the first part of this post can be found here: great reads - part 1. i split the two for the sake of length, but this is still long.
the next four are by an author i found by accident, when i was looking for something else entirely. i'm glad i found these books by Christian author Kathleen Morgan.
the first three are part of a series called These Highland Hills. they all take place in the mid-1500's and are set in the Scottish Highlands. they follow three family members as they deal with love and forgiveness, while staying loyal to their clans. besides being great stories, they also revealed a bit of Scottish history, along with some Scottish church history.
i was impressed by the way Kathleen wrote romantic scenes that were tasteful and yet still left me feeling like i'd read a romance that wasn't washed out or cleaned up for Christian readers. these were real people experiencing honest emotions and real struggles with their faith and with their obvious attraction.
if you love Scottish Highland heroes and heroines (or just men in kilts), i think you'll enjoy these as well.
In the harsh Scottish highlands of 1565, superstition and treachery threaten a truce between rival clans. It's a weak truce at first, bound only by an arranged engagement between Anne MacGregor and Niall Campbell-the heirs of the feuding families.
While Niall wrestles with his suspicions about a traitor in his clan, Anne's actions do not go unnoticed. And as accusations of witchcraft abound, the strong and sometimes callous Campbell heir must fight for Anne's safety among disconcerted clan members. Meanwhile his own safety in threatened with the ever-present threat of someone who wants him dead.
Will Niall discover the traitor's identity in time? Can Anne find a way to fit into her new surroundings? Will the two learn to love each other despite the conflict?
Orphan and heiress, Scotswoman Regan MacLaren is a bride of but one day when her husband is murdered. A seemingly cruel fate, however, has even worse in store for her. Iain Campbell, laird in his own right and a fierce warrior, is waiting for the love he knows God will bring him. Still, a woman near death and without a memory isn't quite what he expected.
Yet even as Regan and Iain come to know and love each other, lost memories aren't the only obstacles in their way. Iain's a suspect in her husband's murder. Others stand to gain if Regan remains in her dead husband's family. And Iain soon becomes a stumbling block to unholy ambitions—ambitions that may well lead to more deaths, Iain's included.
It is May 1568, and Caitlin Campbell has recently had her heart broken by a callous young nobleman. With a track record of not choosing men well, she meets Darach MacNaghten, whose clan has been outlawed. Not only is he everything Caitlin should be wary of, but he is a man of many secrets, none of which bode well for the Campbells.
Darach comes to Kilchurn to free his imprisoned older brother, but when he realizes that his plan has no chance of success, he kidnaps Caitlin to hold her as hostage until his brother is released. This undertaking, so simple on the surface, soon leads to a clash of wills between two proud, headstrong people. And the problems only worsen the closer Darach's plan draws to its unforeseen conclusion.
this last one is a stand-alone, but was just as exciting as the other three.
The year is 1568 and Mary, Queen of Scots, is imprisoned in Lochleven Castle. But Mary’s supporters, including noblewoman Heather Gordon, are planning a daring rescue.
In order to gain entry to the castle, they need to help of one man--a resident of a small cottage in the frigid Highlands who just happens to resemble someone with access to Lochleven.
Heather travels to the cottage as a tutor, determined to train this man to act the part of a nobleman in order to make their scheme a success. But in the close quarters of the cottage there is more afoot than political rebellion. And Heather is soon in danger of losing her heart and her head!
A suspenseful story of deceit and betrayal, love and secrets, this is a book you won’t want to miss.
Kathleen has also written other Highland books, along with a series that takes place in the U.S. in the 1800's (i think). i'm looking forward to reading these as well.