About the Book
Gavin MacKenzie, a chieftain heir who is hired to restore the ancient Castle of Braigh, discovers a hidden village of outcasts who have created their own private sanctuary from the world. Among them is Serena Boyd, a mysterious and comely lass, who captures Gavin’s heart in spite of harboring a deadly past that could destroy her future.
The villagers happen to be keeping an intriguing secret as well. When a fierce enemy launches an attack against them, greed leads to bitter betrayal. As Gavin prepares a defense, the villagers unite in a bold act of faith, showing how God’s love is more powerful than any human force on earth.
I thought the concept behind this book was very good. It was intriguing to examine how a well understood modern malady-such as epilepsy-could be interpreted in the Middle Ages as an evil threat to a community through demon possession and witchcraft. All the ingredients were there for a fresh take on historical romance, but the story didn’t have enough time to marinate and truly come into its own.
There were numerous elements of this story that could have been expanded upon-for example, the mysterious attacks in the village and Serena’s interrogation and confinement after being accused of demon possession. If some of the filler count had been edited out, there would have been ample opportunity to explore these interesting areas more.
The eclectic village of misfits danced across the pages and lightened the mood with their peculiar personalities. The antagonists fell a little flat as the prototype opposing force with ulterior motives. I was torn over the ending of this book. One the one hand I love how Jennifer allowed a main character to take an unprecedented risk; on the other I was let down by the convenient royal hero riding to the rescue at the most opportune moment.
Overall, a solid historical romance from Jennifer Hudson Taylor.