The sweeping Scottish saga that began in Laurin Wittig’s novel Charming the Shrew continues in the romantic sequel.
After his eldest brother pays the ultimate price for plotting against the king, Ailig MacLeod returns to Castle Assynt with a heavy heart. On the king’s orders, Ailig’s father must forfeit the title of clan chief in favor of his youngest son or the entire clan will be set to fire and sword.
But before Ailig can deliver his message, he encounters the beautiful Morainn MacRailt, a young widow whose solitary life in her cottage down the glen, away from the boisterous castle, garners unwanted attention from men looking for a wife. Ailig is taken by her quiet confidence and the powerful connection he feels between them, but his duty lies at Castle Assynt where a series of crises have arisen in the wake of his brother’s death and his sister's abrupt departure.
Determined to bring his clan to order, but wary of whom to trust, Ailig makes a fateful decision: he calls on Morainn to serve as chatelaine, offering her the protection of life inside the castle in return for overseeing the stronghold. Clever Morainn quickly becomes one of his most important advisors, and as the trust between them grows, so does an undeniable passion. Together they seek to restore the MacLeod clan’s legacy, rebuild Castle Assynt—and discover a love unlike any they ever imagined.
Daring the Highlander, Reviewed by Alexis Harrington
Ailig MacLeod feels as if the weight of the world rests on his shoulders, and indeed, he's carrying the weight of his world. He's come home to Assynt Castle, a month after leaving with his four elder brothers to find his sister. He is the only one returning, and he's bringing bad news with him: his sister has run off to marry a man of her own choosing rather than be shackled to loveless marriage with the clan chief she'd been promised to, his brothers have angered King Robert the Bruce, and worst of all, the king has ordered that Ailig take his father's place as Leod Clan chief. In all, Ailig's responsibilities are enough to crush a lesser man.
Morainn MacRailt is a shy but strong-willed young widow who keeps herself on the hem of the village. She knows her first marriage was a mistake, considers herself lucky to be out of it, and she has no desire to repeat the experience.
When faced with trying to put to rights the run-down Assynt Castle, Ailig engages Morainn's assistance, the spark between them is undeniable, and from there grows trust, admiration and respect. Though she has sworn to maintain her independence, she realizes that Ailig is searching for an equal partner, not chattel to be ordered around. And he finds that partner in her.
Laurin Wittig has the rare talent for transporting the reader right to the heart of the action. I felt like an observer with a front-row seat as I read about the craggy, windblown Highlands and the crowded, cold Assynt Castle. The growing love and heat between the Ailig and Morainn was sensual and rooted in the most powerful of aphrodisiacs—mutual respect, intimacy, and genuine love.
About the Author
Laurin Wittig was marked by her Scottish heritage at birth, when her parents chose her uniquely spelled name from a plethora of Scottish family monikers. At ten, she attended her first MacGregor clan gathering and her first ceilidh, where she danced with the hereditary chieftain of the clan. At eleven, she visited Scotland, and it has fueled her imagination ever since.
She studied anthropology at Brown University before launching a career in the computer industry. But as a voracious reader, it was only natural she would become a storyteller too. She penned her first book when her children were young, writing whenever they napped. Her novel The Devil of Kilmartin won the National Readers' Choice Award for short historical romance, and all of her books have appeared on the Amazon Top 100 Historical Romance and Top 100 Historical Fiction lists. Wittig lives in southeastern Virginia with her two children, her husband, and their rescue Eskie.