As a fellow Medieval author who keeps hearing that this time period is a hard sell in Christian fiction, I am thrilled this book made it safely to print. Highland Blessings is set in 1473, which is a little late in history for a medieval novel, but all of the cultural elements we associate with the Middle Ages, stone castles, armor, flying pennants, are still firmly in place in Scotland during this time. Add to that plaids, clan lairds and feuds, and the stage is set for an exciting story similar to those written by CBA author Kathleen Morgan. While I felt this story had some small technical issues, overall I enjoyed it very much. My favorite element of the book was the spiritual aspect. Akira is truly a woman of God to be admired. She puts aside hurt and unforgiveness in order to submit herself to God's plan. In addition, she is open to the spirit of God and known for her prophetic dreams. She speaks them forth boldly despite the danger of being thought a witch in her superstitious culture. Here's to hoping this novel will start a new wave of Medievals. It's time the market took notice of this exciting and underrepresented time in history.
I quite enjoyed this novel by Jennifer Hudson Taylor. It takes place in a popular time period for secular romances, although it's not often seen in inspirational romances. Fifteen-century Scotland, a rough era and yet with some finer things like art. The heroine is a painter in secret. The hero is all that one could desire in big and brawny. The author takes him on a journey of learning how to love a young woman from an enemy clan. He goes from insensitive, Tarzan-type, to someone who is quite patient and sensitive, and who will defend her with his life when the time comes.
Jennifer Hudson Taylor did a wonderful job taking you back to a time and place of Scottish clan rivalry. You can feel the tension between the characters and commiserate with both. She did a beautiful job with the Scottish accent. Not too much but enough to make it stand out. The story moves along quickly and never falls flat. I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. Even more so if you love a strong Scottish hero!
(This is an ARC, so its not the final edited version.) I liked the book and think the story line was really good. Akira was just about a saint. I probably would have strangled Bryce. ;) The characters were great and the plot was great, but I would change a few things about the book. There were some places in the book that I would have talked about rather than mentioning in passing later. It seemed like there were some opportunities in the book to create tension or some other feeling and there wasnt a scene for that part. It was just mentioned later on in the day or week. Also some of the scenes probably could have been a little more drawn-out than they were. Like when they catch the bad guy it is over a little too fast for me. I think this has tons of potential and Im looking forward to reading the final version!
Bryce is strong, loyal to family, sinfully handsome and has to fulfill his dying father's wish. His brother is chief and has no intention of tying himself with a rival clan. The lady in question, Akira, is just as strong willed as she is beautiful. The rivalry between the clans has been long standing and many would like to see Bryce fail. It's hard to overcome so much hate and prejudice. Trust is hard won and easily broken. Someone is working to inflame the tempers of both clans.Bryce is a terrific character. He feels bound by his father's dying wish, and yet drawn to Akira himself. Her strength and courage are something he admires. He is put off by Evan's refusal and rude comments about Akira, then becomes jealous once Evan shows interest in her. He's a strong leader and his men respect him. He also has a tender side. He tries to see to her comfort and is upset by the pain he causes her. He has trouble trusting her and her clan.Akira is brave, intelligent and resourceful. She's also stubborn. She's no pushover physically either. She has skill with a blade and manages to talk Bryce into giving her one of her own. She has a blind spot when it comes to her clan and doesn't believe they could be behind the troubles. She also believed the MacPhersons (Bryce's clan) were brutal barbarians with no regard for human life. When one of the plots ends with the death of Evan, Bryce becomes chief and plans to marry Akira himself. The truce called for her to marry the chief, it didn't say Evan. Bryce believes this is the path to peace, but can he trust her? They both want an end to the fighting, but she is there against her will and bad things have happened to both sides. She hasn't been welcomed with open arms either.The author captures a great romance, but also a timely issue. Both characters had to be willing to trust each other and God for what was happening in their lives. Many of us can relate. Things look pretty scary, but God has it in His hands.