After years of brutal torture, Callum MacKinloch is finally free of his captors—but his voice is still held prisoner. He’d never let anyone hear him scream.
Although Lady Marguerite de Montpierre’s chains may be invisible, they threaten to tie her to a loveless and cruel marriage.
When Marguerite discovers Callum waiting to die, her heart aches for the warrior beneath the suffering—but they can have no future. Yet she is the one woman with the power to tame the rage locked inside him. Maybe he can find another reason to live . . . for her.
Callum MacKinloch has been a prisoner from a very young age. On a night of another bad beating he’s tended to and saved by his capturer’s young betrothed, Lady Marguerite de Montpierre. What she doesn’t know is that by saving his life she’s prolonging his captivity. His brothers are coming to free him, but he’s not there. Marguerite is and she takes her opportunity to escape an unwanted marriage.
She ends up living with the MacKinloch clan for a time and gets to know Callum’s family. She’s there when they finally bring him home and she’s the only one who can reach him through his silence. Callum struggles to adjust to life without chains and to loving a woman who is to be taken home to her father and found another husband. He finds himself unable to let her go.
I believe it was Joss Whedon who said that communication stops when people start to talk–or something to that effect. He was talking about Hush, the silent episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and he was right. Not having words to fall back on, forces people–and characters–to show what they mean, to communicate through action without the frivolous words to hide behind.
And that’s where the magic of this book lies. Callum is a prisoner of his silence but it frees him to do what he feels he must. He goes after Marguerite and shows her his respect and love for her in countless ways. There are misunderstandings, but they’re of Marguerite’s making. She still her voice and all the binds come with it. She has her family, her station in life, her fears and insecurities, but being with Callum makes her challenge the norms.
It’s a thing of beauty to read.
I was all set to give this book four stars and then the second half of the book happened. The plot was still going strong but I was sorely disappointed with the evolution of the romance. It seemed that the more Callum talked, the less I cared. Him finding his voice should have been a huge, monumental, moment for him and for everyone around him. His family should have been shown to feel ashamed for treating him like half-wit and his words should have carried more weight after such a long period of silence.
It didn’t happen. His regained speech was par for the course and the things about his character I loved in the beginning simply disappeared. It wasn’t about meaningful kisses and touches anymore, it wasn’t about showing how important Marguerite was to him. It was about sex.
There was also a touch of unnecessary melodrama. Instead of picking the more believable course of action and marrying Lord Penrith–for not doing so I thought her very foolish–and keeping Callum as a lover, Marguerite and the author struggle to conform to the genre generated expectations. Callum and Marguerite must be each other’s firsts in every sense of word.
I really thought the book poorer for it. Still, I loved the beginning.
I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.