Highland Blessings

Highland Blessings

by Jennifer Hudson Taylor


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781426702266
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Publication date: 06/15/2010
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 453,712
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Jennifer Hudson Taylor is an award-winning author of inspirational fiction set in historical Europe and the Carolinas. Her books, which include Path of Freedom, Highland Blessings, and Highland Sanctuary, have been critically acclaimed by publications such as RT Book Reviews and USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog.

Read an Excerpt

Highland Blessings

By Jennifer Hudson Taylor

Abingdon Press

Copyright © 2010 The United Methodist Publishing House
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4267-0226-6

Chapter One


April 1473

Akira MacKenzie willed her knees not to fail her. She watched Gregor Matheson's blond head disappear through the astonished crowd that slowly parted for him. He would have made her a perfect husband, but now he deserted her, placing her safety in jeopardy once again.

She swallowed the rising lump in her throat and straightened her shoulders. Akira clasped her hands in front of her and turned to face the expectant gazes of her Scottish clan. Hushed murmurs flowed through the crowd until one by one their voices faded into the restless wind.

"'Twill be no wedding this day." She allowed her strong voice to echo over her kinsmen. The earth vibrated, and thunder rumbled in the distance. Akira paused, but naught seemed amiss. Green hills and hidden valleys lay undisturbed, draped with wildflowers and tall grass that rippled in the gentle breeze. Strands of golden-red hair lifted from her shoulder and brushed against her face. She whisked a wayward lock from her eyes.

She turned to Father Mike for encouragement. He stood in a brown robe gathered with a rope cord tied at the waist around his thin frame. Holding a small book in the crook of his arm, he shook his graying head. His aging face held laugh lines around the corners of his eyes and mouth, but today his wrinkles were pulled into a sad frown. His soft brown eyes settled upon her with understanding. Akira wanted to run weeping into his arms, but she held herself still.

More thunder rumbled and grew closer.

"'Tis the MacPhearsons!" A lone woman cried in alarm, pointing past where Akira stood on the grassy knoll.

Panic slashed through her clansmen, and they scattered to find shelter behind her father's castle gates. Unarmed MacKenzies sought their weapons before the riders reached them. Expecting a wedding celebration, few were prepared for battle.

Akira turned. The thunder she had heard was an army of warriors descending upon them. A savage barbarian riding a fierce gray stallion charged toward her, his army in quick pursuit. Together, the lead warrior and stallion embodied power. He led them as befit a king, but when his gaze fixed on Akira, her blood ran cold.

The MacPhearson chief wanted his bride. Akira hated her fear of him as it took root and gripped her insides.

"Lord, give me strength," she prayed.

She would not run. No, she would stand and wait for him. If it was peace he wanted, then peace she would give him. She'd be calm, meet his gaze, and remind him of the letter her father received six months ago from the MacPhearson chief saying he would not honor the betrothal their parents had pledged years ago when she and Evan MacPhearson were children. Accepting it as the insult it was, Akira's father granted his permission for her to wed a man of her choice. She had chosen Gregor Matheson, but now she realized even that had been a mistake.

Her brother Gavin broke through the madness and grabbed Akira's arm, propelling her toward the castle gates. The sound of horses' hooves pounding into the earth grew louder. One gray stallion erupted forth, his rider targeting her. Knowing Gavin held no weapon to defend them, she fretted for his life and tried to wrench herself free.

"Run, Gavin! Run!" she yelled above the chaos.

Gavin wouldn't leave her. He struggled to pull her along, but her heavy satin gown caught under her feet, nearly tripping her. While most wedding gowns of her clanswomen were of varying colors, Akira had wanted to look like a white dove. The front was simple, but elegant, with no beads or trim. The long sleeves widened at the wrists and the skirt portion draped over her figure like a long tapestry.

"Hurry, lass!" he urged as the material ripped.

The stallion's labored breathing almost pulsed down her back. Her skin crawled with tiny prickles. The dark rider would soon overtake them. Jerking free of Gavin's hold, she again urged her brother to safety.

"Leave me, Gavin." Tears of despair threatened to snap her control. "I'll not have ye die at the hand of a MacPhearson because of me."

"Nay. Never!" Gavin protested.

