Title: The Beauty and the Barbarian, book 3, Highland Force
Author: Amy Jarecki
Genre: Historical Romance
Story Setting: Eilean Fladda, Scotland, 1584
Published By: Rapture Books, 1 edition
Published Date: May 25, 2014
Listening Length: 10 hours , 39 minutes
Publisher: Amy Jarecki
Production Release Date: November 11, 2014
About the Story: Born with the mark of the devil, Merrin has been hidden on the islet of Eilean Fladda for near twenty years. When the body of a Highlander washes ashore, the innocent lass presumes him dead. Brushing the hair from the rugged warrior’s face, her fingers connect with warm flesh. Warm.
Ian MacLeod wakes to a woman so radiant, he believes her an angel. But when the lass recoils from him, he fears she knows of his evil deeds. While he heals, Ian is stunned when he exposes her witch’s mark, yet he’s spellbound by Merrin’s allure. He’d do anything to erase his haunting past and earn her love.
But there’s a henchman after Ian’s head, and when that man learns the Highlander is still alive, the couple is forced to flee Merrin’s sheltered world. Fighting for survival, destiny demands they each face their demons, but doing so may forever ruin them both.
My Thoughts: Oh. My God. I didn’t read Amy Jarecki’s Beauty and the Barbarian before I listened to the audiobook. I had listened to Captured By the Pirate by Amy Jarecki, and really enjoyed that listen. But I can only say this was such an experience! The story in and of itself, was more than I anticipated and Brad Wills drove it above the top of the charts! What an amazing story and production!
So what makes a great story? And why do I love the historical romance with a medieval sub-genre? We women love to be strong, let’s face it. I do. But when a man steps up to the plate and makes life more bearable, willingly and with love protect and cherish, I’m willing to lean into him and take the warmth and comfort where I can. Does that make me weak? Nope, I don’t believe so. Does it makes me a woman who can appreciate the maleness and need of a man to protect his own? Yes, I do believe it does.
Amy Jarecki has written a wonderful and compelling story that draws the best out of the feminine gender and the best of man when he’s honorable and compassionate, weaving a story that captures the heart and more. Ian is just such a man and I could hug him around the block and back (if there were such things as blocks in 1500’s!) I absolutely adore Gar and his warrior-like protection of Merrin. This is a story that will long remain with me.
I am remiss to not have read The Henchman, book 2 before this one, which I shall forthwith remedy, however, it didn’t detract from book 3.
Brad Wills has again amazed me as a narrator. I listened to his narration of The White Lord of Wellsbourne by Kathryn Le Veque and was not disappointed. Here he makes me forget that it’s a man narrating this story, and even forget it is a narration! I am a hairs-breath from Ian and Merrin. He is so good with the female voice and with all the voices he’s able to produce, I am truly amazed.
When the people of the Keep became ill, I truly felt they were. The evil women who were ready to burn the ‘so-called’ witch cackled with malevolence; Brad Wills illuminated their evil, I could feel their presence next to me. How can he produce all those voices from his own?
Amy Jerecki is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. If you have the chance to sample her work, don’t hesitate. If you are a lover of historical romance and in particular the sub-genre of medieval stories, make sure to include her in your reads.
Amy is the president of the Heritage Writers Guild, and a member of the Celtic Hearts Chapter of the Romance Writers of America and lectures on writing topics.
Amy’s first published novel, now titled Boy Man Chief, won the League of Utah Writers award for Best Manuscript, and the St. George Spark Book Award. Since then, she has won many other writing awards. Her novels, Captured by the Pirate Laird, The Highland Henchman and Beauty and the Barbarian achieved bestseller status on Amazon’s Scottish Historical Romance genre list.