- Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Pocket Books (Nov 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0671028227
- ISBN-13: 978-0671028220
- Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.4 x 3 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,214,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
For the next twenty years, the nuns raise and love Caitlin. Everything changes when Conn sends Niall of the Seven Betrayals to retrieve Caitlin. Niall is on his seventh quest to cleanse the dishonor brought to their family by his father. Caitlin is the final quest that Conn has assigned him. On the trek back, Niall falls in love with his charge and she returns his feelings. Still, loyalty dictates he complete his mission. That seems simple to Niall until he learns that Conn wants him to kill his beloved.
Award winning Kimberly Cates shows why she is so highly regarded by historical romance fans. Her latest novel, LILY FAIR, is a superb tale that demonstrates the magic of a Cates novel. The story line is filled with action, passion, and dilemmas. The lead characters are a charming duo while the support cast propels the fast-paced plot to its wonderful climax. Fans of Celtic romances will feel Ms. Cates has bestowed them with a bit of heaven.
I HAD to come home and read this book and let me tell you - it was EXCELLENT! Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down! Give yourself an early Christmas present and go out and buy this book. You will be as captivated by Caitlin and Niall and the story they have to tell as I was! There's nothing like a good love story and this certainly fits the bill.
Twenty years later, Caitlin of the Lilies leads a peaceful life with the nuns of St. Mary's. Once a year, she travels to the spot where she was left as a newborn and finds a perfect lily there, a sign that whoever her family is, they are still watching over her. This time, however, Caitlin finds not the flower she expects, but a warrior who tells her he has come to the Abbey to fetch a wench by the name of Caitlin of the Lilies. After many tears and much grief in being separated from the only family she's known, Caitlin leaves with the man, and they begin the journey toward Conn's lands.
Niall of the Seven Betrayals is appalled by the menial task he has been given. By God, he's a warrior! What's he doing playing messenger and fetching wenches for Conn? In reality, his task is a grim one, but he only finds out after he's been thoroughly captivated by Caitlin. His decision is to take Caitlin to his family home - where he hasn't set foot in years - and where they are received by his mother and his young sister, who'd like nothing better than to bash Niall's head against a rock.
The attraction between Caitlin and Niall grows despite - or maybe because of - the huge difference in their personalities. Their first interaction sets the tone for how I saw them throughout the book: Caitlin skips toward the sea she is seeing for the first time; Niall saves her when she nearly drowns, and then gruffly pushing her away so he won't reveal how attracted he is to her.
Lily Fair has its share of problematic details. Caitlin can be precious and melodramatic at times, going from heartbreaking grief to innocent delight in a nanosecond, and by the fifth time I read about her "lily fair" skin, or some variation on that theme, I wanted to scream "Okay! The girl's white, I got it! "
Niall, on the other hand, is a dark and tortured hero, but unwittingly naïve, given Cates' treatment of Conn; it would have been much better had Conn not been so obviously evil from the very beginning. Niall is also confused - was his father a good man or not? Was Conn responsible for his family's ruin or are his mother and sister lying? Unfortunately, the reader figures out the answers much, much earlier than Niall does.
This book is not for everyone, the writing is sometimes overtly lyrical and lush, and if this is not your style, you might not have the patience to stick with it. However, the story beneath the ornate gilt is an interesting one, and while Lily Fair does not match the quality of Gather the Stars, it is a read that will be sure to transport you to the pagan Ireland of long ago.
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