The Taming of Malcolm Grant is book four of Paula Quinn’s The MacGregors: Highland Heirs series. It can be read as a stand-alone, I was not aware of the series when I picked up this book and it was just fine reading it. I really enjoyed it. There are mentions of the previous books but not enough to get you lost in the large family but just enough to tease you and tempt you into reading the others or to just refresh your memory if you have read them. Paula Quinn is an excellent writer she really knows how to play with the heart strings. The characters are down to earth and very human; you can really feel for them and their pain and the touch of humor and suspense makes this a very well rounded read.
Emmaline Grey was blinded as a child by a fever that killed her parents and caused her older brother Harry to abandon her in France. Emma was adopted by an old woman who knew the healing herbs and taught Emma. When Emma was grown the old woman was accused of being a witch and killed by the same villagers who she worked so hard to take care of. She was left alone with her seeing-eye dog, Gascon, she decides to leave France and tracks down her brother Harry Grey. She found out he sold the old family house and bought a brothel. As much as it hurt her to be left behind she forgives her brother and wants to work to fix their relationship. After a couple of months living at the brothel taking care of the girls Emma wonders if she made the right choice and tries to come up with a plan to leave.
Malcolm Grant, despite common belief, has given up his wild life style, after seeing his family fall in love and settle down he is ready to find that for himself but before he does he has agreed to take his young brother, Cailean to his favorite brothel to lose his virginity. Cailean is taken with a young woman there, and when the man who purchased her for the night starts to abuse the young woman Cailean steps up to her rescue, and of course to protect his brother Malcolm jumps into the fray. Unfortunately the older brother of the trouble maker is a vicious and heartless and when his brother ends up dead after the fight at the brothel he seeks vengeance. Harry warned Malcolm about messing with the Winther clan but it’s too late.
Malcolm and Cailean are seriously wounded and Harry scared even more of the MacGregors clan than of Winther begs Emma to keep Malcolm and Cailean alive. Malcolm spotted Emma almost as soon as he got there was taken by her beauty and impressed with her ability to do things without the benefit of sight. Even though he dislikes being injured and his brother is not healing as quickly as he should Malcolm likes being the center of Emma’s attention. Winther isn’t willing to believe the lies that Harry told about the highlanders who killed his brother are dead and gone Winther sends his other brother, Sebastian, to the brothel as a spy. Sebastian befriends everyone and gains their trust. Much to Harry’s dismay Malcolm and Emma become very close and Malcolm tells Harry he will be taking Emma with him when he leaves. But as usual there is a betrayal and Emma is kidnapped (twice really) by Winther, can Malcolm make it in time to save her?
Overall, I really enjoyed this book, really any book with a dog as cool as Gascon is going to be a great read. I just may have to look into getting the others; I am definitely looking forward to Cailean’s story next.
**ARC provided by Publisher**