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From Medieval Book Reviews
The Warrior's Touch
The Warrior's Touch
by Michelle Willingham

Can outcasts find love in Medieval society?

Michelle Willingham's The Warrior's Touch is a heart-moving historical romance between outcasts set in Medieval times. Strong characterization draws the reader into the heart of the story while layers of suspenseful detail emerge as the hero and heroine reveal their desire. The Warrior's Touch is an outstanding second book of what is turning into a magnificent MacEgan brothers series.

Connor MacEgan is a warrior until he is found near death. Despite being banned from healing, Aileen O Duinne must disobey her tribe and the curse on her and try to save him. Connor finds death preferable to never being able to brandish his sword. His manhood and his position is dependent upon the health of and strength of his hands. Can Aileen's herbs, splints and love bring life back into this warrior's heart and body or will her tribe banish her, cursed as they think she is? As Connor and Aileen grow closer, past secrets, former promises and layers of deception threaten their growing passion. In the end, which is riskier and more noble, the battle of swords or the battle of the heart?

Readers wondering how Michelle Willingham could match debut romance Her Irish Warrior can rest assured ---- she did. Her second book adds a new dimension to the MacEgan Brothers' world. In The Warrior's Touch, Michelle Willingham turns her attention to the outcasts of Medieval society, a warrior who can no longer fight and a woman healer now cursed. Around them death and disease threaten them while inside both Connor and Aileen are haunted by the past and their failures. When romance and love are at stake, can Connor and Aileen battle themselves and all the forces outside who threaten their growing love? Without creating spoilers, the idea of curses and the medieval demons of disease here are indeed scary, especially to a world unable to combat them quite as easily as we do today. Michelle Willingham grabs the reader's attention and heart in her portrayal of the darker side of Medieval society, not sensationalizing it, but allowing the reader to feel some of fears of the medieval world from her characters' point of view.

As in Her Irish Warrior, Michelle Willingham once again demonstrates her ability to create intriguing minor characters, here in Ewan an Whelon, that reveal hidden sides of the main hero and heroine as they endear themselves to the reader's heart. In The Warrior's Touch, Michelle Willingham does an exceptional job of adding and integrating elements of Medieval literature into her stories. The mixed identity theme works very here as it creates secrets and romantic conflict while simultaneously and creating a literary echo to Medieval literary tradition. With her second book, Michelle Willingham has firmly established herself as a new voice to watch among Medieval enthusiasts.

Publisher: Harlequin Historical (September 2007)

Reviewed by Merrimon, Medieval Book Reviews
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