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    Book Review: A Highlander Christmas
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  • Published: Sep 29th, 2009

highlander_christmas_romance_bookBook Review:  A Highlander Christmas
An Anthology from Dawn Halliday, Cindy Miles and Sophie Renwick
Reviewed by:  PJ Ausdenmore
4 Stars

I love Christmas romances.  Every year I anticipate the new books that will be released even as I’m unpacking ones from previous years to re-read.  Nothing gets me into the holiday spirit more than feel-good, happy-ending Christmas stories.  Toss in sexy Highlanders in kilts and I’m giddy with joy!  A Highlander Christmas, which will be released November 3rd, brings us the following three stories from authors Dawn Halliday, Cindy Miles and Sophie Renwick.

Winter Heat by Dawn Halliday

“On her deathbed, Maggie’s mother had handed her daughter the brooch, saying Maggie must keep it with her always; for it possessed the magical ability to detect a MacDonald woman’s lifelong soul mate.”

This steamy historical is the story of Maggie MacDonald, a woman facing an unwanted marriage to a despicable clansman and Logan Douglas, a wounded Jacobite returning home from battle as the new laird of his clan, following his brother’s death.  A sparkling brooch in the snow leads Logan to discover Maggie, unconscious and half-frozen after escaping a kidnapping by the man her cousin, the laird, plans for her to wed.  Taking shelter in a nearby cottage, Logan and Maggie fall in love as she nurses his wounds but his responsibility to his clan and her laird’s insistence that she marry another threaten to tear them apart.  Has Maggie’s brooch really led her to her lifelong soul mate or were her mother’s words just a silly, superstitious tale?   In Winter Heat, Halliday (who also writes as Jennifer Haymore) gives us an intense, fast-paced story that, while not quite as racy as her other books, is sexy and very enjoyable.

Yuletide Enchantment by Sophie Renwick

“Be warned, miss.  Those who go into the woods at night don’t come out.”

Isobel was six years old the first time she saw the White Hart and has felt a magical bond with the stag ever since.  She has heard the tales of the Sidhe who inhabit the otherworld and has heeded the warnings to never enter the woods at night but when the stag is wounded by her brother’s arrow Isobel is drawn to the woods to make sure he is okay.  As Prince of the Sidhe and future King of Annwyn, Daegan can take the shape of both the White Hart and a human man.  Expected to wed one of his own, he has resisted as Isobel, a human woman, has held his heart from the day he first saw her.  When they finally meet as man and woman, the feelings that have grown within their hearts over the years are set free to flourish but they come from different worlds where each has responsibilities, commitments and family.  Will the sacrifices required to be together be too great for them to overcome?   I thoroughly enjoyed this sensuous historical paranormal tale and was delighted to discover that Renwick intends to return to Annwyn in 2010 with the story of Bran, one of the characters readers will meet in Yuletide Enchantment.

A Christmas Spirit by Cindy Miles

“A strange, pleasurable sensation tingled the sensitive skin, turning her lips warm, and making her heart race…She’d never felt so alive, so wanted.  All from a ghostly kiss, without any real contact.”

Determined to not spend another Christmas alone, Paige MacDonald is on her way to Inverness, Scotland when her car breaks down in a snowstorm and she ends up on the doorstep of the seemingly deserted Gorloch B&B where she is greeted by a gorgeous, but decidedly inhospitable, Gabriel Munro.  Gabriel reluctantly agrees to give her a room for the night but won’t help her with anything, making her get her own room key from the rack, carry her own luggage and even fix her own meals.  The reason for this becomes clear when Paige trips and falls…right through the man standing in front of her!  Unless the storm clears, it appears that, this year, Paige will be spending Christmas with the ghostly spirit of a centuries-old Highland warrior.  I wasn’t sure if I could suspend belief enough to accept a love story between a woman and a ghost but Paige and Gabriel’s story is so finely crafted that I had no problem.  In fact, it was my favorite of the three.  Miles did a superb job of creating a life-like man with the limitations of a spirit.  The romantic scenes in particular were simmering with sensuality while, at the same time, very poignant.  A Christmas Spirit is, by turns, a humorous, heartbreaking and heartwarming gift not to be missed. That is a great book and that’s why I made this specific review, for more product reviews visit site online.

What new holiday romances are you anticipating?  Do you keep and re-read the ones from previous years?  Any tried and true favorites you would recommend?

7 Responses to “Book Review: A Highlander Christmas”

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  1. LisaK
    on Sep 29th, 2009
    @ 7:21 am

    Oh PJ, I’m so happy you reviewed that book! I’ve already pre-ordered it some months ago because I’m a huuuuugh fan of Cindy Miles and her ghostly books. They belong to the most heartbraking and at the same moment most romantic books ever (and although I’m normally more for the steamier scenes, I don’t care that there’s never “real” sex until the end – the writing’s just that beautiful!).

    I haven’t read any of the other authors and wasn’t sure what to expects, but now I’m absolutely curious. They both sound like stories worth reading!

    I don’t really know which Christmas-novels will be out this year, but my all-time-fav is last year’s Snowy Night With A Stranger by Jane Feather, Sabrina Jeffries and Julia London. I could read that over and over and over and … again. 🙂

  2. PJ
    on Sep 29th, 2009
    @ 7:29 am

    Lisa, this was the first story by Cindy Miles that I had read. As soon as I finished it I immediately went looking for her back list. She will be at a conference I’m attending this weekend and I can’t wait to tell her how much I loved Paige and Gabriel’s story!

  3. Buffie
    on Sep 29th, 2009
    @ 9:27 am

    PJ, you know how much I love Highlanders!!!! So an anthology with a bunch of Highlanders is something I will really love. I’m looking forward to reading this one.

    See you in a couple days 🙂

  4. Janga
    on Sep 29th, 2009
    @ 11:18 am

    These are new authors to me, PJ, but I added the book to my list based on your rec of Miles’s story.

    You know I’m a Christmas nut. I’ve already read my first Christmas anthology of the season, This Heart of Mine, with two great reissues by Mary Balogh and Nicola Cornick and a truly wonderful debut novella by Courtney Milan. I’m also looking forward to The Christmas Ball by Jennifer Ashley, Emily Bryan, et al. and to Susan Wiggs’s A Lakeshore Christmas. I always look forward to Debbie Macomber’s new Christmas book,

  5. cheryl c.
    on Sep 29th, 2009
    @ 8:23 pm

    It looks like I am going to have to get this one because it combines 2 of my favorites…Highlanders and Christmas. I never seem able to resist a Highlander! 😉

  6. PJ
    on Sep 30th, 2009
    @ 7:09 am

    I can’t resist them either, Cheryl. Even better, this anthology dishes up Highlanders from three different time periods – something for everyone! 🙂

  7. Dawn Halliday » Blog Archive » 9.30.09
    on Sep 30th, 2009
    @ 12:42 pm

    […] I saw a really nice review of A HIGHLANDER CHRISTMAS today over at Romance Novel TV! Check it out here: Romance Novel TV. […]

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