June 2010 TBR read. The heroes of these 3 books were spies together during the Peninsular wars and carry various physical and emotional scars from their time there.
Fallen takes place almost entirely on the island of Skye in 1812. Our hero, Gabriel, the Earl of Rievaulx, has been asked by his friend Nathan (and hero of Entwined) to go to Skye and track down an elusive traitor.
A SIDE NOTE: I think the fact that an Earl was running around Spain spying on French troops and is now free to go to Scotland to find a traitor causes this book to meet the definition of a "mistorical." I try not to get caught up in the finer points of what constitutes a mistorical because I am no expert. But Gabriel's "profession" did not ring true and in the end did a lot to detract from the better parts of the story.
When Gabriel arrives on Skye, he introduces himself to Maggie MacLeod and her family who are in-laws to Gabriel's friend, Nathan. Maggie's father insists that Gabriel stay with them and Gabriel spends his time getting to know the locals so he can find the traitor he seeks. And over the course of the book he gets to know Maggie and the two fall in love. Jensen is a fine writer and the book is peppered with interesting characters and wonderful descriptions of the island. Both Gabriel and Maggie are likeable people. Gabriel made a serious mistake while in Spain that dearly cost the British war effort. He is trying to atone for that. Maggie is a caretaker. She watches over her alcoholic father and cares for her teenage sister. She's an herbalist and provides her friends and neighbors with all manner of tinctures and salves. Maggie is also a bit heart-sore from a previous relationship. So both Gabriel and Maggie are nursing their wounds when they meet. I enjoyed the chemistry between the two of them.
Ultimately I found this a pleasurable read, although not stellar. And thanks to the various quotes from "Scarbro Fair" to lead off many of the chapters I experienced Simon & Garfunkel's "Scarborough Fair/Canticle" as an earworm as I read. How bad can that be?