21 August 2009

Ode to Karen Moning - The Dark Highlander

~click on cover to buy a copy~

Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Dell (May 20, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 044024479X
ISBN-13: 978-0440244790


Journey to a world of ancient magic, breathtaking sensuality, thrilling time-travel... Journey to the world of The Dark Highlander. Crisscrossing the continents and the centuries, here is a novel as gripping as it is sensual—an electrifying adventure that will leave you breathless...

I am Dageus MacKeltar, a man with one good conscience and thirteen bad ones, driven to sate my darkest desires...From his penthouse lair high above Manhattan, Dageus looks out over a glittering city that calls to the darkness within him. A sixteenth century Scot trapped between worlds, he is fighting a losing battle with the thirteen Druids who possess his soul, dooming him to an eternity of sexual pursuit. When Chloe Zanders, student of antiquities, is drawn into his world, she finds the insatiable Alpha male an irresistible lure.

Before long, she is caught up in an ancient prophecy that will sweep her back in time to medieval Scotland. Plunged into a world of timeless magic and dark seduction, she will soon face the challenge of a lifetime: fighting thirteen evil spirits for the heart of one irresistible man...

The Dark Highlander is chocolate for my imagination. Let me rephrase that, Dageus is chocolate for my imagination. This story immersed me in its dark magic that tortured a druid highlander who was love at first sight for me. I was enthralled from the opening sentence and I was eager to find out what happened to Dageus. I have developed a craving to reacquaint myself with every highlander story. It started out with reading a book with weekly intervals but now I am reading one right after the other, unwilling to let go of the Moning magic with these addictive fierce highlanders. The moment Kiss Of The Highlander ended and I read Silvan’s letter I knew no other book would do other then The Dark Highlander. With meeting Dageus again I was enraptured by his persona.

Dageus is the kind of character whom very naturally focuses the attention to his persona. He is scarcely holding on to his honorable side as he is desperately searching for a way to get rid of the thirteen evil druid spirits which possess him now. He is controlling his darker side with dark eroticism; simply bedding a lass is not enough for Dageus. His hunger surpasses need, his stamina knows no bounds and his time grows shorter with each day. I love my heroes on the edge, treading the fine line of good and bad and do it with the kind of attitude that makes me accept it.

Dageus is a man, a highlander, a druid, who is rife with dark secrets. He is dangerous, savagely masculine, his body an aphrodisiac for the eyes and his attitude can be playful and charming yet his eyes can hold a loneliness and despair that makes any woman go weak in the knees. He is a forbidden seduction and I reveled in all he is as a female reader. His struggle with the power of the ancient Draghar – the league of thirteen most powerful druids that ever lived – drives him to the edge and what makes the romance an all or nothing adventure. New York offers him a way to snoop in tomes of text regarding the Tuathe Dé Danaan and the Draghar, in the hope for a sliver of new information.

With all these artifacts Chloe comes in to the picture very quickly. She is to deliver an ancient book to Dageus’ penthouse and when his front door is slightly ajar curiosity gets the better of her and she enters. She find random things all revealing something of the owner, from daggers, to books, to claymores, to the magnum condoms underneath his bed. Chloe is intrigued to say the least and gets caught red handed snooping around. If there is one thing that could be said about Chloe is that she is curious to a fault but also a sensual creature, loyal, adventurous and willing to go the distance for the people she loves. A heroine to instantly embrace and that is what I did.

I didn’t love their romance, I was enraptured by it. I didn’t enjoy their growing passion, I actually felt its sensual inferno. I didn’t read their dialogue with pleasure, I savored the back and fro dance between the genders. From their first moment it was instant action and reaction, they fitted together in their polar characteristics. Chloe still held a freshness to her that opposed to Dagues’ century old darkness and it became a fabulous contradiction. While Dageus was intense and all consuming, Chloe’s inner thoughts tended to alleviate it with a humor that had me laughing at various occasions. Their connection grows over the days and weeks they are together, it is getting deeper with each event, with each new emotion uncovered and acknowledged. Dageus covets all Chloe can bring; passion, laughter, peace, tenderness and an unrivaled partnership like he has never known before. And Chloe was reacting in a very familiar female way to the utter delicious male virility which Dageus had no problem with flaunting every time he got the chance to do so.

