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Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Book Review: Highland Hearts Collection by Elizabeth Rose

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The Highland Hearts collection by bestselling author Elizabeth Rose features four romance novels set in ancient Scotland. These are tales of tartan-clad warriors and their maidens - stories of enduring love set against the stunning, dramatic backdrop of the Scottish landscape.

Each book in the collection is from one of Elizabeth's series' and Highland Hearts serves as the perfect introduction to this long-ago world of violence, friendship, family, and above all else - love.

Highland Spring

Spring is a warrior of the Gunn Clan who is offered up as a bride to form an alliance with Shaw Gordon – their enemy. It is actually all a ploy to get inside the castle walls. But once Spring meets the chieftain and his three children from his late wife, she starts to care for them and is pulled into a life she never expected. However, her father has been keeping secrets and Spring finds out she has been lied to her entire life.

Can a warrior woman find love and happiness as the wife of her enemy when she discovers her entire life has been based on a lie?


My Review

Spring is a feisty Scottish warrior woman and a refreshing change from the usual damsels in distress that permeate novels of this genre and period. However, once her father arranges her marriage to Shaw, laird of Edinvale Castle and her clan's sworn enemy, this young woman's life changes forever.

One of my favourite things about this story was Spring's character development. Throughout the story, she uncovers more and more of the truth and discovers what it truly means to belong along the way. Fun, romantic, and at times, steamy, this is a great starting point to delve into the world that author Elizabeth Rose has created.

Highland Spring is a quick, light read - perfect for keeping you busy on a rainy weekend! 

Rating: 3 stars

Lady Renegade

When a horrific battle between the English and the Scots takes Lady Wren’s sight, she is forced to go into hiding with her newborn, and eventually is the leader of a band of renegades. Highlander Storm MacKeefe is tricked into accepting the challenge of hunting down and bringing back the leader of the Renegades. Little does he know he is searching for a blind woman.

Two sides meet, but before he knows it, Storm is captured by a blind woman and her army of women warriors. Sometimes losing one’s sight isn’t what makes a person blind.


My Review

Lady Renegade is a story filled with action, adventure, and romance. I liked that this book fleshed out the world and the cast of characters more than the first, helping me to build a better understanding of the world that these characters inhabit and their relationships with one another. It was also refreshing that the plot focused on more than just love and lust!

I also liked the author's decision to include a blind main character - something that I have never encountered before in a romance novel. Wren is a strong, feisty, independent lady, and it was nice that her blossoming feelings for Storm were a bonus rather than becoming the sole reason for her existence.

This book would probably have been rated higher if it wasn't for a particular event that happened at the end. Without spoiling the book, something happened which made me question a lot of what had already happened and really didn't sit very well with me. I guess you'll have to read the book to see for yourself! 

Rating: 3 stars

The Baron's Bounty

After witnessing the murder of the Scottish king, Isobel MacEwen is sent as her cousin’s proxy to marry the English baron, Lord Conlin de Braose. Isobel has a weakness for shoes and has learned to identify people by their shoes and the way they walk. She’s seen the murderer’s shoes and now those same boots appear in England and happen to belong to Lord Conlin de Braose.

Love, murder, and mayhem are brought to the surface at the marriage of baron and a proxy with a secret love that isn’t supposed to be.


My Review

Sadly, I did not enjoy The Baron's Bounty as much as the previous two books in the collection. I found the main character, Isobel, rather uninspiring and difficult to connect with - similarly, many of the characters in the book did not have the same character depth as I found in Elizabeth Rose's other books.

Similarly, although it was initially quirky, I quickly found Isobel's passion for shoes a little irritating. I mean, she likes shoes - I get it! Coupled with some quite questionably convenient plot points, little character development, and a lot of repetition early on, I just did not enjoy The Baron's Bounty as much as I hoped I would.

On the plus side, I found the action and adventure thrilling, and the character of Rose, Lord Conlin's daughter, was intriguing. I'd certainly be interested to read a future novel telling her own story!

However, I'm afraid I just could not connect with this book and it was a bit of a disappointment for me.

Rating: 2 stars

Aidan 

Aidan MacKeefe is the keeper of Scotland’s coronation stone, the Stone of Destiny. He uses the stone as his pillow. Kept in secret, the stone is safe until Aidan saves Effie MacDuff from her attackers and brings her back to camp.

Effie needs to steal the Stone of Destiny to bring it to the English and save her sister’s life. But along the way she falls in love with Aidan, and her mind becomes confused.

One person is willing to die to protect Scotland’s secret, while the other is willing to betray her country to save someone she loves. But when they both let down their guard, the tables take a turn and beliefs are shattered as desires grow stronger, and someone’s destiny is bound to change.


My Review

I have mixed feelings about Aidan, the last book in the collection. Starting with the positives, I loved the history and rich cultural significance behind the concept, with the Stone of Destiny featuring so prominently. All throughout this collection, I have enjoyed the fact that the writing is so heavily informed by the author’s historical research, and even though the characters and plots are fictitious, it’s nice that their world is grounded in reality and historical events that (to a degree) actually did take place.

On the flipside, I found the characters in this book a little lacklustre. Aidan and Effie are the main characters, yet they lacked any real depth and emotion which was a real shame. Similarly, the whole concept of Effie being Aidan’s ‘Dream Angel’ was overwhelmingly cliché and sickeningly sweet. I’m all for romance, but this just took it a step too far!

All in all, the positives and negatives add up to create an enjoyable, light-hearted, historical read – in fact, providing the perfect way to sum up this collection.

Rating: 3 stars

The Highland Hearts collection is available to buy now.

Have you read any of Elizabeth Rose's books? Let me know in the comments below! 

6 comments:

  1. These sound good for someone looking for a light read, but I must admit they wouldn't be my cup of tea as I don't like romantic fiction.

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    1. At least there are plenty of other books out there to choose from! x

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  2. These sound like they would make good holiday reads. Pity that The Baron's Bounty didn't live up to expectation #readwithme

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    1. I guess you can't win them all though! Thanks for stopping by x

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  3. I've never read Elizabeth's books but the collection sounds interesting. I love medieval stories,

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    1. If you enjoy reading medieval fiction then I'd definitely recommend this collection! x

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