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Highland Legends #1

Forged in Dreams and Magick

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The award-winning debut in the Highland Legend Series:

Isobel MacInnes wakes up in present-day California, lunches in medieval Scotland, and by ten days’ end, falls in love with a man and his country, only to lose them in a heart-wrenching twist of fate . . .

Found in the arms of her second soul mate . . .

Forced to balance the delicate strands of time between two millennia . . .

Shocked by revelations rewriting the very foundations of history . . . of everything.

Isobel, a rising-star archaeology student, is dropped into two ancient worlds without warning . . . or her permission. Her fiery spirit resists the dependency thrust upon her. Amid frustration at her lack of control, she helplessly falls in love. Twice.

She struggles to adjust to the unimaginable demands of two leaders of men—a laird in the thirteenth-century Highlands and a Pict chieftain in a more ancient Scotland. Isobel transforms from an academic, hell-bent on obtaining archaeological recognition, to a woman striving to care for those she loves, and ultimately . . . into a fearless warrior risking everything to protect them.

Scorching (explicit) sex scenes.
Fire extinguisher highly recommended.

338 pages, Paperback

First published September 22, 2013

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Kat Bastion

49 books434 followers
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Nestle down for a joyride of unparalleled mistletoe mischief as multiple award-winning author Kat Bastion unveils five brand-new multicultural romantic comedies in… Half-baked Holidays.


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5 stars
154 (38%)
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105 (26%)
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89 (22%)
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29 (7%)
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18 (4%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 97 reviews
Profile Image for Gina.
753 reviews108 followers
October 2, 2013
This book started out great for me, the writing was excellent, it grabbed me and i fell right into the story. Isobel is an archeologist studying ancient Scotland. And while visiting family she stumbles on a old and unique box. The box fascinates her and she decides to sneak it out of Scotland back to California to have her professor look at it (I am pretty sure this is illegal, but on with the review).

While in his office waiting for him, her friend Iain walks in, since he is Scottish she hopes he will have some insight into the box. Well a little time passes, there is some mild flirting going on. They end up kissing and both placing their hands on the box at the same time and......WHAM they find themselves in Scotland....in the 13th century.

Well without giving too much away Iain admits he knows something of the magical box and that it transports people. Actually, it had transported him to the present. He lives in the 13th century and “half of him was still living in the past while the other half of him was living in modern day California (still not quite sure how that worked) He also reveals the other purpose of the box, to bring soul mates together.

Well, after a whirl wind romance that absolutely took my breath away, they marry and again I found myself sighing and swooning all over the place! I was so in love with the direction this story was going. Then it happened....and the wonderful romantic spell the book had cast upon me broke and shattered. I was so damn disappointed.

Since the blurb basically lets the cat out of the bag I will tell you what my issue was. Isa and Iain had such a whirlwind romance and a wedding that left me teary eyed. Then one week later she is transported again further back into the past (alone this time) and falls in love and finds her second soul mate with days.

OMG I wanted to smack her in the head! Just days ago she met her “soul mate” and here she is only a few days later having awesome monkey sex with someone else and he is her soul mate as well.....OH whatever, I am done with this woman and this book!! Knock knock!! Isa do you remember your husband? Do you realize as you are having great sex and falling in love AGAIN with soulmate #2 your husband is back at the castle losing sleep and fearing for your life?

For me the book went downhill from there, i will not give anymore away. And I may be the one person whom this story does not work. I refused to not finish, although the urge was there. But the enthusiasm and joy I had reading the first half fell like a squishy lump on the ground in the second half.

I want to end by saying there was quite a bit I enjoyed about this book. I fell in love with Iain. The man was handsome, strong, caring and he cared for his people. I also liked the secondary characters, I would enjoy learning more about some of them. I also thought the sex scenes were hot (the author can definitely write some steam). I will look forward to other books written by this author.

3 stars with an attitude!
Profile Image for Talltree.
2,081 reviews25 followers
October 19, 2016
5 stars for the fascinating historical authenticity,
4 stars for the romance, although the ending didn't feel right...
Profile Image for Alexandra Richland.
Author 9 books175 followers
September 15, 2013
I’m going to start off by saying that I generally do not read paranormal romance novels. Nothing against them. They are just not my go-to genre when I’m looking for a new book to read.

I was offered the opportunity to read the ARC for Forged in Dreams and Magick in exchange for an honest review. After reading the summary, I was eager to give the novel a chance despite the genre, which, right off the bat, was a strong indication that I was going to be thoroughly impressed with Kat Bastion’s work.

I’ll address what I like to call the building blocks of the novel first: grammar, spelling, prose, etc. What a relief it is to read a story where the author can actually write! Seriously! In the world of self-publishing, it is amazing what authors get away with selling nowadays. Just because you do not have a publisher, and you can easily put your story up for sale, does not mean you should. If you care about your story, take the time and spend the money to polish it up before offering it to the public. My advice: use Kat Bastion as your model for how to release a self-published book that can stand up to the best novels out there and doesn’t scream, “I wrote this novel in a week and didn’t proofread it at all.”

In Forged in Dreams and Magick, there are no cliché phrases, no grammatical and spelling errors. Furthermore, the descriptions are phenomenal. Ms. Bastion utilizes the “show, don’t tell” mantra to the max. Most importantly, you can tell she had the story professionally edited. That is a huge deal to me. I am not one of those people who can read a poorly written story as long as the storyline is interesting. No editing, no thank you.

Now for the actual story: a true plot, an admirable lead female character, alpha males, time travel, sex! This novel has it all.

The main female character, Isobel, is a strong woman. Now, I’m not talking about one of those strong female characters who are independent and assertive only when they aren’t in the presence of the man they love/have crushes on. Isobel is fierce all the time, but not in an annoying way. She is someone to be proud of; someone you are rooting for the entire book.

As Isobel is transported from present day America to 13th century Scotland AND the Pict era, she is forced into situations where she must take action, and she delivers every time. While the connections between Isobel and Iain, and Isobel and Velloc, are explosively steamy and romantic, Isobel doesn’t let her heart rule over her better judgment. She maintains the perfect balance between a woman in love and a woman forced to survive outside of her comfort zone perfectly.

You’ve probably noticed that I’ve mentioned two men who are the object of Isobel’s affections and vice versa: Iain and Velloc. Before you freak out and say, Oh no, I’m not reading a love triangle/cheating novel, hear me out: Isobel time travels in this novel. Consequently, she discovers she has two soulmates from two different eras. Ms. Bastion explains this so well that you will not protest Isobel’s love for two men. In fact, you will see the relationships as separate, almost as if there are two Isobels dating two different men. Furthermore, Isobel is candid with both Iain and Velloc. They know about each other, and Isobel is open about her feelings. There are no secrets, no lies. Confused still? Well, all I can say is please read the book and you’ll see what I mean. You won’t regret it.

Did I mention that Iain and Velloc are the epitome of alpha males? Yes, indeed! They are both strong warriors who know how to satisfy their woman! The best part is that Isobel isn’t a doormat, so she can give it right back. How refreshing!

Time travel: Like I said before, Isobel is transported from present day America to 13th Century Scotland to the Pict Era, and she bounces between the last two eras throughout the book. As someone who normally doesn’t read about these sorts of things, I found Ms. Bastion’s explanation of the time travel very easy to follow.

Also, I just want to throw in that I know hardly anything about the history of Scotland, but I came away from this book with a plethora of knowledge as well as a respect for the country and its people. I was educated, though, not as if I was reading a Wikipedia entry. The history was incorporated into the story well, and tidbits were dropped in ways that made sense, and made me interested to learn more. I didn’t feel like I was being lectured or that I was reading a textbook. You can tell Ms. Bastion knows her stuff. I don’t need to fact check her information to say this confidently.

Sex: you’ve got plenty of it in this novel, and it is super hot. However, it is written tastefully and isn’t inserted into random places just for the heck of it. It serves a purpose, used to further solidify the love between Isobel and Velloc, and Isobel and Iain.

Finally, I am pleased to announce that Forged in Dreams and Magick is part of a series, so this isn’t the last I will read of these characters. A holiday novella is also going to be released.

I give Forged in Dreams and Magick 5 stars, and look forward to reading Ms. Bastion’s future work.
Profile Image for Leslie.
Author 10 books186 followers
October 24, 2013
4 1/2 Stars!!

Holy Highlands!! *cheshire grin*

I'll admit the blurb intrigued me on this one...mostly because it's premise reminded me of Gabaldon's Outlander series. I mean, what woman doesn't love Hunky Scottish lairds and warriors who radiate leadership, pheromones and lust? Yeah, that's right...they're rampant in this book and what's even better, enjoyed by one seriously kick-bottom heroine. Oh...and it's true what they say about the Scottish Highlands - they're filled with beautiful magic...and maybe a few other, ahem...helpful creatures. Mix all that with some excellent storytelling, delicious dialogue and (hang on, I need a drink of water), AWESOME sex scenes and you've got yourself one hellofva book!

