Saturday, December 28, 2013

(W)REC(K) A BOOK: Highland Shift

Elena MacFarland wonders what everyone else knows about her new farm that she doesn't, and whether she'll live long enough to find out. Betrayed by her fiance and the powerful Worthington family, Elena fights back and negotiates a comfortable settlement with one small caveat: she must live in Scotland for two years. One kidnapping and two attempts on her life later, the darkly arrogant Scot, Faolan MacGailtry declares himself her new protector and moves into her farmhouse.

Major problem? He was present at all three incidents. Elena decides to follow the adage to keep her friends close and enemies closer- but which is he? One by one, Elena uncovers Faolan's darkest secrets: his Druid heritage, his connection to her past, and finally, the deadly curse that is powerful enough to destroy them both.

- Goodreads

Another Highland favorite for me! :)

It's FREE right now on Amazon, so I seriously recommend you go get it right now! Seriously! What's it gonna cost you?

Elena gets her revenge against her shady ex and his family by milking them for everything she's owed. Just so happens, a property in Scotland gets thrown in the negotiations. The land is not the Worthington's, however, but the company's, and so a part of her agreement to keep it quiet about her lousy ex is a two-year contract to live in Scotland. One of the agreements she has to make is signing off the land to the Worthingtons if she were to die within six months of moving in. She thinks nothing of it and encounters a sexy as hell highlander with dangerous mystery, but it isn't until her life is threatened more times than she cares to think about that she realizes there's something about the farm that's gotten everyone riled up.

She's landed in the middle of a war between families- the Worthingtons and Faolan MacGailtry. Faolan shows up to the rescue after an attempted rape at the farm, and with Red and Lilly acting as caretakers, she's slowly filled in on the details. The farmland's been in Faolan's family for generations before it was wrongly taken from them by the Worthingtons, who were searching for something precious and had slaughtered his whole family in the process to ensure that they could do nothing in the name of revenge. But that's not all. Because of a vow Faolan's father broke with a higher power, Faolan, Red and Lilly became cursed. They were the wolves she saw guarding her lands late at night. They were the ones who'd saved her countless times when she first arrived.

Despite this huge load of reality-shattering information, the one thing that bugs her the most is the fact that Faolan refuses to make love to her because of his fear of being wrong for her. Since the first time she caught his scent behind her at the airport, she'd felt this strong connection to him, and when fate puts them in the same house under dire consequences, she decides that she doesn't want to die a virgin or lose it to a rapist who could succeed in getting to her the next time. Countless times, she's tried to convince him, but eventually he tells her that he is destined for another.

It isn't fair that the guy she's come to love is fated to find his 'true heart' so he can be rid of the curse, but she loves him enough to want to see him safe and happy, so if friendship is all he can offer, she gladly accepts it. However, after a visit to a witch that Faolan knows named Brigid, things change. Brigid says the time has come for him to find his light, and after some detective work, he comes to find that the cryptic woman meant Elena. Elena MacFarland is his true heart. They basically get together after this and a series of events happen for them both. Faolan is one step closer to being free of his curse, and Elena discovers that she has some gifts that she never knew existed within herself until now.

At one point in the plot, Worthington locks up Elena with Faolan in the hopes of getting the magick mirror she found in the hidden room and having the pleasure of knowing that Faolan would kill his love come the full moon. However, instead of that happening, she and Faolan have the hottest primitive sex I have read in a long while and then break his curse. She's also learned more about her gifts, too, and so escape with their uses, though in the end they lose Worthington in his escape with his own magick. Elena and Faolan find out that Worthington never got the mirror, a special artifact holding great power, and find out they're having a child. They go on a journey to find this island and get married along the way, enjoying a honeymoon and the time they have left before they have to face a dark reality.

The island they come across turns out to be a place Faolan's father used to frequent, and when a youthful Brigid welcomes them, revealing that she had been helping Faolan in his three-hundred plus years of existing, Elena instantly sees that there's a physical relation between the witch and Faolan. Brigid later reveals to Faolan that she was her father's love, but obligations to his father prompted him to leave for an arranged marriage. She told him she was pregnant when he visited her again, and she gave him and his agreeing wife the babe to raise as their own, for the first son, Faolan, was destined for greatness. It's a little twist in the story, but it explains the untapped power sensed within Faolan.

