Maldie Kirkcaldy is seeking revenge against her father, Sir Williams Beaton, who abandoned her mother before she was born, when she comes upon Balfour Murry Laird of Dunncoill.
Balfour and his men are intent upon rescuing his younger brother Eric from Beaton's clutches when he comes across Maldie on the road to Dunncoill. They have just left Beaton's where they held the castle under siege until Balfour's brother Nigel was wounded. Now Balfour seeks Maldie's assistance in tending Nigel's wounds.
Unable to deny Balfour's wishes and yet determined to keep her identity secret, lest Balfour think she is Beaton's spy, Maldie journeys with them back to Dunncoill. Drawn to Balfour's dark good looks and magnetic personality, Maldie wrestles with her feelings, for she vows never to suffer her mother's fate.
Deception within the clan causes suspicions and passions to run amok and when Balfour falsely accuses Maldie of conspiring with Beaton and locks her in her chamber, she escapes to rescue Eric and prove her innocence.
Balfour realizes his mistake too late and will do what he must to win Maldie's favor and keep her safe.
HIGHLAND DESTINY is the first enticing book in Hannah Howell's new Scottish trilogy featuring the Murray brothers. Rich in historical detail and character development, Ms. Howell spins a brightly colored plaid that is sure to capture readers' hearts everywhere. SENSUAL (July, 316 pp., $5.99)