When Scottish warrior Bowen Montgomery enters an enemy keep, he is surprised to find that the bravest person there is a mistreated captive of the clan, and the more he learns about the compelling, wounded Genevieve McInnis, the more sure he is that he's met his match—and his mate.
After vanquishing the McHughs as an act of reprisal for abducting Laird Graeme Montgomery's wife, the Montgomery clan takes over the McHugh keep, which most of the McHugh warriors have abandoned, including the laird, Patrick McHugh. Ian, Patrick's spoiled, malevolent son, was responsible for the abduction and was killed in the rescue campaign. Bowen Montgomery, Graeme's brother, has been left in charge of the keep and its survivors. He is intrigued by a young woman who often takes charge in the midst of chaos but is obviously disdained by the McHugh clan members. As Bowen takes measure of the situation, he realizes that Genevieve was also abducted by Ian and has been held captive for a year, despite being the only child of the laird of another clan. Sexually and physically abused by Ian and despised by his clan, Genevieve still speaks in their defense, begging for their safety and well-being, and asks only for the chance to be delivered to a convent where she may live in peace. As events play out, Genevieve proves herself to be smart, brave, skilled and true-hearted, despite everything that's happened to her. Bowen falls in love with her but worries that she'll never be happy until she reconciles with her family, who believes she's dead—and whom she is too ashamed to contact. Banks has written an emotionally taut Highlands romance with a remarkably alpha-yet-perceptive-and-sweet hero and a heroine who has issues but overcomes them with the help of her perfect champion. A slight quibble with the credibility of the first love scene, given Genevieve's recent traumatizing experiences, and a slightly rushed feeling to the ending, does not ultimately impact the success of the book.
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