It continues to rain kilts here at Booktalk with Eileen. It is such an amazing time in history to read about and even more exciting when you listen to an excellent narration of an entertaining story!
Title: Return of the Highland Laird, A Highland Force Novella
Author: Amy Jarecki
Genre: Historical Romance
Story Setting: Northern England, 1587
Sold By: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Listening Length: 3 hours, 42 minutes
Narrator: David Gillies
Release Date: December 19, 2014
The Highland Force Series:
1. Captured By The Pirate Laird
2. The Highland Henchman
3. Beauty and The Barbarian
4. Return of The Highland Laird, a novella
An untimely tempest transports two miserable and lost souls to England’s Abbey Wood where they stumble across each other’s paths. Lady Jane, a battered woman and accused murderess—Laird Alexander, fleeing his keep after blaming himself for the accidental death of his wife. Both souls must heal their wounds. Both souls have reason to keep their identities hidden. This misshapen pair discovers each needs the other—though neither is willing to admit dependence. Alexander must return to his kin and resume his laird’s mantle. Lady Jane must clear her name and find forgiveness. But before healing can begin, it is essential they learn to trust…and love.
My Thoughts: Even though a novella, this listen was rich in everything except its length. I couldn’t put it down and listened to it in one afternoon. This is the third book of Amy Jarecki’s I’ve read/listened and all are very fulfilling to my spirit. She exposes the wildness of the Highlands, along with some highly lovable highlanders, the brawny type with large egos and larger hearts.
This particular story was about Lady Jane Whitehaven whom we’ve met in an earlier book in the series. She has lots of demons to overcome. She’s hiding deep in the forest hoping not to be discovered by the new Lord of Whitehaven and the sheriff. Her days are bleak indeed for how does a woman not taught the skills of survival manage to take care of herself in the circumstances she finds herself? She loves her only companion, Max, a spaniel who happened upon her one week after she was spirited away from the castle by a loyal servant.
Laird Alexander Macleod, leader of the clan on a remote island of Raasay is beaten, robbed, and dropped off deep in the forest for dead far from his home. But dead he is not and stumbles into Lady Jane’s small decrepit cottage, forthwith losing consciousness. Too weak to turn him out, she agrees to have him stay to repair the cottage and fencing for the sheep, her payment for giving him sanctuary. They are both wounded souls in need of repairing who find solace together.
David Gillies does an excellent narration using his natural Scotsman’s brogue to tell the story. His speaking voice easily moves from narrator to Laird Alexander and using a more feminine tone to Lady Jane. His musical training and acting skills are apparent for his voice doesn’t overpower the story rather it participates in its creation, much like evenly-matched dance partners.
Even though this novella is part of a series, it is easily enjoyed in and of itself, however, if the reader knows the characters that are secondary to this tale, it would be more enjoyable. Ms. Jarecki’s characters are all worth knowing and the series is one I shall continue to follow.
About the Author: Amy loves Scotland! She holds an MBA from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and now resides in Southwest Utah with her husband where she predominantly writes historical romance. 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.
About the Narrator: David Gillies is a multi-talented individual living in Glasgow, Scotland. We learn of him here as a voiceover artist, narrating Return of the Highland Laird written by Amy Jarecki. He is also an actor, singer, bassist, pianist, violinist, composer, musical director, sound designer and radio producer. Nice set of talents and in this novella he certainly displays his voiceover expertise. If you like what you hear here, he’s busy narrating Ms. Jarecki’s Knight in Highland Armor, book one from the Highland Dynasty Series.