To atone for her father’s evil, Lauren Campbell agrees to help Malcolm MacGregor. By the time she realizes she’s the bargaining price to free Malcolm’s mother from indentured servitude, it’s too late.
Malcolm MacGregor only wants to free his family and exact revenge against Duncan Campbell. As the pride and joy of Duncan’s life, his daughter Lauren is the perfect answer, but during the voyage to America, her faith continues to witness to Malcolm. He becomes enraptured with her, and upon their arrival, discovers he’s sold her into a fate worse than death. Now Malcolm has the dilemma: free his family or rescue Lauren? Time is short and with little means, he needs a miracle.
About the Author
Jennifer Hudson Taylor is an award-winning author of inspirational fiction set in historical Europe and the Carolinas. Her books, which include Path of Freedom, Highland Blessings, and Highland Sanctuary, have been critically acclaimed by publications such as RT Book Reviews and USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog.
Read an Excerpt
For Love or Loyalty
The MacGregor Legacy Series Book 1
By Jennifer Hudson Taylor
Abingdon PressCopyright © 2013 Jennifer Hudson Taylor
All rights reserved.
A feeling of foreboding crawled over Malcolm MacGregor like a colony of insects picking at his skin. He gripped the reins as he inhaled the crisp March air, but it burned his lungs with the residue of tainted fire. A cloud of dark smoke hovered over the wee village of Inverawe—home. Fear coiled inside Malcolm's gut as he urged his mount forward.
His brother kept pace beside him. At a score and four, Thomas was two years Malcolm's junior. He favored Malcolm with the same stubborn chin and broad shoulders from hard work.
Distant moors lined the overcast sky. Morning fog hovered over the glen, blending with heavy smoke. As they drew near, their eyes stung and the burned smell accosted them until they coughed. Keening scraped his ears like a tormented bagpipe.
They reached the stone huts, packed with dirt and topped by straw roofs. At least the village homes weren't on fire as he originally feared. Piles of furniture and personal items burned in front of each hut. Weeping echoed from every direction.
Malcolm's throat constricted. His chest tightened in a mixture of compassion and fear for his family. He maneuvered his horse between the huts, heading toward the center of the village, seeking the home where he had grown from a lad into a man. Engulfed in flames, it blazed to the sky.
"Mither an' Carleen ..." The words fell from Malcolm's swollen tongue, stalling in the air as his thoughts shifted to their youngest brother, Graham. At only twenty, the lad would have done anything to protect the women in their absence.
"Malcolm, ye're back!" Heather strode toward him, her eyes red and swollen. Words stalled upon her tongue, increasing his anxiety as he waited for her to collect her emotions and continue.
"What happened?" Malcolm asked, pulling his horse to a stop and dismounting. It was an effort to keep his voice calm, but he tried for Heather's sake, though his insides quaked.
"'Tis the worst." Heather succumbed to tears, shaking with grief.
"What is it, lass?" Malcolm shook her, hoping to force her out of her temporary stupor.
"Where's Mither an' Carleen?" Thomas strode toward them, his voice betraying his fears.
Heather sobbed, falling against Malcolm's chest. On instinct, his arms slipped around her. He looked up as the rest of the villagers approached with sorrowful expressions.
"The Campbells were here." Roy strode foward, his red eyes weary with similar grief—his right eye swollen and his lip cut. Even in his late fifties, Roy was healthy and robust. It would have taken several men to bring him low. "They took Iona an' Carleen."
"Took them?" Thomas gave the elder man a look of disbelief. "Where?"
"How long ago?" Malcolm pressed Heather into the arms of her mother, who came up behind her. He turned back to his horse and prepared to mount.
"Nay! There's too many o' them. Sixty or more." A strong hand grabbed his shoulder. "Listen to me, lad. Ye canna help yer mither an' sister if ye're dead."
"I've time to catch them if I leave now." Malcolm pulled away. More hands grabbed him. He didn't want to fight his own kinsmen, but they wouldn't deter him from his mission. He had to act now before it was too late.
"Let me go!" Thomas yelled, fighting a similar battle.
