Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Devil's Heart - Cathy Maxwell (Avon - May 2013)

Series: Chattan Curse (Book 3)

They call her the Unattainable. Lady Margaret Chattan spurned every suitor for her hand, vowing never to marry. The only way to break the curse plaguing her family for two centuries is this ultimate sacrifice. But now her brothers' lives are in danger. Determined to save them, she risks her very soul by traveling to the heart of the Highlands to battle a force that has transcended time.

Heath Macnachtan is not superstitious. Laird of the most independent, nonconforming, madly infuriating clan ever to grace Scotland, he believes he has his hands full. And then a woman lauded as one of the most beautiful in England arrives on his doorstep with wild accusations and a mystical quest... one that might just help him discover who murdered his own brother.

But the real danger for Heath and Margaret is not a supernatural foe, but a very real love that could destroy them both.

Very good conclusion to the series.  With her two brothers suffering from the effects of the curse Margaret heads to Scotland to try to find a way to break it.  On the way her coach is involved in a horrific accident leaving most of her party dead or severely injured.  She is found by Heath, the last of the line of Fenella, the witch who created the curse.  As the first female Chattan since the curse happened Margaret tries to enlist Heath's help.  He is not at all superstitious and thinks all the talk of a curse is a bunch of nonsense, but he wants to help Margaret.   

I really liked both Margaret and Heath.  Margaret is a firm believer in the curse.  She told her brothers that the best way to end it for them never to marry and have it simply die out.  But when they do fall in love and the curse starts to have its effect on them she is determined to go to Scotland and find a way to break it.  When she is rescued by Heath, a member of the witch's clan, she is not so sure that she can trust him.  But he is willing to help her even though he doesn't believe in the curse. As the days go on Margaret is drawn in to Heath's life and finds a freedom there that she didn't have in England.  She also starts to fall in love with him and as she does there are more frequent events that lead to the idea that Fenella is preparing for a final showdown.  I really liked Margaret's determination that she would succeed in her quest.  She also refused to stay in the background when Heath was going after his brother's murderer, but was right there being his backup.  As the conflict comes to its climax Margaret realizes that love is the most important thing in life as she must trust in Heath's love for her to save them all.

Heath had left his home behind for a career in the navy.  When his brother was murdered he came home to take his place as head of the clan.  But things are even worse now with the family deeply in debt and about to lose everything. He is a reluctant leader but a good one and is doing his best to save his family's land. When he rescues Margaret he is dismayed by her wild talk of curses.  He is very pragmatic and doesn't believe in all that nonsense.  He is very drawn to Margaret though and offers to help her in her quest just to have the chance to keep her around.  He finds that strange things are happening and slowly begins to believe that there might be some truth to the idea of the curse.  It took the curse's final attack on Margaret to push him over the edge of belief, but once he was there I loved the way that he took charge of bringing it to an end.

"Love well, love fully, love completely. Because in life, love is all that truly matters." ~ Margaret Chattan Macnachtan


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