Saturday, August 2, 2014

ARC Review: Highlander's Bargain

The Highlander's Bargain (Loch Moigh #2)



In the second thrilling Novel of Loch Moigh, award-winning author Barbara Longley delivers more of the action, adventure, and romance that began in the pulse-pounding True to the Highlander.
Before he can settle down, blond-haired, blue-eyed Robley of clan MacKintosh needs to taste true adventure. So when the faerie Madame Giselle asks him to retrieve her stolen property in exchange for two enchanted tokens that will whisk him across the centuries, he jumps at the chance.
Nurse and future midwife Erin Durie is broke and alone, thanks o a roommate who skipped town and the psychic gifts that make relationships too intense and painful to bear. Then a kilted man magically drops into her arms, looking for a guide to the twenty-first century, and she can’t deny the attraction. But magical treachery soon throws open time’s portal once more—and puts a blade to Robley’s throat. Now Erin must decide where—or when—her healing powers can do the most good…and whether she can live without her handsome Highlander.
Themes: historical, paranormal, time travel
Rating: 4 stars
Heat Rating: 
Another stunningly imaginative and sensual story, book two in the Lock Moigh series take us not just to the wondrous era of the highlanders but also winging through time back to the present right along with Robley. This being only the second book I’ve read by Barbara Longley, I was thrilled to see what would happen to Robley, because at the end of book one his curiosity about the 21st century was obvious.  The first book takes us from modern day New York on a trip back in time with Alethia and getting to see her life now, years later, was thrilling, so if you missed it don’t worry you’ll get enough details that you’ll enjoy Rob’s just the same. I am really looking forward to seeing who might get a story now and whether we’ll be moving forward or back through time.
I loved Robley from the beginning of meeting him in the last book, but seeing just how adventurous, loving and sweet he is in his own book made me love him even more.  When he makes a decision to travel to the future he is maybe a bit impulsive, to really thinking through the consequences of his choice to himself or his loved ones.  We he arrives in Minnesota, knocking Erin off her feet in more ways than one, you can instantly see there will be a connection between them.  More than just the typical attraction between a man and woman, there seems to be an instant emotional bond that snaps between their hearts and neither of them is really prepared for that. The way he adapts to the new world around him astounds me because I know I would never have that ability, but Erin isn’t quite as adaptable when she is flung back in time with him.  He is obviously a very strong minded and iron-willed man and I imagine that anything he really sets his mind to would be accomplished.  It was great to see him fall in love with not just Erin, but also with her home, her friends, and of course the ultimate 21st-century power horse—the Harley.  (*snickers*)
Erin on the other hand was a woman with a lot of baggage; she has pretty much decided that love isn’t real, connections to others are fleeting, and there is no one you can trust to stick around when you need them.  Despite the connection, she feels for Rob she cannot believe that he would stay with her and the she could trust him to love her for a lifetime.   Despite her fears, she gets closer and closer to falling in love with her 15th-century highlander than she ever imagined she could.  When she is dragged into the faerie drama alongside Rob and flung back in time, she has no idea if she will ever see her home or family again, but there is no denying that being with Rob might just be worth it.  I loved how she used her medical training and knowledge to try to help others, even when their suspicions could have caused her serious emotional and physical damage.  And I can only say what a kick ass woman to perform the procedure she does in the 15th century.  (Can’t tell you or I’d spoil the surprise, but it’s awesome) My only issue I guess was just how long she fought her own heart and soul, her mind telling her not to trust, while Robley showed her again and again just how devoted a man he was.
Overall, this was an interesting story that covers several vividly detailed settings, interesting and sensual characters, emotional entanglements and the drama that the Fae can bring to any human’s life.  Almost immediately after Robley makes his decision to ask the Faerie to send him to the future, the reader knows that Rob’s life will never be the same again and he has just gotten himself into a world of danger, especially when the task he must perform in exchange for her help is TOO easy.  Flung through time he finds himself for the first time experiencing shopping malls, aggressive women, and most hilariously cars.  Every time he discovered something new, I was reminded of the wonders that really exist in our everyday lives. As he learns more about Erin he begins to fall more and more in love with her. Erin on the other hand is reluctant every step of the way to form a bond with Rob, knowing that in the end she will feel nothing but hurt.  But when the choice comes, Erin finally understands that the beauty of their love is worth the risk of any hurt, because living without him is more painful than never having had that time with him.  I enjoyed this book very much and am thrilled to know that another is on the way, though I would love to know more about who will be the H/H in that one.  I think it is officially safe to say I will be adding Barbara to my favorite authors list.

*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided. 

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