by Mary Reed McCall

June 2004
ISBN: 0-06-009812-0
Reviewer Graphic Button Avon Books
Mass Market Paperback

Travel to the Scottish Highlands during the 1500s in Mary Reed McCallís newest book The Sweetest Sin. Watch what happens to a man bent on revenge when he meets a woman willing to risk everything for those she loves.

Aileana MacDonnell has been dedicated to the protection of a sacred amulet her clan claims. She has given up everything even the hope of a man to love. The safety of the amulet must come first in all things. Even when she is called upon to turn her entire life over to her clanís fiercest enemy.

Duncan MacRae has planned his revenge for years. All through his torture and imprisonment, he plotted how he would make the MacDonnells pay for the destruction of his clan and the theft of his amulet. Everything is going according to plan until he meets Aileana. Looking into her golden eyes, he knows heís met his match in the small woman.

Determined to get the amulet, he is willing to do anything to get it. Even though humiliating Aileana wrenches his soul, he can only see the darkness of revenge. Aileana starts out hating the man who takes her from her family. Then as time goes by, she begins to see a different side of Duncan. As their feelings for each other goes, so does the danger that lurks in the shadows waiting for its moment to take the amulet.

Duncan is a wonderfully scarred hero with emotional wounds we would call post traumatic stress disorder. Yet for all that he tries to hide his softer side, he canít help show it. His emotional freedom shines as the story moves along. Since Aileana has been confined and hasnít interacted with people much, the reader can only assume thatís what makes her act so childish towards Duncan. I could have done without so many of her pranks. If the characters had talked a little more, maybe the story wouldnít have felt slow in places. The villains seemed a little two dimensional like they had been added just so the characters would have an external conflict.

The Sweetest Sin is an entertaining story of how even the best laid plans of revenge can be side tracked by love.

Reviewed in June 2004 by Jenni.

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