Heart of a Highlander

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 24 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

Let’s talk about the hero first: Ian is a former soldier feeling ashamed about the death of fellow soldiers during an attack in Afghanistan. When he dies in a car accident and Fate, first name Tobias (a real and sarcastic character not really likeable), offers him a possibility to change the past and save his comrades if he first accepts to live some time in the body of this ancestor who shouldn’t have died the day before his wedding in 1643, Ian jumps at the chance. As you can imagine we have a hero honest, determined, and brave, who tackles the problems head on and keeps his spirits up even if at times he feels out of his depth.

Aila is a heroine in his own measure. She was raised by her brother after her parents deaths, in a quite unpleasant atmosphere where she was often belittled because she doesn’t have the voluptuous build of the other women, where she had to sneak out to learn with the clan’s healer, and if she often thinks she’s not good enough she tries and start off on the right foot in this marriage and new clan by standing up to Ian – most often before he can even say what he thinks about it. Where she annoyed me a little is when she gets it into her head that Ian is in fact a supernatural being, a sidhe, who has come and possess the body of her fiancé she saw dead with her own eyes, certainty reinforced by the fact he changed his behavior overnight. So she’s suspicious of everything he does, repeating to him each time that he’s a sidhe, and if I think the wanted effect was to amuse the reader it fell flat with me.

Between them the attraction is immediate and they yield to it first by obligation – they need the proof the wedding was consummated – and after that by desire. The love scenes are well described without being too descriptive, and we see the feelings evolve in a satisfying way.

Unfortunately there are points that took me out of the story, like the Scot accent that is at time too present: nae, ken, brither… it’s a mental gymnastics with each dialog to understand what the characters are saying. Except when the hero’s talking because, except at first where he makes efforts to have the accent, most of the time he talks normally, using modern words and turns of phrases the others around him don’t understand. But that doesn’t disturb them. In Scotland of 1643, a man who acts and talks strangely, in fact, amuses them and they only tell him he’s “titched in the head”, meaning “somewhat crazy” but with the accent. I think historically talking he’d have had more chance to be exorcized or more…

Another point that threw me out of the story, when the heroine thinks a tea would do her good for her morning sickness. As the first sale of tea in London took place 14 years later, I doubt at the extreme north of Scotland tea could have been a drink in vogue in 1643. Or the scene where the heroine does a movement worthy of a contortionist that so threw me out of my reading I went and ask my fellow Romantiques members if this movement was even possible (answer: not without dislocating her ankle).

Finally there’s the whole plot about the threats done by the heroine’s brother on her wedding day, motivating Ian to construct traps to protect his people, and that turns out to only be the words of a drunkard of which he has no memory several months later.

So I admit, I love time travels, and even if they don’t always meet my expectations it’s rare they’re really bad. Heart Of A Highlander is no exception, but its good points can’t erase its flaws, and if I read it without being bored I wasn’t really drawn into it.
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Heart of a Highlander was such a sweet book.  I enjoyed seeing the love between Ian and Aila blossom.  His PTSD after serving in Afghanistan was heartbreaking, but I loved the ending of the story - definitely worth reading to the end.
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When a story is based on a time travel theme, we obviously have to suspend reality to some degree.  This was definitely different from anything I've read before.  Normally, the heroine goes back in time as the damsel in distress, but the hero does in this case.  Fate steps in after a car accident and asks Ian if he'll go back in time to right something that impacted something badly centuries ago with his ancestor and, in return, he'd get a second chance to relive those moments when his men were attacked and killed in Afghanistan.

Aila and Ian are two people who try to make the best of a situation that they have little to no control over.  Aila is a strong, independent woman who makes the best of what she can in the time period.  Ian's modern knowledge is extremely helpful when he has to restore his dilapidated castle and help feed his people.  They are generally two easygoing, likable characters.

I felt that the ending was a little rushed, but there were a few unexpected twists that made the story unpredictable.  Overall, a good story.
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I didn't expect the time travel/time slip aspect to this novel but it was an enjoyable, fun read. 

Many thanks to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for my ARC. All opinions are my own.
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A splendid historical romance set in Scotland. Good writing and story building. So enjoyed it and look forward to more by Ms. Mansfield
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I felt this was an enjoyable read, with two likeable main characters, and the timeslip and the military slant were done well, I did think that some of the elements of the story left me with questions, and there were some inconsistencies but overall it was good fun to read.

