Highland Flings

By Marie B.

Spring has finally sprung, the heather is in bloom, and, naturally, thoughts turn to romances featuring men who (probably) wear kilts.  Well, my thoughts do.

Perhaps you think romance is not your cup of tea.  As a die-hard fan of mystery and suspense, that is exactly what I thought.  But…

What would you say if I told you, there is an epic series about a time-traveling combat nurse who flits between England circa 1945 and Scotland circa 1743?  Welcome to the amazing world of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander in which Claire travels back in time, meets Jamie, and falls madly in love.  The series would stand on the romance alone, but Gabaldon has saturated the stories with adventure and history.  They tempt me to reach beyond the novels themselves, and I end up researching the times and events of Claire’s world(s), as is my wont.

I listened to the first in the series on audio book.  The sweeping saga immediately hooked me.  I didn’t want to waste a moment waiting to find out what happened next, so I checked out the second in the series, and put it in the back seat of my car in reserve.  When I was ready to put disc one of book two into my player, the book was not where I had left it.  Imagine my surprise when I discovered my husband was listening to it, just as swept up with Claire and Jamie as I was.  Of course, I admonished him for his choice in reading material.  One must always begin a series with the first entry.

Davina Porter narrates the entire series beautifully, and is especially good at the Scots accents and dialects, since she is Scottish herself.  Over the years, Porter has given voice to many of my favorite characters and stories.

Oh, and in case you missed it, Outlander has been adapted for television.

I’ve selected a few romances with a Highland lilt for your reading pleasure.  In the meantime, what is your favorite romance novel and why?  Share it with us in the comments.

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5 responses to “Highland Flings”

  1. Cheryl says:

    Another one to try:
    The Shadowy Horses
    by Susanna Kearsley

  2. Jackie P. says:

    I got swept away by Outlander books much like you, Marie. The only series since that has made me react similarly is the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. It doesn’t spend much (if any) time in Scotland, but does feature at least one Scottish character (my favorite, Gallowglass, although you have to wait until the second book, Shadow of Night to meet him) and some time travel. The first half of Discovery of Witches made me think Twilight, but it went far beyond that by the end of the first book, and the gradual build through the second and third books was amazing. I did the audio versions, as well, but am considering a print re-read. I’m really looking forward to the companion Time’s Convert which comes out in September.

    • Marie B. says:

      “Discovery of Witches” has been on my to-read list for quite a while. I’m going to move it up on your recommendation. Thanks!

      • Jackie P. says:

        Awesome! There will be a TV show, soon, as well. At least in the UK. I don’t think it’s been picked up for US distribution yet.

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