20 August 2009

Ode to Karen Moning: Kiss Of The Highlander

~click on cover to buy a copy~

Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Dell (May 20, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0440244803
ISBN-13: 978-0440244806


A laird trapped between centuries...

Enchanted by a powerful spell, Highland laird Drustan MacKeltar slumbered for nearly five centuries hidden deep in a cave, until an unlikely savior awakened him. The enticing lass who dressed and spoke like no woman he'd ever known was from his distant future, where crumbled ruins were all that remained of his vanished world. Drustan knew he had to return to his own century if he was to save his people from a terrible fate. And he needed the bewitching woman by his side....

A woman changed forever in his arms...

Gwen Cassidy had come to Scotland to shake up her humdrum life and, just maybe, meet a man. How could she have known that a tumble down a Highland ravine would send her plunging into an underground cavern—to land atop the most devastatingly seductive man she'd ever seen? Or that once he'd kissed her, he wouldn't let her go?

Bound to Drustan by a passion stronger than time, Gwen is swept back to sixteenth-century Scotland, where a treacherous enemy plots against them ... and where a warrior with the power to change history will defy time itself for the woman he loves....

Click ~here~ for own written summary 2005/2006 {May contain spoilers!!!}

Kiss Of A Highlander is not only a story where I received a time travel story, it is so much more than that. Each time Karen Moning knows how to make the topic feel fresh and new and thereby avoiding repetitive storylines. It is about meeting characters I instantly adored, it is about romance that soared, hit rock bottom and then soared even more. Kiss Of A Highlander promises scorching romance between two characters who are so very appealing, both apart as well as together, they enhance each other’s presence within the story, they affect world there in and the people they care about. It had been a while since I read Kiss Of A Highlander but always remembered the scene where Gwen falls through the rocks and on Drustan’s slumbering body. She straddles him as he awakens and from that point on attraction sizzles the pages.

Who wouldn’t fall for a heroine who is a bit quirky and decides to go on a trip to Scotland to find her cherry picker, only to end up on a senior citizen tour through the magical highlands? I adored Gwen from the start and was eager to go with her on her journey. Though this is a review of me re-reading this novel it was quite a while ago that I last met up with Gwen and Drustan. Gwen is quick-witted, willful, spirited and so recognizable in her feelings and reactions. Her vacation is an act of defiance, of claiming her female power and of finding her ultimate cherry picker. I cheered her on knowing who she would meet and smiled in female recognition.

With Drustan MacKeltar I got my first real taste of the MacKeltar storyline within the overall series arc and I took it in like there was no tomorrow. Drustan is a spectacular mix of highland warrior strength, charm, humor, honor, stubbornness and even vulnerability. Drustan is innate sensual and I got my first good taste of it when Gwen straddles and awakens him. He is in a strange era and he makes his confusion believable though he is also flexible enough to gradually accept he is in another time. One of the scenes I remember oh so clearly is where he and Gwen go in to a nearby town so they can by some new clothes for him. The referral to his “sock” was hilarious and his first encounter with jeans is unforgettable. Drustan MacKeltar is a warrior hero from the highlands with a twist and I gobbled him up like no tomorrow.

I read page after page, I couldn’t let go of neither character nor their journey. The moment Drustan convinces Gwen they need to go to the grounds of his clan’s castle it is a blend of more exhilarating dialogues, fiery attraction shimmering, waiting to erupt full force and a hint of magic. When they finally arrive at the standing stones romance blooms, it reaches for the soul, the heart and to intertwine it forever. It all echoed within my own romantic heart, only to give it such a twist that it had me feeling just as desperate as Gwen. Now a strange Drustan had to be met, a plot was firmly rooted and I was introduced to new characters.

Silvan and Nell, they are the matriarch and the patriarch of the MacKeltar clan. Silvan has a great wisdom and is always reading a book or challenging his mind in some form or another. Nell is the epitome of a nurturing woman and the housekeeper who takes Gwen under her wing. They both gave a beautiful secondary romance showing a second chance at love can be so very right. And then there’s Dageus, the twin of Drustan, he mirrors his brother to perfection save he is an inch or two shorter, he has golden glowing eyes and a somewhat darker personality. I fell for him on the spot and his story; The Dark Highlander very much connected with Kiss Of A Highlander. Dageus is also a key player within the plot and the effect didn’t go unnoticed. As this story concludes with a letter from Silvan I am moments away from reading Dagues’ own tale for I promise you, reading the final pages of Kiss Of A Highlander makes you instantly crave The Dark Highlander.

