Friday, May 10, 2019

On a Highland Shore - Kathleen Givens

Summary:  From acclaimed historical novelist Kathleen Givens comes a magnificently conceived, intricately detailed novel that brings to vivid life the tumult, adventure, and passion of thirteenth-century Scotland, when Norse invaders laid claim to the land and its people -- and an explosive clash of cultures, politics and personal pride changed forever.

1263: On Scotland's western shore, the village of Somerstrath prepares for the joyous wedding celebration of Margaret MacDonald, the laird's daughter.  But a dark storm of bloodshed and betrayal is closing in, as a merciless band of Vikings threatens the Highlands.  Margaret is determined to hold the MacDonald clan together and to locate her abducted younger brother.  But can she trust the noblemen from King Alexander's court, who insist that only by adhering to a betrothal conceived for political gain will she find safety?

My Review:  On a Highland Shore was a bit of a risk for me.  I don't often read romance novels because some end up being what you might call...er...overly descriptive...which is not my cup of tea.  Unfortunately, unless you are familiar with the publisher or it has a semi-explicit cover, it's often hard to discern just what kind of romance novel you're getting into until the clothes go flying off and you suddenly find yourself up to your eyeballs in sexual euphemisms.  Personally, I prefer a little more mystery and a little less detail when reading the romance genre. Thankfully, this book was listed on a book of "clean" romance novels on GoodReads, so I figured it would be a pretty safe bet for a quick and clean romantic read while I was on vacation.  

Mmmmm....Nope.  It's not the worst I've read in terms of sexual content, but On a Highland Shore was not what I would categorize as a "clean romance."  Cleaner, perhaps, than others....but not clean (see For the Sensitive Reader section)However, I can't really blame the author for not meeting my expectations in this sense, as I'm guessing she didn't put it on the GoodReads list.  It wasn't all bad though. I didn't take a lot of notes about this book (vacation!), but I did enjoy the setting, historical, and cultural aspects of this book and really appreciated the research that must have been involved in pulling it all together.  The story was oftentimes quite engaging, but ultimately because of the more descriptive elements I can't recommend it to my friends and family.  Less sensitive readers might disagree with my assessment.

My Rating: 2.5 Stars

For the Sensitive Reader:  There was a tiny amount of swearing (at least one F-bomb) and a fair amount of violence.  There is one 'scene' where two lovers are caught having sex (mildly descriptive),  another where a woman exposes herself in an attempted seduction, another where a woman watches (and admires) man get dressed, a rape scene (mildly descriptive), an attempted rape scene (more descriptive), another sex scene (most descriptive in the book, likely would be considered graphic if you weren't a frequent romance reader) and countless times where someone admires so-and-so's breasts or talks about being physically aroused.  It's possibly I've missed a few things, but you get the idea.  

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