There's a lot more drama that goes on, but the final climax is when Lilly and Elena are kidnapped and almost sacrificed in a ritual held by Worthington and a group called the Order. One of the group's newest members, a man on the line between light and darkness (and her doctor, FYI) helps them escape, but not before shots go off and Elena blacks out. She wakes up in the hospital to be told by a nurse that her husband was shot and didn't make it, nor did her baby due to excess blood loss. The news cripples her, and from then on, it's an unstoppable avalanche of despair and pain, it's so sad. Brigid has died. Red and Lilly have left a note saying it's too painful to stay. Once again the orphan Elena MacFarland is all alone. Weeks of misery pass before she decides that when Worthington comes for her, she'll kill him and Liam, his illegit son.

One night, she hears Liam downstairs and hears him shoot darts at Red and Lilly. She's surprised that they came back at all, but when she sees Liam, she takes the shotgun and shoots- and in slow motion, sees a wolf jump to attack him from behind. Liam goes down and the third wolf limps away into the forest. She doesn't understand how there's a third wolf, but when she goes after it in the hopes of Red and Lilly's new friend being okay, she follows it through the standing stones and ends up at the very island she visited with Faolan so long ago.

And there at the castle is the limping wolf, near death.
And an alive Brigid, looking far more worried for the wolf than normal.

Faolan.

She can't believe what she's seeing, but Brigid and Faolan are both alive! And then the situation sinks in and she panicks all over again at having almost lost him again, and this time by her own hands.  But these people lied to her- they'd faked their own deaths to be rid of her! She immediately throws up her shields so they can't read her, and Brigid snaps at her to help her heal him, but then quickly turns around and takes back the hostility by hugging- and confusing -Elena. But none of that matters. She heals Faolan and brings him back from the void, something that is impossible. Once someone passes into the void, no one can bring them back. And yet Elena did just that, and it sets Brigid's mind ablaze.
"Just what is this girl?"

When Faolan wakes up, he's cold and distant and, thinking he wants her gone, she tells him she'll leave now that he's awake but is stopped by Brigid and Earnan. It turns out that when Faolan learned of her kidnapping, he'd gone to the scene too late, and had followed her to the hospital only to be told that she lost the baby and blamed him for it, and never wanted to see him again. He was hurt, but most of all, he hated himself for everything he put Elena through. Faolan used The Voice on Lilly and Red to keep them away from her despite their protests on leaving the girl alone, but let them guard her as wolves, which is why she caught sight of them downstairs with Liam.

Elena doesn't know what to believe. To go from a grieving widow and blaming yourself to finding out that everything's been a lie is stress on the brain, but most of all, it's a stab to an already broken heart. Had they hated her so much that they faked their own deaths to keep away? Was their story about her hating him true? She's still wary, but she tells them her version of the story and ends up breaking down in sobs over his chest. A distant Faolan orders Brigid and Earnan to leave the room and then they're making love, promising to never leave each other again.

The book ends with them all having a happy reunion again, Lilly claiming Elena as her daughter and getting a few laughs at Faolan's expense for the way he refused to listen to her. They've come back together and are now stronger than ever. The scars they harbored over the last few months didn't kill them, it only made them stronger and love the other with more passion and less regret. This new strength in each other is what they'll need to take on The Order, and whatever lurking evil is plotting in the mists.

My thoughts!

I REALLY loved this book. It was so much more than what the synopsis promised, and the sex scenes were really hot! But maybe that's just because they promoted my favorite position, so who knows, it may or may not be biased. XD I liked learning more about the characters like Faolan as the book continued on, and anything with Scotland automatically gets brownie points. The story started off differently and I liked the suspense and magick that followed. And I gotta say, the ending caught me off guard. I panicked! I was flipping through the whole thing needing to make sure this was some kind of trick! I was entertained the whole time and enjoyed all the little things that the author added in, like the adorable kittens or the group of people at the pub that helped Elena. <3

I recommend this to those who love highland romance with dangerous suspense.

Happy Reading, and enjoy the rest of 2013~! :)

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