As a clan, the MacGregors had a knack for making the wrong enemies. While occasionally successful in battle against other clans, by the early 17th century, they were declared outlawed as a group, and in 1617, their very name was made illegal by an Act of Parliament. Clan members could conveniently adopt sept names, or as the Wikipedia articles puts it, risk being ‘hunted like animals and flushed from the heather by the bloodhounds.’
Persecution of the MacGregors did not end until that Act was lifted in 1774, so I knew MacGregors were resilient, resourceful, loyal and proud, which are fine qualities when an author needs some heroes or heroines. Then too, the MacGregor stomping grounds were close to an area of Scotland known as Royal Deeside (Victoria and Albert took a shine to it), which is absolutely gorgeous. This meant I could exploit proximity to the royal couple’s retreat at Balmoral Castle in the MacGregor series, and my, what fun that research was.
You can stay on grounds at Balmoral in the nicest little cottages, go wading in the River Dee, and have groceries delivered by a guy with an accent that makes you crave whiskey and even consider bagpipe lessons… but I digress.
As for “The MacGregor’s Lady” in particular, the story results from a longstanding discontent with a Roger Whittaker song titled, “The Last Farewell,” which I would have first heard at about age sixteen (1975).
In the song, a British soldier bids farewell to the lady he’s fallen in love with at his Caribbean posting, ‘for she is beautiful, and he has loved her dearly, more dearly than the spoken word can tell.’ The song is beautiful, though the soldier contemplates sailing off to the war the next day, and then—this is the part that drove me batty—being an old fellow in England, with fond memories of the woman he loved so dearly.
At sixteen, all I could think was, “You don’t love her that dearly if you survive a war, and then sit around foggy old England crying in your beer when you could hop a westbound schooner and be reunited with your lady.” Sixteen year olds make no allowance for poetic sentiments.
Nearly forty years later, I had a chance to get even with that song by writing a story of two people whose family obligations lie on opposite sides of the Atlantic. They fall hopelessly in love, and yet, neither one will ask the other to turn their back on family. My characters did more than write a few pretty verses about how miss their one true love, and I think it made for a fun read right up to the final scene.
Be sure to follow along in February for your chance to win an iPad from New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, Grace Burrowes. She’s visiting some blogs and chatting with fellow Sourcebooks authors!
2/3 Carolyn Brown
2/4 Jayne Fresina
2/6 Fresh Fiction
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2/10 Jade Lee
2/11 Christy English
2/12 Bad Girlz Write
2/14 Megan Mulry
The MacGregor's Lady (MacGregor Trilogy - Book 3) by Grace Burrowes
Publication Date: 02/04/2014
Genre: Historical Romance
(Received for an honest review from Sourcebooks Casablanca)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound
Grace Burrowes on the WEB: website, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads
Books in the series:
The Bridegroom Wore Plaid (2012), Once Upon a Tartan (2013), The MacGregor's Lady (2014)
Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.
Excerpt from, The MacGregor's Lady, courtesy of
What if the steps they take to avoid marriage...
The last thing Asher MacGregor, newly titled Earl of Balfour, wants is a society wife, though he has agreed to squire Boston heiress Hannah Cooper about the London ballrooms. When he's met that obligation, he'll return to the Highlands, and resume the myriad responsibilities awaiting him there.
...Lead instead to impossible love?
...Lead instead to impossible love?
At her step-father's insistence, Hannah Cooper must endure a London season, though she has no intention of surrendering her inheritance to a fortune hunter. When she's done her duty, she'll return to Boston and the siblings who depend upon her for their safety... or will she? The taciturn Scottish earl suits her purposes admirably-until genuine liking and unexpected passion bring Asher and Hannah close. For if the Scottish earl and the American heiress fall in love, an ocean of differences threatens to keep them apart.
Grace Burrowes wraps up her Scottish Victorian MacGregor trilogy with the final book, The MacGregor's Lady. Burrowes' fans have fallen in love with her lilting style and delightful prose. Burrowes has a knack for the historical side of her romances, as well as, the emotional side. With impeccable research and well developed characters, The MacGregor's Lady is sure to be hit with fans of historical romance and lovers of all things Scottish.