I will admit, however, that parts of this story was a tad hokey in places and unrealistic in others, but hey, so is time travel, right?? Once I got over that fact, I decided to sink into my rollercoaster chair, observing it easing me to the top with precision, great flow, enjoyable content, and at the top, losing my stomach at the intense plunge into uncertainty with each sharp turn....smiling the whole way.

Ahhhh, now THAT was fun!!
Profile Image for Krissys.
1,424 reviews86 followers
August 3, 2017
Forged in Dreams and Magick (Highland Legends #1) by Kat Bastion Author: Kat Bastion Title: Forged in Dreams and Magick Series: Highland Legends Cover Rating: Book Rating: Buy This Book:

Isobel MacInnes wakes up in present-day California, lunches in medieval Scotland, and by ten days’ end, falls in love with a man and his country, only to lose them in a heart-wrenching twist of fate . . . Found in the arms of her second soul mate . . . Forced to balance the delicate strands of time between two millennia . . . Shocked by revelations rewriting the very foundations of history . . . of everything.Isobel, a rising-star archaeology student, is dropped into two ancient worlds without warning . . . or her permission. Her fiery spirit resists the dependency thrust upon her. Amid frustration at her lack of control, she helplessly falls in love. Twice.She struggles to adjust to the unimaginable demands of two leaders of men—a laird in the thirteenth-century Highlands and a Pict chieftain in a more ancient Scotland. Isobel transforms from an academic, hell-bent on obtaining archaeological recognition, to a woman striving to care for those she loves, and ultimately . . . into a fearless warrior risking everything to protect them.

I really wasn't sure if I was going to like this story at first but it turns out that I liked it more than I thought I would. Forged in Dreams and Magick is a story you have to pay close attention to to pick up the subtle clues Kat Bastion leaves as Isobel begins her journey. After discovering a box that sucks her back in time with heart throb Iain the tale of love and confusion begin. Isobel struggles to find her place in the new world she was brought to and to understand the man Iain is until she finds herself falling in love with him. Before she has a chance to settle into her new surroundings and new found love for Iain, Isobel is again sucked into another time and finds herself falling for another man just as mysterious as Iain and a land far older than the first. Isobel struggles to understand her feelings for the men she loves and the time in which she has found herself in. Its easy to relate to her inner struggles and her situation because Kat does a fantastic job of making the reader love them as well. A really great heartwarming read, I'd recommend to anyone - oh, and did I mention there were highlanders? Yummy.
Until next time book lovers...

Krissys Bookshelf Reviews received a digital copy in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.
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Profile Image for KathyAnne.
570 reviews84 followers
September 16, 2013
**note to self** If you find a magical box buried in the dirt... run! Seriously, if I got flung to the past I would have a panic attack. I don't want to live without my dishwasher, washing machine and all of my amazing modern creature comforts! And, sadly I find myself wondering in these books how women ever coped without them. Yes, I'm spoiled... but, maybe I could make an exception if I had a hunky highlander to pawn all over me... and in this case Isobel had two hunky highlanders. That's grossly unfair...
If you are a fan of time travel romances... highlander romances and don't mind a splash of paranormal thrown in for good measure... then this book is sure to please!
Isobel accidentally happened upon a beautifully carved box after she tumbled down a hill while on a trip to Scotland. Little did Isobel know at the time, but this magical box would eventually lead her to her soul mate **ahem** I mean mates... and to fulfilling her true purpose.
Modern Iain, who has known Isobel for two years had no idea that a single kiss in the presence of this magical box would be the beginning of him also fulfilling his destiny.
Isobel was transported back in time with Iain through the power of the box, to old Scotland. What follows after is a passion filled romance and a realization that they are meant for each other as soul mates. Just when Isobel was finally getting comfortable in her new life... fate steps in again and she finds herself transported even further back in time to the age of the picts. Here she meets her second soul mate... Velloc. Wait! Can you have two soul mates??? Guess so!
Here is where I am always the odd one out. I actually preferred Velloc over Iain. I loved the atmosphere of his world and the relationship that they shared together. Needless to say... without sharing any spoilers... I was not pleased with certain events that took place. (sniff sniff)
Isobel finds herself bouncing back and forth from one world to the other trying to manage this love triangle of soul mates. Each time Isobel travels through time she becomes more aware of the magical forces that are controlling her destiny. And, she realizes by coming face to face with these forces, that there is much more to come for her in the future and things are not as they seemed.
My only wish really was that I would have loved to have been able to get to know modern Iain. I think I would've been a little more invested in that love affair if I had spent more time getting to know them as a modern couple and as friends. Hhmmmmm.... that would make a great novella.. yep it would.
So, I would definitely add this to your list if you are a fan of highlander books. This is bound to be a really good series to get involved in... looking forward to more!

Thanks so much to the author for the advanced copy of this title!

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Profile Image for Tanja ~ KT Book Reviews .
1,392 reviews183 followers
September 16, 2013
A love(s) that transcends time. *Sigh* There is just something about the romance of the highlands that sucks me into a story. The mystery, atmosphere and sexy warriors of old. Alpha males and damsels in distress, a winning combo. Forged in Dreams and Magick is so much more than a highland fairytale.

Isobel stumbles on a box that has been handed down, cherished and even stolen by chieftains for centuries. It brings his soul mate to him through time and space. Isobel is that one true soul mate for Iain. After knowing him for years she is shocked when they are pulled into Iain’s time centuries in the past. Isobel has to learn their ways and adjust her thinking to acclimate to this new world of old.

Just when things are going well Isobel is yet again hurled through time and lands in another century with yet another soul mate. This one is pretty much instantaneous. Velloc the leader of a tribe even further back in time does something to her that is all encompassing and consuming. It’s Magick.

Traveling back and forth between these two men trying to understand the feelings she has for both is trying and infuriating to all involved.During the back and forth Isobel discovers that there is more to the box than lovers at both ends. Why was she chosen for this? What is the purpose? What is her role in the universe and who or what controls it. Also what she does in the past, will it change the future?

There is so much more to this book than the love triangle between worlds. There is outside forces at work. There are mysteries of the universe and secrets held by both chieftains. There will be tragedy, loss, political turmoil and unknown magical factions at play. I was completely pulled in and found myself absorbed in the world created by Bastion.

I have heard it compared to the Outlander Series by Gabaldon. To an extent, sure I see the similarity. However, Bastions world is more romance and magic and less history lesson. A more condensed story. Well written and easy to read.

I can honestly say I am hooked and cannot wait to read the next book in the series Bound by Wish and Mistletoe (Highland Legends, #1.5) coming November 2013.

((LOVE)) Review to come closer to release :)
Profile Image for Jessica.
269 reviews85 followers
June 14, 2015
Isobel MacInnes travels to Scotland to visit her ill grandfather, but realizes he’s on his deathbed. Shortly afterwards, she decides to explore the area and begins to experience car trouble. Frustrated she gets out of the vehicle, begins to walk and is lost in her thoughts. She trips and finds herself in a creek where she stumbles upon a strange looking box and as an archeology student she’s intrigued. Taking the box back to the US, she hopes her mentor can help her find its origin and what it means. What she doesn’t count on is a visit from her friend who happens to be movie star hunk Iain Brodie. Iain can have any woman he wants and the moment he steps into her office he’s instantly attracted to her. Isobel fights the attraction and suddenly both are compelled to touch the box. A few moments later she finds herself in Medieval Scotland where Iain is the head of Clan Brodie. Isobel believes she’s dreaming until Iain explains he’s her soul mate. Making the best of the situation, Isobel finds her groove among the people of Clan Brodie until she disappears. Will Isobel find her way back to Iain or will she find herself stuck in another period with no means to return home?

Kat Bastion’s Forged in Dreams and Magick is a delightful and engaging read. She has a keen eye for history and writing detailed imagery. Narrative is first person via Isobel and it makes sense since this is her story. She’s the one who finds the box that transports her. It’s rare for an author to capture the Scottish accent in print and most of the time I can’t hear it, but Bastion does a great job with it! I kept grinning every time Iain opened his mouth. I’m pretty sure picturing Gerard Butler as Iain had nothing to do with the ability to actually hear the accent as I read. ;)

We have good character development. Isobel is no weakling and doesn’t wait for things to happen. She definitely takes things into her own hands and even though it can lead her into trouble, she still can hold her own. Iain is a very sexy Highlander and no doubt you’ll be swooning over him. He’s protective and kind. He’s quick to realize that Isobel needs to make her own decisions. We have a wide cast of secondary characters including Brigid who helps Isobel ease into the life of medieval Scotland. Then we have Velloc, the man Isobel meets when she time travels a second time to ancient Scotland when the Picts were around. He’s a bit of a beta hero and most might disagree with me, but when you put him next to Iain, Iain trumps him. That being said, he too is caring and all he wants is a loving a wife after losing his own.

