Sunday, December 2, 2012

Review: Untamed Highlander

Untamed Highlander (Dark Sword #4)

by Donna Grant 


The Dark Sword series reins in the magic, passion, and fury of Scotland’s legendary warriors—for whom love is always worth fighting for…
Druid-born and magic-blessed, Isla is one of the deadliest she-devils ever to serve the forces of darkness. As an immortal Highland warrior, it’s up to Hayden Campbell to destroy her and her kind. But for Hayden, Isla is more than a sworn enemy. She is temptation…
Taking Isla captive, Hayden hopes to avenge his kinsmen who died by Druid magic. But when he looks into Isla’s eyes, he sees the secrets of her past. When he touches her skin, he feels the passion in her soul. And soon Hayden comes to realize that this beautiful, beguiling woman is not his enemy at all—she is his destiny. And, even as the forces of darkness conspire against them, their love will conquer all…


The saga of the Scottish Warriors imbued with the very essence of the gods continues with another great installment in Untamed Highlander, the story of Hayden Campbell and Isla, the beautiful druid he rescues. 
The story picks right back up after Wicked Highlander ends with Fallon and Hayden returning to the dark mountain home of Deidre.  They are seeking any survivors that might be found after Deidre’s death, be they warrior or druid.  Instead of survivors they find mostly dead bodies of druids that attempted to escape but were defeated by the elements before they could get away from the mountain.  Hayden stumbles across a dying Isla and instantly feels an intense need to keep her safe. 
Fallon and Hayden take Isla to the castle and Sonya works hard to save Isla, though she fights the magic everyway she can.  She even begs Hayden to simply kill her, but the connection he feels to her is too strong and he refuses to let her die.  But when she awakens, and her true nature is revealed, everything changes for Hayden.  Finding out that Isla isn’t just a druid, but a drough, a dark druid who’s given her soul to the devil, enrages him and forces all the warriors and druids of the castle to rethink—do they save Isla knowing she’s a drough, or simply let her die?
For Hayden the problem is much more complicated.  Ever since a drough killed his family and allowed him to be abducted by Deidre, he swore to kill any drough that crosses his path.  But his intense connection and desire for Isla is slowly beginning to overcome his anger and disgust.  Slowly Isla proves that though she is drough, she isn’t evil.  Her choices and desires are pure.  Isla has been trapped in a nightmare for over 500 years, being the unwilling puppet of the vilest creature ever known.   Her emotions taken advantage of and her family held captive as a way to control her. 
When Hayden finally gives in to his desire and takes Isla to his bed, his inner turmoil increases tenfold, because making love to Isla doesn’t feel wrong—it’s the most intensely right feeling he’s ever experienced.  Isla has never felt anything like the passion she experiences in Hayden’s arms.  She fears she is coming to feel too much for Hayden and that it may weaken her resolve to leave the castle to protect all the new friends she has discovered.   But Hayden is determined to keep her with him, and the love he begins to feel is evident and intense for the readers to see. When an old enemy comes back to haunt them, they must work together to defeat it or face losing everything they both hold dear.
The heat between these two—even with all the anger and mistrust—gives you hope that these two people, who should be enemies, can have their HEA.   Though you feel the tension and suspicion caused by their pasts, you know that their feelings run deep and they can overcome their pasts and prejudices to really find the love within each of them.
I loved this latest installment of the series and can’t wait for the rest of the series.  Hayden and Isla’s relationship is problematic from the beginning but by the end we are reminded that sometimes the most different of individuals can come together into an explosive and fiery union, destined to last forever.  Hayden and Isla’s story was definitely one of my favorites of the series.  Ms. Grant is definitely a master at taking two characters with troubled pasts, intensely suspicious natures, and strong resistance to emotional situations and making them fall deeply in love and come to terms with the universal truth that everyone has some darkness in them, but it’s our choices that show what side of the coin we will fall on.  And she leaves you asking yourself will you embrace the dark or the light?

Rating:  4 stars

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