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Highland Destiny

(Murray Family #1)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  5,011 ratings  ·  158 reviews
When destiny brought Sir Balfour Murray and his wounded brother down the same road as Maldie Kirkaldy, she offered her services as a nurse even as she tried to deny the desire this dark-eyed knight had ignited at first sight. Soon they discover that they both share a mission of vengeance, but Maldie cannot tell him her true identity—to do so would brand her a spy...

Sworn t
Mass Market Paperback, 303 pages
Published January 1st 2006 by Zebra (first published 1998)
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4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,011 ratings  ·  158 reviews

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Jessica's Totally Over The Top Book Obsession
3 Balfour needs a clue stars

Highland Destiny was my first read by Hannah Howell. I really enjoyed the flow of the book and Hannah Howell's writing style. I think this read would have been a 4 or 5 star read for me if Balfour wasn't a clueless fool. Some of the choices he made, had me wanting to shake some sense into him. Maldie was a good heroine but she forgave all Balfour's stupidness at the drop of a hat and I needed him to grovel .....a ton. He messed up and didn't fight for her , didn't tr
Trang Nguyen
Once in awhile you run into a book which drags and drags and DRAGS! I was really disappointed in this book especially with the high rating Highland Destiny received.

Maldie is on a mission to fulfill her mothers dying wish, she must find her father and kill him. Her mother, the local whore had some serious mental issues when raising Maldie. She raised Maldie to see the same hatred she had for Maldie's father, told Maldie the secrets to sex as a young child and was basically an acquaintance to Ma
I'm so behind on reviews... and it has been a few months. Forgive me if I forget a detail or two.

It was interesting enough for me to finish, which is enough for 3 stars. I am a hardcore quitter lately. I've DNF'd more books than I've read this year, I think.

The evil laird next door steals the illegitimate half-brother of the hero to claim as his rightful heir (long story). The heroine meets the hero on the road back from his failure to reclaim his brother. She herself is planning on killing the
Jane Stewart
Sep 16, 2010 rated it did not like it
Main conflict between the couple for half the book was irrational. There was no interesting character development or dialogue.

Beaton bedded many women and produced many illegitimate girls, never a boy. Maldie was one of those girls. Her mother became a prostitute to support herself and Maldie. When the mother died, she made Maldie vow to kill Beaton for revenge. Maldie then traveled to Beaton’s village.

Several years ago Beaton’s wife got pregnant by a Murray and had a boy. Beaton put
Oct 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Highlanders....need I say more?
Kari Kaz
Jun 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars
This is the first book in the Murray saga. It's a sweet, low-angst story. Maldie Kirkaldy is a healer who promised her mother on her deathbed that she would avenge her by killing her evil father, Beaton of Dubblinn. As Maldie is planning her mission, she runs into Balfour Murray, laird of Doncoill Clan. Balfour is planning to rescue his kidnapped brother from Beaton's lair. They both have a common enemy, but Maldie decides to guard her family's secrets even though Balfour suspects she's
Jul 28, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had such high hopes for the writer. All of her books are so highly rated. I think the lead characters did not appeal to me. I was bored the entire time. The heroine seemed so.........drab..........and very unfeminine too. I kept seeing a beggar on the street for the image of the heroine. And we are supposed to think of the sex scene between the hero and this female beggar hot? She just appeared poor, skinny and unfeeling. I don't know why the hero wanted her. And they already knew that they wa ...more
The only reason I found and read this book is because I needed to find a character whose first name was Eric and his last name began with the letter M. I won't even tell you how many pages I went through to find this book with the right character!!! (Over 1000 though!)

Maldie Kirkcaldy's mother was (view spoiler) Consequently and for some other reasons, Maddie wanted to kill the guy (literally). As is common in a historical r
Nov 13, 2009 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

While I truly did enjoy this book, it took me a lot to get into the story. I'm not sure why as I enjoyed every page I read, but for some reason I just couldn't read for a very long time. I just kept getting distracted and ended doing something else... anything else besides reading. I guess it was well written and it was a good story with interesting characters, but not interesting enough as to make me keep reading.

Let's see if I get more into the series with the rest of the books.
Jan 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Spectacular read not surprising since I absolutely love Hannah Howell and have been a huge fan for many years. This is book one is Ms. Howells Murray series and I think there like 19 books and they are all magnificent reads in my opinion. This is the book that started it all and I highly recommend you read this wonderful it definitely one for the reread and keeper shelf . Yes it is that exceptional of a read.

