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Highland Destiny (Zebra Historical Romance) [Mass Market Paperback]

Hannah Howell
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

21 Jan 2006 Zebra Historical Romance
When destiny brought Sir Balfour Murray and his wounded brother down the same road as Maldie Kirkaldy, she offered her services as a nurse even as she tried to deny the desire this dark eyed knight had ignited at first sight. Soon they discovered that they both share a mission of vengeance, but Maldie cannot tell him her true identity, to do so would brand her a spy. Sworn to avenge his family as chief of the Doncoill Clan, Balfour vows to destroy his greatest foe, with Maldie at his side. Yet Balfour knows that he can no more afford to trust her than he can ignore his lust for this sultry beauty. Now, he is not only determined to unearth her deepest secrets, but also to pursue his passion for her. And nothing will stand in his way.

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Zebra Books; New edition edition (21 Jan 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0821779826
  • ISBN-13: 978-0821779828
  • Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 10 x 16.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,285,378 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hannah D. Howell is a highly regarded and prolific romance writer. Since Amber Flame, her first historical romance, was released in February 1988, she has published 25 novels and short stories, with more on the way. Her writing has been repeatedly recognized for its excellence and has "made Waldenbooks Romance Bestseller list a time or two" as well as was nominated twice by Romantic Times for Best Medieval Romance (Promised Passion and Elfking's Lady). She has also won Romantic Times' Best British Isles Historical Romance for Beauty and the Beast; and, in 1991-92 she received Romantic Times' Career Achievement Award for Historical Storyteller of the Year.
Hannah was born and raised in Massachusetts (the maternal side of her family has been there since the 1630's). She has been married to her husband Stephen for 28 years, who she met in England while visiting relatives, and decided to import him. They have two sons Samuel, 27, and Keir, 24. She is addicted to crocheting, reads and plays piano, attempts to garden, and collects things like dolls, faerie and cat figurines, and music boxes. She also seems to collect cats, as she now has four of them, Clousseau, Banshee, Spooky, and Oliver Cromwell.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story, worth picking up 19 Jan 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Maldie Kirkcaldy, a dark haired woman with green eyes is on her way to kill her father, who abandoned her mother many years ago. As her mother Margaret lay dying she told her daughter to kill him to avenge her honour. On her way, she meets Murray men, keen to learn what a young woman alone in the woods is up to. They take her home with them, to tend to wounds within the Murray clan after learning she has healing skills. Both Balfour, a tall and dark man, and Nigel, a fair and pale man, both want Maldie. Balfour doesn't see this as fair, as Nigel can easily get a woman, but he finds it hard as he is too dark. He tries to ignore his yearning for her, as she tells him little about who she is and what her plans are, but they embark on an affair, and soon Maldie discovers she loves him. The Murrays are intent on killing Beaton, the man who is also Maldie's father, after he kidnapped their half brother. After a while, Balfour believes he cannot trust Maldie, thinking she may be a Beaton spy, and locks her in her room. Distraught, she plans her escape and hopes to kill Beaton and bring their half brother home to prove her innocence. One of Murray's spies sees Maldie try to kill Beaton but fail and goes back to tell his clan. Balfour now realises she isn't a spy, and goes to save her and his half brother. Beaton is defeated, and Balfour saves Maldie and his half brother. But then, Maldie tells Balfour everything about how her mother told her to kill Beaton for her honour and how she is Beaton's child. She said she lied as she didn't think anyone would believe she isn't really a spy, when they realise her connection to Beaton. In the end, both declare their love and are happy.

Good story, worth reading. 4/5
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5.0 out of 5 stars Scottish Romance and Historical Fiction 23 Feb 2012
By A
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you love Scottish Romance and Historical Fiction marrying together with another brilliant author Diana Gabadol Outlander Series or you will love this book not to be missed.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great start to a great series 27 May 2008
Format:Mass Market Paperback
this the first in the highland series and what a great start to the series. introducing to us the murray clan which reappears in many of the novels. balfour rescues maldie from a battle and they soon become entangled with each other, but they are hiding some secrets from each other. the sparks fly between them and makes interesting reading.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
arrived very fast was very happy yay woohoo yay yay yay what eles can i say nothingso yay yay yay yay
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  40 reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good introduction to the family (Murray Brothers #1) 29 April 2005
By Michelle888 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The year is 1430 and we are introduced to the Murray clan, headed by Balfour Murray, the laird of Donncoill. After hearing the news that the family enemy, Sir William Beaton, captured his younger brother Eric, he sets out to Dubhlinn intent on getting Eric back. But when they are met by defeat, they head home planning another attack when a woman steps out on the road. When she offers to tend to his brother Nigel's wounds, he finds that she had a real gift of healing and offered his hospitality in return for nursing his brother back to recovery.

Maldie Kirkcaldy knows that Balfour's kindness would change had he known of her true identity. However, seeing that they are both intent on exacting vengeance from Beaton, and knowing that she could use some shelter and food while planning her revenge, she journeys back to Donncoill with the Murrays, even though she is aware that Balfour's interest in her goes beyond her healing skills for deep down, she is also aware of her shared attraction with the laird and it doesn't take long before she finds herself disgusted by her weakness to his seduction.

Soon the passion they share lead to deeper feelings for each other. But in spite of their growing love, both are tormented by their secrets and doubts. Balfour knows that Maldie isn't exactly who she claims to be and he is intent on knowing the secrets of the elusive and skittish woman who has captured his heart. Maldie on the other hand is torn between revealing the truth to Balfour and risking everything they had shared, while still planning to fulfill the vow she had made to her dying mother. And when his suspicions of her betrayal forced her to escape and rescue Eric to prove her innocence, Balfour soon realizes his mistakes and now seeks another victory: Maldie's heart.

