This is the first in a series featuring in this installment Malcolm MacGregor as the main male character. He has been to market to sell some of his clan's cattle to pay their rent to their overlord, Glenn Campbell. When he returns to his village, he finds all their belongings burned and many villagers beaten. He vows revenge on the Campbell, who has also taken his mother and sister to sell as indentured servants to pay their supposed debt even though Campbell arrived two weeks early to collect the rent. In retaliation, a fellow clansman kidnaps Lauren Campbell, Glenn's daughter. Malcolm thinks that he can take Lauren and sell her to be an indentured servant to take the place of his mother.
Lauren Campbell feels alone in her world with the exception of her little sister and the charity work she performs. Lauren regularly travels to Malcolm's village with food for the poor and to socialize with his mother and sister. Lauren's own mother died when Lauren was about eight years old and she has begun to think of Malcolm's mom as a mother figure. Lauren's mother tried to instill Christian beliefs and way of life into her young daughter before she died. Now, Malcolm's mother has watered those seeds and fruit is born. Lauren at first is angry with Malcolm, but realizes her father is guilty in this matter and she will do whatever is needed to help Malcolm regain his lost family members. Romance begins to brew between Lauren and Malcolm, but Malcolm still wrestles with his dilemma of how to rescue his mother and sister from years of servitude and at the same time keep Lauren from serving out a penalty that her father deserves.
I didn't really like how the main female character in this story just didn't seem realistic in the matter of her kidnapping. She is a wealthy aristocrat who is kidnapped, taken from her homeland, forced to endure a long voyage at sea and told she is being sold into servitude. Yet, one of the first things she does is to forgive the man who put her in this position? I realize this is Christian fiction, but I thought it unrealistic that she didn't have to work much to get through her anger and bitterness to come to the point where she is able to forgive him. I would have liked to see more of this very human struggle. I also, wasn't thrilled with the romance between Malcolm and Lauren. It just didn't flow together well for me. I did like Lauren's ability to see to the needs of others and her willingness to serve others and compassion towards those less fortunate than herself. She certainly portrays Christ to the best of her abilities to her fellow man. Despite her uncertain future, she grabs on to the only thing that will save her and that is her Savior. If I could, I would give this book 3.5 star rating.
After having their name abolished by King James, the McGregor clan lived from day to day struggling to survive. The Campbells were a harsh clan and, being their tenants, the McGregors were at their mercy. When Malcolm McGregor returned home to find his younger brother severely wounded and his mother and sister sold as indentured servants by the Campbells he knew he would do whatever it took to get them back. Kidnapping Duncan Campbell's daughter Lauren was the first step. Malcolm sets off with Lauren to find his mother and sister intent on using Lauren as an exchange for his mother. He never expected to fall in love with her and when Lauren sells herself willingly to save his mother he vows to save her or die trying.
Lauren Campbell was a woman of faith with a compassionate heart. That's why she went to the McGregor clan's home. To bring food and necessities to those less fortunate. Her friendship with Iona and Carleen McGregor was something she cherished. Malcolm's mother, Iona, was like her own mother and when she found out what her father had done she was shocked and, though she was forced on the journey to find her against her will, she soon found herself falling for her captor. When they find Iona worn and tired at a plantation Lauren willingly gave her own self in exchange for the elderly woman. Malcolm vows to get her back and Lauren prays he can find a way. Will Malcolm save her in time or will Lauren succumb to the world of slavery?
I must admit that "Highland" books or books with a Scottish setting are not something I read very often but I was pleasantly surprised when I got into this story. I loved the entire plot from beginning to end and it kept me turning the pages to find out what would happen next. There were a few twists that just enhanced the overall story. I loved that Malcolm was a brawny guy but tender and loving. Lauren displayed amazing faith in even the most dire of circumstances. No matter what she was going through she turned to God without wavering. I also liked that the story brought forth the topic of slavery and indentured servants. The treatment they received was horrible and inhumane and this book described their conditions in an excellent manner. Overall I loved this book and if you are a fan of Scottish romances you will too. Even if you're not I still recommend it.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review. The opinions stated are mine and mine alone and I received no monetary compensation.
"For Love or Loyalty" takes place in Scotland in 1760 and involves two feuding families: the Campbells and the MacGregors. When Duncan Campbell oversteps his position and ruins Malcolm MacGregor's home and family, Malcolm decides he will seek revenge, and that means using Duncan's daughter, Lauren, to get it.
Fast-paced and fully captivating, I found myself lost in the past and totally involved with both Malcolm and Lauren who both ended up being victims of Duncan's wrath and sick sense of justice. As the story unfolds, I became truly in love with both Malcolm and Lauren. Lauren because of her patience, love and faith and Malcolm because he was a very good and honorable "mon" underneath all the anger he felt caused by Duncan's horrible deed. As Malcolm spends time thinking and seeing the Lord move through Lauren, he slowly realizes his actions have consequences that are just as bad as what Duncan did to his family.
This book is a must read for any fan of Scottish or early Colonial history as well as those who enjoy great Christian fiction. The Christian message is not over the top but is placed well throughout the story. It is realistic and is where it would be most used in certain situations: death, sickness, danger, etc. It is also realistic in the fact that some characters question where God was when things happened. Because of this, I think that even a secular audience would enjoy the storyline without feeling preached to.