While I did enjoy Forged, the love triangle put me off a bit. I kept wondering how it would be resolved and the way it is, it’s a little too nicely wrapped up. In the end, one of them was going to come out the winner. And as much as I want to judge Isobel for quickly shacking up with Velloc, I remind myself that she was trying to survive. There’s one thing that annoyed me and that was at no point does Isobel question the possibility of pregnancy. I kept wondering when it would occur to her especially since she was with both Iain and Velloc, who would be the father? When it finally dawns on her, it’s a bit too late and I’m not going to go into details because it would be a spoiler

I debated with the rating between a three and four and in the end, decided on a four. There were a few factors that kept me leaning towards a three. The first has to do with how quickly Isobel and Velloc were able to communicate with each other. Isobel teaches him English and she’s able to learn the Pict language by observing them. Also both Iain and Velloc’s people quickly accepted Isobel. People back then were wary of strangers and I felt a bit of “stranger danger” awareness would have been used and it’s not. Additionally, Isobel has no problems helping rewrite history and this is evident when the Picts come face to face with the Romans. As a historian, I kept yelling, “no!” She’s an archeology student and I would have expected her to treat history a little better than she does. Then again Indiana Jones has no qualms about destroying ruins and archaeological records. In the end, I gave it a four because Isobel does question the timeline and if it’s been preordained. If so, then in theory her changes or her influence have already been written into history. Bastion made me think about this and it’s quite a fascinating subject to delve into it. Furthermore, Isobel does raise the all important fact that most historians will agree upon: history is written by the victors. Combined with the possibility of her meddling, then it makes no difference if she changes the course of history. It’s also very apparent that Bastion did extensive research and this is one of the reasons I ended up giving it a four.

My favorite quote:
“Our story’s written, but ye know in yer heart; history has our great Highlands wrong. Ye’ve told me so a thousand times. Find our secrets. Discover the whispers on the wind that the years faded long ago.”

Fans of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series or of time travel romances will enjoy Bastion’s Forged. While it doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, there are some questions that still need to be addressed and I can’t wait to read the rest in the series.

If you’re looking for a time travel romance or are in a reading rut, I highly recommend Kat Bastion’s Forged in Dreams and Magick.

This review & more are posted to Literary, etc.
Profile Image for Jillian Stein.
395 reviews37 followers
September 24, 2013
My review can also be found on my blog:

I have always loved stories rich with Highland legend, so when Kat asked if I would be interested in reading Forged in Dreams and Magick, I jumped at the chance. Well, this may very well be my favorite Highland adventure yet! It was phenomenal!

Isobel MacInnes has always had a deep-seated love for all things ancient. That love began as a child and after visiting the Highlands and her dying grandfather, she returns back to her position as Assistant to the head of the Archaeology Department at UCLA with a very interesting treasure. Isobel stumbled across a mysterious box that had unfamiliar markings and appeared to be made from materials she had never seen. Kind of strange considering she works with ancient artifacts. Her quest to learn more about this box has her reaching out to her friend, Iain Brodie. He’s a cinema heartthrob but also shares her love of Highland history, having come from Scotland, and competes in the modern day Highland Games. It’s where they met and where she realized she had seen the markings from the box before…..the broach that held Iain’s plaid during the games. When she asked for his help, Isobel knows she will have to deal with Iain’s flirtations, and was prepared to rebuff him (Sure, she’s attracted to him, but she doesn’t have time for a relationship) What she wasn’t prepared for was his somewhat closed off reaction when he sees the box…or what happens when they kiss while holding the box.

Isobel suddenly finds herself in the thirteenth-century Highlands…with Iain. Only thirteenth century Iain seems very much at home and apparently this is where Isobel will also be calling home now. Talk about a shock to the system! Once the shock wears off, Isobel realizes she has a mystery to solve and knows the box and some sort of magic are responsible. In her journey to find answers, she realizes she’s found love. Love in her Highland warrior and love in the history she is now currently living. Was this where she was truly meant to be?

Isobel will be thrown into another time, yet again, before she can contemplate that question. Thrown even further back in time, and away from the man, and time, she has fallen in love with, Isobel finds those very same things here in a more ancient time with a Pict chieftain. Is it possible to feel the same things toward two different men in two different times? What is her role in all of this magical mystery? Never have answers been so needed for Isobel.

This story was a magical journey from start to finish with so many amazing twists and turns throughout that I was on the edge of my seat while reading. The mystery surrounding this “magic box” and why Isobel was thrown around like a time travelling rag-doll was kept artfully hidden through the story and was revealed at just the right moment…when the fate of the people Isobel has grown to love was held in the balance. Isobel’s story is one filled with love, passion and self-discovery. She realizes nothing is as what it seems and has to push aside her “scientific brain” in order to wrap her head around what is happening. Iain Brodie is so yummy and pure alpha Highland male but also is willing to bend when Isobel needs it most in order to help her find her way in a world he has always had the knowledge of. Velloc is Isobels’ other love interest when she is thrown back into the Pict times and is such a worthy hero. A strong, caring, loyal and fierce warrior it was easy to see how Isobel could love both men. I wasn’t sure I would be ok with her loving two men at first, but I grew to love both men for their similar qualities as well as their differences. It was really, really tough to try to predict how the story was going to go and that was one of the treats about this book. There were so many unknowns and it was a fantastic mystery almost until the very end. One of my favorite things was the lush description of the lands and times. Kat painted such a beautiful picture that I could feel the furs, smell the foods and see the beautiful landscapes. It was a gift to be able to read such gorgeous narrative.

This is a series I am so lucky to have been introduced to and will be looking forward to reading more from and I highly recommend if you want to be whisked away from the norm and pulled into a world of Highland fantasy filled with magic and mystery. Thank you, Kat, for a fantastic read!
Profile Image for Leea.
467 reviews68 followers
September 20, 2013

Highlands at Sunset...

He whispered, “Isa, our history had been written long before it ever began.” I smiled, beaming up at him. He’d spoken the utter truth

Wow! What an adventure, that is the best way for me to describe Forged in Dreams and Magick. I started this book understanding that they're would be some time travel and heartache but I didn't know it was to this level. I was impressed with the historical accuracy and attention to detail, the imagination put into the time travel and the love one woman had between two amazing men.

Let's start with what surprised me the most. How researched this book was. One of my favorite books, The White Mare is based on a Pict tribe and how they defeat the Romans. It's beautifully written and painstakingly researched and I found myself comparing Forged in Dreams and Magick to The White Mare. With parts of Forged in Dreams and Magick set in Velloc's time and the other set in Ian's time (1300's Scotland). We get vivid detail on the surrounding landscape, people and cultural difference.

Control had always been a matter of perception. Accepting those things I had no power over was a first step toward feeling like I at least had my hands on the steering wheel, even if I had to stay on the paved road. Dorothy had to follow her yellow-bricked path, and in a way, I had my destiny laid out before me, even if nothing appeared golden about it. She had to skirt dangers, villains, and fantasy beyond her belief system to find her way home, and if that teenaged braided girl could do it in her land of OZ, so could I.

Time Travel: I will admit, this had my head spinning a bit. I mean, Isabel goes from present day to 1300 scotland then to a Pict chieftain. It was hard to wrap my brain around it at first. But once you started to understand the box and how time moved it was easier to see how Isa moved within this linear time. That didn't mean your heart didn't break with every goodbye. I think that's what made this time travel so hard and one my few complaints about this book. I felt that at time Isa was just flying thru space and time (figuratively and actually). Once I got used to her being with Ian she'd somehow end up back with Velloc. Basically there was a lot of time travel. It fit the story but at times, especially in the beginning it was too much.

My heart beat for two men, and I didn’t care about the ramifications of such insanity.

Valloc and Ian: When I grow up I want to Isobel... Please! These amazing, hard toned warriors were head over heels in love with her. She's honestly the luckies fictional woman... well one of them. From the beginning, I wanted Isa to be with Ian. There was just something magical about their relationship that pulled at my heart. His ability to say that he wanted to hide her away from harm but allow her to be the strong independent woman that she is was beautiful to read. On the flip side of that there was Valloc, a fierce Pict chieftain who's not that different than Ian and I time I wondered if they were related. Valloc is strong willed, spiritual, honest and fierce. In the end there is only one man for Isa, not because of choice but fate steps in and makes that decision for her.

“Promise me, Isobel. Promise me, no matter what happens, you’ll stay with me.” He raised his eyebrows slightly, searching my eyes with hope.

In conclusion, I was pleasantly surprised with how much I loved this book. I found myself drawn to it and unable to put it down. This is my first book by Ms. Bastion and I cannot wait to read the next book in the Highland Legends Series. I've been truly captivated and a must read for those who love the Highlands like me.

ARC courtesy of Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Profile Image for The_Book_Queen.
1,526 reviews242 followers
September 25, 2013

Wow. That is all I can say--wow. Kat Bastion managed to surprise me, more than a few times actually, throughout Forged in Dreams and Magick. I was never sure what the outcome would be, much like Isa. I was swept along on an epic and magical journey, and I loved it. Every twist, every turn, every "Oh no, why did you do that?".

