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Feature book: Highland Crown

13 May 2020

Highland Crown by May McGoldrick

Subgenre: historical romance
Release date: 30 Apr 2019
Publisher: St Martin’s
Format: ebook, print
Length: 316 pages
RRP: $8.60 (ebook); $15.99 (print)

The highlands are a hotbed of rebellion and Cinead and Isabella are in the middle of events.

Isabella Murray Drummond has trained as a physician, unusual for women in those days, but she followed her father around and then married a doctor, who has many activities opposing British rule in Scotland. One night she sees her husband shot by the British and has to escape quickly. However, she also needs to find her sister and her stepdaughter. Events lead her to Jean and Cinead.

Cinead Mackintosh is a ship’s captain. On a bad night his ship sinks, and he blows the ship up rather than have the locals scavenge the contents. It is this night he is shot. Isabella takes care of him but he is then discovered and both need to run.

Once Isabella, Cinead and Jean arrive at Seanc’s house, Cinead and Isabella need to marry, or ‘pretend’ to be married so that they will not be betrayed. But it is here that the couple fall in love. As events swirl around them both, their love intensifies and the commitment to the cause also intensifies and becomes more open in their rebellion. Isabella is being hunted by an English officer who wants names of subversive types that her husband associated with. Once this rogue officer finds Isabella, she has to fight for her life.

Jean is a first suspicious of Isabella and her motives but then swings fully behind her as she knows Isabella’s heart. Jean also becomes a great support to Isabella and Cinead. Does this small rebellion by the people in the town mean that Isabella, Cinead and Jean and their close family have to run further, and to Halifax?

You can feel the connection between Isabella and Cinead from the beginning. And while they are on the run, this closeness is also attraction. It is practical to marry to hide Isabella’s identity, but the attraction is greater.

Stories about Scotland are always interesting when they contain some of the historical background. In this case, a town has not complied with the rogue officer, so he sets a course to destroy the town. Events move quickly, so the story moves along at a pace. But Cinead and Isabella do what they need to make sure events are in their favour and that their relationship can last the distance.

I’m really looking forward to the next book in this series.

reviewed by Heather

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

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