Friday, January 24, 2020

Audio Book Review: Highland Crown by May McGoldrick

Genre: Adult Historical Fiction/Romance
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Pub. Date: April 30, 2019
Source: Personal Copy
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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 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?"

Isabella isn't your usual woman living in the early 1800s. She is a trained doctor, which is unusual for the time period.  She finds herself on the run from the British government and ends up saving Captain Cinead Mackintosh, who was essentially dying after his ship's demise.  Now that Isabella has saved his life, he feels like he owes her to keep her save since he made her dire situation even more complicated.  There's an undeniable attraction between the two that neither person can ignore.  Cinead takes her to Dalmigavie Castle, where his family resides, with the hopes of keeping her safe. However, once there they find much more is in store for these star-crossed lovers, not to mention the fact that Cinead's relationship with his family isn't great as they essentially abandoned him.  If you love historical romances that remind you a bit of Outlander, then check out Highland Crown by May McGoldrick, which is the first book in a historical romance series.

So, Isabella sounds familiar, yes? A beautiful doctor amongst a bunch of Scots? She's definitely got a Clarie Fraser from Outlander vibe going on and I appreciated it.  Like Claire, Isabella isn't some young naive teenager; she is an experienced woman and an educated physician. She was married previously to an older man (a marriage of convienance), so her feelings for Cinead take her by surprise.  It's not something she is used to.  Speaking of Cinead, I wish McGoldrick would have developed their relationship a bit more. There's a bit of insta-love going on in Highland Crown, but I guess that should be expected when reading a romance novel? Once I looked past the insta-love, I was able to enjoy their romance.

Speaking of romance, I am not a romance reader by any means. I dabble in the historical romance genre from time to time, and I decided to pick up Highland Crown as I heard it's a good choice for Outlander fans. I never got around to reading my review copy, so I decided to listen to the audio book and I was thoroughly pleased by the narrator, Saskia Maarleveld. I also loved the excerpts read from Sir Walter Scott's poetry at the beginning of each chapter. They were read by Raphael Corkhill, who read it with a beautiful Scottish accent. It definitely added to the story and was a nice touch! Both narrators did a great job and in turn, they made the story felt very authentic.

Highland Crown had a lot more action in it than I expected.  So, if you like your romance novels action-packed, look no further.  While this wasn't on the same level as Outlander, it was a fun romp through the Scottish highlands filled with a delightful romance, action, and historical events. 

Do you like historical romances? Have you read this series? Let me know some of your favorites in the comments below.  


  1. I'm a big Outlander fan, so this does sound interesting to me!

    1. It was perfect for #droughtlander! Thanks for visiting, Angela!


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