I fell in love with Iain. It would be hard NOT to though! He's sexy, he's loyal, he's an alpha male through and through. Oh, and he's a Highlander. Really, need I go on?

The prose leaves you breathless, providing a beautiful picture for the reader, revealing every detail about the worlds Isa travels between. And the chemistry between Iain and Isa! Well done, Bastion, well done! :) I don't want to give away anything, so I won't go into detail about the plot. But know this: the story is not easy, and you will be caught off guard a few times. Trust me though, it all works out in the end, and while Forged in Dreams and Magick does not end on a cliffhanger, there will be a few more novels and novellas, so don't think that the last page is the end! From what Bastion has mentioned to me, there will still be ample parts in future books where big twists are thrown into the mix. I. Can't. Wait!

Beautiful writing, clear voice, a lovely--and very unique!--story....Forged in Dreams and Magick is full of brawny Highlanders and breathtaking description. Bastion's debut is pure perfection, a combination of romance, magic, emotion, adventure and surprising twists and turns. This is a truly unique romance that should not be missed! I will be (politely) badgering Ms. Bastion for the next installments in this series, and I recommend this book to anyone looking for a grand adventure, a passionate romance, and a skilled author who has only just begun to share her talent!

4.5 STARS!

~ * ~ * ~

For my full review, including favorite book quotes, please visit my blog, TBQ's Book Palace.

I received an e-ARC of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.

*NOTE* There are two wonderful giveaways Kat is running for FiDaM--one is for my blog only and ends Sep 30th! If you are interested in winning an ecopy of this book, click over to my full review for the giveaway details!


Profile Image for Tina.
28 reviews
August 23, 2013
If I have to summarize this book in one word, it would be "fantastic". I got it as an ARC from Kat Bastion, and I couldn't be more grateful. Being a paranormal, mystery and romance junkie, this book satisfied my every need. As I said before, Kat has unleashed her Highlanders and she did it in style, she let them wonder in a world where times and existences are intertwined, and magic and destiny are the essence.
It starts in our time with Isobel, an archaeologist, fascinated with Scotland history, returns from visiting her dying grandfather, has car troubles and stops in the middle of nowhere. Wondering around, she stumbles across a box, or as we find out later, the box finds her and so her life changes forever and the adventure begins. When she returns to UCLA, she decides to share this amazing find with her friend Iain, but what Isa doesn't know, is that destiny had brought them together in the first place. The box has magical powers, and once touched by the two of them, it transports them back in time to the 13th century Scotland to Iain castle.
"As near as I could tell that marked the exact moment the entire world literally tilted off its axis. One minute I stood in the professor's office being kissed senseless.
The next minute... "
I will let you discover the rest, all I'm saying is, please don't judge it based on the first few pages, because you're in for a huge surprise.
I want to bow before Kat, her extensive research and incredible writing left me amazed. I already miss Iain and Isa. Oh, did I mention that Iain is the perfect Highlander? Well he's the one that I'd love to travel with back in time - strong, beautiful, gentle, an amazing warrior and strong leader. :) Hope you enjoy it as much as I did! Happy reading!
My favorite quote:
"May all who seek refuge, find it. When you find comfort from another, cherish it. Should you be graced with true love, embrace it. For the protection of all, so we are...Clan Brodie"
Profile Image for Debra.
134 reviews
November 3, 2015
"Forged in Dreams and Magick" is an intriguing must read!

Author Kat Bastion first debut novel is simply amazing! This author has great talent, depth and class! Her writing style is so descriptive that it makes you feel like you're right there watching each scene evolve before your eyes! I was honoured to receive this book to review and once I started I couldn't put it down!

The way the story unfolds is intriguing ....it starts off in the modern day twenty first century with a young archeology student, Isobel MacInnes, who is in Scotland visiting her Seanair/ or grandfather who is gravely ill. He talks to her about finding out the secrets of Highlands history not told. Then on her way home to California she discovers by accident a mysterious artifact that ends up changing her life as she knows it forever...she discovers time-travel, Scottish Highlander history and sensual romance with two soul-mates in different time periods!

The story transports you back in time to the thirteenth century of the Highlander clan of the laird Iain Brodie, an extremely hot alpha male who wears a plaid/ or kilt...and oh how I love a strong sexy man in a kilt!

Then you are transported even further back in time over 1000 years to AD 84, the time period of the Scottish Picts, into a tribe called Caereni, who's leader is medieval alpha male called Velloc whom is naked or wearing furs ...oh my...drool!

The story is full of adventure, hot passion, historical references and rituals which had me completely spellbound! It's a very well written story and I can't wait to read the rest of this series!!!
15 reviews2 followers
August 21, 2013
I read this book in one sitting. It was just that good. The story was fresh and engaging. The romantic angle was unique as well. I haven't ever read a book in which the woman had two soul mates. I was completely sucked into this story. Just when I thought things were clipping along at a nice pace another twist was thrown in. I cannot wait for the rest of the story.. when it comes out.

It isn't often that I find a book that I can get so wrapped up in emotionally but man! this one does it. And the key part, was that with both men the connection was just as strong. The horrible tearing of Isobel's heart while going back and forth almost made me cry.

I loved the descriptions, especially that of Isobel and Velloc making the connection with animals and the world around them. Iain was likewise captivating, I liked how he made the best of his travels to the future to become a movie star in a relatively short amount of time. The initial discovery of the box seemed rather rushed in comparison, but given all that happened afterward, it is completely acceptable.

I think that Ms. Bastion will be gaining a spot on my auto read/buy list!

I received a netgalley copy in return for providing an honest review.
Profile Image for Artemiz.
882 reviews29 followers
August 10, 2013
Why did I requested this book from NetGalley - because the synopsis reminded me so much of one of my favorite series - Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. And you know what, it was worth it. Well, it does not go as deep and it's not as realistic as Outlander series are, but it is also about time travel, about love, about Scots ...

But there is the twist that I was not expecting and it makes the story even more interesting. Suddenly its Outlander meets Covet by J.R Ward.

So take those two series, mix them together, throw in some nice erotica and you get this book - a good book, an interesting story, good characters and a cliffhanger ... sort of, but I still would like to know - will there be another book?
Profile Image for Sheila.
39 reviews28 followers
September 29, 2013
An unusual novel which takes the genre along several different pathways, physically, scientifically, metaphysically and emotionally.

All the main protagonists: Isobel, Iain and Velloc had me rooting for them. However, I wanted to shake Isobel at times. As the novel is from her POV, this has both advantages and drawbacks.

She's given to very deep navel gazing and exposition, and I found myself wanting to know what her respective menfolk were doing during her time-flips ;) This aside, the love scenes are well written and not gratuitous. And that back-kick at the end ... Great stuff.

PS: I loved Cupcake/Sunshine/Skorpius as well :)

Sheila x
Profile Image for Literati Literature Lovers.
1,922 reviews142 followers
September 23, 2013
4.5/5 Stars Epic First Novel

Time travel has always been an interesting concept for a book, and with Forged in Dreams and Magick by Kat Bastion, you get time travel via an ancient magic box. Okay the practical girl who has a degree in history and a minor in anthropology, was aghast as the main heroine removed an archaeological find from the peat moss of Scotland. Did she not know how many laws she was breaking? Even if she had found the archaeological find of a lifetime it would be suspect, because she did not follow proper procedures. Okay, stepping off my soapbox. No wonder I am so short, it is so I can get on my soapbox without hitting my head in the clouds.

Okay back to the book. Isobel MacInnis finds a box. She has a desire to share that said box with highlander and movie actor Iain Brodie, because his family chest resembles markings on the box. Guess what? The box is magic and they are propelled back to thirteenth century Scotland.

Holy Crap, my mind goes straight to the disease that Isobel can die from. Aren’t I just a bowl of sunshine? Hopefully her Daddy was like mine and in the military, so she has been inoculated for all the non-common US disease. Here we come, Yellow Fever and Small Pox! No I am not a world traveler or a time traveler but my shot record has me prepared just in case, thanks to the USAF. Okay I digress, again, but please don’t die Isobel, viruses are nasty buggers. Mortality rate in the thirteenth century, YIKES! Start growing mold for penicillin and don’t forget Willow bark is aspirin. Yes these are the things I think of when I read a time travel novel; it is the Girl Scout in me, because I need to prepare my heroines.

Did I tell you that Isobel is a fabulous heroine? She really is, and Bastion had me hooked with this book from the first page! It usually takes at least a chapter to hook me, but when Isobel’s Seanair/Grandpap bid her farewell , the scene was so poignant. Isobel is feisty, smart and all around plucky. Yes plucky is a word, which I actually use. No I am not above making up a word. Okay where was I? Oh yes Isobel, the archaeologist, lands on her ass in thirteenth century Scotland. As a historian I would be thrilled for about a day. I would miss my smartphone, MacBook, reader, deodorant, and indoor PLUMBING. But Isobel has something that could distract even me, a very handsome Scotsman, has come along for the time traveling ride.

