Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Review - A Highlander’s Christmas Kiss

Author:  Paula Quinn
Series:  Highland Heirs #1
Genre:   Historical Romance
Publisher:   Forever
Format:  Print ARC
No. of Pages:  352
Date of Publication:  September 27, 2016
My Rating:  4 Stars


Christmas may be coming to Linavar, but Temperance Menzie is far from joyful. Grief-stricken over the death of her father at the hands of the Black Riders, she almost didn't see the wounded stranger in the woods. And now she's determined to give this braw, brooding Highlander the help she couldn't give her father. But there's a secret lurking in the depths of his blue-gray eyes. And Temperance won't rest until she uncovers it . . .


A killer for hire. It's the last thing Cailean Grant ever thought he'd become, but being part of the Black Riders was his only way to survive. Now, his guilt grows day by day, along with his desire for the beautiful, brave lass nursing him back to health. As Christmas, the season of miracles, draws near and the truth of his identity threatens to come out, Cailean must risk the only thing he has left to lose-his heart.


The holidays are supposed to be a joyful time. However, Temperance Menzie is grieving the loss of her father. He died at the hands of the Black Riders. Temperance swears vengeance on whoever is responsible for her father’s murder. In her grief-stricken haze, she nearly bowls over an injured stranger in the woods. Temperance couldn’t save her father’s life, but she will do all that is in her power to save the life of this stranger. 

Cailean Grant is a part of The Black Riders. From my understanding, this is explained more fully in a previous story. The details are below. But he is desperate to keep this a secret to Temperance. Cailean never wanted to join the Black Riders. He has fought to the death, and may do so again in the future, but this is not the man he sought to become. It was truly a matter of survival. Now Cailean must survive his injuries, but will he survive the guilt assailing him?

While Cailean struggles to recover he must contend with very mixed feelings. He was certain that he had found the love of his life, but tragically, she died in his arms. However, it doesn’t take him long to realize that he has growing feelings for Temperance. Meanwhile, she has been promised in marriage to a man she does truly love, but only as a dear friend. This is made ever more clear to her, as she must contend with things only Cailean can make her feel. 

Considering the time and setting of this story, more than just romance is explored here. Danger is ever-present in this story, right from the outset. Also, we see facets of Temperance’s personality explored as she is determined to kill the man responsible for her father’s murder. Meanwhile, Cailean’s secret really offsets any chance for a future between them. 

As this story has Christmas in the title, the season is part of what is going on, although quite different for our day and age, and even most locales. I was able to enjoy the story, which was a bit heavier towards danger and the thirst for vengeance. Nonetheless, I was pleased by the time I reached the happy ending. The rabbit trails may be a bit twisty at times, but Paula Quinn is a very intelligent writer who gave me as a reader the opportunity to feel the intensity of all of the predicaments as they happened. 

Add to all of that a fast-paced story, likable characters and men in kilts and you definitely have me prepared to continue this series. As a matter of fact, I downloaded the next two books listed here, and will be receiving the latest title any day now. 

A Highlander’s Christmas Kiss is the first book in the Highland Heirs series. The following books that have been released are The Scot’s Bride, Laird of the Black Isle and Highlander Ever After. There were previous stories in a related series, The MacGregors: Highland Heirs, that is loosely connected to this one.


I made it! I'm finally here! My first book, Lord Of Desire, will hit the bookshelves August, 2005.

It's been a long road.

I've always loved stories. I was fortunate to have a mother who not only read to me, but made up tales of her own. My luck continued as I grew up. Fourth grade was one of my favorite years as a student. Some things you just never forget, like Sister Joseph Anne and her original stories about the adventures of Jane and Fifi at Avocado Green. I could have sat at my desk for the next ten years and listened to her.

When I was eleven I had the supreme audacity (and confidence) to submit my own masterpiece, a short story, to a science fiction house. To my disbelief and dismay, my story was rejected. Not one to be disillusioned by a mere, We're sorry, but this is CRAP, I submitted yet another manuscript, this one a full length paranormal. Rejected again. What did they know, anyway?

It didn't stop me from writing. I wrote poems, plays, and short stories. But I never submitted any of them again. They were the children of my loins! (Sure I thrived on the dramatic, but doesn't every pre-teen?) I couldn't bear having someone critique them.

An avid reader, I read The Exorcist and Jaws before the movies came out. After all, what could a producer show me on screen that could compare with my imagination?)

My favorite genre in reading was science fiction, but something was always missing. Enter my other first love. When I was fourteen I met the boy who would become my husband. By then, I was already a hopeless romantic, (I just didn't know it yet) so the poor guy didn't stand a chance. Then one day he kissed me. Aha! That's what had been missing from my library! A knee-melting, heart-accelerating kiss! I bought myself a black and white composition notebook and poured my heart out into sonnets, which I read to my sweetheart while he yawned. But who cares if I brought him close to unconsciousness? I had found my niche! Romance, ah, sweet, scintillating romance! Life made sense. I finally understood why I always had to have a Ken doll to go along with my Barbie.

Happiness. Bliss.

Then reality came a' knocking. I wrote because I loved writing. The thought of making it my career hadn't crossed my mind. (And those rejection letters tucked deep beneath my stack of journals, calling out, remember me? Remember me? Well, they didn't help either.) I had to get a job. One that paid real money. My life took a different turn, one that I affectionately call, The Joys And Why Can't You Just Put The Toilet Paper On The Roll Thingie Of Motherhood. Yes, I married my knee-melting kisser of a boyfriend and had three beautiful children and a zoo, complete with a Lhasa Apso, a Chihuahua, a brand new beautiful Cockatoo named Marley, and lots of finches, keets, and fish.

I still wrote. I happily clicked away at my keyboard, page after page, content to share my stories with my mom and my best friend before sealing each manuscript in a colorful plastic envelope and retiring it to my file cabinet. Fortunately, I took them out every so often and read them to my husband late at night, after the kids went to sleep. He never yawned, but he did fall asleep on several occasions.

But he was always my champion. (Would a romance writer marry anything less?) And he convinced me to submit my work.

No comments:

Post a Comment