Great story. I especially loved the romantic conflict element of it. Alaric McCabe is betrothed to marry Rionna MacDonald, the daughter of a neighboring clan so that their clans can unite and go to war with the evil Laird Cameron. But he falls in love with a young healer, Keeley, who has been wrongly outcast from her own clan (the same MacDonalds he is supposed to marry into).
I like that Alaric and Keeley are madly in love and simply can't have each other for reasons that are very much beyond their control and feel insurmountable. It isn't just that Alaric is betrothed to someone else. That could be broken. No, it is that he must
marry for the good of his clan. Him calling it off would not affect just him, but the entire clan and also the King of Scotland. Alaric agonizes over what he has to do. As does Keeley. They are both honorable people and know that he has a duty. So they savior the time they do have knowing that they'll have to give each other up.
Everyone around them know they are in love and are sympathetic to their feelings, but everyone also knows the marriage is a must.
Keeley is also very well drawn. She is salty (I refuse to use the term 'feisty') with the new clan she is adopted into. As an outcast she had learned to be independent even though she was crushingly lonely. But she knows her worth as a healer and her usual spirit surfaces in her clashes with Alaric's brothers. I like the background we are given for her and the reasons why she was outcast drives up the angst appeal.
I listened to this on audio. Yet another fantastic reading by Kirsten Potter.