"I've got 'im, Da." Strong arms belted around Malcolm's neck and jerked him backward, cutting off his air. Malcolm coughed. He swung his elbow into Alan's ribs.
"Argh!" Alan relaxed his hold but didn't let go.
"Listen to reason, lad. The rest o' us are too auld an' wounded to be fightin' ye." A fist from another angle slammed into Malcolm's jaw. "But fight ye we will if it's the only way to save yer life." Roy's voice echoed over the multiple hands and arms keeping him down.
Never had the villagers fought him like this. More dread pooled in the pit of his stomach as he realized there had to be a reason for their adamancy. What had they not yet told him? They were right. How could he and Thomas expect to best sixty or more Campbell men? This feat would require his wits, and he wasn't thinking, only reacting.
"All right." He clenched his teeth, willing his body to relax against their resistance. "Tell me why I shan't go after them. It does not make sense to lose precious time."
Following Malcolm's example, Thomas also surrendered.
"Duncan Campbell came to collect the rents," Roy said. "But he arrived with an army of warriors. He did not come hither on business as he claims. His purpose was to cause trouble, an' he chose yer family to be the example."
"They were not supposed to come for another fortnight." Malcolm jerked away from Alan, who sported a bloody lip, already swelling, and a long sword gash upon his arm. Malcolm frowned. Only the Campbells would have been carrying broadswords. Blood soaked Alan's sleeve, probably more so from his skirmish with Malcolm. Guilt lacerated Malcolm's emotionally scarred heart.
How long must they go on living like peasant pawns for the Campbells' entertainment?
"They did all this over unpaid rents?" Malcolm lifted his hands in disbelief. "We took the cattle to market an' we now have the rent. 'Tis all for naught!" His voice cracked as he ran a hand through his hair. A deep ache twisted his gut.
"Listen to Da." Alan wiped the back of his hand across his lip. "We need a plan. The Campbells want us to come after them in a mad rage. They have the king's favor an' all the wealth they need. We canna fall into their trap again."
"We can gather more MacGregors an' break into Kilchurn Manor." Thomas walked over. The others stepped aside to let him through. "We'll get Mither an' Carleen out. We canna abandon them."
"'Tisn't that simple. I wish it were." Roy rubbed a wrinkled hand over his weathered face with a broken sigh. "Even if we gather more MacGregors from other parts of Argyll, we may not be strong enough to break through Duncan Campbell's forces. He has too many allies. If we succeed an' bring them home, how will we stop the Campbells from coming again?"
Roy and Alan stood still, watching Malcolm and Thomas as though they would tackle them again if need be. More villagers crowded around. All of them looked like a sorry lot, the men having been beaten, the women wearing expressions of grief and sorrow. Soot layered their faces, arms, and clothing.
"'Tis possible they have taken them to a debtors' prison," Mary MacGregor maneuvered around her husband and son, "since yer mither did not have the rent money."
"If that is the case," Malcolm said, "they will have to release Mither an' Carleen once I pay the rent."
"Duncan raised the rents again, plus he's charging interest," Mary said. "He took our furniture an' burned what he did not want." Tears filled her eyes. "William an' Graham are young an' foolish to try to fight them. They killed William this day. How many more do ye think we can stand to lose?"
"An' Graham?" Malcolm staggered at the news. He closed his eyes, rubbing his brows. William and Graham were inseparable. Had Graham suffered the same fate? Heather broke into more weeping, and Malcolm's chest tightened. The lass had been sweet on their youngest brother as soon as they could walk. Now he understood the extent of her grief. "Where is Graham? Did they take him too?" Malcolm clenched his fists at his sides, attempting to calm the rising tide of anxiety. "Is he alive?"
"Aye, but barely," Roy said. "I'm sorry, Malcolm. We tried to fight them, but there were too many ..."
"Take us to 'im," Thomas said in a gruff voice, moving to stand beside Malcolm.
"Greg and Colin are tending to 'im. The Campbells beat him bad an' hung 'im on a tree." Roy's voice faltered. "To make an example out o' 'im."
