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Deception of a Highlander

(Heart of the Highlands #1)

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  430 ratings  ·  102 reviews
Scottish Romance doesn’t get much steamier—or more dangerous—than a spy hunting her quarry, and losing her heart to him instead.

To pay a seemingly impossible debt, Mariel Brandon has become a spy for Aaron, one of England’s deadliest minds. Aaron’s latest mission for the sharp-witted and daring Mariel is to find two people in a heavily fortified castle on the Isle of S
Paperback, 392 pages
Published April 28th 2015 by Diversion Publishing
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Average rating 4.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  430 ratings  ·  102 reviews

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Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I one-clicked this by mistake but what a happy accident it turned out to be! In classic “Highlander” fashion, we had a heroine, Mariel, forced into an unspeakable circumstance in order to protect her young brother, Jack and free herself from under the thumb of the ruthless Aaron. I’m always struck by how powerless and dependent on “good” men women were back in that time.

Kieran MacDonald was kind, compassionate and loving towards Mariel, despite his inherent distrust, which was warranted since Ma
Apr 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely LOVED this story! Seriously LOVED it!

This is honestly one of the few historical romances that I was in love with by page five. This book was such an emotional, suspenseful read. It follows Mariel Brandon who has become a spy for a deadly man, in order to protect her brother. Her mission is to seduce the head of a powerful clan, Kieran McDonald, and get him to take her to his castle. She definitely finds Kieran and she definitely seduces him. What she didn't expect was to fall in lov
Tracy Emro
Jun 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a debut?

I loved this book. LOVED IT! I have a hard time believing that this was a debut effort. It was as good, if not better than a lot of books I have read by established veteran authors.

Mariel and Kieran were both amazing characters. The both have secrets and trust issues. But they are so right for each other. My heart was breaking for Mariel. She had to make choices that no person should ever have to make and Ms. Martin did an excellent job of detailing exactly how impossible those
Aug 16, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: no-can-do
Why I can't bother with the book:

1. Mariel practically threw herself at Kieran. For whatever reasons, it is irrelevant. To save her brother or not, I don't know how she could offer to be his mistress within an hour of meeting him. Unbelievable.

2. Mariel is the scheming kind. I know she was supposed to be an assassin and was sent to collect information or kill. Scheming is required. It is just not my cup of tea.

3. Kieran wants to sleep with Mariel, of course. Was there ever any doubt? Mariel i
Sha Mslvoe
Best book ever!! This is the first book I ever read of Madeline Martin and after reading it, I went looking for more. It started out interesting and stayed that way to the end. It was a great read!
Dino-Jess ✮ The Book Eating Dinosaur ✮
You know how there are just some books that get under your skin and you enjoy them no matter what? This is one of those books.

"Ye look different, Mariel. Verra, verra different. I dinna think I've seen ye look more beautiful."

This is the story of Mariel, a young woman who has been trained as an assassin and spy, and Kieran, a Scottish barbarian and the Laird of the MacDonald clan. Mariel has had a tough life, after her parents died when she was young, she was left to fend for herself and
Tracy Emro
Jun 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. LOVED IT! I have a hard time believing that this was a debut effort. It was as good, if not better than a lot of books I have read by established veteran authors.

Mariel and Kieran were both amazing characters. The both have secrets and trust issues. But they are so right for each other. My heart was breaking for Mariel. She had to make choices that no person should ever have to make and Ms. Martin did an excellent job of detailing exactly how impossible those choices were. I
Charlee Allden
Deception of a Highlander reminded me why I fell in love with Scottish Historicals. Like the island nation itself, this story is raw and beautiful--nothing about it is cute or light. It is an emotional journey full of hard choices for the well-drawn characters at the heart of the story.

