Shadow Highlander (Dark Sword Series #5)

Shadow Highlander - Donna Grant I can't quite explain why I keep reading this series, since in many ways, it's not my "usual" fare... and for a Highlander series that involved magic and Druids, it's not even what I'd consider better than "just average" or "good". And yet, I continue to read! So something must be going on here...This book centers on the Warrior Gaelen and Reaghan, a mysterious Druid who can't remember more than the last 10 years. Gaelen and Logan are on a mission to locate a group of Druids in the Loch Awe area; Isla's magic told her that these Druids have an artifact in their midst that can help stop the evil Deirdre. Besides, they want to protect these Druids from Deirdre, because if and when she finds them, their lives are at stake to provide Deirdre the power she needs to regenerate her body and full evil power.Gaelen's god has given him the power/gift of seeing into other people's minds with just a touch. Any touch. So Gaelen keeps to himself as much as possible and tries not to touch others. He feels that people have the right to the privacy of their own thoughts... and their thoughts and emotions spill over into him. But when Gaelen touches Reaghan, he cannot see into her mind or thoughts; is that because of the mysterious power preventing Reaghan from knowing her own past? And the Druids of Loch Awe have come from many parts of Scotland - this isn't their native home. They've intermarried so much, their Druid magic isn't strong, and many of their number - the hale and hearty males, especially - have left to seek their families and fortunes elsewhere. Why then does Gaelen sense that Reaghan in so powerful in her magic? Why is she so protected by the village elders, who refuse to directly answer questions about the artifact or Reaghan?These Druids are very suspicious of Warriors, having been raised to believe that the Warriors are evil and all in league with Deirdre. But when wyrrans show up (Deirdre's evil created creatures), Gaelen and Logan have no choice but to reveal that they are Warriors. They try to convince the Druids to leave Loch Awe and go to MacLeod Castle. But it takes some persuading, and several of the older Druids take their lives rather than follow.Of course the group is pursued by the wyrrans, and Dunmore, a human male who serves Deirdre. And of course, Reaghan and Gaelen fall in love along the way... and of course, they get very physical. But why does Reaghan have all these headaches? And is the falcon that seems to follow them friend or foe? Gaelen and Logan know the bird is spying on them, but who's behind it? (We only get a glimpse of another Druid community, hidden. Another community that distrusts Warriors.)When they reach MacLeod Castle, what now? Deirdre has stirred up another clan to come against the MacLeods, their Druids, and Warriors. And Sonya gets a message from the trees that her own group of Druids is coming their way, too. Can the Warriors fight off Deirdre and protect all those under their care?----------------I rather enjoyed this book because for much of it, we were away from the castle. We were confined to a "new" group of people. I liked Reaghan very much, and Gaelen has always been sturdy and trustworthy. Learning more about him was a treat.But the other stuff was more per usual with this series... and while events seem to take place within a short span of time, a lot happens. It's sometimes unfortunate that the "other action" that occurs between the other characters we've come to know is so background, that those characters are almost non-existent. Each book focuses on a specific couple and their story; everything else is just background, even Deirdre. That's a fault, IMO.