"By the neck?" Malcolm followed Roy and Alan to their hut. Fear clawed at his heart and gripped his lungs, stealing the breath from him.
"Nay," Alan said. "With his arms spread out. We think both shoulders are dislocated."
They stopped before entering Roy's hut. "They left us only one bed so that is where we put 'im." Roy held up a palm and shook his head. "Prepare yerself, lads."
Malcolm bent through the threshold and blinked, allowing his eyes to adjust to the dim candlelight. Their small huts contained no windows for daylight to filter inside. He walked across the dirt floor to the tiny bed. Graham's long legs hung over the side. His height matched Malcolm's at six four. Among the three brothers, Thomas was the shortest, shy of them by a couple of inches.
Colin looked up from where he hunched over stitching a wound in the lad's side. Greg cleaned his bruised face from the other side. Neither of them spoke as they concentrated on their tasks.
Both Malcolm and Thomas dropped to their knees. Thomas groaned and gulped back a threatening cry. Malcolm searched for his voice, but it lodged in his throat as a sickening pain clutched his soul and wouldn't let go. They stayed that way for several moments, trying to make sense of it all.
Colin cleared his throat. "The lad fought bravely, like a Highland warrior if ever I saw one."
Graham disliked fighting. Unlike the rest of them, who thrived on the sword, Graham preferred his wits to outsmart the wretched Campbells. He held out in stubborn pride, believing forgiveness and reason would bridge the great divide between the Campbells and the MacGregors. Today, he discovered the truth, and his faith almost cost him his life.
"Is he ..." Still unable to say it, Malcolm laid a hand on Graham's chest. A faint heartbeat pulsed beneath his palm. Malcolm closed his eyes in relief.
"He passed out from the pain when I reset his shoulders back into the sockets," Greg said. "As soon as Colin stitches his side, we'll bind his ribs."
"At least he's alive," Thomas said, shaking his head in disbelief. "I always teased him about being the bonny son. Now look at 'im. I fear he will never be the same again."
"Graham was never vain." Malcolm gripped Graham's limp hand. "I worry 'bout the lad's spirit an' his broken ideals. He will blame himself for not saving Mither an' Carleen. No doubt, he will feel naïve he ever thought reconciliation with the Campbells was possible."
"Aye, 'twill take him a while to recover," Thomas said with a sigh. "Did Mither an' Carleen see what happened to 'im?"
"Nay," Colin shook his head. "The Campbells split up. Scott Campbell took them away while his father stayed behind to cause more damage." Colin rubbed his eyebrows and sat back. "That one has the heart of the devil, he does."
"I shall get revenge for our family an' the whole MacGregor Clan. The Campbells have wronged us for two centuries. They have tried to wipe out the MacGregor Clan, an' here we survive against all odds." Malcolm raised a fist and growled.
"This time, I care not what it takes." Malcolm turned to Roy. "We shall send a scout to Kilchurn Manor to see if Mither an' Carleen are being held there and also to the nearest debtors' prison. We will move our family to Glenstrae under the protection of the MacGregor Clan Chief." He shoved a hand on his hip and rubbed his eyebrows, fighting the onslaught of a headache and too much regret. "Should have done it a long time ago after Da died."
"Ye were but a wee lad." Roy shook his head. "Do not do this to yerself. 'Tisn't yer fault."
"Aye, I've tarried long enough. I almost lost my family because of it." Malcolm glanced down at Graham, fear spiking inside him. He hoped it wasn't too late.
* * *
"Where ye going?"
Lauren Campbell jumped with a start, throwing a hand over her hammering chest. She placed a finger across her lips to shush her sister of ten and two. A quick glance around the busy kitchen assured her no one paid them any attention. Cook put away uneaten food while the rest of the servants cleaned up where the Campbells had broken their morning fast.
"Do I have yer word to say naught?" Lauren peeked at her sister's wide brown eyes, curious as Blair twisted her lips into a mischievous grin.
"If ye take me with ye." Blair nodded, and her sandy brown hair slid over her face. She brushed the long strands out of her eyes with an impatient sigh.
