I don't read many highland novels so it's refreshing to do so from time to time, especially when the story is written by an author like Gayle Callen. She paints a vivid picture of setting, characters and the rough life people endured in 18th Century Scotland. I loved the earthiness of the story, devoid of lavish balls and expensive embellishments. This was real, the love that develops a struggle between trust and forgiveness.
When Duncan Carlyle finds Catriona Duff wandering along a dirt road, he recognizes her as the daughter of his enemy. To his surprise, she claims to have no memory of who she is or anything else relating to her past. Taking her with him, Duncan uses this opportunity to seek revenge on her father. He wants the cruel laird involved in kidnapping children to know what it feels like to have his own daughter taken. But the situation is not as simple as Duncan believes - least of all when his attraction for Catriona begins to grow and he realizes how deeply he cares for her. Because he knows she will eventually discover his deception and that there bond will be broken the moment she does.
Catriona Duff quickly adjusts to her new situation, offering to help the women of Duncan's clan with the daily chores to show her appreciation for all they have done for her. And the more she gets to know Duncan himself, the more she starts wanting a life entirely different from the one she's left behind. He is her rescuer - or so she believes - a man who saves helpless children. How can she not love this brave man who's been nothing but kind toward her? The question is whether she will continue to love him or not when she finds out how much he has lied.
A wonderful story, beautifully written and hard to put down once you get started.