the poor boy deserved some happiness after living with Gillian's creep of a cousin.

That brings us to the very man. He was truly awful. He wants Gillian, as his wife and in his bed. He's been using Edmund to control Gillian, while treating both horribly. Dear god, I hated his guts. I was so glad when karma came to bite him in the butt. If anything, I think he deserved even worse than what he got. He was truly terrible, but the ideal antagonist. 

The setting was outstanding. For one, the politics were flawless, and added some political intrigue to the tale, though it wasn't at center stage. But the castle where Gillian is trapped, that's the most impressive part. The picture was painted perfectly. I felt the very atmosphere, the stifling misery and oppressiveness. It was always lingering, never allowing me to forget Gillian's incarceration in the terrible place. I loved that feel and applaud the author for doing such a fantastic job with it.

The one complaint I have is the beginning. After Gillian and Colin met, things seem to kind of hit a stand-still for a while. The two were at an impasse, and the story refused to move on until they resolved it. It took longer than it should have, but once the story started up again, everything was perfect. It wasn't a massive problem, and I was able to forget it once I moved past the block, but it bothered me enough to merit mention.

But, otherwise, I loved this book. Conquered by a Highlander is brilliant, a wonderful story with fantastic characters and a perfect ending.


Thanks to Netgalley for a copy!

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