"I canna." Lauren shook her head, biting her lower lip as she placed biscuits in a basket. "'Tis dangerous where I'm going."
"Where?" Blair sidled up to the counter beside Lauren, excitement building in her tone.
"I'm going to the ancient castle of Kilchurn." Lauren's heart swelled as her sister's eyes widened in admiration.
"All alone? Ye know Da would not approve if he was home." Blair lowered her voice to a whisper. "He will be angry if ye do not take cousin Keith."
"Keith is studying to take orders next week and will give his first sermon," Lauren whispered, touching the tip of her sister's nose and grabbing a block of cheese. "I canna interfere with the Lord's work. Besides, Kilchurn Castle is part of our estate. 'Tisn't as if I'm leaving the grounds."
"But ye're leaving Kilchurn Manor," Blair said.
"'Tis only a short ride." Lauren covered the basket with a cloth and tucked in the edges. She paused, considering her sister's hopeful expression.
"I want to go, please." Blair linked her fingers as if she was about to pray.
She wore the Campbell plaid over a dark blue dress and frowned with a sulky pout as she crossed her thin arms. "Lauren?"
"Run along and get ready. Meet me at the stables," Lauren said. "I shall see that your horse is saddled and ready."
Blair disappeared. Her footsteps pattered down the hall. Lauren chuckled and shook her head, knowing the child ran in haste. She hoped Blair would not tumble into one of the servants. With her basket of goods in tow, Lauren let herself out the side door and made her way to the stables.
It was a crisp morning, bright with sunshine and promise. Lauren loved the ancient relic of Kilchurn Castle now crumbling on the far side of Loch Awe. The short journey would take them less than an hour on horseback. On the days she walked the grounds, Lauren loved imagining what it must have been like centuries ago when the castle passed from the MagGregors to the Campbells through marriage.
Lauren entered the shaded stables. "Aidan?" Lauren called to the stable lad. "Are ye there? Blair and I are going for a ride." No one answered. Strange. Lauren shrugged and stepped back, trampling on a pair of booted feet. A man's hand clamped over her mouth, shoving a piece of cloth inside to silence her scream. Another hand pulled her by the hair and jerked her back against his hard body. Her basket of goods flew over a nearby stall. The horse inside stomped and snorted.
"I took care o' the lad," said a gruff voice at her ear. "Just needed to get 'im out o' the way. 'Tis Duncan Campbell's daughter I want."
Lauren's heart pounded in her ears as she kicked behind her, but he slammed a fist against her temple. Pain sliced through her head. He wrapped an arm around her neck, cutting off her air, and dragged her into a dark corner.
"Lauren?" Blair called. Her footsteps came closer. "Are ye here?"
Closing her eyes, Lauren stopped struggling, praying God would spare her sister. The man breathed heavily at her ear, his grip intense. To Lauren's relief, he appeared to be alone, and he did not go after Blair.
"Aidan?" Her sister sighed with frustration. "Where did everyone go?" She stomped out of the stables and back toward the manor.
As soon as Blair disappeared, the man slipped a knife to Lauren's throat. "Go." The blade nicked her skin as he pushed her forward, leading her out of the stables on the other side. The gag tied in her mouth made her jaw ache and dried her tongue. He dragged her into the woods where a horse waited.
Lauren tripped over a fallen branch, but he caught her and shoved her against a tree. Her bruised hip stung as he pulled her arms behind her and bound her hands. The man slung her over his horse and mounted behind her. Between a dizzy spell and a wave of nausea, she caught a glimpse of his MacGregor plaid.
They rode toward Inverawe where Lauren often visited the poor and brought them food. Iona and Carleen MacGregor always welcomed her and shared their faith. Iona's sons were not quite as friendly, but Graham was open-minded and kind. Lauren supposed because he was the youngest he wasn't as set in his ways as the other two. He was closer to Lauren's age at twenty.