I was encompassed by their scorching attraction that held various degrees of sensuality while there was also the ancient Draghar who were creating havoc. It was a force within the story that inserted a sense of frantic need to find a solution for their departure. It upped the stakes for not only Chloe and Dageus, but also for Gwen and Drustan, Silvan and Nell. The Tuathe Dé Danaan was keeping a close eye to the unfurling of the events and this can bring its own repercussion. Because if the Draghar would rule, Dagues would no longer be and a loss that would be felt throughout the centuries.

The story never loses its pace and with so much going on at once, on so many levels, I just didn’t want to put this book down for anything. The plot is a driving force in enhancing the romance but to also make the choices hard for both Dageus and Chloe. In the end I had to get me a tissue because the proclamation of love was all the sweeter, so much hinges on their choices and it infused the emotions with a dire need in the here and now. On the background the MacKeltar clan and the Tuathe Dé Danaan played their part and I loved to catch up with various characters. Especially as Silvan and Nell receive their own romantic conclusion.

With each novel read I try to find the words to say what is so unique about this series, about each story. The things that so appeal to me is that there is a sense of rich Celtic mythology, historical setting mixed with a contemporary one and many characters who instantly immortalized themselves in their own love story. Some novels are loosely connected but as I read on in this series each is more strongly connected then the last building an intricate world that is unlike any other. While some stories in and on itself can be read as a standalone, I don’t think The Dark Highlander is one of them. To fully experience Dageus’ story it is Drustan’s story you’ll have to read fist; Kiss Of The Highlander.

Dagues oozed, radiated and exuded such a dark magnetic force and Karen Moning translated every bit of him in the right way. He is all and more I want in my hero and the kind of highlander I can’t get enough of. Give him a heartwarming and courageous woman like Chloe and the pages are fraught with an electric sizzle. Add a fabulous setting and an all or nothing plot to it and this story becomes a rollercoaster ride.

Karen Moning’s The Dark Highlander is chocolate for my imagination, the first taste of Dageus was the only incentive I needed to immediately demand for more. Dageus and Gwen’s love for each other forged a bond that surpasses your average romance, theirs light up the sky and all you can do is read their story over and over again!

Quote Dageus:
She was curiosity and wonder; he was cynicism and despair. She was bursting with dreams; he was carved out and hollow inside. Her heart was young and true; his was iced with disillusion, scarce beating enough to keep him alive. She was all he’d dreamed of once, long ago. The kind of lass to whom he’d have given binding Druid vows, pledged his life to forever. Smart, the woman spoke four languages that he knew of. Tenacious, determined, logical in a circuitous way. Real, believing things. Protective of the old ways, that was evident each time she watched him turn a page. Twice she handed him a tissue to do it with when he’d forgotten, lest he get the oil of his skin on the precious pages. And he could sense in her a woman that wanted to break out. A woman who lived a quiet life, a respectable life, but hungered for more. He could sense, with unerring instincts of a sexual predator, that Chloe was wanton at heart. That the man she chose to grant liberties to, would be granted then unconditionally. Sexually aggressive, dominant to the bone, he recognized in her his perfect bedmate. He was a man who would offer no promises, no assurances. A man with a terrible darkness growing inside of him.

Quote Dageus:
“You know I’m no’ a good man.” He said, his voice deceptively gentle, belying the steel beneath it. “I’ve made no excuses. I’ve given you no pretty lies. You came with me anyway. Doona pretend you doona know what I want and doona think to deny me. Twice now you’ve tried to go back. There is no going back with me, Chloe-lass.” He hissed the last words, his lip drawing away from his teeth. “You know what I want and you want it too. You want it just the way I’m about to give it to you.” Chloe’s knees nearly buckled. Anticipation shivered through her. He was right. On all counts. He stalked her. “Hard, fast, deep. When I’m done, you’ll know you’re mine. And you’ll never think of naysaying me again.”