What I liked:
Any Grace Burrowes book you read will always have an authentic setting, a group of characters that are captivating and a story line that will keep the reader fully engaged. Her books have historical background and her research is obvious. They say to write what you know, well Grace Burrowes knows a lot about the Old Country and those who lived the history she writes about and the gives each book an edge that most historical romances don't have.
The MacGregor's Lady is definitely my favorite of this series and perhaps one of my all time favorites from this author. The were a lot of things about this particular hero and heroine that really stood out and made this book so enjoyable. Both Hannah and Asher have pasts that are getting in the way of their future. Commitment and duty to family and to clan on Asher's part and a ruthless step-father who threatens everything Hannah lives for on hers. Unfortunately, their obligations lie on opposite sides of a very big Ocean. I think Burrowes did a fantastic job with both the research for this novel and the characterizations of these two lead roles. I loved everything about them.
Asher is the epitome of a brooding hero when readers first meet him. He has been on the Canadian frontier for a very long time and re-orienting himself to family and home is difficult, especially when he is wrangled into providing escort for Hannah and her aunt as she looks for a husband in London. But he soon learns that her intentions are far different from what they seem. Asher is an enigma. He is this character who has been away for far too long. He has a traumatic past and it takes him awhile to open up about it. I loved everything about this character. He was so well written and interesting. Burrowes has done a masterful job with him. A caring and loving man who only wants to help his lady with her troubles.
Hannah is at times too stubborn for her own good. She has a plan and nothing or no one is going to stand in her way of achieving it. But she is unwilling to see that her plan won't work. Her dodged determination is a good quality but when the answer is starring her in the face she still doesn't want to accept it. I loved her for a lot of reasons. Her love for her family most of all, but she could be a little blind. I also like the fact that once she got over the fact that she was attracted to the dashing laird, she went for it. Even though an ocean of obligations stood in their way she wanted to experience what being loved by someone like him would be like.
Together these two were simply amazing and Burrowes weaves love and history together like a beautiful tapestry. I love the way she balances her writing and gives readers all the emotional and physical connections between characters that make a good romance, great. And this one is great! I loved the sneak appearance from the Windhams and the other characters from the previous books in the series. It deepened the idea of family and where the line blurs between compassion and obligation, an underlying theme of this book. It was literally, just a fantastic book.
What I didn't like:
It took Hannah awhile to get over being stubborn and letting Asher help her. She loved him and he loved her, they belonged together. It just took her a really long time to figure out that love could surmount any of problem, even an ocean.
You'll be cheating yourself, if you don't read this book. It's one of the best historical romances I have read in a long time and this review cannot begin to reflect that. Grace Burrowes is a tremendous talent in this genre and readers who have gotten the opportunity to read her books are truly blessed. Enough said!
The MacGregor's Lady is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
About the Author:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes' bestsellers include The Heir, The Soldier, Lady Maggie's Secret Scandal, Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish and Lady Eve's Indiscretion. The Heir was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2010, The Soldier was a PW Best Spring Romance of 2011, Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish won Best Historical Romance of the Year in 2011 from RT Reviewers' Choice Awards, Lady Louisa's Christmas Knight was a Library Journal Best Book of 2012, and The Bridegroom Wore Plaid was a PW Best Book of 2012. Her Regency romances have received extensive praise, including starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist. Grace is branching out into short stories and Scotland-set Victorian romance with Sourcebooks. She is a practicing family law attorney and lives in rural Maryland.
To celebrate the release of The MacGregor’s Lady, Grace Burrowes is giving away EIGHT iPads during the first two weeks of February! To enter to win, leave a question for Grace to answer in the comments. A random commenter will be chosen as the winner and notified via email. US and Canada only.
A second commenter will also be chosen to win a prize pack of The MacGregor Series books: The Bridegroom Wore Plaid, Once Upon a Tartan and The MacGregor’s Lady. US and Canada only.
~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
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~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, February 21st.
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