Customer Reviews for

Sound of the Heart

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted October 5, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I read Under the Same Sky by Graham, and knew that Sound of the

    I read Under the Same Sky by Graham, and knew that Sound of the Heart would not disappoint. I don't feel I need to summarize the book in this review, but only give my thoughts. It is no secret that Graham is a gifted writer. She takes the time to choose words carefully, and does painstaking research to add lush historical detail. I love that I can trust her in this. Her characters are full of depth. She is not flowery, with big displays of words and vocabulary, but keeps things simple. 
    Although there is a unique twist in the story, she gave enough hints that I predicted it early on. This only made it more enjoyable, since I could see something before the character did. Graham does not gloss over details, either. She puts the same attention to the good as well as the bad. 
    I think where the emotion hit me most was when the point of view was changed to Glenna, the heroine. Although I like Dougal very much, I am not a man, and did not really connect emotionally until Glenna. When she is in her cell, remembering all the things she loved about Dougal, that's when it hit me. I could relate to this. From that point, the book improved for me.
    I appreciate Dougal's "gift" of hearing other men's thoughts, but there was not much of it in the book. This was okay for me, because at first I was afraid this would be taken too far and possibly even be strange. I should know, though, that Graham would do it right.
    Rumor has her third book is the best. Can't wait to get it in my hands.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 2, 2012

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    Review: Sound of the Heart

    I was a little hesitant to read this at first because I haven't read the companion novel. I wasn't sure how much they were connected and if it really mattered. I decided to read it anyway just because I liked the idea of it. And well... I like stories set in the Scottish Highlands.

    I was immediately thrown into a very familiar battlefield. I half expected to meet Jaimie from Outlander in these opening pages. It actually had a very similar feel to that story. I liked Dougal from the moment we meet him. I love the sense of family we get and how he immediately knows something is wrong because of who is standing beside him. It doesn't take long from the real battle to begin because we all know what happens at Culloden.

    I thought it was interesting that Dougal was just as concerned for the well being of others as he was for his own. It doesn't take him long to make a friend with the same beliefs as his own and for them to take a young pair of boys under their wings. In return, those boys help them escape. But, sadly only two make it out alive.

    For the longest time, I wondered when we would be Glenna. She seemed like she should be someone we meet in the opening pages. When we finally do, it really seemed like a "duh moment" to me. The clues were all there. I didn't understand her at first, but her actions began to make sense. She was doing the only thing she knew for most of her life. It became harder and harder to shake off that lifestyle.

    I actually think the only downfall of this novel was that is could have been longer. A lot of time is covered in this book and a few events just barely glanced over. It never felt long and I was disappointed when it ended. I will be seeking out the companion book though. I think it might hold some answers to the questions that I have!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 4, 2012

    Sweeping Historical Romance

    The Highlands of Scotland and Colonial America are two of my favorite settings for historical romance. Genevieve Graham combines the two in a sweeping saga that takes the reader on a breathtaking, and often heartbreaking, journey from the battlefield of Culloden to the wilds of Colonial America.

    For a man like Dougal MacDonnell, the Battle of Culloden is a nightmare. Faced with the loss of his family and friends at the hands of English soldiers, Dougal experiences the added pain of being able to “hear” the thoughts of the dying men around him, including his own father. Dougal has been able to hear other men’s thoughts his entire life but never in such a heartbreaking way.

    When the fighting ends, Dougal is the only member of his family left to endure the brutal torture of English imprisonment. Hope appears in the form of a fellow prisoner, a young lad who helps Dougal escape and, together, they make their way back to Scotland. For two years, they live in an abandoned cottage and work the land, slowly returning to a somewhat normal life but always watching over their shoulders. It is during this time that Dougal discovers Glenna, a young woman with a most unusual background who captures his heart deeply and completely. Their happy ending is within sight but, unfortunately, the English are not quite finished with them. (This was a time in history when England was determined to erase the people and traditions of Scotland from existence or at least from the British Isles.) Captured, Dougal is once again imprisoned while Glenna is destined for a life of indentured servitude in America. Only by agreeing to serve the hated English in a military regiment comprised of Highland warriors does Dougal have any hope of ever finding his beloved Glenna. But America is a huge country and he has only the strength of his love to guide him. Will he ever again hold her close and hear the sound of her heart?

