17 August 2009

Ode to Karen Moning: Beyond The Highland Mist


~click on cover to buy a copy~

Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Dell (March 9, 1999)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0440234808
ISBN-13: 978-0440234807

Summary:

AN ALLURING LAIRD

He was known throughout the kingdom as Hawk, legendary predator of the battlefield and the boudoir. No woman could refuse his touch, but no woman ever stirred his heart—until a vengeful fairy tumbled Adrienne de Simone out of modern-day Seattle and into medieval Scotland. Captive in a century not her own, entirely too bold, too outspoken, she was an irresistibly challenge to the sixteenth-century rogue. Coerced into a marriage with Hawk, Adrienne vowed to keep him at arm's length—but his sweet seduction played havoc with her resolve.

A PRISONER IN TIME

She had a perfect "no" on her perfect lips for the notorious laird, but Hawk swore she would whisper his name with desire, begging for the passion he longed to ignite in her. Not even the barriers or time and space could keep him from winning her love. Despite her uncertainty about flowing the promptings of her own passionate heart, Adrienne's reservations were no match for Hawk's determination to keep her by his side...

{might contain spoilers!!!} Click for my summary of BEYOND THE HIGHLAND MIST ~here~



Karen Moning is one of the authors who introduced me to reading English and in retrospect, what better way to step in to this world then with a novel of Karen Moning? She rocked my world at that point in my life, not only was I reading in the original language, I experienced a story on a whole different level and the sensuousness was like eating Belgium chocolates. More, I wanted to gorge and wanted much more of this. I remember that at the same time I discovered Ebay…a book addict set loose on Ebay, are you all getting the picture? I was going wild and before I knew it I fired op the cyber highway, found myself loads of info and moreover, that the Highlander series contained many more novels with seductive titles like; The Dark Highlander & Spell Of the Highlander. I was in a state of utter bliss.

Back then I gave a shout out to my fellow readers about this new-to-me series and did that with a summary and a written two-line thought process on the book. Now that I am re-reading this utterly delicious series I am also re-reviewing since I have so much to say since that life-altering moment, almost four years ago now. Oh how time flies when you’re having fun, some sayings are so on the dot because I did have so much fun since then!

Scotland anno 1513: King of the Tuatha De Danaan sends the courts fool across time to find a woman who is strong-willed and flexible of spirit to accept time travel, but most of all, who hates beautiful men.

King Henry of Scotia burns with vengeance for the son of a man who stole his bride. The last act of servitude and the King’s ultimate revenge will be that this son will marry mad Janet Comyn.

Finally back at his beloved Dalkeith-upon-the-sea, Sidheach James Lyon Douglas, aka Hawk, is mad as a bull for his forced marriage. Instead of going to Comyn keep and marry he gets himself rip-roaring drunk and sends his best friend Grimm to marry by proxy.

The 20th century: Adrienne de Simone is back in Seattle where she hopes to start her life anew after life altering events. When she discovers an old chess set in the attic she admires its black queen and the next moment her body drops in the lap of The Comyn. Now she finds herself in Scotia anno 1513…

When two kings exact their revenge on one man they inadvertently create a chance for a legendary love to ignite.

With a fairly classic time travel storyline of a woman dropped in another time, meets an arrogant Laird, and together struggle to overcome the misunderstandings Karen Moning shows how much world building and characterization can do for a story, laced with a good dose of humor and passion to top things of. She not only brings to life a rich Fae world but also impressive characters who lingers in my mind after I finished the story of Beyond The Highland Mist.

Hawk is a man who is proud, strong, and responsible for his clan but is forced to play the role of a don juan. He is forced to succumb to the whims of a King and thereby giving himself the renowned reputation of a ladies man. Still, in his most secret corners of his heart he holds dreams, dreams that take him back to Dalkeith-upon-the-sea, so he abides his time until he can return. My historical romance heart beats a bit faster upon meeting Hawk. He is stubborn enough for me to sometimes beat him over the head with a club and at other times he does and feels the most romantic things that make me fall for him completely.

