***eARC provided by publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest and unscripted review.
Blurb for THE DEVIL’S HEART:
They call her the Unattainable. Lady Margaret Chattan spurned every suitor for her hand, vowing never to marry. The only way to break the curse plaguing her family for two centuries is this ultimate sacrifice. But now her brothers' lives are in danger. Determined to save them, she risks her very soul by traveling into the heart of the highlands to battle a force that has transcended time.
Heath Macnachtan is not superstitious. Laird of the most independent, nonconforming, madly infuriating clan ever to grace Scotland, he believes he has his hands full. And then, a woman lauded as one of the most beautiful in England, arrives on his doorstep with wild accusations and a mystical quest . . . one that just might help him discover who murdered his own brother.
But the real danger for Heath and Margaret is not a supernatural foe, but a very real love that could destroy them both.
* * * * *
With the urging of her ailing brothers, Margaret Chattan has traveled to Loch Awe in an attempt to end the curse that threatens to claim two more Chattan men. On the way, she encounters the elusive Owl, a white cat with folded ears and large round eyes. When told that no one else in the group can see the cat, Margaret leaves it by the side of the road but then as if no longer protected, a storm develops that throws the carriage off the road. Broken and battered, Margaret lies dying alongside her companions and fears the curse will win after all.
Heath Macnachtan is the Laird of Marybone, home to the remaining direct descendants of Fenella Macnachtan, the witch that put the curse upon Charles Chattan, and his descendants, after he jilted her daughter, Rose, to marry an Englishwoman. On the verge of losing all that has been in his family for generations, Heath feels he’s failed the memory of his murdered brother, Brodie. Returning home with news that will not change his family’s circumstances, he stops at the site of his brother’s murderous death and discovers a dreadful scene and a sleeping beauty untouched from the accident. If I tell you more I'll spoil it for you.
She lay on her back upon a bed of pine needles, her hands folded at her waist, her eyes closed, her face serene … and she was beautiful. Her lips were red, her complexion flawless.
Heath recognized her immediately.
This was Lady Margaret Chattan, the Unattainable. He’d seen her once on a London street. She’d been followed by a flock of male admirers.
Hers was a face no man could ever forget. It was said men fought over her, they begged for her favors, they worshipped her – and yet no man had ever claimed her.
That day, almost a decade ago, a much younger Heath had gazed upon her and had the feeling that one day their paths would cross. He’d even said as much to other men. They had assured him he was deluding himself.
But Heath’s belief had not been so outlandish. She was a Chattan; he a Macnachtan. There had been a moment in time when their histories had entwined.
And now she was here in his wood. And she was alive. - THE DEVIL'S HEART
THE DEVIL’S HEART, book 3 of the Chattan Curse series by Cathy Maxwell is an excellent conclusion to a wonderful series. Cathy has conjured a mystery on top of a mystery, a battle of good against evil, and leaves us truly believing that love conquers all. I thoroughly enjoyed the buildup to the end and wasn’t disappointed. Margaret is headstrong yet yielding, and Heath is compassionate yet steadfast in his role as Laird, protector, lover, and conqueror. His disbelief in the curse begins to wane as his need to protect Margaret and to aid her in her search for an end to the curse becomes all consuming. When all seems lost to both, his strength and need to prove his love for Margaret is what saves them. More than the curse is resolved in this thrilling historical romance that has a truly heart wrenchingly sweet happily-ever-after.
I highly recommend THE DEVIL’S HEART by Cathy Maxwell to anyone who believes that love can bring anyone together, even enemies. To anyone who believes that good will always overcome evil and to anyone who loves a truly wonderful read. Whether or not you’ve read the first two books, LYON’S BRIDE and THE SCOTTISH WITCH, Cathy provides enough backstory to draw you in so that you’ll be wondering what you missed, but will still keep you hooked straight through to a tissue grabbing ending. However, to experience the full impact of the Chattan Curse and the fight to free the Chattan siblings from Fenella’s evil, I do recommend reading from the beginning of the series. It’s very worth it.
Happy Reading Everyone!
THE DEVIL’S HEART, a Chattan Curse novel by Cathy Maxwell, Avon Romance, releasing April 30, 2013 in print and ebook formats.