19 August 2009

Ode to Karen Moning; The Highlander's Touch

~click on cover to buy a copy~

Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Dell (November 7, 2000)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0440236525
ISBN-13: 978-0440236528



She was a mighty Scottish warrior who lived in a world bound by ancient laws and timeless magic. But no immortal powers could prepare the laird of Castle Brodie for the lovely, accursed lass who stood before him. A terrible trick of fate had sent her 700 years back in time and into his private chamber to tempt him with her beauty—and seduce him with a desire he could never fulfill. For this woman he burned to possess was also the woman he was sworn to destroy.


When Lisa felt the earth move under her feet, the fiercely independent 21st century woman never dreamed she was falling...into another century. But the powerful, naked warrior who stood glaring down at her was only too real...and too dangerously arousing. Irresistibly handsome he might be, but Lisa had no intention of remaining in this savage land torn by treachery and war. How could she know that her seductive captor had other plans for her...plans that would save her from a tragic fate? Or that the man who had long ago forsaken love would defy time itself to claim her for his own...

Click ~here~ for my written summary of 2005/2006.

When a hollow artifact goes missing after an ambush Circenn Brodie has just enough time to put a geas on it. Whomever touches the flask will return the Hollow to Circenn, so he vows to Adam Black on his honor he will kill the person returning it. A knight never backs down on his vows, oh no, not Circenn Brodie, he upholds them religiously.

Lisa Stone has two jobs. She needs them in order to take care of the bills her mother’s advanced cancer is producing and to live a little. Upon her cleaning job in the museum she opens a beautiful wooden box and holds the flask within it. And ends up in a tub, with Circenn Brodie, all 6 ft 4 inches of his muscular body. Life suddenly delivers a 180 on both of them and becomes infinitely more interesting.

As I am re-reading all my Highlander novels it is with The Highlander’s Touch that I realize how Karen Moning altered my world with her time travel novels. Up till then I enjoyed the time travel theme but Karen Moning made me fall in love with it. The clash between a 20th century woman and a 15th century warrior is told with an astute feeling for searing romance and Moning’s Fae world is not only imaginative it infuses the story with old magic and mysteries. Place it all in medieval times of Scotland and you have all the ingredients for an astounding story.

First of all, how can I not love Moning’s characters? The valorous knight bound by his own code, Circenn Brodie is much more than a warrior of his time, he is more than a skilled man who wields his prowess with ease, he is more, period. I don’t think I have enough words to do him justice so I’ll quote from the story:

Circenn Brodie, laird and thane of Brodie, exuded the magnetism of a man born not merely to exist in his world, but to conquer it.

Circenn is the kind of hero I lap up from start to finish. Not only innate virile but also bound by his own rules and in a situation that puts him in a conflict with his self imposed rules. It creates such an inner struggle between his honorable warrior’s side and the one that is savagely male and ready to conquer and mate. It provides obstacles for Circenn to overcome, throws him of his rigid attitude which is so hilarious at times and makes the romance and passion all the sweeter.

Now a hero can be a stud-muffin from start to finish but he is just that when there isn’t also an intricate personality to give depth to the character. Circenn held a few surprises along the way and I discovered some of them because Lisa provokes him to no end. Lisa gives as good as she gets and while Lisa is in a dire situation she is resilient enough to deal with it. From the moment a dripping wet Circenn jumps out of the tub she is drinking in the picture he provides, who would blame her? Karen Moning made sure I had all the goods to picture him in my mind to what Lisa got presented at that time. She is dealing with all the changes as they come, she is proud, sensual, intelligent, and tenacious which is all incited by deep emotions. All attributes that provokes Circenn to no end and together they are a combustible combination of personalities.

The rich history of Scotland performs as a fabulous background with Robert the Bruce warring with England for a free Scotland. The Templar Knights who have been torn asunder and find refuge within Circenn’s castle. Mean while a deadly jester in the Fairy Queens court a.k.a Adam Black meddles on his own terms with the sequence of events. From Galan and Duncan Douglas, trusted friends and advisors to Circenn, to the brief encounter with Roberts the Bruce, they all keep the story dynamic and lively. Each character distinct and adding joy and sorrow to the main storyline. Whether Circenn would forgo his honor or if Lisa would make some of the hardest choices any person has to deal with, it was one of the romance factors that made the story so engaging for me. There wasn’t a page I did not enjoy to read, my eagerness to find out what would happen between Lisa and Circenn made this story an instant read. I opened it one late morning and kept on going until it was time to eat dinner.