Although it lacks the humor of the other books in the Highland series, Highland Destiny features good leads and secondary characters. Balfour is not your typical alpha-male for he is plagued with insecurities about his looks and even feels threatened by his brother, Nigel, who also falls in love with Maldie thus adding to a bit of competition. And Maldie isn't your usual well-bred lady having been born illegitimate and having endured a harsh life with a bitter mother who nearly forced her to a life of prostitution.

HIGHLAND DESTINY is the first in Hannah Howell's trilogy set in medieval Scotland featuring the Murray brothers. Filled with deceit, misunderstandings and passion, it is a good introduction to the Murray brothers who would surely capture your heart. The other two books are HIGHLAND HONOR featuring Nigel and HIGHLAND PROMISE with Eric.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This was really fun! 8 Aug 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I love a romance about a strong woman who when faced with a problem, jumps in and takes charge. Mauldie does just that and more. The struggle they both go through with their feelings reads very real and by the end I felt I knew these people. The other characters added a wonderful dimension to the story and I couldn't wait to read the next two in the series.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Main conflict between the couple for half the book was irrational. There was no interesting character development or dialogue. 16 Sep 2010
By Jane - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Beaton bedded many women and produced many illegitimate girls, never a boy. Maldie was one of those girls. Her mother became a prostitute to support herself and Maldie. When the mother died, she made Maldie vow to kill Beaton for revenge. Maldie then traveled to Beaton's village.

Several years ago Beaton's wife got pregnant by a Murray and had a boy. Beaton put the baby boy in the woods to die. A Murray found the baby (Eric) and took him home. The Murray clan raised him. Beaton has been ill for a few years and needs a boy to inherit his place as laird. He kidnaps Eric. The Murrays attack the Beatons hoping to get Eric back, but they are defeated. The remaining Murrays return home to heal and plan another attack. Maldie sees them on the road and asks to go with them. She tells them she is a healer and can help. Balfour is laird of the Murray clan and agrees to let her stay.

While there, she and Balfour are attracted to each other. She does not tell Balfour that she is related to Beaton and wants to kill Beaton. This is her big secret, and she is worried that Balfour will feel betrayed when he finds out. He senses she has a secret, but he doesn't know what it is.

The first half of the book felt like nothing but "filler." The main conflict was that Maldie was keeping a secret from Balfour. I found this ridiculous. First of all they had a common enemy. If Maldie was reasonable, she would have told Balfour she was on his side, and they could work together. He wanted Eric back. She wanted Beaton's death. Also for the entire first half of the book, both Maldie and Balfour spent too much time pondering. She pondered her lust for him and her worry that he might discover her secret. He pondered his lust for her and why she wouldn't tell him her secrets.

Finally some plot developments and action occur during the last half of the book. But it was ordinary, it was predictable, it's been done before. There was no interesting character development, no interesting dialogue. I can't think of anything positive to say, other than the second half was better than the first half. I wanted it to be over and almost stopped reading it in the middle. The only reason I finished it was for the benefit of this review.

The heroine was "stupid" in some of her thinking and actions which I won't go into so as to avoid any spoilers. I was annoyed with this.

The author wrote all conversation in Scottish brogue. I don't mind a little of it or occasional use, but this was too much. It was tedious and hard "for me" to follow. For example: Ye make a mon greedy. Ye make me feel verra greedy as weel. Howbeit, I think... I ken that ye can see naught but a woman hurrying away to betray ye again.

Minor problem, publisher's fault, the cover picture is wrong. Balfour has hair to his shoulders. Cover guy does not.

This is the first book in the Murray Family series (ten books so far).

Story length: 299 pages. Swearing language: none. Sexual language: mild. Number of sex scenes: 6. Approximate number of sex scene pages: 11. Setting: 1430 Scotland. Copyright: 1998. Genre: historical romance.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A GOOD READ 28 Mar 2000
By Sandra K. Shirah - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
The hero (Balfour) and heroine (Mauldie) are enemies -- yet the hero doesn't realize this right away -- he believes he's found a nursemaid (of course she's a stunning beauty and on a secret mission for vengence) for his battle wounded brother (Nigel)...
Mauldie soon realizes who the handsome warrior is...but decides to hide her identity as he's the one she'd swore vengence against. She grudgingly nurses his brother, while all the time warding off seductive advances from Balfour...
Through a series of dangerous events and intrigue, the prideful couple realizes their strong love for one another -- but are stilled separated by deceit and misunderstandings...
Mauldie & Balfour seems well matched, strong characters and this story ends beautifully. I would recommend this title.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another So-So Romance 8 Nov 2007
By LIL' OLE COWGIRL FROM TEXAS - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Hannah Howell will always be one of my favorites. It strikes me as funny that the lead female has "very long legs, slim & beautifully shaped. (even though she is very short and has on a dress). To give Hannah credit it does say that the dress is old and worn, fitting her snugly. I don't know how you can tell that legs are beautifully shaped while wearing a long dress.

The Scottish brogue in this book makes it a hard read. I usually like a little bit of this added but this book is full of it. I also felt like Hannah keeps going around & around in just about every chapter how Maldie will be seen as a spy if they find out she is Beaton's daughter. I never could understand this plot. She wanted the same thing Balfour did - Beaton's death. It never made sense to me why she kept it a secret.
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