Excerpted from For Love or Loyalty by Jennifer Hudson Taylor. Copyright © 2013 Jennifer Hudson Taylor. Excerpted by permission of Abingdon Press.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I'm a big fan of Scottish books, and this one by Jennifer Hudson Taylor is no exception. For Love or Loyalty is a gripping tale about the struggles of the MacGregor family and one of the Campbelss, who is innocent of the crimes committed by her father and brother but is made to pay in ways she never expected. In some places, the story is hard to read, not because the writing is bad, but because the situation is sad. It was a very touching story. I received this book from the publisher/author for the purpose of review. The above is my honest opinion.
I really enjoy stories about Highlanders, and this one was no exception. Malcolm is a gruff gentleman who finds his family’s village destroyed and his mother and sister missing upon return from an expedition. He is told that the Campbell clan is to blame, and steal’s the patriarch’s daughter, Lauren, in retaliation. The two begin their trek across the Atlantic following the trail of Malcolm’s missing family members. What begins as a story of revenge and retaliation soon turns into a story of forgiveness and redemption. Malcolm learns to stop blaming God for his families “cursed” life and realizes the many blessings that will come from this turn of events. Overall, the story was written well with good characterizations. The dialogue was simple and reserved at times, but I think that stems more from an attempt for accuracy for time period, than from a lack of imagination of the author. I enjoyed the story and would enjoy knowing what happens to this family in future chronicles. Rating: 4 HEAT Rating: Sweet Reviewed By: Daysie W. Review Courtesy of: My Book Addiction and More
I received this book free in exchange for my honest opinion. For Love or Loyalty by Jennifer Hudson Taylor is a multi-continent tale spanning the ocean and the new America. The language is very rich and detailed with the accents of the characters coming through without being distracting. The descriptions of the scenery and images are mesmerizing and I felt as if I was traveling with them through their journeys. The tale of Lauren and Malcolm is what really captured me. The back story for both and how they both endured hardships but in entirely different ways really played well with the story line. The tension between the two is felt right off and explored in such a captivating way. As the two of them go on a hunt for Malcolm's mother and sister some of their circumstances are hard to read. Lauren goes through so much and her faith is really tested. They start out as captive and captor but they both really help each other through their faith journeys. Even though the journey is hard it makes them both more into the people they needed to be. The author does this in a way that is really makes you wonder how you would fare under the same distress. We all question our faith from time to time and it is really hard during turmoil. In Love or Loyalty it shows that those times are when you need your faith the most. This was a wonderful book with very detailed and captivating plot lines. I fell in love with the characters, both the good and the harsh, as they are all needed for this story. I can't wait to see what is coming next for the MacGregor clan!
After having their name abolished by King James, the McGregor clan lived from day to day struggling to survive. The Campbells were a harsh clan and, being their tenants, the McGregors were at their mercy. When Malcolm McGregor returned home to find his younger brother severely wounded and his mother and sister sold as indentured servants by the Campbells he knew he would do whatever it took to get them back. Kidnapping Duncan Campbell's daughter Lauren was the first step. Malcolm sets off with Lauren to find his mother and sister intent on using Lauren as an exchange for his mother. He never expected to fall in love with her and when Lauren sells herself willingly to save his mother he vows to save her or die trying. Lauren Campbell was a woman of faith with a compassionate heart. That's why she went to the McGregor clan's home. To bring food and necessities to those less fortunate. Her friendship with Iona and Carleen McGregor was something she cherished. Malcolm's mother, Iona, was like her own mother and when she found out what her father had done she was shocked and, though she was forced on the journey to find her against her will, she soon found herself falling for her captor. When they find Iona worn and tired at a plantation Lauren willingly gave her own self in exchange for the elderly woman. Malcolm vows to get her back and Lauren prays he can find a way. Will Malcolm save her in time or will Lauren succumb to the world of slavery? I must admit that "Highland" books or books with a Scottish setting are not something I read very often but I was pleasantly surprised when I got into this story. I loved the entire plot from beginning to end and it kept me turning the pages to find out what would happen next. There were a few twists that just enhanced the overall story. I loved that Malcolm was a brawny guy but tender and loving. Lauren displayed amazing faith in even the most dire of circumstances. No matter what she was going through she turned to God without wavering. I also liked that the story brought forth the topic of slavery and indentured servants. The treatment they received was horrible and inhumane and this book described their conditions in an excellent manner. Overall I loved this book and if you are a fan of Scottish romances you will too. Even if you're not I still recommend it. Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review. The opinions stated are mine and mine alone and I received no monetary compensation.