The romance turned me in to jell-o. Not only do they give as good as they get they fall for each other with such wild, wanton and electrifying passion it concurs centuries. When Circenn discovered what he had to do in order to keep Lisa my heart pounded, romance soared as only Karen Moning can give it and I had stars in my eyes as the ending neared. The Highlander’s Touch is such an ultimate feel good story. Where two star-crossed lovers concur all, where a battle rages in the background, where treachery is lurking for an opportunity and magic seeps through and become the very essence of the story.

Perhaps there were a few minor things that made me raise my eyebrow but they evaporated in the overall pleasure of reading this story. I have to make a separate comment about Adam Black, he adds his own twist and turns again in this story. Just like in Beyond The Highland Mist he is meddling and interfering, an addictive combination of bad and good, of dripping sensuality and ego, of love and longing. He is a mix of Fae magic and male virility I can’t get enough of and I revel in the fact I get so much of him in this series until I reach his own story in The Immortal Highlander. In this story however we get to see a more mortal side of him and it showcases a highly intriguing side that entices to explore for more and what makes him tick.

Circenn and Lisa have it all, a profound ‘all or nothing’ romantic story that swept me off my feet. Enemies to defeat in battle as well as off the battlefield and a supporting cast of characters that enriched The Highlander’s Touch like no other. Time travel has never been so delectable or so addictive to read and re-read. Because if there is one thing that is for certain is that Karen Moning’s Highlander novels are very re-read worthy, her stories, imagination, humor and characters are just that good!

Adam Black smiled as he removed the tampon from the barrel of the riffle. Although Circenn has refused to use any of the weapons Adam had brought him, the warrior within him could not permit time to tarnish them. He snorted, dangling the tampon from its string. Only his fastidious Circenn Brodie would decide that the soft white swabs were to be used for cleaning.

Eyeing the rifle, Adam grinned. They were the perfect size to slip inside the barrel – it nearly seemed sensible. But he hadn’t brought tampons back to medieval Scotland for Circenn to play with; he’d brought them – and every gift he’s chosen – for another reason.

Once, he walked on a California beach, nude in the full glory of his true form. Thousands of Californians had been stricken by high fevers that had erupted in public displays of eroticism.

He loved being Adam.

The sun beat down upon his muscles chest, a tropical breeze licked his dark hair. He was a pagan god, savoring his world- there was no better place to be.

Most of the time.

Question of the day: If you were thrust back in to time and you had a wee bit of time to gather three items, which would they be?

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  1. I loved this novel in the series. The ending is romantic is ever and the story absolutely amazing! Especially the tampon part! It made me burst into a cry-laughter!

  2. Once again, great post Leontine!

    I love these series, it is one of my favorites, therefore I have them in hardcover and will cherish them forever! You really make me want to read them all over again with these posts, if only a day had more hours to read!

  3. I loved, loved, LOVED this book! I listened to it on audiotape and it was great, I think it's my favorite of the series, or maybe next favorite after "Kiss".

    Love your review!

  4. Wow - I was introduced ti Karen Moning with the Fever Series but it looks like I need to pick up a couple of her backlist books too!

    mdwartistry at yahoo dot com

  5. I really need to reed this time travel books! A hot Highlander what more do I need.
    What to choose....toothpaste, underwear and a box of painkillers. How boring and practical I was ;)

  6. This is one of my favorite books by KMM. She is an amazing writer. I can't wait to read her newest book.

  7. This book sounds great.The series seems to get better and better.
    3 things I'd take..did they have toilet paper back then..lol..well I take some of that..my Ipod, it would eventually stop working but it would freak people out..and finally some clothes.

  8. This book sounds great!
    What would I take back in time?
    A solar powered light
    Swiss army knife
    Extra pair of glasses

  9. OOOH, good question. My answers...Hot guy, Hot Guy #2 and Hot guy #3!

    Just kidding. Okay, maybe not, lol.

    I need to get crackin' on the rest of this series!

  10. Leontine, girl your reviews...sigh. I think you could make the phone book sound romantic enough to have me running out and buying it. lol!

    Hmmm....three things to take with me to go back in time....this is a toughy. Well, can dental hygiene products count as one?? One comfy velour suit cause god knows what kinda scratchy fabrics they had back in the day. And....OMG I just glimpsed what Barbara would bring. LMFAO!!!! And she thinks I'm a hussy. Puuullleease! lol!

    My last item....a family photo album.

    (((hugs))) VFG

  11. Great post and Happy Birthday!

    The items I'd grab would be toothpaste, deodorant, and my bottle of painkillers.

    joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

  12. Hey Leontine,
    these series sounds quite interesting. Why have I never read this?

    What would I take back in time? I would say my laptop but that wouldn't be very clever cuz no Internet in the past. So I would say an IPod with all my music, my HTC with all my ebooks and hygiene products(all in one bad so they just count as one item-LOL)


  13. Happy birthday and great post.

    I've read and heard great reviews for this series!

