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On a Highland Shore (Highland #1)

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  2,527 Ratings  ·  183 Reviews
From acclaimed historical novelist Kathleen Givens comes a magnificently conceived, intricately detailed novel that brings to vivid life the tumult, adventure, and passion of thirteenth-century Scotland, when Norse invaders laid claim to the land and its people -- and an explosive clash of cultures, politics, and personal pride changed the world forever.

1263: On Scotland
Kindle Edition, 496 pages
Published May 22nd 2007 by Pocket Books (first published January 1st 2006)
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(showing 1-30)
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Very interesting book set in the north western Higlands of Scotland in the late 1200's. The book includes Viking raids and describes the way of life in that time period and setting. I really enjoyed the hero, he was part Viking. The book leaned toward historical fiction but was still a romance. I would recommend this book if you enjoy learning Scottish history in the medieval time period.
Oct 20, 2008 Annie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historical Fiction Readers, Romance Readers
Recommended to Annie by: Sheree McLeod, Alaine Bucknall
Shelves: read-in-2008
I'm trying to find another author's work to compare this novel to but I keep coming up short. Kathleen Givens is like a hardy mix of my favourite authors - a gritty Jude Deveraux, a loved up Philippa Gregory, a purley historical Barbara Erskine. This was truly one of my favourite purely historical depictions of Scotland.

The most powerful aspect of this novel was certainly the characterisation. Whilst some reviewers have found this lacking, I felt the protagonists to be diverse and perfectly matc
Oct 11, 2008 Alaine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this story, it's been years since I've read a novel that included the battles between the Scots and the Vikings. Of course, I have always enjoyed Highland novels but this was different to anything I've read before. The author built the suspense up to the point where I felt sick, reading as fast as I possibly could so I could find out what was going to happen next. Looking forward to reading more from this author.
Kathleen Givens breathes life into history & her characters, creating a moving & captivating story.
Set in 13th century Scotland Margaret MacDonald is preparing to marry Lachlan Ross, (cousin to King Alexander.) When Ross betrays Margaret, she refuses to marry him and travels to England with her sister Nell and her brother Rignor to ask the King to break her betrothal contract. On returning home, Margaret finds viking raiders have destroyed her home in Somerstrath, decimated her clan &am
April Dinucci
Aug 16, 2009 April Dinucci rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This was a very captivating page turner for me, I simply could not put it down. At first it was difficult to see where the author was leading with her brief 3 forked story line, then it all comes together quickly and you won't be able to walk away until the very end. taking place in the 13th century the book was heavily influenced by the Norse and how The Highlands were born. Can't say enough good thigs! A must read if you enjoy historical fiction and all books scottish;-)
UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish
Mar 02, 2015 UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Historical Romance Lovers
Recommended to UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish by: Picked it up on a whim

Minor plot spoilers - but nothing that will ruin the story for anyone.

The Biblio-gods must be smiling down on me because the last few books I’ve read have been “cannot put it down” fabulous. On A Highland Shore is no exception.

About the story...

When you’re the laird’s daughter, what you want is not as important as what is best for your people. Margaret MacDonald learns this heartbreaking lesson the hard way, when she finds her future husband in the bed of her very best friend, Fiona, and is expe
Mishelle LaBrash
Jan 27, 2010 Mishelle LaBrash rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This book is not for the faint at heart.

I really, really liked this book. I wouldn't say that I loved it, but it was certainly better than most Scot themed books I have read. (Outside the incomparable Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series... Of course)

Authentic dialogue, and a lot of drama, with heartache, intertwined a fantastic story of survival and love. War is profound in the pages, and the after effects of such.

100 or so pages into this book, I loo
Ellen W-S
This novel has been on my physical book shelf for a while. This is an extraordinarily well written book of 13th century Scotland with Vikings and the beginnings of Scotland as we know it. This book unfolds slowly but the pace is perfect in my opinion. It is more historical fiction than romance but the love interest between Margaret and Gannon is strong. Well written, Gabaldon-esque type read. Will read more by this author and hope it doesn't take me 3-4 years to get to it! Well done, lovely read ...more
Jul 03, 2010 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book. With the excerption of one page near the end, it was everything I love in a story. I would have rated it 5***** other than that. But it is an exciting story set in Romantic Scotland in the 12th century when Vikings still prowled th shores of Scotland and Ireland. Engaged to marry, Margaret finds that her finace is not everything she wanted him to be. She tries to get the betorthal annuled, but her father is adamant that she marry because it will cement relations wit ...more
Aug 14, 2010 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Michelle Kelly, Margaret Ethridge
It started out as a great adventure, it was exciting, extremely well written and not too too romance novelly. Later on in the book, I feel like the author lost some of her steam and started to make it a bit more mechanical and obvious so she could just end it (some of the dialog towards the end was really forced). So, the first 350 pages or so were amazing, well written and just beautiful. I really liked the interaction between Gannon and Margaret, and it was still quite exciting as I got to the ...more
Feb 14, 2011 ~Megan~ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dangerous-dudes
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I'm giving this book 5 stars, because it's been a long time since I've read a historical romance that was everything I wanted. There was action, adventure, castles, battles, an evil villain, and a thoroughly emotional love story. Not to mention the triumph against the bad guy, which was an exciting scene in itself. Margaret was a great character, I felt for her from the beginning, felt her seething rage at her betrayal, her helplessness in the dictates of family and king, the loss of her family. ...more
Bronwyn Rykiert
This book is set in 1263

