Yesterday, I took a look back at Tristan MacGregor, one of my favorite heroes created by the very talented Paula Quinn. Today, let's jump forward in time to Quinn's newest novel, Laird of the Black Isle. In this book, we meet Tristan's beloved daughter, Mailie and Lachlan MacKenzie, the emotionally tortured hero who abducts her from her family only to, eventually, hand her his heart...and win hers in return. I've read their story twice and am already looking forward to visiting these characters again.
Laird of the Black Isle
By Paula Quinn
Release Date: May 29, 2018
Reviewed by PJ
Lachlan MacKenzie, Laird of the Black Isle, may still draw breath but his life as he knew it ended two years ago with the deaths of his wife and young daughter. Their murders sent him on a rampage and when he found their hired killers he showed no mercy. But satisfaction was fleeting, leaving a hollow, scarred shell of the man he once was. He's become a recluse, quietly and anonymously seeing to the needs of his clan but holding himself apart, not allowing any of them to get close to him. Then comes an emissary of Ranald Sinclair, Earl of Caithness with incredible news: Annabel, his daughter, lives and all Lachlan has to do to be reunited with her is to abduct the earl's beloved, bring her to Black Isle and wait for word from the earl. Lachlan is an honorable man but he's also a father desperate to believe in the possibility of a miracle. He knows abducting Mairie MacGregor is wrong and he regrets his actions almost immediately but he'd do anything for the return of his precious child.
Mairie MacGregor is no timid lass and she is not Ranald Sinclair's beloved, facts she makes abundantly clear to the beast who has kidnapped her. If he refuses to release her she'll make sure he wishes he had. Lachlan craves quiet and solitude. Mairie talks his ear off. He lives in darkness. She floods his home with light. He resists interacting with the villagers. She brings two young orphans home to live with him. At first, her actions are designed to annoy but once she discovers the reason for her abduction, Mairie, who has always known the love and support of her family, opens her heart to his dilemma and begins searching for solutions. As Mairie and the children work their magic, Lachlan's emotional shields begin to lower, allowing glimpses of the kind, loving man beneath the pain, anguish, and desperation. And slowly, so very slowly, she begins to pull him back into the light, back into life, into the first, fragile tendrils of love.
"I slept well." He smiled back. He looked happy and it made her heart soar. "And 'tis...ehm...'tis nice to wake up and see ye."
"That was difficult to say," she teased.
"I am not eloquent," he told her on a throaty growl as she came close. And then closer still.
"Nae, and I like it. 'The less there is of eloquence' " - she said, quoting "The Sleeping Beauty" - " 'the more there is of love.' "
He blinked, looking lost and utterly adorable. She'd let him think about it.
Mairie is confident her family will find her eventually but by the time they do will she still want to leave or will Lachlan, Will and Lily have captured her heart completely? And what of Sinclair? The man is pure evil and, judging by his past deeds, there's a good chance he's lying about Annabel in order to get to Mairie. She's terrified by the prospect of what he will do to her if he has her in his control but if there's even a shred of possibility that Lachlan's daughter lives, how can she not sacrifice her own freedom if it will bring Annabel home?
I loved this book so much. From beginning to end, it grabbed my heart and never let go. I wasn't sure if Quinn would ever create a hero who could rival Tristan, Mairie's father, in my affections. It seems fitting that Lachlan MacKenzie, the man who gives his heart to Tristan's beloved daughter, should also be the hero to equal Tristan in mine. I loved the push and pull between him and Mairie, the snappy banter, the reluctant attraction, and the fact that even when she pushes him to his limits he never snaps but always treats her with care. As with Quinn's previous books, there's a fair amount of humor in this story as well as heartfelt emotion. The poignancy of Lachlan's interactions with the orphaned Will and Lily in the face of his own losses brought me to tears more than once. Mairie is a wonderful heroine and exactly what I would expect of Tristan and Isobel's daughter. Her confidence, compassion, intelligence, humor, bravery, and fierce protectiveness of those she holds in her heart make her a true MacGregor and a perfect match for Lachlan. I loved them, both individually and as a couple.
Laird of the Black Isle stands well on its own though, as someone who has read all of the books in this series, it was a special treat to see MacGregors from previous books make appearances in this book. I especially enjoyed the father-daughter scenes between Tristan and Mairie (the older Tristan is still as sigh-worthy as when he won Isobel's heart) as well as those between Lachlan and the MacGregor men. The resolution of the villain's storyline was quite satisfying (I may have cheered) and the twist at the end was a lovely surprise. Also, the more I see of Mailie's cousin, Adam the more excited I become for his book, Highlander Ever After, due to be released December 18, 2018. It's my understanding that this will be the last book in this long-running series. I think it may be time for a series re-read. These characters are among my favorites, their journeys well worth the taking, and while I'm sad that there will be no new MacGregors on the horizon, I'm looking forward to whatever Paula Quinn has in store for readers next.
