I will have the pleasure to interview Willa Blair on my blog January 30th. Come on back to hear her answers to my questions about her writing process.
Title: Highland Seer, book 2 of Highland Talents
Author: Willa Blair
Genre: Historical Romance
Story Setting: Scottish Highlands, 1517
Published By: The Wild Rose Press, Inc; Faery Rose 1st edition
Published Date: July 23, 2013
Synopsis: Donal MacNabb is loyal to his adopted Lathan clan, yet he resents being a pawn in their treaty negotiations with the struggling MacKyries. The MacKyrie clan needs his skills as an arms master, but its Laird is bartering for more than Donal is prepared to give.
Ellie MacKyrie knows the Lathan treaty will help protect her clan from the neighbor determined to seize her holdings any way he can–including forcing her into marriage. But she has another reason to want the Lathan alliance. She has Seen the stubborn Donal MacNabb reaching for her in her dreams.
While Donal fights to save a clan in trouble, his desire for the MacKyrie Seer wars with his obligation to his Laird. Before she is forced into a marriage that will destroy her clan, Ellie must find the heart behind Donal’s gruff exterior and convince him he is the man of her dreams.
Review: Donal MacNabb was special to the Lathan clan and the clan was special to him. It had been his home for many years. He was man of few words and rather gruff. But he was something to behold, quite handsome in his rugged way. He was one of the few men of Clan Lathan traveling in the Highlands looking for clans to strengthen the pact. All those who sign, help would be extended them when needed. The MacKyrie clan was the furthest away from the Lathan clan they had come. They didn’t know anything about the clan, but the keep was well-kept and very large.
Surprises aplenty awaited the Lathan men. The clan Laird was not a man but a woman. Laird Ellie was intelligent, quick-witted and beautiful. She was also a Seer. She felt that the man in her Seeing was Donal MacNabb. He would save her clan. When the Laird Ellie wanted to make him her consort he almost escaped back to the Clan Lathan, forget about any treaty. He struggled with the idea of being attached to this clan in any way. His loyalties were elsewhere even though he saw they could use his services to train the lads to fight and defend themselves.
It’s fun to watch how Ellie schemes to get Donal’s attention, make her see him as a woman, not a Laird and how Donal’s attention is very well caught but he controls himself, hating to display how she affects him. Donal valiantly tries not to like the Laird. He was at MacKyrie clan on a mission, but he wanted to bed her, and knew that a one-night stand would not be the thing for the Laird. She was worth much more and he was not the man who matched her in position. He was no one.
I like Ellie MacKyrie. She exemplifies the pride and protective instinct of an honorable Highland clan leader. She was also sensitive and compassionate. When her people were hurt, she would do anything possible to help them. She hadn’t thought she would be Laird. What woman would? But the battle at Flodden in 1513 defending King James IV against the English left its toll on the clan; most of the men had died, including her father. And those left in the last four years had slowly been picked off by neighboring clans eager to take possession of the riches of the MacKyrie clan. She was also someone who was not above asking what she wanted as well as being wise beyond her years. There were some tender scenes where she acted the Laird with a just and fair hand.
Jamie, part of the Lathan clan plays ambassador and quite the charmer. He always said the right thing. The same time Donal would be thinking something, but not saying it, Jamie would ask the question or make the right remark. This only made Donal feel more inept.
I enjoyed the chapter scene switches the author used to build suspense; ending a chapter with I-need-to know-more reaction from me only to drop back to another scene also ending much the same way, making me quite edgy until the events coalesced. Character Macduff was a bastard, the antagonist and a very well-developed villain, very easily hated which I lovingly did!
I felt each of last few chapters all could have been good endings to the story. It was an unusual ending, to have each chapter feel so complete you’d think it the end of the book and then turn the page to find another chapter. It didn’t detract from the excellent story plot and writing, but felt somewhat awkward to me.
Willa Blair’s books are fun to read, continually engaging my interest with the many twists and turns of events. With action aplenty, suspense and the little extra spice of paranormal, her talent to spin a good yarn is unmistakable. I recommend her stories to historical romance lovers of the Scottish Highlands.
About the Author: Willa Blair is the award-wining author of Amazon and Barnes & Noble bestselling Scottish historical paranormal romance and a contributor to USAToday’s Happy Ever After romance blog. Her popular Highland Talents series, set in a pivotal point in Scottish history, is filled with men in kilts, psi talents, and plenty of spice. Available in ebook, print, and audiobook formats, the first three titles will soon be joined by more novels of adventure and romance.