Iain lands on his ass back in the thirteenth century too, but all is not as obvious as it seems. See Iain has a wee bit of a secret.

Do you want to know?

Guess what? I’m not going to tell. Just let’s say Iain used to whip up at the California highland games because OLD Iain had an edge over his competition. Hmmm, Iain… Oh sorry my mind wandered there for a minute. Iain is every girl’s highland fantasy. Insert graphic. Oh you thought that was a typo. NO I MEANT I INSERTED GRAPHIC. TAKE A PEEK BELOW

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Okay eye candy over load, but honestly I just couldn’t help myself. Holy Hotness! Iain puts the Alpha in Alpha Male. He is stubborn, controlling and not a twenty first century guy when it comes to the ladies, but not a barbarian either. He just knows what he wants and come hell or high water he is going to get it. Guess what Iain wants. A certain twenty first century fiery gal.

Okay you are all thinking girl meets medieval boy, they fall in love THE END. WRONG. Hmm you think this is the Happily Ever After stage, Wrong, Bastian throws a curve ball as the thirteenth century is not the only stop on Isobel time travel trip. Nor is Iain her only soul mate.

Enter the Pict chieftain Velloc. Okay honestly I am a one woman girl, but Bastion writes both these dudes so you fall for them, and so does Isobel . I am more team Iain. I am really a one woman gal, sorry. The boys willing to share the girl even though they were centuries apart. I wasn’t thrilled with. (personal bias didn’t affect rating)

But not everything in this tale is as it seems. This book is so much more than a highland fling. The tapestry of the plot threads are explored, as it delves into the Brigadoon quality of the tale. Then others threads are tied in that explore the supernatural aspects of the book. Bastion, weaves a romance, paranormal, fantasy, mystery, adventure, and time travel tale into so much; that the ride was breathtaking, and hit on all cylinders of the genres. I devoured the middle 50% of the book in two hours, I was riveted to my chair, and flung back and forth in time with Isobel. Bastion has written a fun, adventuresome, paranormal fantasy read that I highly recommend.

Profile Image for Sabina Bundgaard.
Author 16 books25 followers
October 1, 2013
Isobel MacInnes is an archaeology student, who wants to figure out what ancient secrets Scotland is hiding. It’s her passion, her life. Little does she know that she will discover some of these secrets first-hand the day she finds the mystery box. A box hidden in the side of the creek, found by accident involving a rental car, trouble with manual gear shift and a flock of sheep, the box is made of a different kind of metal and a crest that Isobel know she has seen before, but not where.

Without warning (or her permission) Isobel is tossed back into time – to Laird Ian Brodie’s castle. In the thirteenth century. By the box.
Can you imagine Isobel’s confusion? And how exactly is she going to go home again? The box isn’t humming with energy now, but is sitting quietly over in the corner. With no escape home, she is forced to listen to Ian and his tale.

Ian tells her the truth, the box is the way the Laird finds their mates. It’s always been that way, for centuries. And Ian is not ready to give Isobel up, not just yet. Every trick in the book is being played to make her stay. Slowly Isobel’s walls are crumbling, and just when she is starting to accept the fact that she will never be able to go home to California,that she feels something more for Ian than just friendship, the box plays another (cruel) trick on her; sending Isobel further back into time. All the way back to the Picts. She is forced to realize that things are out of her control, that Fate have something planned for her, but without knowing what, all Isobel can do is try to survive.

And now Isobel finds herself into more trouble than ever. One box, two lifetimes, to men, one heart belonging to a woman, who simply will not give either of them up.

Oh boy, where to start? Kat Bastion (the author) took me by surprise with this book. I read the blurb, and thought; “Hmmm.. Sounds like a good read.” I was wrong. So very, very wrong.

Forged by Dreams and Magick is a wonderful and amazing tale about a woman’s journey through time. Her finding of not only one, but two, soulmates and her fight to stay with both of them, her growth not only as a woman, but as a warrior as well…. I am telling you, it is amazing.

To see Isobel go back in time to the thirteenth century, to have her feistiness, her modern attitude clash with the everyday in the thirteenth century, to see her run her head against the wall and still come back up fighting for what she wants, what she thinks she needs and then to see her realize the truth. To accept and adapt, but never really give up on herself. Wow. Just.. wow.

It was heart wrecking when the box sent her back to the picts. Isobel finally allowed herself to feel, to accept and be accepted, when this happens. It broke my heart. But then Isobel being Isobel, adapts. Learns and never gives up the hope that she will be able to find her way back to Ian. Only to find herself falling for the second time.
I felt her frustration in having two men she loves, not willing to give up on either, can’t be separated from them, but is. Not by countries, but by time. Millenia. It’s scary.

This book took my breath away, descended me into two different worlds, and did so masterly. I had a short stop about 85% into the book, where I HAD to put it down. I just couldn’t continue reading on. My emotions where a turmoil, my frustration peeking and my heart was breaking all over again – but not the bad way. It wasn’t because the book wasn’t good, quite contrary. I had to put it down, because I couldn’t bear what happened. I was so caught up in the book, it actually gave me an emotional whiplash. And don’t get me started on the ending. Just trust me, you do NOT want to piss Isobel off. She is deadly. And though I understand the ending, and it was perfect for the book, and necessary, it was also tinted with a bit of sadness. You’ll understand when you read it. Hopefully you agree with me.

Here in the end, I want to congratulate Kat Bastion for creating a book that not only was an amazing read, but caught me so unaware, it was a delight. Thank you Kat. Keep writing girl.
Profile Image for Marlene.
2,882 reviews196 followers
October 6, 2013
Originally published at Reading Reality

This was a much wilder ride than I expected...and that’s a good thing.

Isobel MacInnes begins the story as an overachieving graduate student in archaeology, based in California, but inexorably drawn to study the history (and prehistory) surrounding her roots in Scotland.

I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that Isobel is very much still an overachiever at the end of the story. She’s just got, well, bigger fish to fry. Possibly also bake, parboil and grill.

As an archeologist, even a budding archaeologist, she should have known better than to extract the intricately wrought stone she discovered in Scotland when she was tossed from her damaged car in a freak rainstorm. But the stone seemed to be smithed from multiple metals that could not have been worked at the time the stone appeared to have been carved, and, Isobel had just said her last goodbye to her dying grandfather.

Let’s say she wasn’t thinking rationally. Possibly she wasn’t meant to be thinking rationally. That stone was the find of any archaeologist’s lifetime.

And it was magic. Or magick.

Once she gets it back to her advisor’s lab in California (I’m trying to imagine getting that thing past Customs and the TSA and just, oh noes!) she has to share it with someone. Who better than her best friend, someone she met at the Highland Games. Iain Brodie is also an actor, and he’s always flirted with Isobel, pretending he wants more than just friendship. Isobel knows she’s not up to the same standard of beauty as a Hollywood starlet, so she ducks all his passes.

But Iain is a champion at the Highland Games because he has an unfair advantage, and he’s been flirting with Isobel MacInnes because she really is the woman that he wants. Something about the presence of the magical stone pushes them into a confrontation that reveals his true feelings for her.

And the stone transports them from 21st century California to 14th century Scotland. Isobel learns that the rest of her life is going to be nothing like what she planned it would be.

It’s going to be better. But first it’s going to be a whole lot weirder.

Escape Rating B-: The century-spanning scope of the story absolutely does sweep the reader along for the ride.

I’ll confess, at first, I wasn’t sure if Isobel was really in love with Iain, or if she was convincing herself that it was the best thing to do in order to survive in the 14th century. Attaching herself to Iain absolutely was the best thing for her to do for her to survive in the 14th century, but I was having a difficult time deciding whether there was really love on both sides or just Isobel bowing to the inevitable and fooling herself.

It was only after she traveled through time again that she really started living in whatever now she found herself in, however she had to live that now, that it felt like she was owning her own fate, instead of being pushed by the waves.

That part of that fate was to have two warriors as soul mates in two different time periods was icing on the cake. This would be perfectly acceptable if a man were the lead character, I’m fine with the “sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander” idea.

Time travel romance always poses an interesting conundrum. If the traveler goes into the past, as Isobel does, can they change the past and affect the future? Is that what they are meant to do? In which case, have they already done it? If they don’t do it again, what happens?

Isobel’s journey seems to be fated to make her the person, the time traveler, she is meant to become. Which means she has more ahead of her, because the training period literally tore her heart in two. As they say, that which does not kill us, makes us stronger. Isobel becomes much, much stronger.
Profile Image for Marcela (BookaholicCat).
794 reviews151 followers
September 30, 2013
Forged in Dreams and Magick is the first book in the new Highland Legends by Kat Bastion.