Do you enjoy a multi-book series?
How do you feel about a multi-generational family series?
What's the last family-centric series that captured your heart?
Are you going to miss the MacGregors as much as I am?
One randomly chosen person who leaves a comment before 11:00 PM, May 27, 2018 will receive a Kindle copy of Seduced by a Highlander (Tristan's and Isobel's story) and Laird of the Black Isle (Lachlan's and Mailie's story).
What I like about families in book series, is already being familiar with each family member,and following them from one book to another.
Some of my favorite family series are:-
1. The Huxtables by Mary Balogh
2. The Hathaways by Lisa Kleypas
3. The MacKenzies by Jennifer Ashley
I always feel sad when a series ends, so I will miss the MacGregors, too.
No need to enter me into the contest as I only read print books. I really don't like e-books.
All three of those families have places on my keeper shelves. :)Delete
My very favorite family series is JQ's Bridgertons.ReplyDelete
I adore the Bridgertons! The Duke and I was my first JQ book and it hooked me for life.Delete
I love the Bedwyns by Mary Balogh, and the Bridgertons by Julia Quinn. I enjoy family sagas. Once again, you have introduced me to another series I need to read. Thanks, this sounds like a terrific series. And we all need heroes who make our hearts beat faster.ReplyDelete
I love family sagas too, Annette. Hope you enjoy Paula Quinn's highlanders as much as I have.Delete
I like series that have many of the same characters popping up in a number of the books. One of my favorite author who does this is Stephanie Laurens. She also brings in the next generation of family members.ReplyDelete
I read your blog on Paula Quinn's first book in this series, became interested in the story and purchased it. Will be getting to it soon.
I hope you like it, Teddi!Delete
I love family stories. It gives glimpse into past stories and characters that we have read before. My favorite is the Mallory family from Johanna LindseyReplyDelete
::Sigh:: The Mallorys. I loved the earlier books in this series but the recent ones have been disappointing. My favorite is Amy and Warren's book, The Magic of You.Delete
Love the multi generational families stories.ReplyDelete
I love some of the mentions above.
The Cynsters by Stefanie Laurens
The MacKettrick's by Linda Lael Miller.
Look forward to reading Laird of The Black Isle.
Thanks PJ. Happy Memorial day to everyone.
Lucky4750 at aol dot com
I loved the MacKettrick's! I started with the historicals then continued on with the contemporaries. Good books!Delete
I adore multi-book series and multi-generational family series!!! Some of my favorite family-centered series are the Bridgertons, the Redmonds and the Everseas. I have not read this series by Paula Quinn, but it sounds like it would be right up my alley! Thanks for the chance!ReplyDelete
I have all of Julie Anne Long's Pennyroyal Green books and revisit them at least annually. I love the Redmonds and Everseas. Have you read her new contemporary series? It's fabulous!Delete
I love multi-book series, and if they're multi-generational, that's fine, too. I've read books by several authors writing series like that.ReplyDelete
I love watching my favorite heroes and heroines later on in their lives through the second generation books. As long as the author doesn't kill anyone off. That, I can't handle.Delete
I really love series and multi-generational books. I'll tell you the obvious one that is my favorite--the Outlander series--but there are more of course. I confess I haven't read Paula Quinn before but your post makes me really interested. So, I'd already put these books on my to-buy list and THEN... I remember you said the names "Sinclair" and "Caithness!" --the second word not a name one often sees. Guess where I lived for a year and a half after college? Yes, Caithness. Right up on the north coast. And the Sinclair name is very very common there (although the Scots pronounce it "sink'-lur" rather than "sin-clair'".) So...thank you so very much for this post!!! :-)ReplyDelete
Don't enter me in the contest, though, since I read paper books.
What a coincidence! I'd say that's definitely a sign that you need to read Laird of the Black Isle. :)Delete
I love multi book and mulitgenerational series! However, I want each book to work as a standalone. The last one that I really LOVED? Can I count the Wallflowers and the Ravenels? I know they are different series but I love how Lisa tied them together.ReplyDelete
Of course, you can count the Ravenels and Wallflowers! I adored the most recent release, Hello Stranger. It's one of my all-time favorites by Kleypas.Delete
Those are among my most favorite too!Delete
Should have started this earlier. Family sagas are enjoyable to follow. You get to revisit favorite characters to see how their HEA is working out, and other characters are doing. If you enjoyed a character when they are young, chances are a mature version of him or her will be as pleasing. You also get to see how they have influenced any children they may have had as well as other characters.ReplyDelete
I have not read many books in this series, but really need to. Medieval Highland stories were the first romances I read, and I haven't read any lately .