The Rogue's Bride*
Sadly, The End of the MacLeod Sisters’ Series
Since I had read the previous two stories in this series about the MacLeod sisters, I was definitely curious to see what Caitrin’s story would be. It was evident in book one (as well as book two) that she had suffered much at the hands of her husband, who died in the first book. Because of her brutal treatment by her husband, she is loath to marry again, and she simply wants to remain as chatelaine at Duntulm and raise her son. But that will not be simple when Alastair MacDonald returns to Duntulm to claim the role of chieftain and laird of the manor. When Alastair and Caitrin were young, they were the best of friends, but for him, it turned to love. When he proposed, she laughed in his face, choosing to wed his brother; she didn’t see them as anything more than friends. When he returns home, it is clear that he has neither forgiven nor forgotten.
Vengeance plots like this one are sometimes hard to read. As a reader of romance, I want to be able to fall for the hero like the heroine is supposed to, but Alastair is not that swoon-worthy hero because he truly cannot let go of the past–even if at one point in the book it seemed like he did so as they called truce and started rebuilding their friendship. I think I was as heartbroken as Catriona at his final act of vengeance, and I wondered if the author could truly convince both Caitrin and me of his worthiness after this rather heinous act. I will say that the author surprised me. All along she had shown his flaws and weaknesses without restraint–he definitely had PTSD after a particularly bad and losing battle against the English near Durham, and I could understand him and his actions more than I thought I would when he confessed all to Caitrin at that pivotal juncture. I still think after all of her suffering that Caitrin deserved a better hero, but the route the author chose works well enough even if I found it a little unsatisfying. I think when an author makes a heroine such a sympathetic person because of all that she has gone through, as she has done here, she needs an equally sympathetic hero to balance her out, and I don’t think that was achieved. That said I have enjoyed this series of books, and I am looking forward to the next series that she teased about at the end that promises to have romances for two of the characters that were in this book. I’m quite looking forward to Sorcha and MacNichol’s romance.