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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Wilful beauty meets taciturn Laird!

Highlander Mine by Juliette Miller

Wow! Highlander Mine certainly sustains an interesting and occasionally steamy storyline. Enough of both to more than satisfy those hooked on the highlander historical romance genre.
Fleeing from Edinburgh to the Highlands pursued by a dissolute and dangerous villain ('a lawless and malevolent beast'), Amelia (Ami) and her nephew Hamish cozen their way into a powerful Highland Laird's keep.
The Laird, Knox MacKenzie is a veritable Adonis, at once a paragon and yet decidedly human.
Amelie is half angle, half devil and doing all she can to protect her family. She exhibits a fiery nature, coupled with an unknowing attractiveness that marks her as a challenging burden for  The MacKenzie.
Witty humour runs through Ami's and MacKenzie's interchanges adding to the enjoyment of the moment. I laughed when MacKenzie said to Ami,
"Your fiery spark and your lively beauty surpass anything I might ever have imagined."
To which Ami snaps back, opening her mouth before she thinks,
'"My beauty is nothing compared to yours," I hear myself say.'
The unfettered innocence of this woman he's just met telling this stalwart highland warrior lord that he is beautiful is brilliant.
Hamish is a charming child. Given his upbringing it's a wonder that he retains his child-like trust and innocence. He provides many of the pivotal moments throughout the storyline and is the impetuous for directions that Ami might take.
Interactions with MacKenzie and others of the castle community are truly amusing at times, poignant at others, and always contrasting the darkness of the life Amelia and Hamish have fled.
The comparison between the dangerous underbelly of Edinburgh's gaming houses and the pristine beauty and encompassing sanctuary of this highland community is at first striking in a 'noble savage' way. We are dazzled by the comparisons through Ami and Hamish's eyes. Yet as Miller points out through Knox and Amelia's interactions there are threats inherent in the holding of the highlands necessitating clan armed forces. In this, the city and the highlands are not so very different. The dangers are universal.
A 'verra' enjoyable read! 'A pure like it!' (I really like it!)

A NetGalley ARC

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