Highlander Betrayed begins as Nicholas Fitz Hugh, spy for Edward I, accepts a mission to steal the Highland Targe, an item reputed to be of great significance to the Scots, as part of the King’s campaign to bring Scotland under England’s control. Nicholas departs at once, joining forces with Archibald of Easton, and the two men are soon camped near the MacAlpin clan’s Highland castle with a scheme to install themselves within the clan’s premises and uncover the Targe.
Elspet, current guardian of the Targe, is seriously ill, cared for by her daughter Jeanette and orphaned niece, Rowan. While out beyond the castle walls looking for Elspet’s rebellious younger daughter, Rowan is saved from an avalanche of boulders by none other than Nicholas. From that point, Fitz Hugh’s efforts to fulfill his mission are complicated by his attraction to Rowan, and his loyalty to the King is compromised.
Laurin Wittig sets the stage with just the right amount of historical detail, and both major and minor characters are well drawn. For this reader, the romance between Nicholas and Rowan could have unfolded more slowly and with more twists and turns. Nevertheless, tension builds as attraction turns into love, Elspet draws closer to death, and we wonder who will be the next guardian of the Targe.