Captured By A Laird (The Douglas Legacy) by Margaret Mallory
Overview by Amazon:
Haunted by his father’s violent death, David Hume, the new laird of Wedderburn, sets out to make his name so feared that no one will dare harm his family again. The treacherous ally who played on his father’s weakness is dead and beyond David’s vengeance, but his castle and young widow are ripe for the taking. The moment David lays eyes on the dark-haired beauty defending her wee daughters, however, he knows this frail-looking lass is the one person who could bring him to his knees.
Wed at thirteen to a man who tried daily to break her spirit, Lady Alison Douglas is looking forward to a long widowhood. But when the fearsome warrior known as the Beast of Wedderburn storms her gates, she finds herself, once again, forced to wed a stranger. Alison is only a pawn to serve his vengeance, so why does this dark warrior arouse such fiery passion and an unwelcome longing in her heart?
With death and danger looming, these two wounded souls must learn to trust each other…for only love can save them.
One of my very favourite authors is the late, great Kathleen Woodiwiss. She wove an excellent story, full of vengeance, cunning, revenge, lust and love. This book reminds me greatly of her story The Wolf and the Dove. Although it was written in 1974, there seems to be something about feuding Lords and ladies of the castles that keeps making this an interesting plot line.
Alison is not your typical heroine. She has been widowed by a repugnant man that she despised. She despised him so much that she took his bed into the yard and burned it. The only shining light in her life is her two beautiful daughters. She hasn’t had an easy life, being married at 13 to a brute who humiliated her daily and make her life hell. Once she is free of him she thinks that she has the freedom she has longed for. With political men surrounding her life, she is remarkably naïve in this hope.
Her knight in shining armour is the ‘Beast’, David Wedderburn. He takes her castle and forces her to marry him. The author is descriptive in the cattle raiding and fear mongering he unleashes on the border lands, but it doesn’t distract that David is actually a very good person. He wants vengeance for his father and uncle’s murders and the injustices done to his clan, but he shows leniency and mercy to his enemies.
He is startled when he meets Alison. The plan was always to marry her, but he is blown away by her beauty and grace. He thanks his lucky stars, but quickly learns that he will have to woo his new bride. She desperately wants to be the kind of wife that a husband turns to in confidence, but with her brothers and Clan Douglas blowing in the wind, he doesn’t take her interest seriously. The story revolved a lot around the two of them getting to know one another.
The daughters and David’s brothers play a large part in the story. They make the new family unit more complete. The challenges of David’s brothers are borne by Alison and in turn he takes his role as step father to heart. Alison’s mother gave her a black stone to guard herself with. I love how the author wove in the mysticism of Scottish culture into the story. It’s such a beautiful part of the culture and the stone definitely served its purpose.
As Alison is a widow and has borne children, she clearly knows what happens in the marital bed and is revolted by the thought of returning to it. David must woo her gently. He awakens lust in her and for the first time she feels pleasure. She understands how great it can be between a man and a woman. David is a patient and gentle lover. The love scenes are so well written and you actually felt Alison’s joy at this surprising revelation and happiness in her new union.
But the enemies at the gate don’t stay there for long. There is a lot of plotting and evil lurking and swirling around the new family at Blackadder. Alison and David’s newfound peace is tested again and again. The new lovers are still carrying deep scars and they drive them apart. Only when the ultimate sacrifice must be made, do the two of them work together to thwart their enemies.
The ending was so great! When I look at the models on the cover of the book, I truly imagine that this is what their life will be like. I loved the epilogue that shares a glimpse into the future. Clan life is everything in Scottish culture and reading this story made me wish I was part of one too.