Gannon MacMagnus has come from Ireland to Somerstrath, Ross, on the western shore of Scotland at the request of his cousin Rory O’Neill to help protect this Scottish coastline from invaders. When he arrives it is to find devastation and all who were there murdered by an attack from the sea. He also sees Margaret MacDonald for the first time. Margaret has been betrothed since birth to Lachlan Ross, but she does not wish to marry him and has just come home from Court after
Jan 26, 2011 Michelle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really would give this book 1.5 stars if I could. I originally read it because it seemed to be in the same vein as Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, and I needed a "fix." But the two authors aren't even comparable. Cliche, trite, and poorly written all came to mind while reading this book. The bad guys were just bad, no reedeeming qualities, the good guys were all perfect, no flaws, and the author really missed a lot of opportunities to take a decent story and turn it into something wonderful ...more
Feb 17, 2011 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gannon MacMagnus is a beautiful, strapping man, half Irish and half Norseman....a proud man, a decent man, an honourable man. He has left his home in Ireland to accompany his uncle to Scotland to help those who have been raided by a band of vicious Vikings. It is here that he encounters Margaret MacDonald...his destiny. Margaret MacDonald is the eldest daughter of a prominent laird in Scotland. She is betrothed to a powerful man, Lachlan, a cousin to the King. But when Lachlan betrays Margaret w ...more

Few authors can take the romance of the Highlands, the brutality of the Norsemen and the graphic reality of living amid the hardships that were the 1300 century with such finesse as Ms. Givens has done in this enthralling story. She creates a heart stopping love story while educating the reader about the savage realities of life so deftly that one is not even aware they are learning, they are so riveted to the tale. Being enlightened while being entertained is a lofty achievement for an a
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 28, 2011 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book. The premise is wonderful with the perfect blend of history and fiction. Lots of twists and turns through the plot that kept me wanting to know what was going to happen next. Great characterization, I loved Margaret and Gannon so much! I identified with Margaret as a a strong woman, mindful of right and wrong, but still not compromising and fighting for what she truly wanted. Gannon is strong and protective, the perfect mix of gentleman and warrior. I couldn't help c ...more
Terry (Ter05 TwiMoms/ MundieMoms)
Jul 18, 2011 Terry (Ter05 TwiMoms/ MundieMoms) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: If you love Scotland, history, romance
Scotland in the thirteenth century! This is a really wonderful historical novel with romance, action (it was a very brutal time), and it gives you a real feel of the era, the sights and of people's lives then.

The very first chapter of the book introduces the reader to the enemy but does not give his name and it isn't revealed until much later. There is no doubt of how evil he is.

There is a touch of the supernatural but only a hint which begins with a prophecy from an old woman to Margaret MacDo
Sha Mslvoe ♥♥♥
I really love the cover art. The castle has a remarkable location on a hill top close to the rich blue-green sea. Splendid!

I truly could not put it down. When my colleague poke me, I wave my hand and put a sign be silent (my boss was in the meeting for the whole day)

I really loved the story. A great read and a keeper. She delivers a story that will keep you reading. I heard that she passed away in year 2010. It's a loss for all historical romance readers. She was a great storyteller.

I've just or
Lori McD
This book feels more like a sweeping saga than a single novel. So much happens within one story and within a just a few weeks.

The year is 1263, on Scotland's western shore in a village called Somerstrath. The laird's eldest daughter, Margaret MacDonald, is watching her many brothers with her sister Nell and best friend Fiona. Margaret is day-dreaming of leaving Somerstrath -- she's betrothed to Lachland Ross, a cousin of the current Kind of England. As she thinks of her new life, Margaret rememb
Jan 20, 2012 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On a Highland Shore begins with a young Margaret MacDonald's palm being read - "You'll be torn from your home, and you'll face dragons. If you choose the right partner, you'll slay them together. And together find the love of legends." Margaret asks what will happen if she doesn't choose the right partner - "You'll perish". All righty then, seeing how Margaret has been betrothed to Lachlan Ross since early childhood, what kind of choice is that? Those betrothals are signed contracts that take an ...more
Regan Walker
Simply Superb! One of My Favorites From a Favorite Author!

