Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Date of publication: April 30th, 2019
Genre: Romance, Historical Fiction
Perched on the North Sea, this port town―by turns legendary and mythological―is a place where Highland rebels and English authorities clash in a mortal struggle for survival and dominance. Among the fray is a lovely young widow who possesses rare and special gifts.
WANTED: Isabella Drummond
A true beauty and trained physician, Isabella has inspired longing and mystery―and fury―in a great many men. Hunted by both the British government and Scottish rebels, she came to the Highlands in search of survival. But a dying ship’s captain will steer her fate into even stormier waters… .and her heart into flames.
FOUND: Cinaed Mackintosh
Cast from his home as a child, Cinaed is a fierce soul whose allegiance is only to himself… .until Isabella saved his life―and added more risk to her own. Now, the only way Cinaed can keep her safe to seek refuge at Dalmigavie Castle, the Mackintosh family seat. But when the scandalous truth of his past comes out, any chance of Cinaed having a bright future with Isabella is thrown into complete darkness. What will these two ill-fated lovers have to sacrifice to be together…for eternity?
I know that I have said this in the past, but I am a huge fan of anything to do with Scotland. When I read the blurb for Highland Crown, I knew that I needed to read this book. It was set entirely in Scotland. Plus, I was intrigued by Isabella. A female physician in Regency England was unheard of. I needed to read this book. I am glad I did because it was fantastic!!!
Like I mentioned above, Isabella was an anomaly in Regency England. In that era, women were expected to be seen and not heard. An educated woman was rare. Even rarer was a woman physician.
The prologue was poignant. I wasn’t familiar with how Scotland was treated in Regency England. So, I wasn’t expecting it to be as bad as Sir Walter Scott said it was. Regret and sadness were tangible. It also gave a great introduction to Isabella’s character.
I liked Isabella. She had to be strong to become a physician in an era where a woman was considered property. When her husband was killed and a bounty placed on her head, she did what she had to. She wanted to make her that Maisie and Morrigan survived. Separating from them was her way to ensure that they wouldn’t be killed or hurt. Of course, that put her on a crash course with Cinaed.
I fell a little in love with Cinaed every time he appeared in the book. He was brave. What he did when he was injured showed that. The guy had two gunshot wounds, and he still killed two people. Impressive. He had a vulnerable side also. He was hurt over being cast out of his clan when he was 9. He didn’t know what he did to deserve that, but 21 years later, it still weighed on his mind.
I liked that Isabella was older than Cinaed. In the grand scheme of things in the book, it was a small blip. But for me, it was refreshing. She wasn’t easily disturbed by things that would send a younger girl into a faint. She also wasn’t a virgin. So the sex scenes weren’t all about her being eased into sex. Instead, they went at it.
The secondary characters brought depth to the book. Auld Jean, Searc Mackintosh, Sir Walter Scott, John Gordon, and Lieutenant Hudson were terrific. Lieutenant Hudson scared the crap out of me. He had one train of thought, and that was to get Isabella.
The romance between Cinaed and Isabella took a while to kindle. Which was OK with me. I wasn’t expecting them to fall in love while Cinaed was injured. I did get a small sense of Instalove after he was on the mend. It didn’t bother me. I actually expected it because of the era that the book took place in.
I thought the sex scenes were great. They were not graphic, and just enough was written to get my attention. Then I had to use my imagination for the rest.
The end of the book was great. I loved how Isabella’s storyline ended. It was what I expected. But, it was Cinaed’s storyline that threw me for a loop. There was a twist in the plotline that I didn’t see coming. It shocked me as much as it shocked Cinaed. With that plot twist, came the cliff hanger. I have said in the past that I do not like cliffhangers. But in this case, I do. It did what it was supposed to. It is making me want to read book 2. I need to see what Maisie and Morrigan’s stories will be!!
I would give Highland Crown an Adult rating. There is sex (not graphic). There is violence. There is no language. There are triggers. They would be the death of a spouse, abandonment, and war. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.
I would reread Highland Crown. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.
I would like to thank the publisher, the author, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Highland Crown.
All opinions stated in this review of Highland Crown are mine.