My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Many Thanks to the author for an ARC copy of the book. All opinions are expressed voluntarily.
This is my 5th book by Michelle Deerwester-Dalrymple and am running out of words in admiration of her work. The meticulous research that went into reconstructing the era of treating diseases with the help of plants is extremely commendable. Like always, Maiden of The Grove rightly hits the mark. To talk about a sickness in a village that more or less has symptoms similar to what we are all terrified of currently, the dreaded pandemic that has halted and changed the course of life for many is itself an achievement.
Maiden Of The Grove, book # 2 in the Celtic Highland Maidens series explores the story of Aila Blogh, the second daughter of the Caledonii chieftain who is a wise woman and healer of her village. Her guilt in not being able to cure a person suffering from fever and cough resulting in his death forces her to decide in learning more about the healing arts from another wise woman and with this aim in pursuit, sets of in the dead of the night aided by her long-time friend and loyal companion Eian MacLaurin.
The story flows beautifully capturing the gruff Ulha who provides the warmth and maternal care that was sorely missing in Aila’s life disabusing her wrong notions of love and sacrifices. In fact, the parts of the story with Ulha teaching Aila and helping her to accept the facts of life was filled with so much joy that it brings a smile to a reader’s face. The way she opens her heart to love emerging strong and confident in her abilities when faced with challenges was a brilliant touch. The Highlands and the description of its scenic locales is definitely a treat for fans of historical romance.
Fiery-haired Aila Blogh is the Caledonii chieftain’s daughter and the healer for the village – an untrained healer in her own eyes. When she is unable to save one of her kin from a sickness, she makes up her mind to search out a wisewoman, someone who can train her to be a true healer.
Eian MacLaurin has been in love with Aila since he was a lad. When her skilled training means she must keep him at arm’s length, Eian doesn’t falter. He remains loyally by her side even as he pines for her. When Aila decided to seek out the wise woman, Eian doesn’t hesitate – he meets her at the gate to go with her. Alone on their journey, they find it difficult to keep their passion for each other at bay.
When they find the wise woman, Ulha teaches Aila about more than just herbs and healing. Aila soon understands the significance of her emotions for Eian and just how deep her own desire for him runs. Their love becomes a fire that consumes them completely.
All that is threatened when the strange man turns on Ulha, and his village thinks she is the cause of the sickness that has taken some of their own. Suddenly Aila’s life is a stake. What this other tribe doesn’t know is the depth of Eian and Aila’s love, or just how far Eian will go to save the woman he loves.
When Eian strikes out to retrieve them, he is willing to let the world burn until he can rescue Aila.
But the villagers are not what Aila expects. Then the situation takes a deadly turn against Eian and Ulha, and Aila must call on everything she has learned to save them all.
Buy The Maiden of the Grove and start the exhilarating story today!
The novels in this series are loosely connected but can be read individually in any order, if desired. These historical romances are set in ancient Highlands and do not shy away from steamy scenes, occasional archaic curses, and accurate scenes of ancient life!
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