    I would take back in time some clothes, underwear and pads.

  14. Hi Leontine!!

    I really do love these books, I need to pull them all out and read them again! The whole tampon thing had me laughing!!

    3 things.......
    -eReader (I'd make sure it was fully charged before I went!)

  15. Wow Leontine - Congratulations on your nominations, and reaching 100 followers!

    Your reviews of KMM's books are wonderful, I can tell you love these books.

    What 3 things would I bring? Toothbrush, my favorite book, and a good shampoo/conditioner!!

  16. Congratulations on your nominations also!! Very deserving :D.

    I have no idea what I would grab to take with me. Anything that was battery operated wouldn't last too long, but at least it would last a short time. So my ereader most likely. A bag of bathroom items! A bag count as one item?? Oh and some comfy jammies! Of course if I'm with some sexy highlander I might not need those :D.

  17. Ok that cinches it I have to go and get her books now lol. This one sounded amazing too!

    And Leontine huge congrats on the Nominations you deserve each and everyone! BRAVO

  18. Karen Marie Moning is one of my favorites and I can't wait to read DreamFever :- )

    Three things that I would take back in time.....penicillin,toilet paper and my birth control pills...I would like to be prepared if I met a hunk, but also prepared to not have a gazillion babies, lol!

  19. Ughghgghhg... I am so upset, blog ate my comment!

    Okay.. onto a happy note...
    Now remember my voice is very beautiful... lol...

    Happy early birthday to you
    Happy early birthday to you
    Happy early birthday to my dear sweet friend, Leontine,
    Happy early birthday to you!!!!

    Okay, honey you are rocking these highlanders!!! Your reviews are awesome!! And yes, I am "buying" (I crack me up, lol) my time to save some money to go to the store and buy me some!!!
    You have such a way with words!!!

    Okay... three things to go back with me in the past...
    1.) Allllll bathroom products.
    Okay, I know I am cheating by grouping all this together... but we so know they did not have these "things" wayyyyy back then, so I do not want to think about what they don't have!!!

    2.) An Air Conditioner!!!!

    3.) Okay, hot me are next on my list... Oh wait, crap... Barbara is bringing them already... Okay, I am going with Barbara!!! Seriously, my thrid item would be allll the lacy, racy and sexy (Victoria's Secret will be out then!!!) undergarments I could stuff in my "whatever size lugagge" I get to bring. Because we all know how our historical men love what is to be found under those big ass dresses with the corsets!!!
    Honey, I know you will have a wonderful birthday week!!!!

  20. *sigh* I knew this would happen, I knew when I stopped by for your KMM week it would make me want to read the whole series again :)

    K my three things for essention Time Travel Emergency Kit:

    1. Never Ending Supply of Lip Gloss

    2. Tweezers (Gawd not about to have a uni-brow thank you very much)

    3. I would magically steal/borrow super secert Oil of Olay moisturizer recipe in which I could replicate (naturally) in the past and make gobbs of money.

  21. Wow, Ive read the first 3 in the Fever series. I really need to read her other books.

    Hmm, I would take, a lighter, a bottle of water, and a bag full of other useful items. Hey the bag is the third, I cant help is something happens to be in it.

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  22. Congrats on your nominations!!!! I'm so proud of you! Sisterly bearhug.

    Owh dear me, 3 things I would bring along to the past, I would bring my two cats (can't live without them), my mp3 Player with loads of music and as I'm from the future and able to go back in time, I'd bring a spell of device to bring me back and forth every once in a while to stock up on anything I'd need and meet up with family! Have to stay tuned on the gossip ;-)

  23. Hi Guys,
    I've been running around like crazy and thanks for stopping by, for the felicitations and Cecile...you must be family hon, only they sing a birthday song to me :D

    VFG, girl... a phone book can contain contact info on some very hawt men *grin*

    I am so thrilled to hear you all at least enjoy Moning in some form, whether it is her Highlander or fever series and for those who still have to discover her, I hope you will do so soon.

    My three things I would take with me?
    Since everybody is sneaking in a bag of toiletries, so am I with lip gloss, moisturizer, tweezers, razor, painkillers, toothbrush & pads.

    Dictionary of the old languages.

    Jewelry so i can sell them and have money from the time period.

  24. Happy early B-day girl! I also pimped you out on my blog! Ok that is a seriously good question. I would have to say that I would carry tampons for one, second I would carry capstick (I have a slight addiction), and third I would carry with me my son, to share my experience with!

  25. Lovin all the entries so far. I would take toilet paper, sunscreen and pain killers.


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