Title: Highland Destiny
Published: July 2007
Publisher: Kensington Books – Zebra Publishing
Author: Hannah Howell
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 discover 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, Beaton of Dubblinn, with Maldie at his side. Yet Balfour knows that he can no more afford to trust her than he can ignore his lust for his 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…
So I have read a few of the Murray series (none in order as all stand alone books) so thought I should really see how it all began. Well I wasn’t disappointed as this was a great start to the series as a whole. The books I have read are from further down the line so I can see how they have improved a lot from the first (even though I thought it was pretty good anyway).
So you have headstrong Maldie who has sworn a blood oath to her dying mother to avenge her in death for the man she see’s as responsible for how her life turned out. Scorned lover turned very bitter, Maldie’s mother wants nothing more than for her daughter to kill her own father, Beaton of Dubblinn, for all she see’s as his wrong doings. On Maldie’s journey to Dubblinn she comes across a battle taking place. With this she see’s a way to get closer to her goal, the enemy of my enemy is my friend and all. When she steps out in their path and helps a wounded man his brother, laird of Doncoill Sir Balfour Murray, asks her, or rather insists, that she come with them. With one look at Balfour Maldie knows he could be trouble for her, or more precisely her heart. She can feel his lust for her but instead of being unaffected, as she has in the past with others, she feels herself being drawn to him.
Balfour Murray’s youngest brother Eric has been taken hostage by Beaton of Dubblinn and he will do anything to get him back. After going straight into a battle, which is quickly lost, he needs to think of a better plan to get to him back. After Maldie steps out in front of him though his thoughts are fighting to stay on the course set before him. The more he looks the more he wants and right now the only thing he wants is Maldie in his bed.
The longer that Maldie stays at Doncoill the harder it is to deny her feelings towards Balfour. After just a few kisses she feels herself succumb to him. She is lost without his touch but the further their passion takes them the harder it is for Maldie to keep the truth of her identity a secret. She fears that she will be cast aside as a spy and loose Balfour for good. With the battle looming ahead she must find a way to help get Balfour’s brother Eric out of Dubblinn without getting herself caught in the crossfire.
The more you read about these characters the more you are drawn into their world. Maldie is a very self-sufficient woman who doesn’t take kindly to being falsely accused of things and Balfour is a very cautious man with who he trusts (he doe not take kindly to being lied to). They must find a balance to be able to overcome what is to follow or it will only break them apart.
I have loved all the Murray books I have read and will definitely continue with the series – I might even try the order that they are written in!
4 out of 5 stars
I received this ARC from Net Galley for my honest review.