RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge: The Devil’s Heart by Cathy Maxwell

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Title: The Devil's Heart
Author: Cathy Maxwell
Publication Info: Avon April 2013
ISBN: 978-0062070241
Genre: Historical: European

Book The Devil's Heart This RITA® Reader Challenge 2014 review was written by Kim in Baltimore. This story was nominated for the RITA® in the Paranormal Romance category.

The summary:

They call her the Unattainable. Lady Margaret Chattan spurned every suitor for her hand, vowing never to marry. The only way to break the curse plaguing her family for two centuries is this ultimate sacrifice. But now her brothers' lives are in danger. Determined to save them, she risks her very soul by traveling into the heart of the highlands to battle a force that has transcended time.

Heath Macnachtan is not superstitious. Laird of the most independent, nonconforming, madly infuriating clan ever to grace Scotland, he believes he has his hands full. And then, a woman lauded as one of the most beautiful in England, arrives on his doorstep with wild accusations and a mystical quest . . . one that just might help him discover who murdered his own brother.

But the real danger for Heath and Margaret is not a supernatural foe, but a very real love that could destroy them both.

And here is Kim in Baltimore's review:

“What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.”

Helen Keller

The Chattan family lives (and dies) by a 17th century curse: When a Chattan male falls in love, strike his heart with fire from above…

The Devil's Heart is the third book in the Chattan Curse trilogy. It can be read as a standalone novel as Maxwell provides the backstory in the first chapter for those who have not read Lyon's Bride (Book 1) or The Scottish Witch (Book 2). But I recommend reading the books in order as Margaret, the heroine in Book 3, develops throughout the trilogy.

With a name like Maxwell, the author should know a thing or two about Scotland. And she does. Over half of Maxwell’s 26 full length regency romances have a Scottish connection. The Highlands are a popular topic in Regency Romances and Maxwell captures Alba like no other. The Devil's Heart delivers the Highlands at their finest – the majesty of the rugged land, the charm of the eccentric clans, and the undeniable draw to the Old Ways. I've had the honor of visiting the Highlands. I’ve sat in the quiet solitude of crumbling castles. I felt history come alive as the wind whistled through the romantic ruins. The Devil's Heart transported me back to this beloved trip.

When we first met Margaret in Lyon's Bride, she was a cold fish to anyone but her brothers. The Scottish Witch revealed just how much she feared the curse. The Devil's Heart gives Margaret the opportunity to test her own mantle as she challenges a long dead witch. Margaret is flawed, through and through, and I loved her for it! She learns, as Helen Keller wrote, that she can embrace life despite the threat of the curse.

Maxwell is a Navy Veteran … and I applaud her for giving us a hero who is a Navy Veteran, too. Heath is all that we see in today’s sailors – honorable, loyal, and brave. He is an Alpha hero without being a stereotypical rake. Heath is an unexpected laird with the common sense to modernize his clan. He thinks the curse is nonsense, but still helps Margaret, hoping to prove the curse cannot control their lives. In the end, he opens his heart to Margaret … and reminded me that veterans leave no man (or woman) behind.

Maxwell captivated me with an unexpected, but endearing, final confrontation with the wretched curse. Make sure you have a box of tissues handy. Maxwell reminded me why I read Regency romance…we can escape into the historical fantasy while still shaping our modern sensibilities.


This book is available from Goodreads | Amazon | BN | Kobo | All Romance eBooks

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    laj says:

    Terrific review……Sold!

  2. 2
    LML says:

    What a great review.  I somehow escaped yesterday’s “Whatcha Reading?” wallet intact, but now have three new books on my list…

  3. 3

    Aloha!  I was living at the time I read this book.  In fact, I read the climatic end on Laniakea Beach aka Turtle Beach near Haleiwa on Oahu’s North Shore.  I was so engrossed with the story that I did not notice Brutus, the resident honu (turtle) come ashore.  I think Brutus wanted to know the end, too.  Fabulous book from a fabulous author.

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