Highland Destiny – Magic of the Highlands #1 – Laura Hunsaker

 

Highland Destiny

I swear that this book had parts in it almost exactly like Highlander Unchained from the MacLeods of Skye Trilogy by Monica McCarty. Having just read Highlander Unchained not even two weeks ago, it was fresh in my mind. Both books were about a woman on her way to be married getting abducted from a carriage by a Scottish laird which could have been in any book about Scottish Highlanders but it was the scene that happened while they were getting kidnapped that made me think that one of the authors copied the other’s work. Of course, that is probably not what happened but it made me look at the publication dates on the books just because it made me so curious. This book was written a few years later than Monica McCarty’s book.

Both abduction scenes had the woman being grabbed from the carriage by a strong man, up against his chest and both women stabbed the man. Monica McCarty’s (MM) character actually stabbed the man in the side but Laura Hunsaker’s (LH) character missed and cut the man’s arm. Both women were aware of the closeness and how muscular the men were. Then both characters ran from the men. The men caught them by landed on them and both women’s face went into the ground and of course, both women noticed and kind of liked the feel of the man on top of them. Both women had to travel on horseback with the men back to their homes. And then while at the castle’s each woman sewed the laird’s clothing wrong on purpose.

Putting aside the weird ‘coincidences’, I enjoyed this book. The author uses a lot of humor which is one of the qualities I look for in an author. She didn’t pull off what I call “the emotional rollercoaster effect” that Monica McCarty does to me but she wrote well enough for me to consider reading more of her work. I know I shouldn’t compare her to another author but since her book had so many ‘coincidences’ in it to MM’s work, I automatically started comparing.

This book was more of a paranormal romance mixed with a historical romance because it involves time travel.

MacKenzie Elizabeth Stewart is on a vacation with her friend in Scotland. She is in the gallery sketching a portrait one of the former lairds of the castle she is staying in when two men dressed in old fashioned Highland garb asked her to follow them. They take her through a secret passage that takes her out to the front of the castle where she was dropped off in a taxi the day before but everything has changed. It is 200 years in the past.

Before she can think, she is ushered into a carriage and is traveling at break-neck speed through the countryside. The two men tell her they are sorcerers who need her help. She is the first female to be born in the Stewart line in over 200 years. In order to break a curse and a long going feud she has to pretend to be betrothed to an evil man named John Campbell who wants to use her to gain power somehow. They assure her that they will get her back to her time before she has to actually marry the man but they need her to distract him with marriage plans so they can find the spell that will help them destroy John Campbell. They hand her an amulet and tell her to hang on to it because she’ll need it to get back to her time.

She believes them because she has been having the same dream for most of her life where she is across the dance floor where people are wearing costumes from a man with cold empty eyes. She knows the man will kill her before the night is over but she walks towards him then sits next to him at a table.

Before the sorcerers can tell her more, she is abducted by Connor MacRae, John Campbell’s enemy. He was given information that John Campbell’s betrothed would be traveling through his lands to the Campbell’s castle which is really his castle that Campbell stole. He abducts MacKenzie for revenge.

Most of the book happens at the MacRae castle which is called the Eileen Donan.

Eileen Donan

Eileen Donan

 

Connor MacRae is the chief of his clan. He receives information on where the bride of his enemy, the evil John Campbell will be so he abducts her for revenge but doesn’t count on falling for the lass. She is so peculiar compared to most lasses. He was shocked at her clothing when he first saw her, a pair of shorts and a tank top and then she just hopped up on his horse like a man instead of side-saddle like most ladies. When she tells him she is from the future, he doesn’t believe her at first but then she shows him her digital camera, IPod and cell phone and he starts to believe her.

Note: It bugged me that MacKenzie kept forgetting about her camera and technology when she tried to convince Connor that she was from the future. It seemed like the obvious proof to me but she kept forgetting about it. And then it was at least a week or more from the time of her abduction to the time she showed them to him and they were still charged. My camera keeps a charge for months but my cell phone and IPod have to be charged daily if not more. I guess her technology had better batteries than mine.

Connor and MacKenzie start falling in love but Connor doesn’t fully trust MacKenzie to not be in cahoots with his enemy. MacKenzie doesn’t make it easier for him because she plans on going to John Campbell because she believes it is her destiny to save everyone by going to him. She hasn’t got all the details but she knows everything will work out right. Even if Campbell kills her, the MacRae clan will be saved.

I liked this book enough to read the next book in the series. I thought that there were more books completed in the series or I wouldn’t have started it but it looks like the next book is the only other one finished so far.

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