The MacPhearson warrior bent, and his heavy fist slammed against Gavin's jaw. Her brother landed several feet back. Iron fingers gripped her waist. The MacPhearson tightened his hold across her middle as he pulled her backward and up onto the horse. Akira screamed and kicked, lashing out blindly against him. He fought her with one hand while he guided his charger forward. The reins almost tumbled from his hand, and he lunged to grab them. His hard elbow rammed her cheek in the process.

"Don't fight me, lass," he roared. "Or else the blood of innocent men will be upon yer head!"

His words cut into her like a blade, and she ceased her struggles as he threw her over his lap and across the racing animal's back. Akira believed him. A MacPhearson could have no compassion in a heart as black as death.

"How dare ye, MacPhearson!" Akira's father bellowed behind them. She stole a glance through her tumbling hair. He ran after them with a fist raised in mid-air. He roared another promise of revenge before bending over his knees to catch his breath. Her father shook his graying head in disbelief.

"I love ye, Da," she whispered, committing his image to memory.

The forest swallowed them, and for hours the MacPhearsons kept their fast pace. Akira tried to calm her heaving stomach, but it continued to twirl as she lay over his lap. The ride would have been much more tolerable had she been able to sit on her backside. Instead, her stomach suffered from the jarring of the stallion's movements. The nausea finally overtook her, and she vomited.

They stopped. Left with no other recourse, she tried to wipe her mouth with her hand.

The warrior ripped off part of his plaid hanging over his tunic that reached down to his knees like a long shirt and belted at the waist. He wet it with water from his flask and offered it to her. His plaid of red and gray colors fell forward, and he shoved it back over his shoulder. Since the MacPhearsons lived in a different region, their plaids were made by a different weaver from the MacKenzies'. Akira's clan often wore plaids of blue and green.

She lifted her gaze to his menacing glare. Akira trembled in spite of her silent resolve not to fear him, for he looked as if he wanted to beat her, and she felt certain it wasn't beneath him.

He leaned forward, thrusting the material in her face. "Take it and clean yerself," he demanded, as if the sight of her disgusted him.

Grimacing, she looked down at his leg covered with her sickness. Her cheeks grew warm. He deserved what he had gotten for throwing her on his stallion and hauling her off like a prize he had won.

"Lass, don't make me repeat myself." His lack of patience was quite evident in his tone, but even more so as he shoved the damp material in her face.

Akira snatched it out of his hand and glared back, momentarily forgetting her danger. "Ye blunderin' fool, 'tis yer own fault it happened. Ye got no more than ye deserved."

He leaned forward, his nose barely an inch from hers, and she leaned back as far as she dared without toppling off his stallion. His dark gray eyes turned black, and a vein pulsed rapidly in his neck as he stared down at her.

Once again her temper and boldness had gotten the better of her. Lord, help bridle my tongue, she silently prayed. Deciding she had pushed him far enough, Akira gripped his leg while she stroked the damp cloth over his skin in hopes of diverting his attention from her angry outburst. He flinched at her touch. She dropped his leg with a questioning gaze.

"I told ye to clean yerself, not me."

"I'm not quite as messy." She turned back to her task.

He lifted her from the stallion and dropped her on her unsteady feet. It took her a moment to recover. When she did, she found herself staring at her captor's chest. Tall for a woman, Akira wasn't used to a man's height equaling her own, but this MacPhearson was a giant. His massive shoulders blocked the sun's rays, filtering through the trees.

He bound her hands with a leather strap, pulling the knot secure against the flesh around the fine bones of her wrists. She noticed his skin was a shade darker than hers.

Akira stole the moment to study his profile. Shoulder-length hair the color of potted soil framed an authoritative, square face. His gray eyes were sharp and purposeful as he tended to his task. Up close he appeared more handsome than barbaric. His bronze face bore a recent shave. The bridge of his nose smoothed over his face to striking, high cheekbones. He radiated confidence, but she sensed a stubborn streak hid behind his determined expression.

As he towered over her, she felt a rare fear and trembled. His hands gentled, and his voice softened.

"I'm sorry I was so rough with ye. I didn't mean for my elbow to hit yer cheek." He pulled the leather tighter, making her wince. "I apologize for this inconvenience, but I must see to it that ye canna escape."

