- Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Jove Books (July 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0515133345
- ISBN-13: 978-0515133349
- Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 10.9 x 2.3 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,051,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Regan Southwork is in search of a secret land. It has long been the dream of her father to find the legendary Avalon. He spent his life in search of the mythical resting place of king Arthur and is getting close to solving the mystery. He has finally figured out where he thinks it is, but his failing health gets in the way. So Regan takes up where he can't and sneaks into the stone circle at Castle Druidhean, where she believes she will find her answers. However, in order to do so, she has to dig...and avoid the castle laird, Mad MacGregor.
Lachlen Macgregor has kept to himself for many years. His mother disappeared when he was just a child and he knows more than he should, or has revealed. The secrets are hidden in the stone circle; so when Lachlen finds Regan digging there, he knows he must out an end to her curiosity. He hires her to work at the keep, as a companion to his grandmother, where he can keep a close eye on her...and keep her distracted from digging for secrets.
Regan reluctantly agrees to the position at Lachlen's castle, though she is nervous about being in such close proximity to "Mad MacGregor" as he is called, due to a family curse that all MacGregor men go insane at a young age. Regan figures her living at the castle will give her easy access to the circle for searching for the clues she needs to prove her father's theory about Avalon. Never mind that Lachlen has forbidden her to enter the circle, claiming it is cursed and dangerous.
Once Regan arrives at the keep, she realizes that the MacGregor isn't as sinister as she had previously thought. She finds Lachlen charming and pleasant, though distant at times. He is fascinated by her as well, attracted to her and impressed wither intelligence. However, neither can reveal their true reasons for their obsession with the circle, convinced they must keep their secrets. The more they are together, the more they find themselves falling for each other. Though Lachlan refuses to acknowledge it, determined the family curse will end with him. When accidents start happening which endanger Regan's life, the two of them must work together, and decide whether or not to trust each other, if they are to put an end to the curse and threat...and rescue their love.
Ms. Hall has written a good story here, in the traditional Gothic style. It has all of the elements; the eerie house, dark brooding hero, family curses, mysterious happenings, and empowered heroine. The novel is for the most part very well done. The characters are vivid and varied, from the disturbing servants, to Regan's bubbly sister and Lachlen's mentally handicapped but cheerful brother. However, Lachlen's "Woe is me" attitude gets very old and overused, frustrating the reader and causing one to be annoyed with him many times. Also, the misunderstandings about the circle between Lachlen and Regan are dragged out a bit too much at times. But then, if they gave their secrets away, there wouldn't be much of a conflict to keep the story going.
The reader is kept guessing as to who is behind the threats to Regan's life...and why; as well as what really happened to Lachlen's mother, known as the "The Flame." This reviewer changed opinions many times about who the bad guy is, but pretty much had the mystery of The Flame figured out, but just didn't know why. This book will keep the reader spellbound and hoping to see a sequel, with a chance to revisit some beloved characters.
Searching near Druidhean, Regan meets Laird Lachlan "Mad" MacGregor in a very auspicious way. Lachlan knows Regan is not on his haunted estate at midnight for a social call. He decides to keep an eye on her in case she finds damaging information about his clan amidst the Druid ruins. So he hires her as a companion to his grandmother. Not long afterward he ponders whether his fear of the curse supersedes his growing love for Regan and can she reciprocate those feelings for a mad aristocrat while someone human or the curse tries to stop the intrepid Regan.
ISLE OF SKYE is an exciting Scottish Regency romance that reads like a gothic tale starring a brooding dark hero with deep secrets and a curse, living alone in an ancient castle and an intrepid innocent heroine bringing light and love to him. The story line is fast-paced as Constance Hall furnishes a mystery to provide depth to the enchanting tale, but insures that the subplot ties back to the prime theme through the actions of the cast. A sequel starring the siblings of the lead characters would enhance the audience feeling that we found a piece of Camelot in Ms. Hall's writings.
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