Mariel is bold, courageous, smart, and talented, but it is her guilt, self-doubt, and determination that drew me to her and made me root for her through the journey. Kieran is part rough highlander, part chivalro
Wendy LaCapra
Feb 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Highland Deception is a Highland Historical Romance like none I've read. It combines action, adventure, high-stakes, trans-formative love and thrilling passion against the background of personal and political intrigue. In perfect balance, the intrepid, kick-ass heroine must learn to expand her heart to include, not only the hero, but an entire community while the hero, who already loves an bears responsibility for his community, must learn how to weave intimate commitment into his understanding ...more
Mar 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I adored this book. Mariel is a strong heroine and despite her unseemly profession, she's easily lovable. Kieran is everything a reader would want in a rough and tumble, sexy Highlander kinda way. The two have perfect chemistry so it sizzles off the page and it was an absolute pleasure to read. Highly recommend.
Donna Smith
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book could be set in any time. But I love that it was set when it was. And it has pretty much everything. It's got a heroine that is fierce, a hero who is every bit of a man, war, traitors, secrecy, family to protect... oh! And a love that happens despite the mission that the heroine is on. I hated to put this down, but you know, work. I also didn't want it to end.
Mariel and Kieran are two people who have seen too much in their lives which is why I think they work so well together. She has
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
After gorging on Outlander TV show, I was really in the mood for a book with a Highlander hottie. Well, I certainly picked a winner to read. This is the first book by Madeline Martin and after blasting through this story, I have very high expectations of her career.
This book has an amazing plot line with so much depth in the adventure. Mariel (isn’t that such a pretty name?) is not the typical courtier. She is a spy for a ruthless handler named Aaron. But Aaron isn’t working for the crown; he is
Candace N
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Deception of a Highlander has made it's way to the top of my top 5 list for Scottish historicals. Wow! The writing is remarkable and the characters are memorable and will stick with me for a long time to come.  Kieran and Mariel's story tugged at my heartstrings. I loved them both so much.  I read this in one day, which is no easy feat seeing as I have 4 kids, but I could just not put it down!  If I could give more than 5 stars I would. I am just dying to hear about Colin, I adored him too. This ...more
Candy Laine
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Mariel was forced to work for Aaron once she lost her parents to the plague. She tried to get out of the life that she hated but couldn't because Aaron kept her brother Jack hostage. Just when she though all hope was lost Aaron asks her to do one last task, promising to set both brother and sister free after it's done.
Unfortunately Mariel will be forced to do the one thing that she has never had the stomach to do, kill someone. She hopes to get the information required from the Scottish Barbaria
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: highlander
Yet another beautiful piece of work from Madeline Martin.

Just when I thought Book #3 couldn't get any better, this Book #1 had me floating on cloud nine! (Yes, I jumbled the sequence of the Novel)
Right from the moment I picked up this book, there was no way I could set it back down.
This book was worth many late nights that I had, just to reached the last page of the book.

Let's talk a little about our Beautiful & Brave Protagonist, Mariel.
As the title suggest, deception is going to come into pl
Nicole Laverdure
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fans of Highlanders will love this story!

Deception of a Highlander is perfect for lovers of Scottish romance! Madeline Martin really pleased me with this amazing adventure set in the Scottish Highlands!

The story starts as Mariel is forced by Aaron, one of England's deadliest minds, to betray men. She is forced to seduce Kieran a powerful man, in order to gain some information from him. Unfortunately, her mission will have lots of twists and turns, as she didn't plan to fall in love with the ma
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book I have read by this author and it certainly won’t be the last. I was captivated right from the beginning and found myself so enthralled that I totally lost track of time and before I knew it I was at the end of the story. Wow, where to begin describing this wonderful book. First you have a strong, feisty heroine who is forced to do uncharacteristic things in order to pay a debt and free her brother. Her last mission is her toughest as she falls in love with the man she may ...more
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this story. What an amazing read. Madeline writes such an amazing story. You fall in love with her characters and the story. If you love Highlander's and strong females you'll love this book
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
A steamy highland romance from Madeline Martin!
Deception of a highlander is the story of Mariel Brandon, a spy working for one of the most dangerous underlords in all of England. It is Mariel's mission to locate two people hiding on the Isle of Skye, or to kill the Laird if she cannot locate the two... if she fails her mission, the unthinkable will happen, her brother will die instead. It's very clear that our heroine will do anything to keep her kid brother, Jack out of harms way and away from
Carole Burant
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After reading books like this one, it's no wonder I so love Highlander romances! This author never fails to impress me with her writing skills, she just knows how to pique our interest from page one!! Mariel is such a strong heroine but she is forced to go against her nature so that she can free her brother from the clutches of the dastardly Aaron. Kieran, be still my heart, is a strong hero who only wants to do what is right for his clan. Put the two of them together and you have some very hot ...more
Feb 02, 2017 rated it liked it
No I will not stop reading ridiculous romances. This is a good one.
Tina "IRead2Escape"
Hotness Rating 3 out of 5