1430, Scotland

This story is about Laird of Duncoill Clan, Balfour Murray as his young ha
Jan 15, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
"A child needs to be told his worth from time to time if he is to grow up hale and strong, in spirit and in body." loc.4458

Author: Hannah Howell
First published: 1998
Length: 4651 locations, 320 pages
Setting: Scotland, Spring 1430
Sex: frequent but not always explicit - the door is at least half closed.
Series: Book 1 of the Howell's Highland series. The epilogue has Nigel heading to France.

Hannah Howell writes solid, consistent medievals. The characters are well framed, the stories sufficiently int
Jan 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
The heroine, unfortunately named Maldie Kircaldy (and NOBODY in the story even snickers) is on the road near Beaton land on a mission--her mother made her give a blood vow to avenge her against the Beaton clan laird, Maldie's father. Malldie hasn't come up with a way to go about this when she happens on the Murray clan, retreating from a hard-fought battle with the Beatons in defeat. Seems the youngest Murray brother, Eric, was abducted by old Beaton and they want him back, but this time Beaton ...more
Jade aka MrsTosh
I was slightly disappointed with this book to be honest, the plot sounded brilliant but the book left me wondering why I had bothered and wondering how far is left to listen to....this may be because I chose to listen to the audiobook version and the narrator left a lot to be desired. Her Scottish accent sounded more like Russian!! and it put me off throughout the entire book, the phrasing was terrible. I will however read the next book in the series but will be doing this on my Kindle.

This is t
Jan 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is Balfour Murray (Eric and Bethia Murray's son/Highland Promise) and I think this is how the Kirkaldy's mixed with the Murray's (two large clans).

Maldie Kirkaldy is a healer, too. They meet on the road and travel together. Wonderful story. I enjoyed the plain, simple dialogue of the time period. Refreshing, but does get on my nerves after awhile and I have to read different things.
Joni Stevens
Very good start to a great series just read them in order of the year the books start in and you will be on the right track. Ignore the copyright dates and you won't be confused. Some of the family trees are wrong in the rest of the books. I've found that the one in this book is the most accurate so far. It is the only one that I use to keep track of the reading order. Hannah Howell's website isn't very helpful so I go by this family tree instead.
Jun 10, 2008 rated it it was ok
This is the first of the "highland" series that features the Murray family. I also have found it to be the most annoyingly dull installment of the entire series. I really had to fight hard to finish this tale. I think part of my problem was the constant lying of Maldie throughout the entire story. It got old... fast. I would say to skip this story, but it does lay the foundation for the series and for that alone you may need to grin and bear it.
Wendy Tavenner
May 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I have read so many Hannah Howell books. Her books on the Murray's are so delightful!!! This is my first read of book 1, I have read most of the others 2 & 3 times, but I decided I need to see where it all started from. I absolutely loved this book, I couldn't put it down!!! Watching Balfour fall in love with Maldie and she him!!! There is intrigue, lies, spies, death, love, hatred all wrapped up in one beautiful story about family, love, blood etc. A must read!!!
Jul 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: scottish medieval romance lovers
Recommended to Stevie by: several ratings and reviews
This is my first of Hannah Howell's books. I love the language. The story was very good and deep and the characters became real to me. She made everyone have distinct personality, not just the leads. I found myself thinking about the book long after I was through and that is a sure sign of a well written story to me. I will definitely be reading the next in the series.
Daphne Marzana
Feb 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2011
this is not the first Howell book I read, and i'm glad because if it had been, I never would have read any of her other books. you can tell it's a first book. it drags quite a bit (torturous at times) and the characters are fairly likeable. so if this is your first, give it a chance and move on to the next books. i scan read a lot of this book just to know what happened for the next books.
Maldie Kirkcaldy meets Balfour Murray as he's leaving a battle where he was defeated by the Beatons. She helps his wounded brother because she is a healer so Balfour takes her to his keep so she can care for his brother.

Maldie is the bastard daughter of Beaton, the laird and enemy of the Murray's. She has never met Beaton but her mother made her swear on her deathbed to get revenge on Beaton for ruining her mother's life so Maldie traveled for months to find him. Because Beaton is the Murray's e
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened, 2018
3.5 stars.