After discovering an ancient artifact Isobel MacInnes is taking back in time to the XIII century. After accepting time traveling is not only a possibility but a reality Isobel decides that living in the highlands is a dream come true for an archeology student. Soon after Isobel realizes that this new century not only brings new experiences but also hosts her soul mate, Iain Brodie.
Coming to terms with her new reality Isobel gives all of herself to make the best of her new life, but destiny hasn’t stop playing with her; days later Isobel encounters the ancient artifact again and is taken back once more into the past, this time to the Late Iron Age, to The Picts’ time, where Isobel encounters again a different man (Velloc) and an altogether different soul mate.
Isobel’s brain can’t assimilate the idea of two different soul mates, but her heart knows it as truth. After trying and failing to return to Iain Isobel decides to do her best and survive in this new era, but destiny still has plans for her and brings her back and forth between her two men and the different times. She knows there must be a reason for this, but finding it may cost her more than just her heart.

I have to be honest, on the beginning I had some trouble getting into the story, there were some too farfetched situations that made it hard for me to connect with the characters and some of the situations, but after I decided to take this book as what it is, Fiction, and stopped trying to see the logical side of the story I started to enjoy it tremendously.

Sometimes I say that a character is strong and determined, but nothing compares to Isobel, she is thrown in the past not once but twice and both times she made the best of her situation. She does whatever necessary to survive without compromising her integrity. She’s who she is in the XXI Century, XIII Century and in the Iron Age, she just adapts to her circumstances like a chameleon to survive.
Loving two men is not easy; her heart was never whole because some part of it was always missing. Iain and Velloc are both swoon worthy but I wouldn’t want to be in Isobel’s shoes.

It was hard for me to like one man more than the other, they are both strong warriors that care for their people, they are both protectors at heart, and they love Isobel with all their beings.
One page I was Team Iain, the next I was Team Velloc. Page after page I could only wonder how would all be developed at the end. Mrs. Bastion kept me wondering and wishing for an outcome to just shake things up, leaving me with heartache and wanting to know more.

One thing I really loved about Forged in Dreams and Magick was the way Mrs. Bastion masterfully intermingled historical facts with the story. I love when this happens in a book and I can only admire when an author can pull it off without feeling like getting a history lesson. Kudos to Mrs. Bastion and her brilliant storytelling for achieving this.

I can say I was sold after reading the blurb for Forged in Dreams and Magick. Time travel, highlanders and romance, yes, please, count me in. What I didn’t know was that I would also find in Forged in Dreams and Magick a fluid prose, a strong story, very likeable characters and very sensual and well-written moments. Here I also have to applaud Mrs. Bastion, she writes very tasteful sex scenes that enhance the story while adding to the character and relationships development.

If you like time travel, highlanders and strong romance I recommend you to read Forged in Dreams and Magick by Kat Bastion.
I’m looking forward to read the next book in this series, Bound by Wish and Mistletoe, a sequel novella to be release this November.
Profile Image for Barbee.
577 reviews18 followers
November 13, 2013

This review is from: Forged in Dreams and Magick (Highland Legends, Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
This book had me captivated and very emotional throughout the book I really love that when that happens when reading a great tale as it's not a given. It's about a young woman Isabel MacInnes who comes to Scotland to say goodbye to her ailing Grandfather in Scotland. Isabel is also a student and junior archeologist assistant with a photographic memory with major in history and minor in archeology. Pretty convenient one would say on the journey she is about to take...hehe

On her way leaving Scotland by accident no pun intended she literally bumping into this ancient box and brings it back to the states to have analyzed. She shows it to her friend Iain she met from this Highland games who won every match and discovered by Hollywood and always with a model or starlet and he claims it found her and then as they both touch it and boom they are in 13th century Scotland but this Iain is totally different then the one in 21st century California. This part confused me as Iain was somehow split it two part of him remained in the 13th century and the other in the 21st century. As if he were split in two or there was a clone but I found 13th century Iain much more appealing, sexy but then again he was whole Iain in the 13th century. Maybe I wasn't that confused afterall! :) Then the box is from what Iain says bring the soul mates of Brodie Clan Lairds and has for generations since the Picts. Well it was not that easy to accepts but Isa does after some convincing and falling in love with 13th century warrior Iain who is so much more then 21st century Iain. So if you think they fall in love and get married and that's the end of the story right? Wrong....

I really enjoyed this paranormal time travel historical romance it was so much fun to read! Yes I am an Outlander fan but no you will not find Jamie and Claire in this book but you will find Isobel, Iain and Velloc. Wait did I just say two male heros and yet one heroine? Well yes as curious Isabell touches the box again this time alone and end up in another thousand years in the past and a pict leader Velloc is her soulmate in this time. This is all I am going to tell you as you really need to read this interesting unique story as it does keep moving and you have to follow this journey to the end lots twists and surprises. Also I also enjoy the two watcher winged beings Orion and Scorplus they both had some hilarious and interesting lines in the book. I would like them to have there own books and loves in future book as they were major attractive and entertaining. Also I hope Iain's sister Brigid and Finn get a future book so we can see how that story plays out.

I always love checking out a debut author and Ms. Bastion weaves a great tale in Forged In Dreams and Magick! This book was so unique and different and I was so captivated as I was definitely rooting for Iain but I felt for Velloc too. Tough choice a girl having two soul mates in two different time zones and if you are a bit prudish and don't like love making scenes this might not be the book for you . I always feel love and sex goes hand in hand as that is why it is called making love just thought I would put that out there. Don't get me wrong I did enjoy this book very much and it had my interest and it has a really great flow. It was was fascinating once you connect all the dots. It's not your usual romance as there is some parts you will need a hanky too. I actually love that to feel so many emotions. I look forward to future reads from this author and my next read shall be Bound By Wish and Mistletoe By Kat Bastion. I definitely recommend this captivating read I loved it!
Profile Image for Deniz.
1,145 reviews100 followers
December 15, 2013
woot woot!
just won a copy from Goodreads First Reads!


This is kind of a mix between the Time Traveler, the Highlander series and Outlander. So definitely something I would enjoy.
The story line slowly unfolded the new world and new revelations were given at each chapter. I enjoyed the way the novel is paced. It's well thought through and leaves one interested but still time to ponder things.
My biggest issue the love triangle. And this has a major one. I mean a HUGE one. It made me seriously crinch. And I wasn't that impressed with how it was solved. Though I liked the result, don't misunderstand me, it ended exactly how I wanted it, it felt a bit too convenient.  The only positive thing I can say about the dread triangle is that there was always utter honesty. I just could not relate to it at all. And I think without it I would have given this 4stars rather than 3...

The world building was awesome! I love how Bastion travelled time, the Wall and the magic behind it all. It was really well done. I love the idea of time traveling, and Bastion took this to another level. Again, its reminiscent to the three novels I mentioned above, but it's also unique and has a fresh take to it.  My only question I have, do these authors think that Scotland had better weather a few hundred years ago? Because honestly I lived there, and the constant sunshine and warm weather they portray, well it doesn't really feature very often these days...or maybe their characters just don't feel the cold?

The character building is again done really well. Especially the ones of Clan Brodie. I really grew to like them, cared for them and felt like I knew the clan, it's difficulties, their loyalties and little quirkiness. I wasn't a fan of Valloc. But equally I was not that taken by the Pict area. Though I was intrigued by how Bastion worked in some Highland sagas so cleverly.
Isobel was an interesting character- from somewhat timid brilliant archeologist she grew to a feisty and kickass woman.  Though at times I found her rebelliousness a bit pointless.
Ian had my heart from the get go- I mean a hot dude with a brogue? But he also is gentle, loyal, strong and kind. The way he handled everything was really amazing. He was my favorite Character until Scorpius made an appearance... I loved his banter with Isobel! It's the BEST part of the book. And I am looking forward to the next book in the series, since he will take center stage!

I love Bastion's writing style. Despite finding myself annoyed with MC , I simply couldn't put the book down, neither was I able to not be completely enchanted. My favorite bits were definitely the ones  set in the thirteenth-century.

At the end of this I was left with quite a lot of questions. One of them; what happened to Fin?!
Others are to do with the world building. So I am hoping that all my questions will be clarified in the next book. Which brings me to another question? When will it be published?!

I am looking forward to reading  the next installment of the series. In fact I have already read the holiday novella "Bound by Wish and Mistletoe", which I loved as well!
Profile Image for Emily (Kindles & Wine Book Blog).
58 reviews18 followers
September 20, 2013
Reviewed here
Talk about a book for every reader, Forged in Dreams and Magick has something for everyone! It is a mix of historical fiction, paranormal romance, time travel, mystery/suspense – you name a genre, this book probably fits within it! I am a history buff and I found it incredibly interesting to read all the Scottish and Celtic history immersed through this read. I never doubted for a minute that I was getting a history lesson while being entertained.

I loved the idea of the heroine, Isobel, an archeology student, getting pulled back into the ancient times she is an expert in. She takes full advantage of learning languages and customs while seemingly “stuck” in the past. Isobel has one connection to her present in her 13th-century highlander friend Iain, who quickly turns into a pretty steamy love interest. Not long after, we see Isobel pulled back even further into the past where she meets her other love interest – Velloc, a blue-painted Pict chieftain. Holy Braveheart, right?

