Captured by the Highlander - Julianne MacLean This book is set during the Jacobite Rebellion in 1716 where the Scots fought against the English occupation of Scotland. The Engligh burned crofts for no reason and raped women and children and pillaged at will. Of course the Scots retaliated with eye-for-an-eye brutality. The Butcher of the Highlands was no different. He secretly attacked the English and murdered every soldier he faced. When English officer, Richard Bennett rapes and murders his fiance, Duncan vows revenge.

I found the beginning of the book very exciting - when Duncan breaks into the English fort to kill Bennett. Instead he finds the man's fiancee, Amelia Templeton. With a swift change of plans, Duncan kidnaps her with the intent of laying a trap for Bennett. Up to this point the book is very interesting and the pages are flying by. I really liked Duncan and felt his pain. I had major issues with Amelia though. She is stupidly naive and sheltered. It irked me that she constantly demanded that Duncan stop killing and find a peaceful solution. Um hello, he is in the middle of a war with the English. Peaceful? Not a bloody chance.

You expect characters to grow over the course of the story and here it was no different. Except that it was. Duncan goes from a strong, vicious Highlander with a purpose - killing the enemy to keep his people safe - to a hen-pecked ninny, allowing Amelia to dictate his actions and keep him from fighting. In those circumstances, this just seemed implausible. Duncan is the chief of his people, he cannot just stop fighting tyranny and bury his head in the sand. My respect for him just plummeted as he compromised his beliefs, morals and integrity in the name of love. Which I don't believe was anything more than lust anyway. Amelia and Duncan had no real connection. He just didn't want Richard to get his hands on her which is part of his revenge but certainly not love. One second they are fighting and threatening each other with death and the next they are making out. I don't know but the entire relationship just seemed forced to me.

I thought the ending was rather ridiculous too. I just can't believe that lifelong friend Angus would betray Duncan to the hated English. Angus wouldn't piss on an Englishman if he was on fire, why the heck would he willingly give them anything?

I've read Julianne MacLean before and liked the stories immensely but this just didn't have the same feel. I own the others in the trilogy so I will give the next one a chance. After all, it will be interesting to read Angus's story to see how this cowardly behavior is explained.