Forbidden Highlander (Dark Sword Series #2)

Forbidden Highlander - Donna Grant 3.5 starsThe second book in the series focuses on Fallon MacLeod. Fallon has recently given up drinking to contain the god inside him, and he's trying to be the laird and oldest brother. To do so, he needs to secure the MacLeod castle and surrounding lands, which were taken by another clan after the evil drough Druid, Deirdre, hunted down the MacLeods and slaughtered them trying to get to the 3 MacLeod brothers to unbind their god and force them to join her army to control the world. But the MacLeods resisted Deirdre and hid for 300 years. Just recently (book 1), did Deirdre learn of their location and of Cara, Fallon's brother Lucan's new bride, also a Druid and possibly drough with a magic necklace called "The Demon's Kiss".Fallon is at King James' court in Edinburgh to ask the king to give him back his lands. Except that James is ruling from London and not at Edinburgh. Frustrated, Fallon tries to play the political games necessary to get someone powerful on his side to petition James on his behalf. Fallon is trying to get his land back to have a safe haven for his family, but also to gather other Warriors who will join in their fight against Deirdre. AND Fallon is trying to locate the Scroll that contains the names of all the clans with bound gods... his youngest brother Quinn was lured away and captured by Deirdre, and Fallon thinks the way to get him back is to use the Scroll as bait.In the meantime... Lady Lorena Monroe is also at King James' court in Edinburgh, and she wants an audience with Fallon MacLeod. All the men at court are falling over themselves to win Lorena's favor, but she wants none of them. Lorena has a secret and has been in hiding for 100 years. Yes, Lorena is one of the Warriors; she has a goddess of Hell inside her, and because the goddess chose her over one of her male cousins years ago, her family disowned her - all except her father. Her father was killed by the only lover Lorena ever knew, so she's got intimacy issues. Lorena is also the Keeper of the Scroll, but she's bound by an oath to keep that secret. Not only does Deirdre not know that Lorena has a goddess inside her, but she also doesn't know that Lorena has the Scroll - in a ring that she wears on her finger.Of course Fallon and Lorena fall immediately for one another and tumble into bed soon after that. Of course one of Deirdre's minions, following Fallon, discovers both Fallon and that Lorena is a Warrior. Of course Fallon and Lorena must escape back to MacLeod land. And of course Lorena doesn't tell Fallon about being the Keeper of the Scroll. She's afraid of her emotions for Fallon, afraid of the intimacy and admitting that she might be in love, and afraid what he'll do when he learns she's kept this secret from him. Of course evil Warriors come and attack Lorena - one of whom has dipped his claw in drough blood, which causes a wound that Lorena's goddess can't heal on it's own from. (AHA! One use of the drough blood and possibly The Demon's Kiss.) Of course Fallon has a super-power that allows him to jump from any place he is to any place he's been in a flash; it's called "teleporting" in our day. And of course, the new Druid in residence (Sonya) there to help Cara learn her Druid magic, immediately sees the ring and knows it contains the Scroll. Which means that of course Fallon must be the only one to give his blood to help Lorena, and that he's upset that she couldn't trust him with all her secrets since he's already managed to spill all his to her when they were in bed together.Whew! So we've got more Warriors joining the MacLeods in the middle of all of this, PLUS an evil Warrior who may or may not be a double agent helping the MacLeods. And then there's poor Quinn, locked in Deirdre's dungeon, being tortured and beaten just enough to allow his god to heal him before it starts over. Deirdre wants Quinn to turn himself fully over to his god. And she thinks that when he does, Quinn fulfills some prophecy that means she can couple with Quinn and produce some super-child, and then reign with Quinn and their super-child through eternity. Except that she can't force Quinn by magic to succumb. And since he's been captured, Quinn has learned to control the god inside him; ironic, even to him, that he couldn't control the god until he was captured. But Quinn knows that he must stay alive until his brothers rescue him; and he must stay out of Deirdre's clutches - the only way to do that is to refuse to allow the god inside him any control.And that's just the first 1/3rd of this story... and while it's chock-full of action and information, it's kind of a fun ride. More unbelievable (to me) than perhaps the 1st book, but there are more characters and good character development along the way. The author is revealing more and more of what's really going on, although that is at an almost glacial pace. How will we get through 2 more books and have a resolution?