Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Review -- THE SINNER

The Sinner
Return of the Highlanders, Book 2
by Margaret Mallory
Publisher: Grand Central
Release Date: November 1, 2011

Four fearless warriors return to the Highlands to claim their lands and legacies. But all their trials on the battlefield can’t prepare them for their greatest challenge yet: winning the hearts of four willful Scottish beauties.

After walking away from a horrible marriage to a philandering man, Glynis MacNeil is resolute in her decision to never marry again and she will do anything possible to thwart her father’s matchmaking schemes. So when two warriors from another clan arrive at her father’s home, Glynis puts her latest plan into action. With the help of her maid, she transforms herself from a beautiful young woman to a woman with oozing pot marks all over her face.

Alex MacDonald is one fierce warrior. While he is known for his battle skills, it is his reputation between the sheets that gets people talking. Growing up with parents who fought constantly, Alex is determined never to wed. And why should he since a different woman every night satisfies his needs. When Alex and his friend Duncan arrive at the McNeil castle, Alex is shocked to be introduced to a woman with horrible pot marks on her face. Upon closer inspection, Alex immediately realizes the pot marks which seem to be oozing down her face are actually a disguise. Quite amused by such drastic measures, Alex beings a conversation with this unique woman.

“I’d do anything for my clan but wed,” Glynis said.

“Since we are of one mind on that,” Alex said, “we can be friends, aye?”

She looked over her should at him. “Do ye mean it?”

“Usually I become friends with women after I bed them,” he said. “But I’ll make an exception for ye.”

And thus a friendship between the two forms. In another attempt to get away from her matchmaking father, Glynis coaxes Alex into taking her along on his travels to Edinburgh where family from her mother’s side lives. During the days of travel, friendship swiftly gives way to the chemistry of white, hot passion. The sparks between the two could set all of Scotland on fire! Passionate nights (and a few days) sear a permanent place in each other’s heart.

With every stroke of his strong hands, he wiped away another bad memory of Magnus touching her. She wanted him to replace every ounce of unpleasantness and humiliation with pleasure and joy. Oh, God, how she wanted him. She wrapped her legs around Alex’s hips, urging him forward.

“I don’t want to rush this time,” he said against her ear. “I’m going to make certain ye don’t forget me too soon, Glynis MacNeil.”

Not likely.

While in Edinburgh, Alex discovers he is the father to a small girl. Hoping to provide his daughter with a calm, quiet childhood unlike his own, Alex practically begs Glynis to be his wife and mother to his daughter. Thinking she would never have a child of her own, Glynis finally accepts Alex’s proposal as her only way of becoming a mother, but secretly she hopes that his philandering ways are a thing of the past and that his heart would belong to her. Having endured humiliation by her first husband, all Glynis wants is to be loved and desired above all women by her husband. Through trials and a misunderstanding, Alex comes to the realization that one true love is so much better than a different woman every night.

Her eyes closed as his mouth met hers. For a long, long time, he just kissed her, not as a step to something else, but as if he wanted to do it forever. His fingers slid into her hair and supported her head as their tongues moved against each other in deep kisses.

Glynis felt adrift and breathless as he kissed her cheeks, her eyelids, her hair.

“Cronaim tgum,” he said. I missed you.

Since reading and reviewing Margaret Mallory’s debut novel, KNIGHT OF DESIRE, I have been singing her praises. And as much as I loved her medieval series, All the King’s Men, I must say that I believe Ms. Mallory has found her calling in writing Highlanders. The first book in this series, THE GUARDIAN, was a fabulous story and Ms. Mallory has kept the writing bar high with this latest offering. THE SINNER is a novel overflowing with everything you expect from a Highlander novel – fierce passion, male arrogance, and female determination. But THE SINNER offers so much more – a real friendship between husband and wife, the gentle interactions between a father and daughter, and the sweetness of true love.

While you could read this novel as a standalone book, I would highly recommend that you read the series in order as it will enrich your reading experience.

~ Buffie


  1. I have had my eye on THE SINNER for a while now & I don't care how that sounds.

  2. LOL, Marybelle!! It's a fabulous book. I would recommend you read THE GUARDIAN first as it makes the reading of THE SINNER so much sweeter.

  3. Highlanders, YES. And a series, love series almost as much as the Highlanders.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. new author again for me, but the cover looks yummy ;)

  6. SOLD! I definitely am going to look for both of her books!!

  7. Buffie, I trust your judgment with books, so I'm sure to love this one! Great review!

  8. Buffie, great review! I tend to read series in order anyway, but I appreciate your letting us know it matters here.

  9. Great review! I have this book on my wishlist

  10. If there are Highlanders, I am there! *g*

    Thanks for the great review, Buffie. I will be adding this one to my ever-growing stack of books. :-)

  11. Great review

    I loved Margaret's first 3 books and I have The Guardian on the TBR pile and I will be getting this one as well

    Have Fun

  12. I could go for these highlanders myself, love them. Will have to check this series out.

  13. Hey everyone!! Sorry for responding late to your comments. It's been a long day at the office and our family went out for dinner to celebrate my hubby's birthday.

  14. LOL, Dianna! I'm so with you on this. A highlander series is the BEST kind of series.

  15. Eli, so glad to find out that Margaret Mallory is a new to you author. She writes some fabulous historicals, and this new series is fantastic. I hope you give her a try!

  16. YAY, Laurie! You will have to let me know what you think of the books.

  17. Thanks, Nancy! I'm a stickler about reading a series in order. I want to get all the added pleasure I possibly can get :-)

  18. Thanks, Maria. Have you read THE GUARDIAN yet?

  19. If there are Highlanders, I am there! *g*

    Gannon, I'm standing right beside you ;-)

  20. Helen, you are just going to *LOVE* this series!!!

  21. Virginia, I sure hope you check out the series. The writing is fantastic and so are the heroes (wink wink)

  22. I've been seeing such good things about this series - I'll be sure to read it.

  23. I've been seeing such good things about this series - I'll be sure to read it.

    Di, I think you will really enjoy this series!

  24. Buffie, thanks for another wonderful review!! I'm both glad and RELIEVED to learn you enjoyed THE SINNER so much. As an author, I always fear disappointing a reader who really loved my last book. ;)


  25. Oh, Wow! That kiss made me swoon. I must get this book and series!