This is your typical good old-fashioned Highlander romance with swords, feuds and bonnie lasses. I'm wondering how the series has continued for so many books since there are only three Murray brothers in this first book. Let's see.

Narrator Angela Dawe made the Scottish accent easy to listen to, which is a definite plus.
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
Kind of boring... but I'll continue with the series.
Originally Reviewed For: Bodice Rippers, Femme Fatales and Fantasy

It's time to go back to the beginning. For those of you who are Murray Family Fans, Highland Destiny is Book One in the Series. Hannah Howell is offering us a wonderful peak into the past.

It's been a while since I read the entire Murray Family Series and at first I wasn't aware that this book was a re release. But the further I got into the book the more familiar it looked. So it was a serious case of using the same material mor
Aug 30, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of highlander romance
This was a fairly predictable and mild-paced Highlander Romance. The main couple, Maldie and Balfour, had enough chemistry and the conflict, though more hype than delivery, was a highlight for the book as well as for the whole series.

The Murrays, family of the Balfour, fights to save one of their own, who has been kidnapped. The heroine, Maldie, becomes a key player in this because she is the daughter of the kidnapper/villain, and she has a diabolical plan of her own.

The characters, from the Mu
Dec 15, 2011 rated it liked it
I do not often give 3 star reviews and I do not do this lightly -- it was good ... so I finished it and wanted to know how the author and characters got to the ending, but it was not mesmerizing. I did not feel compelled to stay up to 2AM and it was easily set aside when things like needing to make dinner or doing laundry came up. There are so many wonderful Scottish romances that, though this was good, it will not earn a place on my permanent shelf though if I come across this author again. I w ...more
Mar 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
AUTHOR: Hannah Howell is my favorite author. She is a historical romance author setting her stories in medieval Scotland. She writes well and with class.

Maldie Kirkcaldy meets Balfour Murray, laird of Donnocoill, after his clan’s battle with the the clan of William Beaton, laird of Dubhlinn. Balfour wants his brother Eric back who has been kidnapped by Beaton. Maldie is invited to stay at Donnocoill as Balfour notices that she is traveling alone. He wants her but so does his brother Ni
Aug 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
So good! I'm beyond thrilled that I've once again found a fantastic highlander author. It's made even better by the largely interwoven family whose characters crossover and share in each others stories. Balfour Murray is your typical XL Scottish laird. Handsome in a hard, rugged way and wonderfully possessive and alpha. There's also an added vulnerability to him caused by years of women choosing his much more classically handsome brother Nigel. Maldie Kirkcaldy is a healer with a natural ability ...more
Jul 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of historical romance
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book/story and look forward to reading the other books in the series. I loved watching the two main characters eventually surrender to love (you can insert an eye roll if you want :), and found the supportive characters interesting and fun. I also appreciated how the story was unpredictable. The only thing that stopped me from giving it five stars is I thought the story dragged out a little bit towards the end. Despite this, I would def recommend this book to ot ...more
Feb 26, 2011 rated it liked it
This is the first of Howell's Highland series about the Murray clan and at times you can tell. The beginning is not slow but rather progresses somewhat too quickly without a good reasoning for some of the character's actions. Surprisingly, there is not a cat in this one but you do get to see the woman who originated the profound healing abilities that come up in the other novels. An okay historical romance novel set in 1400s Scotland.
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Hannah Dustin Howell is a best-selling American author of over 40 historical romance novels. Many of her novels are set in medieval Scotland. She also writes under the names Sarah Dustin, Sandra Dustin, and Anna Jennet (see below).

She has also used the following pseudonyms:
Anna Jennet, Sarah Dustin and Sandra Dustin

Other books in the series

Murray Family (1 - 10 of 22 books)
  • Highland Honor (Murray Family, #2)
  • Highland Promise (Murray Family, #3)
  • Highland Vow (Murray Family, #4)
  • Highland Knight  (Murray Family, #5)
  • Highland Bride (Murray Family, #6 & MacEnroys, #1)
  • Highland Angel (Murray Family, #7)
  • Highland Groom (Murray Family, #8 & MacEnroy, #2)
  • Highland Warrior (Murray Family, #9 & MacEnroy, #3)
  • Highland Conqueror (Murray Family, #10)
  • Highland Champion (Murray Family, #11 & Camerons, #2)