Set on Islay Isle in Scotland, The Rogue of Islay Isle is a sweeping love story that transcends borders and political affiliations, language, and cultural barriers. It is one to warm the cockles of your heart, illustrating the power of love and its ability to conquer all. It is a story of trust and of lovers who risk everything for the deep visceral connection they feel, and this author is now on my watch list.
Our story revolves around the newly named clan chief, Cullen Duffie, and Rose, the woman who washes up on his land, unable to speak, without memory of who she is or where she came from. With tensions high between the Scots, The English and the French, Rose’s appearance causes anxiety within the clan, but also invokes a deep protective streak in Cullen, that has him doing everything in his power to discover more about Rose and keep her safe.
Cullen had jumped the queue ahead of his uncles when he became the new clan chief, a fact they did not let him forget with their barbs and snide remarks regarding his suitability for the title. But Cullen was more than capable to become the new MacDonald, personifying what I would envisage a strong Chieftain to be. Decisive and firm, compassionate and loving, his loyalty and responsibility were to his clan, and his intelligence and quick wit made him the perfect leader. Cullen loved fiercely and completely and he felt a deep connection to Rose that went way beyond the physical, seeing into her soul and to the woman behind her eyes.
I felt so deeply for Rose. As her memory begins to return, her terrifying story unfolds and she consistently proved her mettle, facing those horrible scenes in her mind head on, determined to never go back to where she came from. She held on to her convictions when those intimidated and scared by her presence, tried first to intimidate her and then, put her life in jeopardy. She was one tough cookie and there was much to admire about her. When revelations of who she used to be surface, she doesn’t let it define her, but rather, embraces the lessons she had learned, while vowing that she will never return to her old life. I really liked Rose and she was more than a match for Cullen, both blessed with wit and smarts, cool-headedness in the face of danger, and deeply passionate nature in and out of the bedroom.
The characters surrounding Cullen and Rose were complementary to their story, each an integral part of the narrative. I particularly enjoyed Cullen’s mother and his closest friends, always there to lend support, or give advice with dry wit, when called for. Their dialogue flowed well, portraying each character’s personality with ease.
From start to finish, the author took me on a journey, visually and emotionally, so evocative that it became almost corporeal it was so well written. It was easy to imagine myself in the castle’s keep or standing on the shoreline of Islay Isle. I felt the betrayal and heartbreak down to my bones when Rose’s past confronts them and her freedom is threatened. My heart was in my throat and my eyes were wet as Cullen and Rose made their way to each other’s heart. I really enjoyed this book. Definitely another historical to add to my favourites list.
Hugs,Tags: 4 stars, historical romance, Lee