THE DEVIL'S HEART – Cathy Maxwell
Chattan Curse Trilogy , Book 3
Avon Books
ISBN: 978-0-06-207024-1
May 2013
Historical Romance with a Paranormal Twist

The Scotland Highlands, 1814 and 1815

When a Chattan male falls in love, he dies .

That is the curse that has bedeviled the Chattan family for nearly two centuries. It was placed on them in Scotland when an ancestor jilted a daughter of the laird of the Macnachtan clan and married an English woman and moved to England. When Rose Macnachtan jumped to her death, her sister Fenella cursed him and his descendants for all eternity. The Chattan family has prospered in wealth and standing, but so far every Chattan in the line who loved a woman died shortly after. (Apparently the late Lord Lyon didn't love, at least until after he sired three children.)

No matter that the last Chattan males, the new Lord Lyon and his younger brother Harry, vowed never to love, Neal lies near death after falling for his wife, and Harry has developed the same symptoms. Over the decades, a Chattan has gone to Scotland to attempt lifting the curse. All have failed. But this time perhaps the story will be different. For the first time since the curse, a Chattan daughter has been born…maybe she is the key. Lady Margaret loves her brothers dearly and is willing to do anything to save them. She sets out on a long journey to Loch Awe and the Macnachtan lands, but a freak storm comes out of nowhere and her carriage is blown off the road and down a steep incline. Lady Margaret feels death approaching…

Heath Macnachtan—late of the Royal Navy, but now chief of the clan—heads for home with one of his men after a satisfying set-to at the pub. Then Heath decides to go by the site where his elder brother was murdered. He finds the spot, but also finds an overturned coach and multiple bodies. But then he discovers a woman lying peacefully as if asleep. It is Margaret, who is miraculously alive with out a scratch. When he arrives home with one of the hated Chattans, the unruly clan is not happy. There are mutterings in the ranks; these Scots are not the tame tenants of the English, nor the sailors heath formerly commanded. Some are strongly against modernizing and prefer the old ways .

The characters in THE DEVIL'S HEART are varied and interesting. From Lady Margaret and the only one of her companions to survive—not to mention the strange white cat—to Heath's brother's widow and his two sisters, they all have strong personalities and add much to the whole. Then there is the disappearance of an old book and the mystery of who killed Heath's brother. And all the while—against all odds—Margaret and Heath come to trust and admire each other. For an engaging and suspenseful romance, you can't miss with THE DEVIL'S HEART.

On a personal note: Somehow we at RRT missed the first two books in the series, LYON'S BRIDE and THE SCOTTISH WITCH. While it wasn't truly necessary to have read them first, I intend to find them soon.

Jane Bowers