Lori McD's Reviews > Loving the Highlander

Loving the Highlander by Janet Chapman
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3.5 stars (I think?)

I liked this 2nd book much better than the 1st book. While it still calls for suspension of disbelief, what romance doesn't? It's much more believable and much less convoluted than the 1st book was.

Sadie (Mercedes) Quill is late twenty-something, 6'1", and full of guilt -- she bears the scars from the fire that she believes she's responsible for... a fire that killed her younger sister and weakened her father's heart. Her father died just 3 years ago. But Sadie is determined to fulfill his lifelong dream: To locate the campsite and the gold of Jedediah Plum, an old prospector from the early 20th century. Sadie also wants to create a national park in the area as a tribute to her father and sister. But she needs to find the gold, first -- according to her boss, Eric, that gold will finance the park.

Except that Sadie's dreams collide with Morgan MacKeage, Grey's brother. Morgan has had the most difficult time adapting to being hurled 800 years into the future. Daar (Pendaar) was trying to bring Grey forward in time to meet his mate; their 7th daughter (Winter) will grow up to become Daar's replacement. But only if Daar could get Grey to where Grace was - in time and place. Unfortunately, Daar's magic got a bit out-of-hand, and he hurled not only Grey 800 years into the future, but also his brother Morgan and cousins Ian and Callum, as well as 6 of his enemies, the MacBains. Now, only the 4 MacKeages and 1 MacBain remain. But Morgan's had the most difficult time giving up his warrior ways and becoming "modern". Morgan's not keen on modern women or modern ways; he's become a recluse in the forest.

Daar comes across Morgan and shows him, through his new "magic" staff, that there's a woman coming with golden blonde hair... but also a dark evil. The evil that has been in the valley since Jedediah was murdered so many years ago. Daar gives Morgan one of the burls from his staff for Morgan to keep around his neck -- "magic" to protect him and the coming woman.

Morgan meets Sadie, the golden haired girl, by accident one day when she's out surveying and taking photos, and she comes across a beautiful, naked man and takes his picture. Without warning, Morgan catches Sadie and teaches her a bit of a lesson. But a few days later, Morgan and Sadie come face-to-face again, when she's his blind date; Morgan promised Callum he'd go on a double-date with Callum and his new lady, who just happens to be Sadie's mom. Sparks almost instantly fly - both chemistry and anger - when Sadie & Morgan meet again. He's determined to make her his, so he pursues her on her next trip into the woods to find the gold. In the process, Sadie & Morgan are married - handfast, and while Sadie enjoys the love-making, she's not sure she wants this chauvinistic man for anything more than a fling. Besides, she's ashamed of her scars from the fire and won't allow Morgan to see or touch them. How can she possibly have a relationship with any man, much less this gorgeous, perfect, 6'6" man?

Can Morgan and the magic burl protect Sadie from the coming danger? Will she find the gold and build the park in her father's name? What or who is the wolf that seems to follow and guard Sadie? Is there such a thing as magic, and if so, what has the old priest (Daar) to do with it? Can Morgan commit himself to Sadie without telling her the whole story of who he is and how he came to be where he is now?
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A much more endearing book than the 1st in the series. (Did I already say that?) While everything happens quickly - perhaps too quickly, Sadie's thoughts and emotions are understandable and even logical. Morgan, I suppose coming from another time, is able to decide in an instant that Sadie is his intended? Is it the burl? Is it because Daar described her to him? Or did he just know? Hmmmm...

Morgan is delightfully all 12th century Scottish warrior and deliciously sexy. He takes what he wants, but in his own way, he tries to be loving and giving. Sadie gives almost as good as she takes, which intrigues him. He's not concerned with her scars - he sees only her beauty, which he considers to be both outward and inward. We see both of them bend enough to find a mutual place in which to build a relationship.

Yes, it bothers me that they're so quickly "in love" and betrothed (or married, according to Morgan). Yes, the villain isn't hard to spot, especially after the 1st book. This book isn't really a mystery, after all -- it's a fantasy romance... sexy ancient Scottish warrior meets modern girl. The love scenes aren't too long, and because Sadie is so innocent, they're kind of funny and endearing at the same time.

Enough to make me go to book #3... just to see what happens next!
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