Title: Forbidden Heart
Author: Paula Quinn
Series: Hearts of the Highlands (Book 6)
Publication Date: Dec. 15, 2020
Publisher: Dragonblade Publishing
Synopsis: Galeren MacPherson never met a lass who wasn’t willing to offer herself up to him. But he doesn’t want that life. In fact, he swore a soon to end six-year vow of chastity to help him dedicate his life to one thing. Battle.
As captain of John Stewart, High Steward of Scotland’s army, Galeren is the only man trusted to bring the high steward’s niece to Scotland. The last thing Galeren wants to be is an escort to a novice from a nunnery. Especially when he sees her in the early morning dawn weeping on the cliffs. Throughout his life, he has felt the urge to flee from things, on the field and off. But he never fled. He conquered the urge and faced whatever it was, head on. But he never faced a force like the one placed in his path.
Novice Silene Sparrow is on her way to Scotland, where she will speak to the church council on her uncle’s behalf so that one day he may gain their support, being next in line for the throne.
Raised in the priory and groomed to give her life to the Lord, she rarely leaves the church’s land in Bamburgh, so she is unprepared for her rough and rowdy Highland escorts. Their leader is a tall, broad, golden warrior who vows to protect her, and does. He is a savage and she does everything to resist him. But how does one resist a man with a kitten cuddled in the crook of his neck? No matter what he has trained to be, he is patient and gentle with her. He begins to get into her blood, her bones. When he kisses her, slowly, passionately, eager for more, he makes her question her future vows.
But Silene’s heart is forbidden. If she lets Captain MacPherson have it, her uncle will lose the church’s support and they likely won’t live a day before he has them hunted down and possibly killed.
How much will Galeren and Silene risk for love?
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Silene Sparrow’s life is not her own. A novice intent on taking her vows, Silene knows that her uncle John is using her to gain power. However, as Silene travels to her uncle with a group of warriors, she can’t help the growing feelings she develops for Galeren, the Captain.
Galeren is tasked with retrieving Silene at the convent and bringing her to John’s castle. Galeren has never failed at his duties. However, when he meets Silene, Galeren is immediately drawn to her and is unsure that he can fulfill his obligations. Unfortunately, he is betrothed to someone else – someone he doesn’t even like. What can he do but bring the lovely Silene to her uncle and forget about her? Of course, this proves impossible.
Galeren and Silene know that John will never allow Silene to break her promises, even if she has changed her mind. With such an uncertain future, can Galeren and Silene find a way to be together, or will John’s threats and influence prove too strong?
Galeren and Silene’s story is sweet and filled with longing glances and tons of yearning. They know that they shouldn’t care for each other. They recognize the impossibility of their situation and the danger that comes with defying John, but that doesn’t change their feelings. Of course, as they are both honorable people who value their word, they both resist their ever-growing fondness for each other. I like that they see past their exteriors and see the person underneath.
I also love Galeren’s family, as well as his loyal friends. Galeren’s large and loving family is so warm and accepting, and I love how they welcomed Silene into their fold. The tough as nails warriors that protect Silene also welcome her into their small group. They do everything they can to make Silene happy, protect her, and ease her fears throughout their journey. It is interesting to see such fierce, battle-scarred warriors touched by her gentle spirit. This says so much about the warriors and also about Silene. People are affected by her kindness, compassion, and sincerity. Galeren and his men are honorable and decent, and they stand in stark contrast to John and his allies.
John has an agenda and is very willing to use and manipulate others to gain power. As the King’s nephew, John is certain that having a nun in the family will ensure religious support when he vies for the throne. His thoughtlessness and disinterest quickly turn more ruthless and manipulative, and it’s clear what he will do if he doesn’t get his way. I like that Galeren fought for the woman he loves and stood by his principles.
Though Forbidden Heart is the sixth book in the series, it can easily be read as a standalone. It is a lovely historical romance with well-developed characters, a great love story, and quite a bit of action. Plus, there’s a super cute kitten that I just adored! Thanks so much to NetGalley, Dragonblade Publishing, and the author for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
- The romance! Silene and Galeren have a lovely, heart-warming relationship!
- The characters. They are interesting and dynamic.
Silene knew in that moment that if she were blind and had never seen his face, she would consider him the most beautiful man she’d ever met.
Better is a moment with ye than a thousand years without ye.
I think that readers who enjoy historical romance with forbidden love and a bit of suspense will enjoy Forbidden Heart.