Sunday, October 11, 2009
In the Scottish Highlands, two warriors are about to clash over a woman of passion...
They were the unlikeliest of friends debauching their way through London: The Earl of Camdonn, a nobleman of vast wealth and power, and Scottish laird Alan MacDonald, a respected Jacobite with ambitions of his own.
But their friendship is destroyed when Alan marries the beautiful Sorcha Stewart-only to witness Cam kidnap her from their bedroom. Then Alan learns the truth: his bride was not an innocent. She took a lover before him-his friend-who taught her the ways of pleasure.
Now, Alan will do anything to get his wife back. Cam fights to redeem his honor, even as he refuses to give up his desire. Torn between love and duty, Sorcha must watch as the two men she desires go to war over her. And when the battle lines are drawn, all three lovers are lured into a triangle of forbidden passions...
This was one steamy, sexy highlander romance! *fans self* Needless to say, I loved it. I couldn't put it down and read it in one day. I was drawn into the plotline from the first until the last, I had to know what would happen!
This is the story of two men, Cam, the Earl of Camdonn and Alan MacDonald his best friend who is the local laird of the MacDonalds that's lives nearby. Set during the time of the first rising in Scotland in 1715, Alan has just married Sorcha Stewart and it is his wedding night. They consummate their marriage tenderly and sweetly with no idea that Cam is watching them, voyeur like, through the window, tears in his eyes. Sorcha had been his mistress (unbeknownst to Alan) and he couldn't stand the idea that she was now married and out of his reach.
With that, he basically loses all sense and barges in and heaves her over his shoulder and carries her off to his castle! Poor Alan tries to go after her but is foiled by Cam's guards, injured, he is taken back to his cottage to have his wounds looked after. Sorcha doesn't want to to go off with Cam, but she can't stop him. She wants to stay with her new husband! What is she to do? She is now disgraced, Alan will now know she was not the virgin she appeared to be and she will be shunned by all. Quite the dilemma!
This is how the book begins and I must admit, outlandish as the storyline was, it was hard to put down. We see all three's persepective: Alan, Cam and Sorcha. Sorcha is able to escape and comes back to her husband the next morning, but by this time, he knows all. He has been duped and he's not happy. Still, he remains married to Sorcha and they try to patch things up. Eventually, they learn to deal with what happened and the fact she lied to him. She wants to remain married to Alan, although he will not touch her. But, even he begins to thaw, and after demanding satisfaction, he fights a duel with Cam, who is gravely injured and all changes.
Cam has many flaws, he is handsome and irresistible, but selfish and spoiled, used to getting what he wants. Hence, how he carries Sorcha off against her will - dishonoring his best friend in the process. He later regrets his actions, but only after he realizes she doesn't love him. Eventually he redeems himself in the duel, but he also has to redeem himself with the reader. His actions were repellent to me at first. Watching Alan and Sorcha on their wedding night while masturbating was abhorrant to me. I disliked him and didn't feel sorry for him at all. He should have asked her to marry him when he had the chance. He blew it and instead of accepting it, he makes a mess of it, not even thinking of the consequences of his actions. But, by the end of the book, he succeeds in redeeming himself and sets the scene for the next book in this series.
Alan, on the other hand, is more noble in my opinion, and the injured party in all of this. It was his wife that was stolen. He was the one that was lied to. He must learn to forgive and get beyond it. It's a long journey for him, but eventually love wins out and he accepts Sorcha for who she is and loves her. But, he has the niggling worry that she would choose Cam over him if she had the chance. He puts her on the spot at one point to help him cope with this frustrating conundrum between his wife and best friend. Cam is put on the spot too.
There was loads of passion and sizzling heat in this book. Both men are stunning and sexual, but in their own individual way. Alan was more believable and down to earth. It's understandable that Sorcha is torn. She wants to be a good wife and honor her vows to Alan, but Cam was her first, rich and powerful, there is a bond between them. Can she live this way, loving and caring for both? One drunken night, the three of them experience a night of carnal fulfillment together - a menage a trois. This is part of the way that Alan must come to terms with the idea that his best friend still wants his wife, and his wife still has a sexual bond with Cam that cannot go away. I had a little trouble with Alan here. He wants to see Sorcha and Cam make love, he demands it of them, yet the next morning..?
The menage scene was well done (if you are into that sort of thing), though it was very drawn out. Understandably there are the usual repurcussions and misunderstandings afterwards, complicated by the first Jacobite rising with Cam and Alan being on opposite sides and Alan leaving the next morning without saying good bye to Cam or Sorcha. But, the two unlikely friends cross battle lines for Sorcha, and Cam's search on the battlefield for Alan was enthralling. I don't know much about the first rising, mostly I'm familiar with the second and Culloden, blah, blah, blah. This first rising was unsuccessful and came to nothing. Alan, in the story is a Jacobite, but Cam is a loyalist, a follower of the Duke of Argyll, though he tries to remain out of the fray as much as possible.
Poor Sorcha, she made some bad decisions and had to face the consequences. I do admire her for not giving into Cam and wanting to stay and be a wife to Alan. Alan puts her in a very awkward position (no pun intended) during the threesome. She does not want to hurt his feelings and is hesitant at first, but eventually gives in wholeheartedly. Of course, Alan will never forget that...
So many complications, yet so irresistible to read on and see how these complications are dealt with and resolved.
All in all, this was a really hot book, if you are not into threesomes, this might not be your cup of tea (I didn't have a problem with it). The story itself was original and I loved the setting of two highlanders pitted against one another over one woman, with the backdrop of a Jacobite rising. I thought the tale was gripping and well written, I will definitely read more by this author!
P.S. This cover was to die for!