SWORD OF THE HIGHLANDS
Historical Romance / Time Travel
Rating: 4.5 Enchantments
Beautiful, auburn-haired Magdalene Deacon, member of Manhattan's most philanthropic society family, made it her business to be the best of the best in the arcane world of identifying, cleaning and restoring old paintings. Since her brother's accidental death, she'd thrown herself into her work - assistant curator of European Art at a prestigious museum. While preparing an exhibit of 17th century paintings, she was captivated by a portrait of James Graham, first Marquis of Montrose. With his charismatic image coming to life in her dreams, Magda was compelled to learn more, and discovered that handsome, vital James was captured, imprisoned, and executed in the prime of life. Compelled to take return to the museum for one more look at his enigmatic portrait, Magda touched the canvas; then reality dissolved.
A resounding "oof" was James Graham's response when a woman landed on top of him in his bed. Although his brain was groggy with sleep, the rest of him was awakening nicely. But although Magda was a nice armful, her obvious panic and disorientation quickly extinguished his initial response. His innate courtesy soon had him soothing her into sleep, but his curious mind took note of her unusual attire, strange personal effects, and odd accent. He found himself intrigued - a novel sensation for a man who found few females to hold any mystery.
SWORD OF THE HIGHLANDS is an artful blend of historical fiction and romance, sprinkled with a bit of revisionist fantasy and a dash of "what if." Much of the setting, character of the times, and events actually happened. The romance of Magda and James is well developed and utterly believable. While history shows that the real James came to an untimely end, the author's literary ruse , having him disappear into anonymity with his true love (who rescues him from prison), is a much more satisfying resolution. It's an entertaining fancy to note that the name of the real James Graham's wife was also Magdalene. All in all, a delightful read, an entertaining mix of fact and fiction, and a fun romance that convinces the reader that a modern woman could adapt to living in the past and that a man from the past could grow to understand a modern woman.
Veronica Wolff was an aspiring art historian when she realized that academic writing was not the place to explore her romantic flights of fancy. She lived everywhere from Hawaii to Texas to India before finally settling in northern California where she lives with her husband and two children. Visit her at www.VeronicaWolffcom.