Today I have a new to me author, Adrienne Basso, with her new reformation-era (14th century) historical romance. Please read on to find out about this title while reading a review and excerpt, be sure to check the tour stops to see what other readers thought and be sure to enter the tour wide giveaway where you could win one of 3 Mass Market Print Copies of THE HIGHLANDER WHO LOVED ME, But first
The Highlander Who Loved Me
In keeping with the obsession with all things historic romance, let’s go to14th century Scotland to meet James and Davina in The Highlander Who Loved Me by Adrienne Basso. The second son of the McKenna chief, James is nearly everything one would want in a hero: honorable, protective, strong, determined and wholly Scots in his outlook. It’s hard not to like him, even when events turn and twist and horrible things happen.
Davina is an orphan, raised by the chief of the Armstrongs, her uncle and aunt. At first, she was a solid character with a good heart and while not untouched by personal tragedy she’s not wallowing in self-pity or hopeless. Her instant attraction to James is understandable, and his concern and caring for her is palpable, and you just know these two need to be together.
But then tragedy strikes and Davina, scarred and scared is brought back into the arms of her family who shelter and fuel her fears, and she becomes a clingy, critical, wallowing miss, not displaying the backbone or heart that we first met. James too has changed, but his feelings for Davina never quite went away, even though her careless and thoughtless behavior for a large part of the story is confusing and frustrating for him.
And there is where I had a problem: yes, much of the change displayed by both James and Davina did have some justifiable reasons, but the wholesale change in Davina’s thoughtfulness and caring nature was completely missing in the latter part of the novel. The explanations just didn’t fit the behavior and back and forth for her, and especially the disrespect that she showed James repeatedly. He was a true gem, sticking about and weathering her rather mercurial behavior. And no matter the explanation from the author (she needed to be civil) actually fit with the behavior or earlier build of the characters.
Those moments took time to develop and display, and the repetitive displays of Davina’s new nature without real solid reason pulled the flow of the story off kilter, and made the romance elements feel dragged out and along. Incorporated well was a mystery element that kept popping up and adding new twists until the reveal, and was well-structured and paced. Overall, it was a rather uneven story that started out well-paced and then started to fluctuate in pacing and interest to the end.
Title: The Highlander Who Loved Me
Author: Adrienne Basso
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: Zebra
Published on: 29 December 2015
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour
A HIGHLANDER IS ALWAYS WORTH WAITING FOR
Scottish Highlands, 1329. Sir James McKenna, second son of the powerful McKenna Chief, knows he has found his destiny when he falls in love with sweet Lady Davina Armstrong, niece of the Armstrong Chief. Orphaned in childhood, Davina has always felt like an outsider, and with James finally feels that she belongs. But their plans for a happy future are shattered after a brutal attack by a band of rogues. Horrified, Davina’s overprotective family quickly shelters her from everyone—including James…
Five years later, James is a changed man. His fighting skills sharpened to perfection, he is hardened by the war and destruction he’s endured as a Scottish knight—and by the loss of Davina. Weary, he returns home—and is shocked to find Davina there. Is it too late for them to start anew, or will the past dare to lay claim to their future once more?
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.