Hannah Howell, Highland Barbarian Reviews

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“Highland Barbarian ”


written by Harriet Klausner on 11/11/2006

Highland Barbarian
Hannah Howell
Zebra, December 2006, $6.99
ISBN: 0821779982

In 1480 Scotland, dying Angus MacReith forces distant relative Artan Murray to agree to a death bed promise, though the younger man does not believe the "three score" older male, who fostered him and his injured brother Lucas, is near death. He demands Artan go to the lowlands to fetch his niece Cecily Donaldson, heir to Glascreag, before he dies. Unable to say no to his mentor, Artan begins his journey, but cannot envision a female, especially a lowlander as a chieftain in the Highlands. The rest of Angus' plan stinks as far as Artan is concerned; the old man wants him to marry this biddable female so he can be the laird.

However, when he arrives in the Lowlands, he finds Cecily about to marry the King's choice for her, Sir Fergus Ogilvy. Artan tells her that Sir Fergus has plans for his shrewish wife to be out of his way when he is the Laird of Glascreag; only she does not believe him until her fianc abducts her. However, able to think on her feet, she informs her once future groom that she is handfasted to Artan, who takes her with him. Sir Fergus refuses to give up on his ambition, so he leads an attack on the couple, targeting his rival. As Cecily and Artan fall in love they debate the characteristics of a perfect wife to a laird, until he is mortally wounded.

This is an exhilarating fifteenth century Scottish romance, which sub-genre fans expect no less from Hannah "Highlander" Howell. The latest tale contains three fully developed characters, as the lead couple battles over the ideal perfect wife, and against the deviously clever Sir Fergus. HIGHLAND BARBARIAN is another well written tale from a consistently good writer, who some consider the Queen of the Scottish historical romance.

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