    I enjoyed this book very much. It’s filled with fascinating bits of history, without making me feel like I’m in a history lecture, and the kind of sweeping, epic love story that keeps me reading into the wee hours of the morning. Her vibrant voice, richly emotional story and fast paced story kept my attention from the first page to the final word. Graham has created a hero and heroine that I liked and admired from start to finish and their actions throughout their joint, and separate, journeys only reinforced those feelings.

    This book is true to the times in which it is set and those were not easy times. Therefore, there are some scenes that are hard to read, especially some that involve Glenna’s life after arriving in America. Sure, the author could have glossed over the more unappealing aspects of the life servants and prisoners were forced to endure back then but I, for one, am glad she remained true to her characters and the conditions in which they were forced to live. It may break my heart and make me uneasy at times but, by giving us the entire picture, she gives us the entire person. Not a surface shot but the richly layered, complex individual; forged by both the good and bad events in their lives.

    I'll look forward to reading more by this talented author!

    ~PJ
    The Romance Dish

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    What I Loved: Genevieve Graham does an amazing job writing an en

    What I Loved: Genevieve Graham does an amazing job writing an enriching and beautiful story without hampering it down with pages and pages of historical facts. Sound of the Heart is a heart-wrenching story of war and love. Graham pens her novel with great care. I truly enjoyed each page even as she gripped my heart and twisted.

    Dougal and Glenna are amazing together. Truthfully I can’t see either of them with anyone else. I think what I enjoyed the most about Sound of the Heart are the surprises that Graham has peppered throughout it! Some of them made my jaw drop while others brought tears to my eyes.

    What I Could Have Lived Without: While I am a huge fan of historical romance, there are things I wish hadn’t happened or didn’t occur on a regular basis. Graham doesn’t sugar coat it. As a reader it doesn’t sit well with me but it doesn’t ruin a book for me either. I know that women were held in inferior status and so that led some men to believe they could do as they pleased. So while I could have lived without it, the story wasn’t ruined for me.

    Recommended For: Readers looking for historical fiction with a healthy dose of romance.

    Avoid If: You prefer your historical romance to be fluffy and gloss over the yucky bits of history we’d rather forget.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 30, 2012

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    I really enjoyed this book. I have a lot of interest in Scottis

    I really enjoyed this book. I have a lot of interest in Scottish history because of William Wallace and Rob Roy so any chance I get to read a book with Scottish characters and set in Scotland is wonderful. Set in 18th century Scotland, with settings in England and the American colonies as well, Sound of the Heart is an exciting historical tale with two extraordinary characters, Dougal and Glenna. I'm not usually big on romance in novels, but the relationship between the two main characters is so sweet and genuine, I couldn't help but enjoy reading about their times together. Graham has taken one of the difficult periods in Scottish history, the time of the Jacobite rebellion, and turned it into a story of personal triumph and love. She has written the dialogue in Scottish brogue, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I likened myself to a Scottish lassie as I experienced the Scottish intonations in my head.

    I highly recommend Sound of the Heart to anyone who enjoys Scottish history with a bit of romance added to the mix. Now I must check out Graham's first novel, Under the Same Sky. She is a talent I will not soon forget.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 24, 2012

    Dougal McDonnell is fighting at the battle of Culloden when he i

    Dougal McDonnell is fighting at the battle of Culloden when he is separated from his family and taken prisoner. After being imprisoned in ghastly conditions, Dougal escapes and begins a new life in the Scottish Highlands with his newly found love, Glenna. Things go wonderfully for a while, but when Glenna is taken by the British soldiers and sent to the American colonies, Dougal must join the enemy for the chance to save her.

    I literally could not put this book down! While Jamie Frasier is my favorite Scotsman, Dougal McDonnell is now a (very) close second. He is everything a woman wants: strong, handsome, caring, protective... the list goes on and on. I fell in love with him quite quickly! So, obviously I loved his character, but I enjoyed the other characters as well. They were all very realistic, easily understandable, and likable. As with her first novel, Graham does an amazing job of steeping Sound of the Heart in historical detail and I was instantly taken back to 1700's Scotland and surrounded by the sounds, smells, and fear associated with the Battle of Culloden. I don't want to give too much away, so I'll just say that there are a few twists and turns that I wasn't quite expecting and made the book that much more interesting and compulsively readable. Graham has definitely made her way on my "must read author" list.

    *Please note, I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 18, 2012

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    The Sound of Heart by historical fiction romance author Geneviev

    The Sound of Heart by historical fiction romance author Genevieve Graham takes us from the sweeping hills of Scotland to the savage shores of America. When Graham approached me for this tour she had me at the words; Scotland and Highlander. I am delighted to say I wasn't disappointed. She delivered an epic tale of hardship, history, and a romance that will captivate readers.

