- Author: May McGoldrick
- Performed by Saskia Maarleveld
- Released: February 2017 by Macmillan Audio
- Category: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Review
Innes Munro has the ability to “read” a person’s past simply by touching them, but her gift comes with a heavy price: her freedom. Forced to stay at desolate Castle Girnigoe, Innes never expects to be drawn to the wounded warrior who haunts its dark passages and challenges her at every turn.
Fifty years previously four small pieces of a stone relic, the Wheel of Lugh, were brought to Scotland. Each fragment held a special gift but together, the four pieces would hold a terrible power if they were to fall into the wrong hands. The bearers of the tablets had sworn an oath, to travel to the farthest reaches of Scotland to keep the pieces of the relic separate.
Innes Munro inherited her gift, or curse as she sometimes thinks, after her mother’s death when Innes was seven years old. The piece of stone has been in her keeping ever since, giving her the ability to read people’s thoughts and feel their emotions and pain just by touch. Tending towards solitude, a white streak through her dark hair, dressing in black and wearing gloves at all times, Innes cuts an unusual figure.
But for now Innes and her father were guests at Girnigoe Castle, home of the Sinclairs. Ailein Munro, Innes’ younger sister, was to wed the laird, Bryce Sinclair.
For Innes Munro, nothing compared to the protective arms of night. She loved the dusk, the dawn, and every dark hour in between.
Night suited her. Only then could she really escape the pressures that daytime held. When darkness fell and others slept, no one demanded conversation of her. No one pressed her with unwanted attention or expectation. At night, she could follow her own solitary ways. She could come and go as she pleased. She could live safely within the walls she’d erected around herself.
Conall Sinclair, Earl of Caithness, ransomed from languishing in an English dungeon after the battle of Solway Moss, by his brother, Bryce, still bears the mental and physical scars of his incarceration. His experience has left him reclusive, isolated from his clan, preferring the company of his rescued wolf cub, Thunder.
Innes and Conall are central to this story, two completely different and flawed characters when compared to Alexander and Kenna from the first book. They are both burdened, she with her gift, he because he feels survivor guilt after heavy losses during the battle, as well as knowing Bryce emptied the family’s coffers to pay for his release.
There are snippets from the Chronicles of Lugh at the beginning of some of the chapters, giving an insight into the history of the relic. The power of the fragments cannot be passed on until the person who holds it is dead. The English villain, Sir Ralph Evers, possess two of the tablets and will stop at nothing to acquire the remaining two.
I’m enjoying the well defined main characters in this series, especially Thunder, and the way their relationship plays out. And if, like me, you like your romance with an edge, the historical/mystical element would more than likely appeal.
I chose to listen to and review Much Ado About Highlanders based on an audio copy of the book supplied by Macmillan Audio.
My thanks to Alex Calamela
About the author
(a.k.a. Nikoo & Jim McGoldrick)
Nikoo and Jim wrote their first May McGoldrick romance using historical figures that Jim researched while earning a Ph.D. in sixteenth-century Scottish and English literature. Nikoo, a mechanical engineer, is a born storyteller. She is all about characters and feeling. Jim is about action and sense of place. Together, they have crafted over thirty fast-paced, conflict-filled historical and contemporary novels and two works of nonfiction under the pseudonyms May McGoldrick and Jan Coffey.