Monday, November 18, 2013 For Love or Loyalty I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. ¿Jeremiah 29:11 The Scottish Highlanders, 1760 Inverawe¿home. Smoke swirls in the sky as Malcolm MacGregor and brother, Thomas, reach the village. The Campbell men have burned their home taking their mither and sister. Duncan Campbell and his son came with warriors to collect the unpaid rents from the MacGregors'. Returning from selling the cattle to pay the rents, the Campbells have come a day early. They have taken Iona and Carleen MacGregor, possibly to a debtors' prison, as a warning to the rest of the village. The rents have been raised again, this time with interest. They beat their youngest brother, Graham while trying to protect them, and murdered his best friend. For two centuries, the Campbells have tried to wipe out the MacGregor Clans. Left in poverty, their furniture has been taken or left to burn before the huts. Duncan Campbell's eldest daughter, Lauren, goes to the Kilchurn Manor stables to ride to the ancient Kilchurn Castle with her younger sister, Blair, to enjoy a day of picnicking. The castle had passed to the Campbells through marriage. The lands were taken from the MacGregors when King James abolished their clan name generations earlier. She has been intercepted. "Malcolm! Thomas!" Lauren's captor ignored them and banged on the worn wooden door. "Open up. I have Lauren Campbell." The door swung open and Malcolm's tall form emerged. He crossed his arms with a menacing scowl. "Colin, ye were supposed to find my mither an' sister, not bring back a hostage." --For Love or Loyalty, 18 With Lauren saying her brother and father were collecting rents and going to the harbor, she and Malcolm are on the way ~ to the colonies, should they not intercept the Campbells at the docks. Approaching Taynuilt, the description is so vivid! Smoke from chimneys filled the air along with the aroma of mixed spices as they passed various cottages of all shapes and sizes. The sounds of a few rolling carts and carriages passed both directions. Most people had gone inside, but some lingered in the streets. It wasn't a large town, and before long the pleasant aromas and sights gave way to less pleasant odors and lurking shadows. --Ibid., 29 They reach the dock to check ship rosters for the two women. Given a ship roster from an elderly man, he says his son set sail that morn, The Loyal Adventure, for Charles Towne, South Carolina. Lauren sees her friends' names near the bottom ~ MacGregor. The women had long been sharing their faith together when Lauren came to visit the poor and bring food. Without a fare, his mother, Iona, and sister, Carleen, are now indentured servants to the captain to be sold in Carolina when they arrive. Malcolm asks of another ship going there. The next morn, The Sea Lady sets sail there just after sunrise. Lauren has been given things, not parental love. The oldest, Malcolm has been family protector. He is taking her to exchange for his indentured family member. Will it be enough to keep generational feuds going? America brings other difficulties they'd not expected. For love or loyalty? Enjoy a story of hope, caring and forgiveness that can change a heart. ***Thank you Jennifer Hudson Taylor and Upon the Rock Publicist for sending For Love or Loyalty. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***
Hard to believe when looking at plaid fabrics that each of these is like a calling card of sorts. In Scotland, each clan or family was identified based on the plaid fabric that each of them wore over their clothing, that way they could easily be identified as friend or foe. In the case of the latest novel from Jennifer Hudson Taylor, it identified the members of the MacGregor or Campbell family who remained at more than just odds with one another. The Campbell family was in a position of collecting rent from the land that MacGregor's village was set up on. When the rent was late, they made sure to extract not only the money but interest as well. If they were unable to collect it in cash, they took it out in other ways. That is just what happened when Malcolm and his brother Thomas came home to after a long journey. Their family home was burnt to the ground and his youngest brother Graham fought valiantly to keep his mother and sister from being taken as indentured servants. Now while he recovers, Malcolm searches for clues to where his mother and sister might be. While sending out spies for answers to search in the surrounding countryside, one of them returns with just the right kind of answer to his dilemma, the daughter of Glenn Campbell, Lauren. He has decided she will be the wagering pawn to get his family back no matter what the costs. He just didn't see that the Campbell clan would sell his family