    The tale begins with Dougal MacDonnell, a swoon worthy warrior. He and his family are Highlanders in Scotland. They are trying to save their beloved home land from King Charles and his merciless men. Dougal sees his father fall and ends up being captured by the English. He and others are marched to prison. Along the way he befriends a Scot named John, and two young men. The journey is horrific and Dougal makes himself champion to the young men as he protects them. At the prison a chance for escape goes wrong and only Dougal and a young lad named Aidan make it. They journey together back to the highlands and live quietly for a while in an abandoned cabin. It is here that Dougal meets Glenna and the two fall in love. Things are blissful until a group of King Charles men show up, capture Glenna and leave Dougal for dead. The tale that unfolds is captivating and held me till the last page. Graham's tale takes us from prison cells to to the shores of colonial America.

    I loved the characters. Glenna is a pistol. She is both witty and brave. Her love for Dougal helps her remain strong. I loved how she defended those weaker than her even when doing so could cause her to hang. Dougal is a warrior, he is opinionated, brave and has a strong moral compass. In my opinion he is completely swoon worthy martial. Like Glenna he defends those who are weak and hates the English with a passion. Aidan and John the Scot were interesting characters and I grew fond of them. Graham introduces many colorful secondary characters who add depth and make the story come alive.

    Graham's use of historical events and descriptions of the country side were delightful. The tale had an even tempo and was beautifully written. The characters had depth, passion and they made the tale feel genuine. I loved moving from the POV of Dougal to the POV of Glenna. I will not go into details, but Graham delivers a twist that was quite shocking and had me laughing aloud. She painted images of Scotland, the prisons, the sea and America that were delightful to the historical lover in me. While this is a romance and there is sexual content, Graham did a splendid job of making it implied and sweet. I rooted for Glenna and Dougal and prayed for a happily ever-after. While the ending completed their story, Graham ended in such a way that additional novels regarding Dougal and his brothers are a possibility. I want to thank the author and Penguin for providing this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 9, 2012

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    Sound of the Heart is the first historical Romance novel that I'

    Sound of the Heart is the first historical Romance novel that I've red in over a year and let me tell you it was a like a breath of fresh air. Genevieve Graham did an excellent job with her second book. It is a companion to her novel debut, Under the Same Sky and follows Dougal MacDonnell, the brother of Andrew.

    Sound of the Heart starts in 1746 during the battle between the Scots and English at Culloden. Right away the book drew me in, enabling me to experience the sights and sounds as if they were my own. It is here that we meet Dougal MacDonnell. The black haired, blue eyed Highlander fought along side his father and brothers against the English with everything that he had. Unfortunately, they were defeated and Dougal was taken prisoner under the assumption that the rest of his family was dead. Thus begins a series of adventures that brought both good and bad times.

    I've never been a history buff so the dates, battles and forts named in this book didn't register much for me - well, except for Fort Ticonderoga because it's located near where I live. What registered for me about this book was the wonderful detail that Genevieve put in. I loved reading about the way of life for the Highlanders. Both in and out of prison. The conditions of the prison ship was especially atrocious. All the little details and intricacies where in place and made me feel as if I were living in a movie. The accents were spectacular and I could here the voices in my mind. The clarity of the scenes that were brought before me with the authors words was amazing.

    The romance between Glenna and Dougal was real and heartfelt. I'll admit though, that while I was reading this I was wondering where the romance was. It seemed to take forever to meet Glenna. Then suddenly, Ms. Graham throws us a twist and all is revealed. The twist was a true "Holy Crap!" moment of surprise. Looking back I can see the foreshadowing of the event but it was done in a masterfully subtle way. Another aspect of the romance between Glenna and Dougal was the loyalty and devotion that was between them from the verra beginning.

    There was only one thing that upset me about the book. It spans about 15 years. That in itself is not the problem. It might just be an editing mistake but it seems as if Genevieve made at least one timeline boo boo. It threw me off my game.

    Sound of the Heart is a solid read that will make you wonder. If your looking for a great historical romance that paints pictures with words then Sound of the Heart is it!

    Oh, the horrors of pants...

    The plaids were replaced by shirts and breeks. Dougal hated the breeks. He felt confined in every sense of the word. They chafed the insides of his thighs, they blocked ventilation... and they forced him to pick a side.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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