Thursday, May 30, 2013

New Review: Christine Dorsey’s The Renegade – Well Written Post Culloden Love Story Between a Scottish Warrior and an English Lady

This book was first published as The Renegade and the Rose and is now book one in The Renegade, Rebel and Rogue trilogy that features three heroes, a Scot, an Irishman and an Englishman, who cross paths on Drummossie Moor at the battle of Culloden in Scotland in 1746 when the Scots knew a defeat that would forever scar their homeland.

This first story tells of Keegan MacLeod whose father summoned him home to stand with his three brothers at Culloden in the hopes of restoring a Stuart to the throne. But the battle of Culloden was lost from the beginning and Keegan’s brothers are killed. Sheltering his wounded father, Keegan hands over his sword when British officer Foxworth Morgan assures him that his father will be spared. But, instead, his father is tortured and killed and Keegan is jailed and sentenced to hang. Keegan uses his time in goal to nurture his hatred of the Englishman who denied him and his father a warrior’s death.

With the help of his French valet, Keegan escapes from prison, and decides to take hostage Lady Zoe Morgan, the sister of Foxworth Morgan. Zoe has lived the life of an invalid since a childhood illness, convinced by her nurse she is weak and frail. She is shocked when the Scot takes her hostage and leaves word for her brother to come for her in Scotland.

As they begin their arduous journey north, it appears to Keegan that despite her constant haranguing about her ill health (and, yes, that was annoying), the girl he has taken hostage is quite braw. So much so, she is able to escape Keegan, but then falls into the hands of a notorious smuggler who takes Keegan captive as well, hoping for a large ransom for both the girl and the Scot when he delivers them to the English in Scotland.

Well written and cleverly done, Dorsey was able to make me believe Keegan could fall in love with an Englishwoman even after he lost his family to the cruel English at Culloden. And she also made me feel Keegan’s pain at losing the castle that had been the seat of the MacLeods for centuries. Zoe is a woman who changes much once she is free from those who would coddle her, thriving on the adventures she and Keegan have. She encourages the Scot to look to the future and not to the past.

I found the story of Keegan and his clan moving and thought Dorsey did an excellent job of portraying their loss and their dreams for the future. I would read the rest in the series (and am planning on reading the Irish one that comes next!). I recommend it.

Here's the new eBook cover. I prefer the older one but since the title has been shortened, I wanted you to have this should you be looking for it on Amazon!

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