Kathleen Givens was an award-winning author of Scottish historicals, each rich in historical detail and each a story I consider to be a "keeper."

Set in 13th century Scotland, this tells the story of Margaret MacDonald and Gannon MacMagnus, who find love out of misfortune and the changes that take their lives from the paths they were to take. In both this book and its sequel, RIVALS FOR THE CROWN, Kathleen Givens does a superb job of weavi
Veronica Bale
Nov 14, 2012 Veronica Bale rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a beautifully crafted love story. The historical detail, which centres around the latter part of the Norse invasion of Scotland at the end of the thirteenth century, was very well researched, but presented in a way that anyone, regardless of their level of familiarity with the timeperiod, could be comfortable with it. I fell in love with each and every one of the characters, and cared about them right up until the end - I laughed and cried and loved right along with them. And the progre ...more
Jul 10, 2016 Quinn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm rounding my 4.5 stars to 5.
The time: 1263
The place: Scotland
This is a historical fiction with a few people that actually existed thrown in for good measure. A nicely written story about Margaret MacDonald a young woman who has been betrothed since birth. After finding her betrothed with her best friend in a compromising position she refuses to marry him. Her father gives her the choice of marrying him or spending the rest of her life in a convent. She is sent to court for a fortnight to mak
loved it! What i can say about Kathleen Givens is she writes a well rounded story. This is the third book of hers i've read and was not dissapointed. There was so much more to this then just Margaret and Gannon. I like that Margaret had a good head on her shoulders. She stood up for herself, but also accepted the reality of the world she lives in. Gannon is an all around good guy. Misunderstood but takes it in stride. I liked him immediately. They were great together. I really liked Margarets li ...more
Well, for the amount I had to pay for this book, I thought it'd be better. *face slap!*

Beyond awesome hero. Liked him, would have liked him more if we could have gotten more into his head, more into the physical details. Our heroine was pretty awesome, too, but again, for all the time we spent in her head ... when she saw her honey from afar, it was a verbal reaction, not a physical one. The relationship between them was all "tell" and no "show". That cooled down the passion. Too bad.
Nov 30, 2015 Attila rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Avis sur BdP:

Je vais un petit peu casser l'ambiance désolée.

Ce sont les avis majoritairement favorables sur ce topic qui m'ont donné envie de me lancer à mon tour dans cette lecture. J'ai trouvé que cette histoire était bien construite, avec des personnages et des lieux assez bien développés. L'action est au rendez vous et la réalité brutale de l'époque avec les bassesses des hommes bien menée.

Par contre et à mon grand regret mon souci ici concerne
Krista Baetiong Tungol
After getting frustrated and suffering from bouts of migraine from the historical romance novels I’ve read these past weeks, this book came to me like a gulp of fresh air. I liked how the story line progressed, and while the premise is still cliché (about two people finding love in the midst of an ugly and very tragic circumstance), the author had evened it out by creating protagonists with common sense and believable behavior.

I was going to write a full review about this book, but then I read
This read like a high school soap opera masquerading as a historical novel. I tried to be patient but it was so cheesy. A seer tells the heroine a Golden man will come for her and together they will slay dragons. The heroine weeps and sulks for days on end because her betrothed cheated on her with her best friend. Like this would be so shocking to her, as a nobleman's daughter contracted into an arranged, political marriage with a typical courtier. At least, if you are going to act anachronistic ...more
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Romance or Historical Fiction? 3 27 Aug 23, 2013 08:19AM  
  • The Pride of Lions (Highlands, #1)
  • Blue Bells of Scotland (Blue Bells Trilogy, #1)
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  • Highland Destiny (Magic of the Highlands, #1)
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  • A Highlander Never Surrenders (MacGregors, #2)
  • Master of the Highlands (Highlands, #1)
  • My Fair Mistress (Mistress Trilogy, #1)
  • One Man's Love (The Highland Lords, #1)
  • Under the Same Sky (The MacDonnells, #1)
  • Keeper of the Dream
  • The Highlander's Sword (Highlander #1)
Kathleen Givens was born in New York City, but spent her early years living in the Northeast and Georgia before landing in Southern California at the age of ten. As a result, she is fluent in Valley Girl, Steel Magnolia, and Manhattanite.

From an early age, Kathleen was entranced by the history, legends and sagas of the people who mixed together to form Scotland, Ireland, England and later the Uni
More about Kathleen Givens...

Other Books in the Series

Highland (2 books)
  • Rivals for the Crown (Highland, #2)

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