Ian Mackay is a 29 year old ex vet of the Afghanistan campaign, working on his parents farm in Ohio, bored with the farming life, and tortured by guilt over the deaths of men under his command. He is involved in a RTA, and has the choice to go back in time to live an ancestors life in 17th century Scotland, in return for the chance to change what happened in Afghanistan.  

In the body of the now dead original  Ian Mackay, the modern day Ian marries Aila Gordon who is sister to the Laird of Clan Gordon. This has been ordered by the king to unite feuding clans. Aila doesn’t want to marry Ina Mackay, because of his drunken, philandering wastrel ways, and she believes she is not the sort of woman men find attractive. Aila has discovered Ian Mackay’s dead body, so she recognises that he is not the same person when she marries the modern Ian Mackay the next day. Her harsh brother obeys the king, and then sends Aila off with Ian, after warning her he will kill any children she and Ian have.

The two of them are sent to an inhospitable part of northern Scotland to a ruin of a castle Ian was promised in return for marrying Aila, Ian has to work hard to learn how to feed and house and support his clan, and avaoid his enemies the Sutherland’s and the Gordon’s. This is a really interesting part of the book, and held my attention.

Where I struggled a little was the blithe way Ian relinquished his connections to his parents and modern life, that didn’t ring true. I also felt the resolution at the end, was almost too neat and tidy.

To summarise an enjoyable read with a couple of inconsistencies and a slightly too neat conclusion.

Also posted on Goodreads.

I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
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I am not a fan of time-travel romances, but the synopsis intrigued me so I decided to give it a try. As far as the time-travel, I feel that the author did an excellent job of meshing the time periods. I liked how Ian used his modern-day skills in historic Scotland. I loved the connection and chemistry between Aila and Ian, without giving too much away, I didn’t like the way Ian dealt with Fergus—I think the book would have been much better without the entire scene(s) with Fergus and Ian. While the book began really well, I thought that it ended a little too abruptly. While the author did try to tie up loose ends, I still felt as though I had missed something. 

Overall, not a bad read. If you enjoy Scottish, steamy romances with strong main characters, then this is the book for you.
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3.5 stars
I really enjoyed this book. It's the first time travel romance book I read where the character that goes back in the past is a man and not a woman. It was a nice change and I really enojoyed it. It had a slow start but once the story picked up I couldn't stop reading.  The main female character - Aila was a strong heroine with a kick ass personality, a certain charisma, and a strong will of her own capable to stand her ground against everyone else. I really liked her. I liked the story, the characters and the time travelling back to Scotland in 1600s. 
But on the other hand, the Scots' accents could have been executed a little better. As they were, they just annoyed me and distracted me from the story. Also many things are not well described and are left alone without further descriptions which annoyed me but as story progressed things got more clear (or they simply didn't bother me that much any more). I also wish we'd get more of Ian adjusting to the past times (and a different body too). It seemed like he got used to it all way to quickly and easily. It felt rushed. 
But overall this was a nice solid read. I'll defenitely check out more books by Ms. Mansfield.
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This book wasn't bad.  I did read it to the end, but I kept wanting more meat on it's bones.  So many things were glossed over or missed.  I would of loved more back story on adapting to life in the 1600's, and deeper character development.  I think the star of this book is the romance. So if you like erotic sex scenes, with an entertaining back story, you will enjoy this book.
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Heart of a highlander is a romantic historical time traveling book about a man from current times struggling with life who dies and is given a second chance. He must go back in time and take over for one of his ancestors and right some wrongs that were not suppose to happen. 

When Ian agrees he is thrown back into the 1600s Scotland where he will have to work his butt off to save his family and people of this village. Of course it’s not without challenges, but he never anticipated his new wife. 

Feuding families, building a village up from scratch, falling for a complete stranger, this book is very interesting and the end felt perfect considering how the whole book started. Really enjoyed this one.
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Story starts out with Ian, a soldier suffering from PTSD in present day Ohio. Trying to avoid an Amish girl, he swerves into the ditch and flips the pickup 3 times and dies. Upon awaking, he is met with Tobias, who takes him back in time to an ancestor with the same name, who has died by being drunk and choking on his own vomit. Tobias places him in the other Ian's body, and he awakens in 1600 Scotland. He next is sent to the chapel, where he awaits his betrothed Aila, who is the sister of Fergus, from a clan he is feuding with. Wasn't sure how this would work, but actually ended up really liking this one. Good story, good author, and one I highly recommend. Hard to put this one down.
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