I enjoyed many aspects of this book – especially the history and the mystery (hey, I rhymed!). That said, I have to admit I got a little squeamish about the revolving heroes and how quickly they seemed to take each other’s place. I had a hard time respecting Isobel as she wavered between the two while she jumped back and forth through time, and I couldn’t get onboard with her claiming both as her soul mates. Huh? I don’t want to sound overly moral, but I do not understand or condone cheating in a relationship, so the back and forth between Isobel and her two men rubbed me the wrong way. Love one guy and think another one is hotness incarnate? Well yes, that can happen. That I get. But actually falling in love with both AND (worse?) acting on it? Kinda ick.

Another issue I had was the flowery prose. While I enjoyed the overall plot and story line, I did think the writing got a little wordy and overly descriptive at times. Here is an example:

Darkness fully fell by the time we reached a more dense cover of trees. A shroud of thick foliage brought forth an entirely new adventure. Varied animal calls that cried and howled into the night in random intervals became our tribal roll call.

It could be just me (and probably is), but I thought there were times when fewer words could have gotten the same message across.

Despite these issues, I think those who like imaginative books will love all the time spent on describing ancient Scotland…and rest assured the descriptive nature of Bastion’s writing is carried over into the “sexy time” as well. :)

Bottom Line
For those who love any of the various genres this book could be pigeonholed in that I listed above, I suggest giving Forged in Dreams and Magick a read. I think Kat Bastion has created a very interesting story and filled it with fascinating historical details and some seriously sexy Scots (try saying THAT three times quickly…umm, and with a glass of wine under your belt).

Rating: C+ (3½ stars)

Review copy courtesy of the author in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Tricia.
17 reviews
October 5, 2013
Isobel MacInnes is an archaeology student that finds an amazingly ornate box after she veers off the road to avoid a flock of sheep. She was excited because she thought she had found something that would propel her archaeology career to new heights. Little did she know that she would be propelled into another time and place. Twice.

While Isobel was at the archaeology department, waiting to show her professor the box, she met her Highlander friend there, Iain Brodie. Ohhhh what a man. Isobel was so attracted to him she could hardly stand it. She had invited him to the department so she could show him the box she found. She thought he might know information about it because the box had the same symbols that she had seen Iain wear on his Scottish plaid. One minute they are discussing the box, the next he is kissing her. Their hands accidently touch the box and they both get transported to thirteenth century Scotland. WOW.

I need to find a magical box like that........just sayin'.

Considering that Isobel just got poofed into another time and place, she actually handles the news really well. Iain knows a lot about the magical, time traveling box but he doesn't reveal what he knows right away. He tells her the box has the power to help the lairds of his clan (Iain is a laird of his clan, by the way) find their soul mate. Time travel. Thirteenth Century Scotland. Soul mated with a sexy Scottish Highlander. Hmmm. Interesting.

Isobel spends the next days absorbing all about Iain, his clan and his castle. She falls for Iain and loves being with his family in Scotland. They marry and Isobel feels like she has found her home. So you know what that means??? Time to mess things up! Isobel touches the box again and gets zapped through time and wakes up still in Scotland but during the ancient reign of the Picts. A loooong time ago. No Iain.

She meets Velloc and in the beginning she resisted him but eventually she fell in love with him. Apparently the box poofed her to Velloc's time to be HIS soul mate. Isobel is in love with two men. She doesn't want to choose between the two but she doesn't even know if she can get back to Iain, but she has to try. Ok, that's all I'm saying about the story, I don't want to give too much away. Now here's my review of the book.

I love Highlander stories. Hunky men, soul mates, forever love......every young girl's dream. The time traveling made the story really interesting. I've read other Highlander books where the Highlander time travels or has lived for centuries, but never where the heroine gets to time travel. The most unusual part was Isobel having two soul mates. It's such an unexpected element and it made me realize that I had no idea what to expect as I turned each page. Isobel is a strong character and handled traveling through time like a champ. She's tough and she fights for her men. The writing is so descriptive, Kat made it very easy to picture the scenes as I was reading. This was a great story that I enjoyed very much. Who does Isobel end up with? You'll have to read and find out!
Profile Image for Roses Book Blog.
226 reviews75 followers
September 29, 2013
As an archaeology major, Isobel has always been drawn to history especially those related to Scotland. It's in Scotland saying goodbye to her final family member who is dying that a twist of fate takes her to the side of a road where she falls into a creek. It's here that she discovers an ancient box that she takes with her back home to California. No one she talks to seems to know exactly what it is that she's found so she calls her one friend who would know, rising Hollywood star Iain. Isobel has always been drawn to Iain since she saw him at the modern day Scottish games in California. They quickly became friends, but Isobel has always had an attraction to the man.

In a weird twist of fate, Iain seems to register that he's seen this box before even though he refuses to acknowledge this fact with Isobel. When they kiss it's like magic, when they lean on the desk and place their joint hands on the box, they are taken to another time and place. Turns out, Iain is actually from thirteenth century Scotland and is a laird. It's the same man, but different. Somehow he looks the same but more rugged and manly. From the start he stakes his claim on Isobel and makes it known that she belongs to him. Isobel is scared, an outsider, and doesn't want to accept her fate but the more she gets to know those around her, the more she realizes that she wants to stay and loves Iain in a way that she's never loved a man. Their courtship is short and before she knows it they are married and she's giving her entire self to the man that she vows she will spend forever loving. It's ten wonderful days with the man she loves, but in an even more twisted version of fate, when Iain goes out to search for missing members of his guard, Isobel finds herself in front of the box again.

This time, she's pulled even further into history to another century where here she meets Velloc the leader of a tribe. Two different centuries, two different men how can she find her soul mate in two different men, in two different times. Finding herself lost in time, she travels back and forth between the two men trying to determine why her? Why these two men? Is there more at work here than just a woman who has found two men to love her? What are they not telling her, what secrets do they hide?

This book was so much more than just about dominant men who stake claim to a woman and won't let go. There is magic, time travel, love, and the mystery behind the box. I've never quite read a book like this and normally I'm not a fan of magic or time travel but Bastion pulled me in and held me captive with her story and the men in it. It was quite a journey to watch Isobel grow and adapt to the fate she's been given and it was quite a journey. I look forward to her next book Bound by Wish and Mistletoe which is out in November. I'm sure it will be just as great as this book was and I am now a fan of Bastion's work, her way with words, and the world she created. It was absolutely magical, 5 stars.

***ARC provided by author in exchange for a honest review***
Profile Image for Jeannie Zelos.
2,801 reviews50 followers
October 7, 2013
Forged in Dreams and Magick. Kat Bastion

ARC supplied via Netgalley.
Well, a new author, always exciting – and I love time travel books so...eagerly sped into this one. Its a terrific read, engrossing and believable. Of course fantasy novels mean suspending belief to a degree, but there still needs to be that element of realism, of being able to think something possibly could happen – and this novel does that really well.
The description covers the synopsis pretty well so I'll concentrate on the characters and the plot(s). Isabel isa to Iain was a great lead. Her archaeology background provided her with tools and information she needed to survive not only a trip back to 1300's, but one back even further – to the Picts, another 1,000 years back. I wondered how Kat was going to play out the story of two soul mates, and couldn't see how it would work, surely one of them would be jealous, or Isabel would be missing whichever one she wasn't with, and with them being 1,000 years apart they wouldn't be together! Kat does it though – and in a way that works so well. I loved the minutiae of the day to day life she describes in both eras, that sort of detail adds so much for me to books that deal in the historical. I'm fascinated by how they ran their daily lives, the food, the clothes and the culture. I hated history at school and yet now I love it, much having been gained from reality details in fiction books ironically! Anyway Isa has a hard balance to make, to be with Iain in 1300's – she loves him – or to be with Velloc further back – she loves him too. Its sounds unbelievable, but it works and the connection of the box and the wall in Iains study is incredible, bringing in some further connections that group the events and people.
Iain- well, he was a hero, and I loved him and was convinced Isa needed to be with him, but then she was thrown back and met Velloc, and like her I came to love him too. But though he wanted her to stay she knew Iain would be worried for her and wanted to go back to him, even though she also wanted to stay with Velloc. Her knowledge of history comes in useful for both men, but especially Velloc with the Roman invasion imminent. There's more to play though, and we find out more about how she's time travelled, its not accidental and there are two more mysterious, supernatural characters we meet towards the end. I have to say I loved the deadpan humour of Sunshine :) those two extra characters made all the difference in pulling together much of the mystery, even though the ending left a few threads to tantalise the imagination. Its a complete book, no horrible cliffhangers and the combination of people and plots are superb, worked really well for me, and I’d love to read more from Kat. An author I'll definitely look out for in the future :) Priced at just £2.59 for 340 pages/3215kb is a bargain – I do love books long enough to get the most from a story.
Stars: cracker of a book – full five

Profile Image for Sarah.
262 reviews7 followers
October 2, 2013
If you're looking for a romance story that spans history, look no further. Isobel is reeling from the loss of her beloved grandfather when she discovers a mysterious, ancient box that piques the curiosity of her academic side. She gets more than she bargained for, however, when she finds herself repeatedly being transported through time, drawn towards men who are supposed to be her soul mates.