Review to come...
Feb 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Mariel Brandon is a quick-witted English beauty who has seen more than her fair share of heartache: her parents died in the plague and she used all her wits and strength to keep herself and her little brother Jack alive. Unfortunately, she can't stay out of the web of the truly un-likeable Aaron, a master manipulator who does other people's dirty business--or rather, has his debtors, people like Mariel, do other people's dirty business while keeping himself (and his fresh manicure, I'd imagine) ...more
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love historical love stories. Even more so when a hot kilted Highlander is involved. Add to that a spy and you have me hooked. This book by Ms. Martin has everything I dreamed of and so much more. There is lots of action and plenty of twists and turns. The characters are well developed and the story is fast-paced. I was unable to put the book. I just had to find out how the heroine's dilemma would be resolved. Thank you, Ms. Martin, for writing such an exciting story. Highly recommended!
Maggie Whitworth
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Mariel is a young woman who parents have passed , leaving her brother Jack in her care , she would do anything to keep him safe , including train as a spy and assassin for the unscrupulous Aaron, who is holding Jack as ransom to ensure her co-operation.
Kieran McDonald is a braw Highland Laird , his clan and his family mean everything to him , so when Mariel asks him to take her to Scotland, he’s not Kean on the idea .
After a lot of persuading he agrees , she spends her time trying to seduce inf
lily lee
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Once again, Madeline Martin has hit it out of the ball park. I couldn't put it down. Every time I read one of her books, my housework suffers. Laundry doesn't get done, cleaning goes by the wayside, but I'm happy. I loved the characters in the book. Each one developed and grew. Everything a reader could desire is in this book: action, adventure, intrigue, romance, longing, deception, triumph, etc... My only word of caution is to pick a time when you won't be interrupted - maybe buy some tv dinne ...more
Jena Lang
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great debut! I loved the strong characters, all the emotion and romance, and high-stakes action.
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful, emotion filled story of love!

Madeline Martin's Deception of a Highlander is a beautiful story of the healing power of love. Martin's characters, Kieran and Mariel are both strong, but with deep wounds, that only love can heal. Alone they will fight for the families they love and wish to protect, but together they will learn to love themselves and fight for the greatest love, their own. This tale is filled with emotion and joy. A must read!
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed Deception of a Highlander.
Madeline Martin writes a story that is original and exciting. It is suspenseful because you can’t wait to find out if Mariel will be able to carry out her mission or will circumstances conspire against her and cause her to fail?
Every decision she makes is to free her brother and herself so they can live free. Kieran keeps secrets and if she can’t get him to open up, she will never be free.

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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Mar 20, 2015 11:21AM  

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Madeline Martin is a USA TODAY Bestselling author of Scottish set historical romance novels filled with twists and turns, adventure, steamy romance, empowered heroines and the men who are strong enough to love them.

She lives a glitter-filled life in Jacksonville, Florida with her two daughters (known collectively as the minions) and a man so wonderful he's been dubbed Mr. Awesome. She loves Disney

Other books in the series

Heart of the Highlands (3 books)
  • Possession of a Highlander (Highlander, #2)
  • Enchantment of a Highlander (Highlander, #3)

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