I’ve long enjoyed Barbara Longley’s time-travel books, so I was especially looking forward to this one, which is set in Ireland, not Scotland, and is the first book in her new McCarthy Sisters series.
Regan can see ghosts, and it is inconvenient. So, she has decided to go to Ireland to see if there is some sort of ancient magic which can help to rid her of this gift. When she meets what she thinks is a ghost needing to cross over, her desires will change. Faelan has been a prisoner of a fae princess for over a thousand years and cursed to remain there until he finds a woman to love. Every year on solstice, he is able to materialize for one day, but when a woman can see him before he materializes, he feels that she is the one.
This is so different from most time-travel romances. First of all, the Ireland setting is not just window dressing; it is well-researched and is almost a character in itself. I also enjoyed the paranormal aspects to the story and how they were dealt with. This isn’t just some slippage through time that is never truly explained. Much of the plot is devoted to the couple actually getting to know one another and fall in love; imagine that! I was totally invested in the relationship and believed it, so when the climax came, nothing felt forced, too fast, or like it didn’t deserve the payoff. Much of the story takes place in current day Ireland and feels a bit like the movie “Ghost” which was fun and unexpected.
The Bottom Line-
Longley is my “go-to” author for time-travel and historical paranormal romance. This book went fast and kept me intrigued the whole time. 4 1/2 stars
Sometimes you happen into a series that suits your interests perfectly, and you simply HAVE to read any book in the series which is published. Such is the case with this recent addition to Barbara Longley’s Loch Moigh series, “The Highlander’s Vow”. About a year ago, I was reading the Outlander books because 1. I love romance 2. I love Scotland 3. I love time travel stories. Unfortunately, after a couple of books in the series, I lost interest. Enter Amazon Prime who noticed my proclivity for Scottish time-travel romances and suggested “True to the Highlander” by Barbara Longley which, luckily, checked all my boxes. I read it in about a day and was grateful to notice that there were two more books in the series, so I could keep going. (And they were all on Kindle Unlimited, yay!) This most recent entry into the series, which is actually a second generation continuation, popped up on my suggestions, and it immediately became compulsory reading.
The Story- All of these stories feature the hero or heroine time-traveling from either Medieval/Renaissance Scotland to a current Renaissance Festival or vice versa. There is always a fish out of water component, which I love, as well as a little bit of magic, which is necessary for the whole time-travel thing. In this one, Skye is engaged to someone she just realized is a jerk who is plotting her death. She rushes to find her father to explain the danger, and happens to fall through time right into a jousting demonstration at a Renaissance Festival. She falls in with a great family who happens to be experienced at the whole time-travel thing since Struan fell into their lives from the 14th century ten years ago.
My Thoughts– Longley does the fish out of water bit better than most and spends some time imagining how people from the past would view some of our technology and customs. The story flows well, and, if you have read the previous books, it is fun to revisit many of the past characters. I liked the heroine as she seemed more inclined to take control of her life than most women of that time period would have been. The hero was a bit too stoic for me, but there was adequate justification for his brooding nature.
The Bottom Line– It should go without saying that if you like Scottish time-travel romance, this is a sure bet. It is breezier and more fun than Outlander, but not without depth. I will continue to read any Scotland-based books that Ms. Longley publishes with great anticipation. Best enjoyed in a long bubble bath with a glass of wine! 4 stars.