First Time With a Highlander by Gwyn Cready – Review, Spotlight & Giveaway
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Serabeth’s no-good fiancé is dead, and she needs a husband fast, or she’ll be ruined. Her indignant and handsome captive will do just fine, if she can keep her mind focused on the business at hand…
Gerard is a love-’em-and-leave-’em ad exec who opens the door to a wild party in 21st century New York and wakes up in 18th century Edinburgh with a hangover and a beautiful, disinterested new “wife” who says he has “served his purpose.”
What the kilt?
First Time With a Highlander by Gwyn Cready is the 2nd book in her Sirens of the Scottish Borderlands series. This is a time travel Historical Romance, which takes place mostly in the 18th century (1706 Edinburg). Though the two main characters in the 1st book are part of this story, the book reads well as a standalone.
At the start, we meet Serafina Fallon, our heroine, who is in a bind financially. Her fiancée stole her cargo, leaving her with nothing. Both Abby and Undine (a witch?), whom we met in the first book, scheme to help her steal back her cargo. How? Undine will make a potion that worked to help Abby (in the first book) and bring a dead ringer for Serfina’s fiancée from the 21st century to help her claim back her cargo. Piece of cake……
Gerard Innes is a wealthy executive, who is a known womanizer. He wakes up after a night of wild partying in current day New York, and finds himself in a bed with a beautiful naked woman in 18th century Scotland.
Gerard adapts to his situation quickly, and immediately is attracted to the fiery redhead Serafina. Though Gerard is used to winning over most woman, Serafina is different. She is independent, strong, smart and determined to use Gerard to help her get back what she lost.
What follows is an adventure that will find them both putting themselves in danger to attempt to steal back the cargo. What is thought to be simple, turns into a major behind the scenes political scheme.
Serafina is fighting for her future, but despite her misgivings, she is also falling for Gerard. She knows he will leave soon, since he was meant to help for a day or two. Now she must protect her own life, as well as her heart. Gerard is between a rock and a hard place; he has fallen in love, and wants to bring Serafina back to the future with him, and the wealth that he has. But Serafina has her own pride, and will not leave her time. Will Gerard convince Serafina to go back with him? If not, would he stay in the 18th Century and try to amass his fortune again, with all his knowledge?
This was a good storyline, a nice romance, with some humor, and very likeable characters. However, I thought some of it was a bit slow, especially early on. I also felt it was a bit confusing and jumbled at some points. I would have liked it to be more cohesive. Overall, it was a good story, with a great theme. Who doesn’t like stories with men in kilts and that take place in Scotland, during the highlander days.
Reviewed by Barb
Copy provided by Publisher
This October the second in Gwyn Cready’s Sirens of the Scottish series, First Time with a Highlander, comes out! To celebrate, Gwyn’s here to tell us a little bit more about the inspiration behind her time-travel romances AND play a quick game of “Would You Rather.”
“People often ask me why I like to write time travel romance, and it’s a two-part answer, because there are really two questions in there—why do I like to write romance, and why do I like to write time travel.
I began to write with the intention of getting published in June, 1997 to honor my younger sister, who was a poet and photographer and who had died suddenly the month before. The sort of book I wanted to write was a book like the one a friend had given me a few months earlier—Outlander. At that time, I’d never read a romance before, and I COULDN’T PUT IT DOWN. Jamie is the best sort of hero—devoted, funny, brave, smart, and supportive of the heroine. I was so hopped up on the first three Outlander novels, it was pretty much all I could talk about in the spring of 1997—and it was one of the things I talked to my sister about since her college boyfriend had been named Jamie and like the heroine in Outlander, my sister’s name was Claire. It was the last conversations I ever had with her.
So there I am, in 1997, wanting to honor my sister with a book, and certain the book I want to write is a romance like Outlander. Time travel fit in nicely for me. Outlander is a time travel novel, of course, but I’d been a time travel fan before that. The Back to the Future movies are my holy grail of time travel. I loved Somewhere in Time, of course, as well as the Terminator movies, Time After Time, and Groundhog Day. Time travel lets you quickly throw your character into adversity and see if he/she sinks or swims. The question you want readers asking in romance novels is “How, with all these challenges, will the hero and heroine still end up together?” Time travel adds another layer to that tension, specifically, “How will they end up together when each is destined to be in his/her own time?” In my mind, one of the most heroic things a character can do is give up his own time in order to be with the person he/she loves, and that’s always a tender and gripping moment to write in my books.
Which brings us to First Time with a Highlander. Serafina and Gerard were such fun characters to chase through a novel. As with Just in Time for a Highlander, the first book in the Sirens of the Scottish Borderlands series, I wanted to shake things up a bit by having the hero be the person who travels to the past. Gerard is an ad man—and since I spent twenty years working in brand management at a big pharma company, I know what ad men are like. The women in this series hold positions of unusual power for women in the eighteenth century, and Serafina is no exception. She inherited a shipping concern from her father, but her blackguard of an ex-fiancé has run the business into the ground. He’s ruined her socially and financially, but Serafina is not one to take things lying down. She uses herbs she’s, ahem, “borrowed” from a famed spell-caster to summon a man to help her claim the cargo from the ship’s final voyage before her fiancé can get his hands on it. She only needs a man for one night and…well, you can imagine what that leads to in the hands of an inexperienced spell user. But Serafina is willing to pay the price—in fact, she’s quite willing once the smart, dashing Gerard appears.
Would You Rather Question: Would you rather have a time machine that only goes back in time or a time machine that only goes forward in time?
Tough one. Going back, I have a chance to see my mother, father, and sister again. Going forward, I’d have a chance to see my kids in their careers, with their children and grandchildren. Let’s say back since I could also insert myself into Colin Firth’s life before he met that pesky wife of his.
Gwyn Cready is a writer of contemporary, Scottish, and time travel romance. She’s been called “the master of time travel romance” and is the winner of the RITA Award, the most prestigious award given in romance writing. She has been profiled in Real Simple and USA Today, among others. Before becoming a novelist, she spent 25 years in brand management. She has two grown children and lives with her husband on a hill overlooking the magical kingdom of Pittsburgh.
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