This book/new series comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!
This ebook was provided by the author in conjuction with FIRST Wild Card Tours. I was not required to provide a favorable review, but instead on that reflects my honest opinion.
Jennifer Hudson Taylor in her new book, "For Love Or Loyalty" Book One in the MacGregor Quest series published by Abingdon Press takes us into the lives of Malcolm MacGregor and Lauren Campbell.
From the back cover: Can the strings of his heart foil his ruthless plan?
Malcolm MacGregor wants revenge. After the rival Campbell clan sells his mother into indentured servitude, he devises a scheme to free herÃ¢â¬âswap his mother for Lauren, the innocent Campbell daughter.
Seeking peace between their families, kind-hearted Lauren agrees to help but doesn't realize the sacrifice she'll have to make. When the truth is revealed that she is the bargaining price to free Malcom's mother, it's too late. They are on a ship bound for America and Lauren fears their arrival will forever doom her to a fate worse than death.
While Lauren clings to her faith, her only comfort, that same faith begins to make Malcom question what it is that he's done. But can he save them both? If he has to choose, will Malcom fight for love-or loyalty?
There is a touch of "Romeo and Juliet" in this story with the hatred between the two families and Malcolm and Lauren's romance. That is where the similarity ends and the action really takes off. The journey to free Malcolm's mother take the duo from Scotland to America on a long, dangerous voyage. Along the way the romance really begins, however Malcolm still keeps to his plan and sells Lauren. Now that he has done what he planned he regrets his actions but can he really save both of them or is he going to have to choose one over the other? "For Love Or Loyalty" is a nice romance also filled with action and suspense. Jennifer Hudson Taylor has filled this story with many themes, Revenge, Bitterness, Betrayal and what it produces in the person. I enjoyed this aspect of the book as this is not a theme that is popular. Want a fun read that will not only entertain you but make you think as well? Well then I recommend "For Love Or Loyalty".
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Abingdon Press. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
One conquest could destroy her, but avenge his family.
Scotland to Carolina, 1760
I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Ã¢â¬â¢Jeremiah 29:11
The Scottish Highlanders, 1760
InveraweÃ¢â¬â¢home. Smoke swirls in the sky as Malcolm MacGregor and his brother, Thomas, reach the village. The Campbell men have come and burned their home and taken their mither and sister. Their father had been killed in the Jacobite rebellion fifteen years earlier. Duncan Campbell and his son, Scott, came with warriors ~ to collect the unpaid rents from the MacGregors' on his huts. Returning from selling the cattle at market to pay the rents, the Campbells have come a day early. They have taken Iona and Carleen MacGregor, possibly to a debtors' prison, as a warning to the rest of the village. The rents have been raised again, this time with interest ~ "legal robbery." They beat their youngest brother, Graham while trying to protect their mither and sister, and murdered his best friend. For two centuries, the Campbells have tried to wipe out the MacGregor Clansmen. Left in poverty, their furniture has been taken or left to burn before the huts.
Duncan Campbell's eldest daughter, Lauren, sets out to the Kilchurn Manor stables to ride to the ancient relic of Kilchurn Castle with her younger sister, Blair, to enjoy a day of picnicking together on their estate. The castle had passed to the Campbells through marriage. The lands were taken from the MacGregors when King James abolished their clan name generations earlier.
She has been intercepted.
"Malcolm! Thomas!" Lauren's captor ignored them and banged on the worn wooden door. "Open up. I have Lauren Campbell."
The door swung open and Malcolm's tall form emerged. He crossed his arms with a menacing scowl. "Colin, ye were supposed to find my mither an' sister, not bring back a hostage."
--For Love or Loyalty, 18
With Lauren saying she knew her brother and father were collecting rents and then going to the harbor, she and Malcolm are on the way ~ to the colonies, should they not intercept the Campbells at the docks.
This is so beautiful. Approaching Taynuilt, the description is so vivid!
Smoke from chimneys filled the air along with the aroma of mixed spices as they passed various cottages of all shapes and sizes. The sounds of a few rolling carts and carriages passed both directions. Most people had gone inside, but some lingered in the streets. It wasn't a large town, and before long the pleasant aromas and sights gave way to less pleasant odors and lurking shadows.
They reach the dock to check ship rosters for the two women. Given a ship roster from an elderly man, he says his son set sail that morn, The Loyal Adventure, for Charles Towne, South Carolina. Lauren sees her friends' names near the bottom ~ MacGregor. The women had long been sharing their faith together when Lauren came to visit the poor and bring food in her generosity to the villagers. Without a paid fare, his mother, Iona, and sister, Carleen, are now indentured servants to the captain to be sold in Carolina when they arrive. Malcolm asks of another ship going there. The next morn, The Sea Lady is set to sail there just after sunrise.
Lauren has been given things, and not parental love. As the oldest, Malcolm has been the family protector. He is taking her to exchange for his indentured family member, but will it be enough to keep generational feuds going? Reaching America brings other difficulties they would not have expected. For love or loyalty? You will enjoy this story of hope, caring and forgiveness that can change a heart.
***Thank you to author Jennifer Hudson Taylor and Upon the Rock Publicist for sending me this first novel in The MacGregor Legacy series, For Love or Loyalty. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***