May 23, 2014

Highlander Betrayed by Laurin Wittig (Guardians of the Targe #1)

Highlander Betrayed by Laurin Wittig
Genre: Paranormal Historical Romance
Bottom Line: An action-packed highlander novel with a touch of magic.  

Rating: 8

Guardians of the Targe
1.  Highlander Betrayed
2.  Highlander Avenged (June 24, 2014)  

Synopsis (Goodreads):

Hidden deep in the rugged Scottish Highlands lies the Highland Targe, an ancient relic guarded for centuries by clan MacAlpin. It is said the Targe can shield the heart of the Highlands from invaders and now, as part of his plan to crush the Scottish rebellion, the English king wants the Targe for himself...
Rowan MacGregor, orphaned niece to the chief of the MacAlpins and the rock her family depends upon, is worried. With the dwindling health of her aunt, the Guardian of the Targe, the protections that have kept the clan safe and prosperous are fading, and the new Guardian, one of her cousins, has yet to be chosen. Rowan wants nothing more than to see the clan protected again, but when it seems that will never happen, she despairs—even when a handsome and charming stranger comes to her aid. 
Nicholas fitz Hugh is not what he seems. Half-English, half-Scottish, he turned his back on his Scottish heritage early in his life, giving his loyalty to England instead. Now he is a talented and cunning spy charged with finding and stealing the Highland Targe for his king. 
But when Nicholas finds himself falling for the bonny Rowan and wanting to protect the family she holds so dear, he is forced to choose between his king’s will and his own: Will he betray his king and his mission? Or will he turn his back on the woman he has come to love?

My Thoughts:

This story is a mix between a paranormal, highlander, and spy romance. I actually had no idea that this book had some paranormal aspects before I started reading, so I was pleasantly surprised.  If you don't like mixing some magic in with your historical a little!  Or just be forewarned.  This was an interesting story about a Scottish clan that has the power to protect the passage to the Highlands with a shield known as the Highland Targe.  Since this shield inspires hope in the highlanders, King Edward of England wants it for himself.  He sends out his top two spies, Nicholas and Archie, to obtain the Highland Targe.  Nicholas infiltrates the MacAlpin clan, and begins to learn about the Targe and the family that guards it.  He is especially interested in Rowan, the beautiful niece of the chief who seems to wield some interesting powers.

I was happy to find that this story did not follow what I have found to be the "typical" historical romance spy plot:  the characters fall in love for most of the book, a few dirty nights...she learns of the betrayal, cry cry cry, forgive, the end.  Highlander Betrayed added a bit more to the plot which kept my interest.  I really enjoyed the plot, but I thought the emotion between Nicholas and Rowan was a little lacking.  It was certainly romantic, and there were a couple sensual scenes, but the overall feel I got from them was a little...tame.  I just did not feel a huge emotional connection with these two characters, even though betrayal plots usually have me bawling.  Regardless, the action held my interest throughout the story.

I enjoyed the magic in this book, but I wish it was explored a little more.  I think the magical aspects of this story were meant to be secondary to the romance and action, so I didn't expect as much as I would from a full on paranormal romance.  It did get a bit annoying when a question about the magic surrounding the Targe was brought up and the answer was always "no one knows, that's just how it has always been."  The plot did leave a few problems unsolved to lead up to the next book in the series, Highlander Avenged, so perhaps we will learn more about the history of the Targe from Jeanette's story.

Overall, I thought this was a nice action-packed highlander story, though a bit lacking in passion.  The magic is a welcome surprise to a paranormal romance lover.  

Find it on: Amazon | Goodreads | Laurin Wittig         

No comments:

Post a Comment