Highland Storm (Highland Chronicles #1)


Set against the backdrop of the English invasion of Scotland in 1385, the bad blood between the MacKeefes and the MacNabs gets worse when Hawke MacKeefe is forced to kill a group of MacNabs who mistakenly think he is an easy target. Hawke’s first wife Osla MacNab died under mysterious circumstances ten years earlier, and her cousin Phoebe MacNab has hated Hawke ever since. In “Highland Storm” Phoebe, Hawke, and his three best friends are forced to work together to unmask liars and traitors, rescue loved ones who have been kidnapped and imprisoned, and solve the mystery of Osla’s death. 

There are many moving parts and a few surprises in Phoebe and Hawke’s contentious love story. The story has a somewhat predictable narrative progression with a plot hole related to the lack of investigation into Osla’s death when it happens. Overall, this author does a solid job of weaving together the assorted story threads; the traits of the featured male characters are not as strong. Phoebe shines as a self-confident eighteen-year-old who steps into the role of lady of Crookston Castle and mother to her younger siblings after their mother's death.  Twenty-eight-year-old Hawke seems a bit dull of wit in comparison, although the bonds of loyalty between him and his best friends offer a strong portrayal of deep emotional connection. This enemies-to-lovers tale is a lighthearted romp that delivers romantic and family intrigue along with a believable sense of the physical and political landscape of Scotland during the late 1300s. 

Cardyn Brooks