as servants on a ship bound to South Carolina. He didn't plan on taking Lauren with him on that journey to find his family and he gets so much more than he ever dreamed he'd bargained for. The last thing that Lauren had hoped was that her faith in God would be tested in ways she could never imagine. Being treated as a slave in hopes that her father would do whatever it took to get her back, she knows that her father might search for her only as a way of maintaining his loyalty to his clan but based on the years of living with her father, she knows he does not love her like she wants. Perhaps if Malcolm wanted a true bargaining chip, he should have taken her brother instead. But her loyalty to God will enable her to do whatever she can to win over Malcolm's heart and soul. She believes God placed him in her path so she can help him find salvation for his soul. The journey has only just begun but the storm is brewing on the horizon. I received For Love or Loyalty by Jennifer Hudson Taylor compliments of Abingdon Press for my honest review and did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable one. I found myself walking away with a deep Scottish accent after reading this one, because the author writes so well you feel completely immersed in the culture and setting of her book. We have all had times where our faith is tested, where we simply wonder if there is a point to all of this much like Lauren. However skilled mariners are not made in quiet coves but in turbulent storms and that is just what happens in this case. Lauren by far, is my favorite character because her default mode is always God and her faith in Him, no matter how bleak the circumstances. It shows the reader how powerful that can be to people who only see our faith from our actions lived out among us, much like Malcolm. He is completely baffled by Lauren's refusal to act as he thinks she should given her circumstances. A true test of faith. I give this one a 4 out of 5 stars and this is the first novel n the MacGregor Quest Series.
Jennifer Hudson Taylor is one of my favorite authors. I really enjoyed For Love or Loyalty. The details in this book were very good. I felt like I was on the ship with Lauren and Malcolm. I also felt like I was with Lauren, when she was an indentured servant. Taylor must do a lot of research to be able to include such great details in this book. Based on all of the details in For Love or Loyalty, I can’t wait to read the second book in the series. If you like adventure, history, and romance, then this book is for you. Make sure you buy a copy today. Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Love or Loyalty, by Jennifer Hudson Taylor, for free from Abingdon Press and the Early Reader Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
For Love or Loyalty is a good title for this touching historical romance novel. It relates to more than one instance. The serene appearance of the cover is also a good choice. It is very descriptive of the female main character and the background hints at the storyline. It is light enough to be eye-catching and dark enough to set the verve of the story. The characterization was solid and the reader felt a definite connection to each. I love “highland” type stories. I find Ireland, Scottland, Wales contries to be so fascinating with a sense of mystic lore. However, only part of the story is in Scotland but is very much a story of early colonization before the Revolutionary War. It reminds us there were many, other than the black people, who were cruelly treated and made slaves of under the ruse of “indentured servants”. Many of the “indentured servants” were never freed and many died under the depravation and cruel treatments of slavery. This is a story of a family clan severely wronged by another family clan. The eldest son of a widow is determined to seek revenge and tries to get even in a partial way by implementing a hasty act to give him leverage against the other…It backfired! Attitudes change and new adventures arise. It is never dull in the experiences the main characters of this novel encountered. Events steadily take place to keep the reader's interest – on land or on sea. This story’s contents include: change of heart, illness, violence, cruelty, slavery, “indentured servitudes”, colonization of America, deprivation, reconciliation, family unity, love, selfishness, power & prestige. I hesitate to give it a full Five Stars rating because, although well-written, it was quite predictable. At the end, the ”flow” was interrupted and lacked a little energy which left the reader slightly “deflated”. Still, I review this book giving it a strong Four and a Half Stars rating This book was generously sent to me by a publisher in exchange for an honest review, of which I have given.