It’s a clan feud, a war with destiny, and a dusting of magic…
As the first-born triplet and heir of the MacLeod clan, Alastair MacLeod has always known he would return to Dunvegan Castle and succeed his father as Guardian of the Isles. He’s honed his battle skills since his betrothed left him at the altar, stole a precious artifact, and presumably died. Called by his brother, Alastair reluctantly returns home with his soldiers. As he beholds the ghost of Gwendolyn in the tower, his worst nightmare has come true—Gwendolyn’s ghost intends to haunt him.
To save her family’s lives, Gwendolyn Harris was forced by a rival clan to steal the legendary Fairy Flag and leave Alastair behind. She and her siblings have been locked in the haunted tower for five years, kept alive only to play a ghost while the rival clan plans for war.
When Alastair returns, all Gwendolyn wants is to bury herself in his strong embrace. But his presence at Dunvegan means his life is in jeopardy, and Gwendolyn will do anything to keep him safe.
A total masterpiece with magic, true history and a romance that sizzles!
Book:The Return of the Heir
By Gerri Russell
Series: Guardian of the Isles, Book #1
Publisher : Tule
Release Date: February 24, 2022
Overall Rating: 5/5 Stars
Blog Rating: 5/5 Saltire Flags
The Isle of Skye, l742
Eight years ago, the entire Harris clan had been viciously slaughtered by the wicked MacDonald clan, the three Harris children Gwendolyn, Samuel and Arabella were the only survivors of this horrific massacre. The MacLeod clan came to aid and assist them to bury their dead and invited them to move into Dunvegan castle and become a part of their clan. After Gwendolyn turned sixteen summers, Laird Norman MacLeod arranged a betrothal between his heir, Alastair and Gwendolyn Harris. Now this was shocking since the old Laird was nicknamed the wicked man, afterall he was not a kind or honorable man that protected his clan. So him doing this orphan girl and his son such a kindness was a bit of a shock to the clan. Norman MacLeod had been cruel, aggressive and abusive to everyone living in his household this included his servants, clan members, children and especially his wife, Janet. Janet was now a ghost watching over her children in the fairy tower known as the grey lady. For this reason that part of the castle was forbidden for anyone to venture into.
It was obvious Alastair and Gwendolyn cared for each other, but right before the nuptials Gwendolyn was abducted by the devious Garrick MacDonald. A clan they had been at war for many many years. Garrick wanted revenge on the MacLeods for killing his parents though the MacDonalds started this feud and had murdered many of the MacLeod kin too. Now right before Alastair and Gwendolyn’s nuptials she was abducted by Garrick MacDonald he made it look like Gwendolyn committed suecide so they wouldn’t search for a body. Garrick also forced Gwendolyn to steal the fairy flag by threatening her siblings Samuel and Arabella’s lives! Gwendolyn ad no choice, but to do as he asked and then chained Gwendolyn and both of her siblings in the fairy tower like animals. It was the one area no one was allowed to enter due because his mothers ghost haunted the fairy tower that the clan called the Grey Lady. Now it has been five years that the Harris children had been living in captivity with no one realizing she is even alive!
Right after Gwendolyn’s disappearance Alastair left his clan as his pain was unbearable. He finally returns after home with his father’s death and whisper that the the Jacobite war with the English is coming. Now as a guardian of the isle Alastair wants peace, furthermore it is a bad time for the clans to be at war with each other, with whispers that a war between Scotland and England is coming. Excepts the MacDonald’s are relentless and with stealing the stolen Fairy flag does not help the MacLeod warrior’s courage and self esteem. It gave them that extra confidence they needed on the battlefield whether the flag actually had fairy power or not.
Alastair was returning home after five years as he left after Gwendolyn disappeared. Now with his father dead and whispers of Jacobite activity as war he must return to his clan as their laird and be the leader he was trained to be. He soon spots an image of Gwendolyn in the tower and soon finds out it isn’t his imagination. He saves her and her siblings though he is filled with guilt but things aren’t the same as he had moved on and has a new betrothed which was arranged for him. Yet he realizes his attraction and feelings have not stopped and only grown. Gwendolyn feels the same but feels she must leave Dunvegan castle. Yet Alastair is confused having two brides especially as Gwendolyn awakens feeling he long thought dead. Will he fight for the woman he loves or let others pick a woman he has no common interest in? Read and find out! Definitely not a story to miss!
All I can say is wow about Gerri Russell’s new “Guardian of the Isles” series is absolutely brilliant! It weaves my two favorite ingredients for reading a Scottish historical novel which is true Scottish history with a spectacular fictional story that swept me off my feet!. Lovers of Scotland and Scottish history will know that Dunvegan castle really does exist as does the fairy flag in the Isle of Skye and the MacLeod clan did reside there too. Plus in1742 the whispers had just begun that war was coming between Scotland and England and many of the clans wanted to put the exiled Stuart’s back on the Scottish throne.
This is one of my favorite reads for 2022 as this book checked all the boxes for me and it has mystery, suspense, paranormal, magic, abduction, deception, hatred, betrayal, history, adventure, romance, passion, and of course love! lt is filled with many surprises too that I won’t spoil for reading this captivating story . A definite riveting, fast-paced, page-turning, nail biting, romantic adventure with unforgettable characters and plotting that blew me away. I read this in one setting as it’s the type of story you can really sink your teeth into. I loved this story so very much and I can’t wait for the next book in this magnificent series!
True historical facts is during the '45 Jacobite Uprising, Clan MacLeod's main branch supported the British Government. Clan MacLeod of Raasay, however, were strong Jacobite sympathisers who fought for the House of Stuart at the Battle of Culloden and helped to hide and transport the exiled Bonnie Prince to safety.
I absolutely and unequivocally highly recommend this extraordinary novel that readers do not want to miss! It is that spectacular and a complete masterpiece in my humble opinion.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary ARC copy from Tule Publishing. I voluntarily agreed to read, review and blog an advance copy of this book. All thoughts, ideas and opinions are my own.