The Wild Rose Press, $3.99
Paranormal Romance, 2007
This review originally appeared on The Naughty Bits, which is sadly no longer around. It’s now here with Teddypig’s permission.
I totally cringe when thinking about my past attempts at reading the time travel romance. Not very good experiences in all I must say, even though you would think by now I would have run into at least one or two books I could recommend. Unfortunately, I have never fully enjoyed the time travel romance genre due to some massive clichés it’s writers tend to use over and over again.
So first off, I did not know that Jo Barrett’s book here was a time travel rmance when I bought it. I did not read the blurb so much as clicked buy when I saw the rather nice mantitty kilt cover. Well, thank god for sexy covers!
“Stop this nonsense, Fiona. I’ll not have you lookin’ the fool,” he demanded, slapping his hand on Tuck’s wrist where it sat atop Fiona’s. That was a very…big…mistake. Tuck pulled him forward and kicked him squarely in the stomach. He fell on his butt, gasping for air.
“How’s that for nonsense?” she asked, standing over him. She’d had it with all the women don’t do this crap.
Fiona fell to her knees beside him. “Ach, Michael, are you hurt?” He shook his head, glaring up at Tuck as William and the others laughed at his expense.
“How does it feel tae be beaten by a woman?” one of the men called. “At least she left your nose intact this time, eh Michael?”
“Did she bat her lashes at you before she put you on your arse?” another added. “Or were you struck dumb by her charms?”
Tuck gritted her teeth. That last crack was aimed more at her than Michael, but they’d get their turn, and she’d enjoy every minute of it. But first she had to finish with Fiona’s fiancé. Looking down at him, she asked, “Care to take a shot at me? I kind of owe you one for that sucker punch a while back.”
“I’ll not fight a woman,” he spat, climbing to his feet.
She rolled her eyes heavenward. When would these guys get with the program? Reaching out, she took his arm and flipped him over her back. He landed with a glorious thump at her feet.
Amelia Tucker is an ex-military bodyguard hired to protect a wealthy young woman, Jenny Maxwell from the threat of kidnapping while she goes on tour of the various historical locales of Scotland. While on the Isle of Mull they stop at one of the two castles and visit the gardens and are promptly attacked. Tuck is thrown into a nearby fountain and magically transported to ancient Scotland where she runs into Colin MacLean and his well hung Sporran and his good friend Ian about to be ambushed on the road to Arreyder Castle.
I loved this book. A kick ass young woman launched into a world of honor bound male chauvinism and fighting men in kilts. What a fun time I had. It’s like Jo took the best part of the whole modern Buffy-style heroine found in paranormal romance and threw it into the time travel romance stew and wow, what a great idea. It does make the reading go a whole lot easier if your female character can hold her own in the heat of battle.
So did I enjoy everything though? Besides the ideal of historical accuracy which needs to sorta be put away when reading time travel romance anyway. Frankly because I just have not read that many that were very accurate. Well OK, um the hero Colin and his buddies are a little too accepting of this strange badass woman. I find that happens more often than not in these books. The heroine Tuck may be a bit too much for some readers to take but as I said this style of story in my opinion needs the fresh air a brash female character brings to keep my interest. Last but not least, the reason I am only giving Highlander’s Challenge a B grade at most.
The last few chapters…
See, this is one of those books where we got almost all the way to the end on a perfect, unique, fun packed note and then the author did something so done before, I almost cried. She has Tuck return to the future to pick up a few things, her toothbrush, her favorite eye shadow whatever. NO, NO, NO, GOD NO! Let her learn to enjoy her fate and stay right where she landed. Would you throw yourself back into some magical portal after finding the man of your dreams? Hell no, I am a card carrying slut! We say NO!
So no, the story is not perfect, but damn it came so close by at least two chapters. An amazing Grade B, in my case, for a time travel romance.
Jo Barrett ya did good and I look forward to buying more of your books.