Adrienne is a heroine who is willful, intelligent, tough and humorous but with her caustic humor she shields a wounded and lonely heart. With time travel I want to believe in the characters reaction to it and I found an authentic combination of disbelief, angst and a healthy dose of 20th century independence in Adrienne. I was in touch with her character and I lived every moment with her during this story.

The conflicts between Hawk and Adrienne sets the dialogues sizzling, they have that push-pull effect going on that is both exhilarating as it is trying. Their mind speaks of one thing when the heart dallies with doubt and hope. What makes their journey of the heart such an interesting one is a third party named Adam Black. He taunts Hawk and entices Adrienne and when a promise is made between the two men that whomever Adrienne chooses, the other will willingly release her, it raises the stakes considerably! I loved the challenge between Hawk and Adam, it spiced up this story with male vigor and a deepening of the emotional risk for the two main characters.

Because Adam might make an impressive statement in Beyond The Highland Mist he is still very much a secondary character. There is a small group of supporting characters but key to the overall story. Lady Lydia, mother of Hawk and Tavis the Tanner made Dalkeith-upon-the-sea a home. Grimm, best friend to Hawk, will never look at a falling star the same way and adds a smile along with friendship and loyalty in the right amounts. All characters are well-drawn and interconnect with each other to give this story a moving final.

With the rich writing style of Moning there are funny moments like when Adam Black and King Finnbheara zap Adrienne in and out of the past and into her own time. Adrienne makes a desperate attempt to bring her cat along for the ride back to Dalkeith and her thoughts were just short of hilarious. There are also moments where the romance soars high, if only to think of Hawk reciting his command at the end, of Adrienne and Hawk talking together under a starry sky. And sensuality, there are also rich, dark and intense sensuous moments between the central pair to express their chemistry. For me personally I only have to think about that bead of sweat trickling down of smithy Adam Black’s torso all the way down to touch base with his kilt, I can still get thirsty by recalling that particular scene!

Beyond The Highland Mist at the core is simplistic but Karen Marie Moning makes it shine with great characterization, lively dialogues and a colorful background. One of the unique things I found in this novel is her Fae world, she blends classic historical romance with an utter delicious Fae twist. It elevates this story to a wonderful and promising start of a much treasured Highlander series, written by an author you should not miss if you enjoy historical romance with a hint of the unknown and other worldly magic.

With Beyond The Highland Mist Karen Moning seduced me in to a world I want much more of!

Quote Hawk:
“Enough. Now we’re going to count the Hawk’s rules.” He held up his hand and began ticking fingers off. “First, you’re my wife, thusly you’ll obey me in all things. If I must command you to my bed, then so be it. Second”- his other hand rose and she flinched, half expecting to be hit, but he cupped her face firmly and glared into her eyes –“you will stay away from Adam. Third, you’ll give all pretense of being delighted to be married to me – both publicly and privately. Fourth, fifth, and sixth, you’ll stay away from Adam. Seventh”- he janked her from the bed and to her feet in one swift motion – “you’ll explain precisely what you found displeasing about me, after I make love to you, and eight, we’re going to have children. Many. Perhaps dozens. Perhaps I’ll simply keep you fat with child from this moment forth.


My Question of the day is; Where and when did you read your first Karen Moning novel?

PS:Later today an introduction post with giveaway will be posted on my blog!!!

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21 comments:

  1. I read my first KMM book, which was Darkfever last year. It was't until I read all three of her fever series, that I discovered she had highlander books!! I actually have only read the last four of her highlander books - because they dealt more with her fever series. So I have never read about Hawk! Can't wait until you talk about Dageus!! ;)

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  2. I love, love her Highlanders!!

    Those books were the ones that sealed the deal with me and romances four years ago! I remember I had to wait for Spell of the Highlander to go to MMP before I bought it. I would look at it in the store on the shelf and want it so badly! But no way was I buying Hardcover at the time. :)

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  3. I only found KMM last year, my library had Darkfever, so I read those three then the Highlander novels...

