A delightfully entertaining highland romance, packed with suspense, greed, spite, forgiveness, humor, loyalty and love. I very much recommend the listen and book.
Title: Highland Solution Duncurra Series, book 1
Author: Ceci Giltenan
Genre: Historical Romance, Highlands
Story Setting: Lowlands; Highlands, 1359
Published by: Duncurra, LLC
Published Date: June 5, 2015
Narrated by: Paul Woodson
Length: 9 hours, 46 minutes
Release Date: June 3, 2014
Publisher: Duncurra LLC
Publisher’s Summary: Niall MacIan, a Highland laird, desperately needs funds to save his impoverished clan. Lady Katherine Ruthven, a lowland heiress, is rumored to be “unmarriageable”and her uncle hopes to be granted her title and lands when the king sends her to a convent. King David II, anxious to strengthen his alliances, sees a solution that will give Ruthven the title he wants, and MacIan the money he needs. Laird MacIan will receive Lady Katherine’s hand along with her substantial dowry and her uncle will receive her lands and title. Lady Katherine must forfeit everything in exchange for a husband who does not want to be married and believes all women to be self-centered and deceitful. Can the lovely and gentle Katherine mend his heart and build a life with him or will he allow the treachery of others to destroy them?
©150 years Ceci Giltenan (P)2014 Ceci GIltenana
My Thoughts: For a debut novel, I’m extremely satisfied with the plot, character development, ratcheting suspense, pace of the story, theme and the happy ever after of this lovely Scottish Highland romance. I will continue the series with Highland Courage next month.
Katherine was one of those characters whose good qualities you wished you had. She had lived in the worst of conditions with a nasty, self-centered, mean-spirited uncle. Uncle Ambrose was greedy and delighted to see his niece squirm with the fact that the king had ordered Katherine to wed the impoverished Highlander, Laird Niall MacIan or find her way to the convent. She was married that day.
Ms. Giltenan describes the scene so vividly I was there standing in the corner seeing and hearing all. I loved the scene where we get to meet Katherine, Uncle Ambrose, and Laird MacIan. Narrator Paul Woodson really does this scene justice.
I got a good read on the kind of character each has. Katherine was grace herself, yet demure with a spine of strength as well as compassion for her clan. She usually hid her emotions behind a mask of calm. Uncle Ambrose was the type of man who enjoyed inflicting pain, whether emotional or physical. Katherine was much at his mercy. Laird MacIan had come to take his bride no matter what she looked like. The driving force for him was the dowry that would save his clan from utter ruin. He was pleasantly surprised by her form, not by her dress, and later he found her most out spoken. Laird MacIan is the one character that the author lets us discover as the story unfolds.
I liked how the author shows us the difference in tradition between the highlander and lowlander and how each had little love to the other. Katherine, a lowlander, had married into a highlander clan.
Laird MacIan carried plenty of past baggage. For one, his step mother had beaten him when young and frankly, reader, she was a bitch. And once she got her claws into Katherine, I thought I’d see feathers flying! A really great scene.
As with many heroes, sometimes they are obtuse. Sometimes VERY obtuse. But I’m afraid Laird MacIan puts a new meaning to stupid. Even Katherine couldn’t hold back. She told him to his face he was an idiot. Many times I stopped the listen to bookmark and note with “I agree”, “you’re right”, “idiot, right on”, “STUPID!!” By the time he moved to greener pastures I was “pissed” with him and he had to work very hard to put himself back in my good graces! Oh, I didn’t mention he expected no lip. He gave an order, it was to be followed. I wondered at this point if Katherine had moved from the frying pan into the fire!
Can I say this politely? I think the laird was intelligent, and a good leader, when he wasn’t controlled by his anger. However, short-lived, it hurt friends. He was also easily manipulated. These are two very big flaws for our hero to overcome.
I don’t want to say more about this exciting and tension filled listen with much more happening than I mentioned – no spoilers here. If you haven’t discovered Ceci Giltenan, as I just did, don’t delay, get on her wagon to the highlands!
About the Author: Ceci started her career as an oncology nurse at the NIH, and eventually became a medical writer. She is married to an Irish carpenter and they raised their family in central New Jersey. Now she is breaking away from drug development and writing a few “happily ever after’s.”
She is thrilled to be a member of the Guardians of Cridhe who will be releasing their first collection of new Scottish historical novellas, The Scrolls of Cridhe, Volume 1- Highland Winds, on November 17, 2014. Working with stellar authors in the genre, Sue-Ellen Welfonder, Suzan Tisdale, Kathrine Lynn Davis, Lily Baldwin, Kate Robbins and Tarah Scott has been nothing short of magical.
The Guardians of Cridhe are donating a portion of the royalties from the sale of all e-books to the Cancer Research Institute, the world’s oldest and largest nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to advancing the science of cancer immunology with the goal of developing new ways to harness the immune system to prevent, treat, and–one day–cure cancer.
About the Narrator, Paul Woodson: Narrator Paul Woodson records, edits, and master audiobooks commissioned by authors and publishers through Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX). He’s been an AEA and SAG actor for almost 20 years, with most of his work in Theater. He studied theater at Boston University’s BFA program with work in classical theater, dialect and vocal training. When he was a lad (love that word) his family lived in England where his father did graduate work at Cambridge. I asked Paul how he had such great accents in this reading. His answer was thus:
“Perhaps the immersion at a young age, plus my frequent portrayal of Englishmen and Scotsmen has kept my dialects sharp over the years.”
He has narrations of 40 books presently on Amazon. If you are a medieval romance historical romance reader, check out his narrations of books from Ceci Giltenan and Lily Baldwin and now Jennifer Lee Davis. If any of my author friends need a narrator who speaks French and German among other talents, seek him out.