Karen Moning is starting to build a world, inhabited with almost larger-than-life characters who slowly transform the Highlander series in to a unique and one-of-a-kind series. Her writing is not only fraught with sensuality, it is the sum of all her different aspects that give a fantastic impact upon closing her books. With each book in this series she takes it a step higher, adding more magic and structure to the world she envisions. She blends her Fae world with that of the Scottish MacKeltar druid line along with individual romance that can travel through time and distance. Even while I am re-reading each story I remember how hard I fell for this series with each book. That I can still experience the full impact of the characters, the romance and the overall plot for a second time means they are true keepers for me.

There was little I did not like about this story as the essence of Kiss Of A Highlander is deeply rooted in the theme; love concurs all, and it soars! The ending is romantic wise a perfect conclusion that gave me blurry eyes with dreamy sighs and the immediate craving to go on a senior citizen tour through the Scottish Highlands and find my own cherry picker, were it not for the fact I was already happily married myself. Gwen and Drustan in their journey were a light beacon in the darkest of nights, it radiated and shined and I savored myself in their glow.

It was a mating of raw need and mindless melding. As if they could somehow crawl inside each other if they got close enough. He trust; she screamed. She clenched; he roared.

Question of the day: Which character in the Highlander series would you choose as your cherry-picker? I know, a very wicked question *wink*

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  1. Nice blog. Nice review. Nice contest count me in. *GRINS*

  2. I've read Karen's Highlander series and I am huge fan! But I did not like the loss of romance and the dark turn that the Fever series took and stopped buying after Bloodfever. I am waiting to see if this series will actually pick up again or will it never recover from it's slump and downward spiral?! Keeping my eyes and ears open for reviews.

    mischivusfairy-spamme AT yahoo DOT com

  3. Drustan MacKeltar is by far my fav!!! All I can say is YUMMY!!

  4. This series sounds really great. I think I can understand why you love it so much.
    Oh and congrats on your nominations!

  5. This was one of my favorites! I don't know why but I loved the scene where she met Drustan.

    I know he's not really in this series (I think he appears once but is a teenager at the time?), but I would pick Christian (as an adult of course!) Love him in the Fever series!

  6. Oh Drustan...I lurve him, but Dageus is still my fav. I loved Drustan and Gwen together..and Silvan and Nell....so cute!

    Great, great book and review!!!

  7. Hmmmm....can't in good conscience answer your question today cause I still haven't read this series. Which, btw, I'm kicking myself over. Good news though, I do have all the books...almost all the books in the series. I'm two short.

    Great review, girl! You have me dying to read the jeans scene!

    ;) VFG

  8. Hm, I can't say, need to know those men more. Drustan sure sounded nice today ;)
    In need of a Highlander now,I do have some old Harlequin historical books set in Scotland on the shelf. I do wonder

  9. I can't answer today's question because I haven't read it yet either.
    However,this book sounds great and I look forward to reading the series.

  10. I think I'll choose Drustan.

  11. Oh Leontine!

    You have spoken to my heart, Dark Highlander is one of my favorite reads. Kiss of the Highlander is great too. Drustin and Daegus are premier hotties. And damn, they know how to sweep a lady off her feet. Adam Black, the fae that reoccurs in her books is pretty hot too (in a sweet evil way), Circenn Brodie is a great hero too. I could keep going! Damn, too hard to pick!

    Dottie :)

  12. MMM....Adam Black, nothing beats a sexy and sinful faery!

  13. I think this is my favorite book in the series and Drustan is the winner, though I really, really loved Cian MacKeltar in "Spell" which is another favorite!

  14. I haven't read this series but just finished Outlander by Diana Gabaldon yesterday, so I'm in a Scottish mood. I made need to check these out.

  15. Nice review! I haven't read a book set in Scotland yet. (I know, where have I been?) But I will soon enough. It sounds fascinating. =P

  16. I would love to win your giveaway! I hope I am commenting in the right place? :)


  17. It's a tough decisioc, but I'll pick Daegus.

    joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

  18. Drustan is my absolute fav! I know he's fiction, but boy does he make me wish there was a man even close to him in the real world.


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