To Love a Highlander
by Sue-Ellen Welfonder
Some 15 years ago, I assisted with a trip that our town's high school band took to our sister city, Stirling, Scotland. As such, I was asked to read and offer a guy's opinion on a Highlands Romance, set largely in and around Stirling Castle.
My opinion ... as a guy's novel ... fair. There's some action, with a little build-up to it but the scenes and their associated battles are somewhat brief, occasionally even occurring "off camera". There's some discussion (and some non-discussion) about a possible secret society. And there's a ghost.
Let's face it, though this wasn't written nor marketed as a guy's book. If it was, the guy in the kilt on the front cover would be wearing a shirt, and the woman probably wouldn't be and they wouldn't be embracing. SO ... as a romance, more particularly, a Highlands romance ...
This is one excellent novel. The premise itself is well done, and it is reasonably accurate to history and geography as I recall it (given a reasonable allowance for literary license). The couple you can FEEL the tension emotional, sexual between them at every meeting, as well as before and after each encounter! Ms. Welfonder seems to share my opinions as to the differences between romance vs. erotica vs. p-rn, and safely stays on the "romance" side.
I DO wish that the action scenes, especially the first, had been played out a little longer (while not necessarily a high priority of the target audience, I believe that most of them probably loved "The Princess Bride" AND appreciated its sword fight scene. I thought the "will they or won't they" scenes were a little drawn out until they (I don't think I'm providing a spoiler here) get to the "will", but the people who are used to this type of read might disagree with that statement. AND ... the villain I thought he needed a bit more direct exposure, perhaps a false start / failed first attempt or two before finally becoming directly involved. AND ... while the castle ghost had her role and she was successfully handled, I wish she had a more direct role.
I appreciate the trust given to me in allowing me to read and review this book, and I believe the time I invested in doing it was well spent.
RATING: 3 stars as a guy's adventure tale, 5 stars as a Highland Romance. I could average them, BUT ... since it was written and is marketed as a Highland Romance my official rating is 5 stars.
DISCLOSURE: This book was provided to me free of charge in return for an honest review, whether or private or public.