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5++ stars for Forgiven Never Forgotten by Susan Leigh Furlong #historicalromance #romance #scottishromance #mustread #booksworthreading

Title: Forgiven Never Forgotten

Author: Susan Leigh Furlong

Genre: Historical Romance


Book Blurb:


Rory Campbell, falsely accused of participating in the Clan MacDonald of Glencoe killings, is sentenced to hang as a sacrificial lamb while the real agents of the slaughter escape blame. He risks everything to convince the love of his life, Joneta MacDonald, of the truth. He can never forget how completely she owns his heart.


Joneta MacDonald watches helplessly as her family is murdered by the king’s men, but forgiving Rory for his seeming participation is harder than she imagined. What must she endure besides the clan’s hatred? With the overwhelming odds against them, she clings to her love for a man labelled a traitor.


Inspiration for this novel –


I love to write historical stories based on true events, and during some research, I came across the Glencoe Massacre in 1692. King William wanted all the Highland clans to sign a loyalty oath to ensure the stability of his monarchy. However, most thought the “Highland barbarians” could only be coerced by violence, so troops were sent to Glencoe, Scotland where the small clan of MacDonald paid their tax by feeding and housing the soldiers. After two weeks of MacDonald hospitality, the king’s men were ordered to put to the sword “every man, woman, and child under seventy.” The attack began at dawn, and many were killed in their beds while others escaped only to freeze to death in the hills.


That got me to thinking about how people could forgive such a murderous betrayal of trust and go on with their lives. I explored how my hero and heroine from enemy clans could overcome clan bitterness to find their own love despite everything that kept them apart. Then, as a writer who must make things worse, they now had to deal with the greater betrayal, death, and murder of her clan and his seeming blame for it. Rory and Joneta, despite the odds, created their own HEA destiny through determination and devotion.


My Review:


Susan Leigh Furlong gives us a glorious tale of the power of love—forbidden love. Set in the Scottish Highlands in the early 1690s, Joneta MacDonald falls hopelessly in love with Rory during the Highland Games. But Rory is a Campbell, the families are sworn enemies, and Joneta is already promised to her childhood friend.


The couple struggles with barrier after barrier to their being together. Just when they believe they can overcome any hurdle, Rory is accused of murdering her father in the Glencoe Massacre.


I loved this book from the very start. The author convinced me Rory was a good man by showing me his humane horse-training practices and his helping an older couple in the Highlands. I knew why Joneta loved him so. How can you not fall in love with a man like this?


Ms. Furlong dropped me in the middle of Scotland in the 1690s and gave me a taste of clan life of the Highlands. I felt the hatred Joneta’s brother had for the Campbells every bit as I soaked in the love the couple had. She showed me the closeknit family ties and the Highland hospitality.


This book is flawless. The author drew me into the story with characters I could relate to and love and kept me reading with the events of the era. The pacing of the story is impeccable. The characters are very real. And I felt both the joy and the sorrow of Joneta and Rory.


More than once, my heart stopped as I worried about what would happen to them.


I can’t recommend this book enough. Even if you’re not a historical romance fan, you’ll fall head over heels with this couple.


My Rating: 5++ stars


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Author Biography:


Susan Leigh Furlong knew she had a special connection with words since she was a child. When she was 9 years old, she wrote and directed her first play for the neighborhood children.


Her love for history fuels her resilience against the sneezes and coughs that old books give her as she delves into research for unique historical events to inspire her historical fiction romance novels. Susan captures her readers’ imagination with a highly enthralling style, chronological events, and smoothly flowing narratives that keep one’s eyes glued on her novels from the first page to the last.


Her first three books published by The Wild Rose Press center on a family living in the Scottish Highlands in the sixteenth century. Her most recent novel takes place during the American Revolution, the same family but across the pond.  A fifth book takes the reader back to Scotland. She also has two non-fiction books filled with over 200 photographs and tales about her home town.


When she is not researching and creating her stories, she writes, directs, and performs with a music and drama group.


She married small-town boy and has lived here ever since. Born a “big city” girl, you now couldn’t get her out of there with a crowbar.


Social Media Links:


Facebook @SusanLFurlong

Twitter @furlongleigh

Instagram @susanleighfurlong

Tiktok @susanleighfurlong


Reviewed by: Terry


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