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Fiona Wallace is the slànaighear in her tiny medieval village of Kilmarnock, Scotland. She heals whomever she can, and mourns those she cannot. She lives with the death of her beloved husband, Jamie everyday of her life, but she also sees him in her nephew, Brendan. He is the spitting image of his uncle, and close to Fiona’s heart from the start. Her life is placed in an upheaval when she comes across a stranger unconscious in the woods behind her cottage, and nurses him back to health.
He is Galen MacLachlan, a Scottish nobleman wanted by the English authorities, but she chances it anyway. Her fate is to reach his heart, as hers holds onto what it can, both of them suffering their own losses, and clinging to each other in the midst of them. They suffer through injury, torture, illness, and much medieval conflict as Galen works his way back to Castle Lachlan and his title as Laird.
The rain was coming down in sheets as Fiona stared down at the gaping wound in her nephew’s arm. Her heart beat hard against her chest feeling the worry over him as she saw the deep gash that revealed the shiny muscle it had torn into. She kept herself calm, and her voice even. “And did ye have to get injured on such a fine day as today, just so you could splash mud across my table as well as your blood? Christ, lad, what in the name of all the saints were ye doin’ to get sliced open as ye did?”
Brendan looked at his aunt with the same brown eyes her husband had, sparkling with mischief. “Preparin’ for the games o’ course, Mither.” He’d always referred to her as his mother, his own being taken during his birth. “Ye wouldna’ want me to get sliced open there and make a fool o’ myself now, would ye?”
She smiled warmly, placing a hand on his cheek. “Well, ye’re lookin’ quite the fool right now, but I suppose ’tis better in front o’ your aunt than the whole Shire o’ Ayr.”
Fiona moved to the shelf near the door and took down Jamie’s sporran. After his death, it had become her medical bag of sorts. She opened it and took out her needle, threading it with the sinew of a deer Jamie had taken down the autumn before he died. She worked quietly and deftly, her skill as the healer she was apparent in the ease with which she did it. He closed his eyes tight as Fiona scrubbed the wound clean before closing it, and winced only once against the pain as the needle hit his skin the first time. After that, he bore it silently as she felt the pain within herself while she worked. She pushed it to the back of her mind, though, and continued to be the slànaighear that she was to the entire village. Her father had been before her, and had passed on his knowledge of the body and it’s workings to his only child. Now Fiona finished her last stitch and tied it neatly.
She went to her cabinet and pulled down her rosemary poultice, smearing it across the freshly closed wound to prevent festering, wrapped it in the clean linen strips she kept droves of, and looked up at him with a smile. “There, good as new. I suppose I should thank ye for the practice actually. Wi’ the games naught but a fortnight away, I’m likely to be sewin’ together half the lads on the field. I just hope I don’t sew one lad’s hand to another lad’s arse in all the mayhem.”
They laughed together, and Brendan stood up to go. She rose as well, wrapping her arms about him in a warm hug. “Try to be a bit more careful, Balach, aye?” she said softly, using the Gaelic term for lad that she’d donned him from the time he was a wee bairn.
“I will,” he answered simply as he pulled away and headed toward the door, and more mischief she was certain.
“I want ye back here in a week for me to remove that stitchin’,” she said. “And if ye see any festerin’, I want ye here earlier… D’ye hear me laddie?” she yelled out as he made his way past the well.
He looked back at her with Jamie’s smile. “Aye, Mither,” he answered, then disappeared past the next cottage.
Angel in the Mist is a fun, exciting read. The action and peril hardly allows for a breath, yet most of the characters are well-rounded and believable. Fiona and Gavin are compelling together, and it is enjoyable to watch their relationship grow. by D.L. From My Book Cravings
Book Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
No. of Pages: 252
Paper Weight (lb): 10.8
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