Short Story Review: Julianne MacLean’s “The Rebel”

Elizabeth Curtis fully intended to bury her bayonet in the Highlander’s flesh when she attacked him on the battlefield. The only thing on her mind was avenging her father’s and her brother’s deaths at the hands of rebel Scotsmen. She couldn’t have known that Alexander MacLean would save her life.

I picked this story out of a short story collection because it wasn’t overly long. I steeled myself for either an overly sappy, he’s my soul-mate short story or one driven by sex. “The Rebel” surprised me. It didn’t exactly fall into either category.

Elizabeth was a typical romance heroine, but I liked her a heck of a lot more than I thought that I would. She didn’t fall head-over-heels for Alex MacLean from the moment she met him. The attraction between the two was evident pretty much from the beginning. Their relationship developed at a reasonably slow pace (for the length of the story), and I enjoyed that.

The only downside was that I felt very aware of  how the story would end. I didn’t feel like like I was ever drawn into the story enough to ever feel doubt. But I think that may have been due to the length. Had it been a longer piece, or even a novel, I might have gotten to know the characters better and would have probably been more emotionally involved.

Overall, “The Rebel” surprised me, and I quite enjoyed it. I’d recommend Julianne MacLean’s “The Rebel” to anyone who enjoys Highlander romances and just wants to experience the emotions of a longer novel in under thirty pages.

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