Monday, May 6, 2019

Review - - Highland Crown

Highland Crown
by May McGoldrick
Royal Highlander - Book 1
Publisher: St. Martin's
Release Date: April 30, 2019
Reviewed by PJ

Inverness, 1820
Perched on the North Sea, this port town—by turns legendary and mythological—is a place where Highland rebels and English authorities clash in a mortal struggle for survival and dominance. Among the fray is a lovely young widow who possesses rare and special gifts.
WANTED: Isabella Drummond
A true beauty and trained physician, Isabella has inspired longing and mystery—and fury—in a great many men. Hunted by both the British government and Scottish rebels, she came to the Highlands in search of survival. But a dying ship’s captain will steer her fate into even stormier waters. . .and her heart into flames.
FOUND: Cinaed Mackintosh
Cast from his home as a child, Cinaed is a fierce soul whose allegiance is only to himself. . . until Isabella saved his life—and added more risk to her own. Now, the only way Cinaed can keep her safe is to seek refuge at Dalmigavie Castle, the Mackintosh family seat. But when the scandalous truth of his past comes out, any chance of Cinaed having a bright future with Isabella is thrown into complete darkness. What will these two ill-fated lovers have to sacrifice to be together…for eternity?

My thoughts:

I enjoy a well-written, and well-researched, historical romance that seamlessly blends fiction with reality and Highland Crown is one of the best I've read in a while. The husband and wife writing team known as May McGoldrick skillfully intertwines fictional characters with actual events to bring history to life on the pages of this book. It's like stepping back in time and being fully immersed in the struggles between Scotland and England but taking it down to an individual, personal level.

The Scottish rebels, and Cinaed and Isabella, in particular, are sympathetic characters fighting seemingly insurmountable odds. The English villain is scarily realistic in his unshakable assurance of superiority and his fever to rid the world of Scots. It's easy to become emotionally invested in the Scots' cause and in the lives of the characters so vividly portrayed. I was on the edge of my seat many times during their story. 

The romance between Cinaed and Isabella is a slow burn with an undeniable attraction, gradually deepening emotional bond, and satisfying conclusion. I liked both of these strong characters. They're so well matched and I was in their corner, cheering them on the entire way.

This is the first book of a series and it does end with a bit of a cliffhanger, not regarding Cinaed and Isabella's relationship but, rather, a secret about one of them that calls into question everything that person thought they knew about their identity. It makes me even more eager to read book two, The Highland Jewel, which is due to be released in September. I already have it on pre-order. 


  1. Sounds like a very interesting (and exciting) read. This is a new-to-me author and I thank you for your honest review of this book. I'm putting it on my books-to-buy list as we speak.

  2. I read the book and I agree - a really good book. Thanks for sharing your review. Take care.

  3. I love May. She writes some of the best highland romances

  4. This sounds very interesting. My library has it on order so I've put a "hold" on it.