Seduction of a Highland Warrior
Seduction of a Highland Warrior is the final book in the three part Glen of Many Legends series. I have not read the first two books in this series, but Sue-Ellen Welfonder did a good job of filling the reader in on the important background from the previous two books. Therefore this book does well as a stand-alone story.
Three clans have lived and fought in the Glen of Many Legends: the Cameron, MacDonald and Mackintosh clans. On the order of the King, the clans must keep the peace or forfeit their lands. Three heroines have pledged to heal the enmity that has existed in this remote highland area for generations so each clan can remain strong. Seduction of a Highland Warrior focuses on the feud between the lairds of the MacDonald and Mackintosh clans. Alasdair MacDonald has been enamored of Marjory Mackintosh since they first met. However, a very personal feud between Alasdair and Marjory’s brother Kendrew Mackintosh stands in the way of their happiness. Kendrew is descended from Vikings and wants to renew his connection with these northern neighbors and kinsmen by forging a marriage alliance between a Viking jarl and his sister Marjory. Marjory has different plans and actively works against her brother and any Viking alliance. Alasdair wants Marjory with a passion he almost cannot deny, but the needs of his clan must come first. However, there is a plot afoot that will change everything.
The theme running through this book is the influence of the glen legends and how they shape each clan. Ghosts, standing stones, enchanted gemstones, and a host of other mystical items and apparitions are sprinkled throughout the story. Welfonder’s writing takes on an ethereal tone that reflects the deep mysticism of the Highlands. This mystical theme and its resultant languid writing style definitely evoke a sense of setting and tone in the book, but it also seems to slow down the reading pace at times. The side story of two ghosts definitely related to what was happening in the present, but I felt that story might have been either expanded on or cut out entirely. The story of the ghosts felt like it was in competition with the narrative of our hero and heroine and I think it slightly took away from their relationship.
Both hero and heroine were characters who were easy to like. Alasdair is strong, loyal, and responsible. Marjory is proud, fierce, and loves deeply. I would have liked to have seen just a little more one-on-one time with these two. The book suggests that they met in one of the previous books and perhaps because I have not read either of the first two in this series, I missed a little of the interaction to which other readers would have been exposed. The secondary characters had high billing in this story. Kendrew Mackintosh was well drawn and his wife Isobel’s relationship with Marjory is crucial to the plot. I liked both Kendrew and Isobel and will probably go back and read their story in Temptation of a Highland Scoundrel.
What kept Seduction of a Highland Warrior from receiving a higher rating from me was the allocation of time together in the narrative for our hero and heroine, and the abruptness of the ending. Throughout the book Marjory suffers from very vivid and disturbing dreams of portent. After a tremendous build up, the ending was rather rushed and anticlimactic. I expected a much more dramatic final confrontation. The paranormal aspect began well, but the conclusion of that aspect of the book felt rushed as well. However, this is a solid book that held my attention enough to interest me in the first two books in the series.