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  1. Chocolate for the imagination is right, this is such a fabulous story, loved the excerpts you picked. Dageus was a sensual feast and I still have this book on my favorites shelf and reread at least once a year.


  2. Leontine, you need to stop! You are making me want to re-read these books and I don't have time for that! YOU WENCH :)))


  3. OMG I loved, loved, loved this book, and loved reading your review for it. Like Pearl said, STOP! Now I want to reread it too, but I have a mountain of new releases, are ARC awaiting. Although I doubt very many of them will live up to Daegus!

  4. Yes, as soon as I'm off work, I'm going home, don't pass go, and collect my tattered copy of Dark Highlander to settle in for a re-read.

    Thanks for the Review.

  5. I pulled all my KMM highlander books off the shelf.......because you make me want to read them over and over again!! Daegus is a hottie......I need a Daegus fix now! :)

  6. Okay I have none for reread but I see a book purchase in my near future of all this to check out what they hype is all about, lol!!!
    Leontine, honey~ you rocked this out!! Your reviews were awesome and I know it is night time for you... So... to kick off your weekend... before hubby has his way with you for your birthday...

    (((now remember, my voice is very beautiful... no squeaks)))

    Happy Birthday to you
    Happy Birthday to you
    Happy Birthday to my dear friend Leontine...
    Happy Birthday to you my sweet friend!!!
    I hope you have an absolute blast!!!! Enjoy your weekend!!! **winks for hubby**

  7. The quotes alone are enough to see me on this book. Thanks!

  8. You are making me crave reading those delicious Highlanders all over again, wishing I had one of my own. I just love Dageus!!!

  9. Leontine,

    you make all the good reads sound mouth-watering and delicious, and I'm really bad when it comes to food... really bad. XP

    It's also one of the reasons why I enjoy visiting your blog.

    By the way, I have an award for you. =)


  10. Sounds amazing! I'm going to be getting this one along with her other books now that I have heard such rave reviews on them. Thanks Leontine!

  11. I have this book on my TBR, and it's calling me...loudly!

    Happy birthday, Leontine!

  12. It sounds like another great book.
    still crossing my fingers the librarian can get the rest of the series.

  13. Shall I tell you again how great these books sound ;)
    Oh yes, had to go through my Harlequins (those I have left that are unread) at my parents house in a feeble atempt to find anything with time travel, I did find one book. But I think I have read it. The search continues

  14. Oh my favorite Highlander! Dageus is such a smexy man!!! I lurve it when he says "Chloe-lass" ;)

  15. Hi everybody!

    Pearl, hhhmmm, do I feel bad now?? Nope, can't say i feel bad about making you want to re-read. But I do hear you, time is of the veriest essence when one wants to read all her books in TRP *wink*

    Hi Cathy,
    Whenever I get sick I can re-read me a Moning, such confort reads at those times.

    Hi Blanche,
    What are you waiting for, go forth and read them Mackeltars!

    Hi Cecile,
    Still have a grin splitting me face :D

    Hi FictionGroupie,
    You are most welcome!

    Hi Marissa,
    It makes me think of the movie Weird Science, you think if we could bring a MacKeltar to life we'd have just as much fun LOL

    Hi Linda,
    Wow, thanks, I feel like a rockin' chick now!

    Hi Jenn,
    I hope you'll give them a try ;)

    Hi Dawn,
    Thanks for the b-day wishes :)

    Hi Elaing8,
    Keeping my fingers crossed for you :D

    Hi Blodeuedd,
    I hope you'll find what you're looking for!

    Hi Mandi,
    I love the dark edge of Dageus and he will remain among my top favorites in this series.


I love to hear all your voices and opinions so thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.