Forbidden Highlander, the second installment of Donna Grant's "Dark Sword" series, follows the oldest MacLeod brother, Fallon. In the first book, we really only glimpse Fallon as a drunk - he uses wine to keep his god at bay and wants to shoulder no responsibility, despite being the oldest of the brothers.
While I did not enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed the first, it was still a good read. Grant still wonderfully weaves paranormal with historical romance in a rich world filled with alpha males in kilts and strong women.
What I loved most about this book was seeing Fallon transform. He goes from guilty drunk to proud warrior and it's really cool to see him start to man up and face who and what he is. As the story unfolds, Fallon begins to slowly take his place as the head of the MacLeods. The war against Deirdre is building, and the life of the youngest MacLeod, Quinn, is on the line.
Before anything can be done to move against Deirdre, Fallon must go to court and re-claim what is rightfully his, MacLeod land. At court, however, Fallon almost immediately lays claim to a woman who is not at all what she seems.
Larena is the only known female Guardian, and has devoted her life to both hiding from Deirdre and protecting a powerful artifact. She's heard rumors about the MacLeod's, and when Fallon shows up at court, she knows that he is her only chance for protection.
The two are uncontrollably drawn together, and to be honest, it was a little disappointing. I tend to like romances that slowly blossom or have a little more conflict than these two had. For these two it was lust at first sight, not love; and the two seemed too close emotionally after just a few hours together.
Mostly, though, I didn't care much for Larena. I thought it would be cool to have a badass Guardian chick, and while she's strong in her own right, she's so full of insecurities, that it's hard to believe she's one of the Guardians.
In all honesty, I preferred reading about the secondary characters, like Broc, and reading the small glimpses into what was going on inside Deirdre's mountain fortress. I couldn't connect with Larena, which is probably why I didn't love the romance between her and Fallon as much as I loved the romance between Cara and Lucan. Still, Forbidden Highlander is filled with Highlander warriors, magic and mystery -- it'll definitely having you on the edge of your seat waiting for next installment in the Dark Sword series: Wicked Highlander.