Isobel is a fun, sassy main character, and I enjoyed getting to read about her transformation as she adapted to the different eras that she found herself living in. She never allowed herself to wallow too much over things, no matter how upset or confused she was by her involuntary time traveling. Instead, she made the best of the situation, and made herself right at home, adapting to the ways of the times she found herself in, but never exactly losing herself. There are different expectations of women in these eras, but Isobel makes it pretty clear to Iain and Velloc that she's not about to let them control her. She learns to fight and take care of herself, and is able to work out several compromises that keep everyone happy.

And of course, Isobel's romances are epic! Paired up with two strapping, alpha-type men, she still manages to hold her own against them. I don't think either Iain or Velloc had any idea what they were getting into whenever they first met Isobel! I liked watching Isobel open herself up to the possibility of romance, which she had been pretty dead-set against at the start of the book. And both of the men truly, tenderly care for her, and aren't using her or (really) trying to deceive her. They're protective of her, sometimes overly-so, but I think that's in character for the time period Iain and Velloc are both from.

I do wish we'd had a chance to get to know more about Iain before Isobel is transported to the past. Even though she wasn't involved with him at the time, we only got a little bit of information on their friendship. Isobel insisted that she only liked him as a friend, so the sudden shift to makeouts was a little jarring. I also feel like we skipped over some of the bonding/get-to-know you time between Isobel and Velloc, especially considering that at first, they don't even share a language. I can see why we didn't get those scenes -- the book is already long, and pages of Isobel-learns-Pict-and-falls-in-love would have gotten old -- but I feel like I could have benefited from a little more relationship building, despite the fact that the whole premise of the book is kind of "fated to be together".

Overall, this was an enjoyable read, and although the ending sets things up for more books in the series, the book stands on its own fairly well. There are lots of steamy parts, so this is definitely recommended for older/mature readers.
Profile Image for Romance Schmomance (Malia) .
1,203 reviews98 followers
November 14, 2013
This was my very first time travel book and I was just never sure, if I'd be a fan of all the time traveling. When I think about time travel, the movie, Time Traveler's Wife comes to mind. As much as I love that movie, it's so incredibly heartbreaking ...

Starting in the 21st century, she finds this mystical object that helps her travel between different centuries and that's when she falls in love with not only one, but two men. The reasons for the traveling isn't all revealed at once and her men are keeping secrets from her ... I think I'll share them with you ... lean in ... just kidding, find out for yourself, people!

There were so many elements that I loved in this book and the biggest one of all was Isobel's love for two men. I usually hate when there's two male parties involved, in most cases I hate one of the guys and then the story just ticks me off! BUT, I'm happy to say, this is the first time, where I absolutely loved both. Iain and Velloca (will learn plenty about them, when you read the book) are both brooding with sexiness, very dominant, and warriors "to-a-t"!

At times, I questioned how she able to love two different men and be their wife! Yes, they were all from different centuries, but this was such a foreign thing to me. I swear I was at war with myself about this. My thoughts :
Oh my gosh! What a slut, she's cheating ... and she's married!
Wait ... what, they're somewhat okay with it?! ... how is that possible?!
But my goodness, they are both completely sexy men and dominance just emanates off of them, what's not to like?
This is WRONG WRONG WRONG ... but they're still so amazing!
Yeah, I could go on forever about my thoughts. It was very odd, but it worked for this storyline.

I love how much of a badass Isobel became, well I knew she always had it in her, she's got the attitude, it just needed to be brought out of her. When Velloca would train her, I got so jealous, I was like man, she's probably got a rockin' body and here I am stuffing my face with junk! She can do it all people, wield a sword, shoot an arrow, ride bareback (which, I've never done, but heard it's hard ... but I could totally be wrong), and of course, she has two men!

I am such a fan of this book, if I didn't have wedding stuff to catch up on, I definitely would have finished this in one sitting. The whole story will keep you on the edge of your seat, from the action, amazing-steamy sex scenes, the mystical world of time travel ... there is really no time at all to be calm. It felt like my heart was racing the entire book!

I know everyone's a 'Team Somebody", but this will be the first time, where I'm not able to pick one person. I love Iain and Velloca, I can see why it was so hard for her to choose ;)
Profile Image for Stacy Sabala.
1,056 reviews3 followers
November 11, 2013
Book Review- Forged in Dreams and Magick by Kat Bastion

Isobel MacInnes is visiting her grandfather for the last time in Scotland. He is dying and she is distraught, knowing he is the last of her family. She leaves before he slips away to allow him his dignity. As she is driving, she is fighting with the gears and almost plows through a herd of sheep standing in the road. She gains control of the car and stops on the side of the road. Getting out of the car and asking the sky if this is a lesson in tolerance, she steps and slides down an embankment right into standing water. Her lower body is soaked and she attempts to find her way back to her car. Something catches her eye, a flash in the sunlight. The archaeologist in her takes notice and she heads toward it. Hidden in the peat, she carefully uncovers a metal box. It is beautifully made and contains an intricate design. Isobel knows that she has found something special that could launch her career.
She makes it back to the States with the box and invites her Scottish friend, Iain, to help her figure out what the box could be. With Iain by her side, she learns just how special the box is when they are thrown back in time. Well she is, but Iain becomes whole in a way. She is now a member of the thirteenth century. To say Isobel freaks out a bit about her situation is a true statement. She flees from Iain and the box through the village. She comes to terms with her plight eventually and has to survive Scotland during this time period. She is looking for the box to send her home.
Just as she has settled and getting used to this time and trying to make a life with Iain, the box has other ideas. It throws her back to an earlier time, a time where the Picts were the inhabitants of Scotland before the Romans invaded. This time Iain is not with her and she is all alone. The box has taken over her life and she is at its mercy. She doesn’t know why but she is determined to find out. She needs to take her life back.
I love time travel books, I was very excited about this story when I figured out what was happening to Isobel. It started out well and I enjoyed the relationship between Isobel and Iain. It was sweet and absolutely what I wanted to read. Then when she was thrown farther back and Velloc entered the story, it threw lots of complications into her life. I did not like the turn of events. I almost stopped reading the story. However, I continued and made it through the bittersweet part with Velloc and back to the truth. There were a bit of confusing parts as Isobel learned the truth about the box and what her part was. However, I did enjoy the ending. So I would give this book a 4 out of 5.
Profile Image for Clare O'Beara.
Author 21 books335 followers
November 1, 2014
An archaeologist is visiting her grandfather in Scotland when she uncovers a strange metallic box lying in a peat bank. She knows she shouldn't, but she unearths it and brings it back to UCLA.

I'd read the second in this time travel - Highland romance series set in thirteenth century Scotland, and decided to see how the time travelling took place. Well, it occurs when Isobel MacInnes kisses a Scottish man while holding the box. Iain Brodie has already made a similar journey forward to Isobel's time. Isobel, reeling from shock, finds herself in a crude stone room with a man in plaid clothing. Iain tells her that the clan laird down the generations uses the box to find his soul mate. She wants go home, but it doesn't work again... seems she's stuck.

Sensibly for a time traveller, Isobel decides she should blend in with the locals, and accepts hospitality. But nobody asked her opinion before dragging her back to medieval life in a cold castle. Isobel's accent is explained by stating that she is English, as these people don't yet know of the Americas. However the English are not popular in Scotland, besides which, she's caffeine-deprived. At least it turns out she has taken archery lessons. But time travel keeps occurring - she meets primitive Picts and invading Romans, and yet another would-be husband.

I've noticed a lot of stories set in the 1200s. From 1313 on saw years of cold and crop failure followed by successive waves of plague which we now call the Black Death. The 1200s were a golden age by contrast, serfdom and all. There's a lot of good detail, although as we don't see or hear any real live peafowl I am surprised that the landed gentry keep eating them instead of local grouse or ptarmigan. They come from India.

In this tale I could have done without a pair of angels and an Administrator, which felt like they were forced in to make it paranormal. For a girl who has been chaste in California, Isobel is remarkably free with her favours in this adult romance. I found spelling mistooks, such as hand-sown tent instead of hand-sewn, and several times course when coarse was appropriate. There's also more of the appalling robotic punctuation some Americans use now, as in "You. Are. Mine." Please stop doing this, unless you're writing a Terminator's dialogue. It is not at all as people speak, and as I keep saying, it lifts the reader straight out of the story and onto the printed page.
Having read the first after the second story means that author Kat Bastion has sent me to do my own version of time travelling, which is quite an amusing thought.
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