Feature book: Chieftain in the Making
Chieftain in the Making by Frances Housden
Rob McArthur will one day be the chieftain of the McArthurs, not too soon though. He has come a long way since arriving at Cragenlaw with his mother, Morag, finding out that Euan McArthur is his father. Although the stigma of being a bastard hangs over his head, he knows there are reasons why his mother and father are not wed, but he has grown into a strong man, determined to be worthy of one day being chieftain. But when he is captured after a battle and held for ransom by the Norman Baron La Mont, he is held at Wolfsdale. Little do they know this is well known to Rob. And as if history is repeating itself, Rob and the Baron’s daughter, Melinda, make friends and become lovers. When Euan pays the ransom, Rob is returned home to Cragenlaw but never forgets Melinda whom he loves. Rob returns secretly to Wolfsdale months later, trying to see Melinda, but he is unsuccessful and returns home but never forgets her.
Melinda La Mont is an only child to the Baron. She lost her mother when she was young, and her father is not a loving parent. He tends to be a fighter and pretty much leaves Melinda on her own. She does not have much company and seems to get what she wants. When she meets her father’s hostage, Rob McArthur, they are left alone while her father goes to court. Love blossoms, and Melinda loses her heart to Rob. But when he leaves, Melinda hopes he will return for her, however that never happens. Melinda is left to deal with a pregnancy, but she keeps the father’s name a secret. After she gives birth to twin boys in a difficult delivery, her father takes them as his heirs.
Another battle and the death of the Scottish King brings Rob back to Wolfsdale. This time he finds Melinda and realises he is now a father to twin boys. Rob does the only thing he can do, and that is take them all back to Cragenlaw. He does this with the help of a local band of gypsies and his best friend, Nhaimeth, a dwarf. They have been through so much together. This of course starts a journey that is tough on both of them but a beautiful, sensual one as Melinda learns a lot about Rob and his family. She finally learns to love both of her sons equally and comes to terms with her fears. She acknowledges the fact that she has always loved Rob and that he loves her as well.
This is another great story in this series. I have loved travelling back to medieval Scotland with these stories and meeting so many characters that come to life on the pages. The setting and scenery are wonderful, and the love that they all share for each other shows through as they go through many hardships. I loved the ending of this one—it really had me smiling. This is a series that I highly recommend, and I look forward to more adventures.
Reviewed by Helen S
A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.