    I forgot about Adrienne trying to bring back her cat! Even though my head tells me it can't be so, Ms. Moning really creates a believable world - you do feel like you're there with her characters.

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  4. Leontine,

    I've read Beyond the Highland Mist, I picked it up at Wal-Mart a couple of years ago. :) That is the only Highland book I've read, but I enjoyed it. I've read all of her Darkfever series so far.

    M

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  5. Leontine - you are enforcing me to look back at a dark part of my past (LOL) - I read my first Moning eon's ago...

    I sort of out grew her "Please don't stone me" - just as you said - she really does very simplistic plots...

    The few highlanders that I have read - are big on the alpha - what more could any girl ask for - I must pick up one of her books and revisit...

    E.H>

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  6. I was introduced to KMM by a certain someone called Leontine, who forced me to go read these Highlanders, it took me one chapter to be hooked, KMM's Highlanders series is still one of the best series in this genre. I am still in love with Dageus.

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  7. Well now, let's see...I received pretty much the entire set of her Highlander series for Christmas last year. Because I was so backed up with my tbr, I hadn't read the first one until recently. I cracked it open and started reading. Then, *wham* the entire plot and story came back to me in a flash. I read the first book before, but I still can't remember where or when, or why I never continued the series.

    I think she's a wonderful writer!!!

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  8. Hi Leontine,
    Sounds like a good book, for some reason I haven't read many time travel novels at all. What a shame.

    As for Moning, well I started listening to the podcast of her book this spring...still is since I am awful with audio

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  9. I read my first Moning many years ago. I own all of her Highlander books and my favorite is The Dark Highlander. I started to follow her Fever series too and now I can't decide which series is better. She writes awesome books!

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  10. I haven't read any Karen Moning books.
    I haven't read too many historical romance novels either,but this sounds pretty good. I'll have to check the library to see if they have them.
    Thanks Leontine for showing me a new author.
    elaing8(at)netscape(dot)net

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  11. Hi guys,
    I am currently wrapped up in Cian's story. I forgot how much Spell is an introduction for the actual Fever series and Queen Aoibheal, she knows more, she's up to something and haven't got a clue what.

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  12. Well, BTHM is the one and only KMM book that I've ever read. I don't recall where b/c it's been a few years. I do remember being pretty disappointed.

    I have a hard time keeping an open mind with time travel. It always seems kind of silly to me so that's why I stopped with BTHM. I do understand though that the later novels in the series are better. I might give them a try.

    Great review, girl!

    ;) VFG

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  13. Hi VFG (((hugs)) If you don't have any love for the TT then Karen Moning's Highlander series can be a harship to read since at least 4 novels have TT elements in them. Perhaps you can give the Fever series a try one day :D

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  14. The first KMM book I read was Spell of the Highlander which a friend lent to me. I loved it and promptly went to the bookstore for all of the other books.

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  15. My first KMM book was The Dark Highlander some years ago, I loved it and when I realized I was in the middle of a series I looked for the earlier books. Haven't found all yet....

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  16. Yikes, I haven't read not one book of KMM! But I will soon, have to, so I can see what everyone else is excited about. :)

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  17. Hi Donna,
    I hope you'll get a chance soon and like Mandi said, the last four in Highlander series are more connected to her Fever series. I read an excerpt of Dreamfever today as a band-aid and just got a reminder of how much the are getting interconnected.

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  18. I read my first KMM book about 5 years ago. It was one of the Highlander series. I was at home.

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  19. Started reading her last year (I know, I was seriously late to the party) when I came across Darkfever. Definitely catching up on her now.

    joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

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  20. Read Beyond The Highland Mist when it first came out around 2000, and enhaled every book in the series.


    caity_mack(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  21. I like the way Cathy M puts it, "enhaled", quite poetic and pretty much describes how it happened to me too :). Well, until Fever series, that is.

    Beyond the Highland Mist got suggested to the Bestest Best Books Ever! (BBBE) list. It is obviously a "happy" read.

    Cherry
    mischivusfairy-spamme2 AT yahoo DOT com

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