My initial reaction upon finishing was that it was good, but there were some moments when I felt like I was trudging. I have to give Amanda Scott credit for making Scotland feel so authentic. However, I’m much more interested in romance and less in navigating the country. When it came down to what I didn’t like, that was pretty much it. There was just so much discussion about where they were going and how they should get there. I’m not sure if all of that was made up or what, but I could barely follow any of that talk. More importantly, I didn’t care. I just wanted romance and plot development.
Now that I’ve gotten that one complaint out of the way, let me explain what Amanda does well. First of all, she writes stellar characters that are easy to connect with. I was honestly invested in all the central characters: Ivor, Marsi, Hetty, Jamie, and Will. All of them! Ever Jake won me over, which is good since the next book is about him. Ivor is a great hero. He’s strong, dominant, but also gentle toward Marsi. Marsi is brash and willful heroine commonly found in romance novels. She never felt cliché though. I still liked her because she was exactly what I wanted her to be. The other three were just a treat. I just adored the boys and Hetty was around for some words of wisdom here and there.
Another thing Amanda does well is create conflict and build to the climax. By that point, I had to know what happened. I was so worried for the future of Marsi and Ivor. All the things that could have gone wrong for them were eating me up. It’s funny how that happens when I’m reading. I mean, this is a romance novel. Things are probably going to work out just fine, but I still bent out of shape when things go awry. I still worry.
My favorite thing about this particular Highland romance is that a lot of the speech is written in dialect and the language doesn’t often stray from the language of the time in which it’s written. It made everything seem that much more authentic. Even with the dialect, it was still easy to understand.
It’s a good book. I recommend it to lovers of historical Scottish romance. It’s one of my favorite genres. It just dragged a little during the discussions about navigation. I’m willing to pick up the previous book in the series (which I assume is about Ivor’s sister and brother-in-law) just to see if I like that one a bit better. I’m also a little interested in the next one involving Jake.