He stepped back, rubbing his chin in thoughtful concentration as if contemplating what to do with her. "Ye're no ordinary woman." He crossed his arms and circled Akira, observing her. She could feel the heat of his blazing gaze travel the length of her. "Any other woman would have fled." He paused in front of her and looked into her eyes. "'Twas as if ye were determined to stand yer ground and wait for me until that man encouraged ye to run." He raised a black eyebrow. "Why?"

"They're my family and clansmen. If ye were coming to claim yer bride, then I was the one ye wanted, not them."

"So ye're a courageous lass. Willing to sacrifice yerself for their lives. Is that the way of it then?" He spoke in a firm, yet gentle tone. He touched her swelling cheek with the back of his knuckles. Akira flinched from the uncharacteristic gesture. He dropped his hand.

"Regardless of what ye think, I'm not in the habit of mistreating women." He looked at her intently, his eyes almost willing her to believe him.

She stared over his shoulder at the dark forest, refusing to relieve him of his guilt-if he was human enough to feel any. "My brother did naught to ye. Why did ye hit him?"

"Yer brother would have interfered and caused a massacre of yer people. I had no wish for that to happen, so I took the only option I had. I took care of him before he could strike me and my men retaliate on my behalf."

Akira stepped back in disbelief. She craned her neck to see into his dark gray eyes. "'Twas not the only option. He could still be unconscious this verra moment."

He sighed, crossing his arms over his chest as if she were trying his patience. "I assure ye, lass, yer brother will be fine. I didn't hit him hard."

She leaned up on her tiptoes. "Then my eyes must have been deceiving me, for ye knocked him plumb out."

"Aye, that I did." He grinned with pride, as white, even teeth flashed in contrast to his dark profile. "But the blow will not cause any lasting effects, I assure ye."

"There's not a guilty bone in yer body." A lock of golden-red curls fell forward covering her right eye. She reached up with her bound hands and tossed her long tresses over her shoulder. "Ye had no right to take me from my family."

"Believe as ye wish." He shrugged. "I may have taken ye against yer will, but I never commit harm unless I'm forced." He placed a finger under her chin and tilted her face.

Her mind whirled in a daze. Akira purposely closed her heart to any generosity he might bestow upon her. "Gavin gave ye no reason to hit him. I hope I do naught to force yer mistreatment of me before ye return me to my family." The sarcasm in her voice overshadowed her fear.

A sudden frown perplexed his otherwise perfect face, and she sensed a change in his demeanor. In one fluid motion, he lifted her upon his stallion. This time she was properly seated as he mounted up behind her. He urged the beast beneath them forward, signaled to his men, and they were again on their way. Akira had nearly forgotten that others were present to witness their exchange.

Under the circumstances, he set a much slower pace than she would have anticipated, knowing the MacKenzies could be following close behind. They traveled a good distance in silence.

After a long while had passed, he bent toward her ear. "I'm sorry."

His warm breath floated over the skin at her nape, and she fought the urge to shudder. His apology stunned her speechless. Warriors did not apologize, least of all to bound prisoners or to women.

"Whether ye believe me or not, I do not mistreat women. And the blow to yer cheek wouldn't have happened if ye hadn't put up such a struggle."

Akira remained silent. How was she supposed to have responded while being kidnapped away from her family and all that she held dear? She had no idea what to expect. All she knew was that she depended upon the Lord to give her sufficient grace to get through whatever she would be forced to endure at their hands.

"I see ye've naught else to say." Disappointment carried in his voice.

She arched an eyebrow. He expected friendly conversation while he carted her halfway across the country against her will and kept her in bonds? "What would ye have me say?" She turned sideways in the saddle. "I can only wonder at what ye plan to do with me. Should I beg for mercy in hopes ye'll spare my life? Or should I wait 'til ye've no more use for me?" She straightened away from him.

He chuckled. "I appreciate the ideas."

"Why not take me home now before my da comes after me and more blood is shed?"

He tensed as if her words had struck some deep chord within him. "Believe me, lass, more bloodshed is not my intention. I took ye because I had to and that's the end of it."

Akira wisely remained silent. The man seemed to contradict even his own character. He didn't want her to believe him a barbarian, yet he had ridden onto MacKenzie land with warriors and carted her off against her will, thrown across his lap like a sack of potatoes. Then he bound her wrists with a leather strap and tried to convince her that he was a caring gentleman with good manners. There could only be one explanation. The man was daft.

* * *

They rode well into the night. Bryce's heavily muscled arms shielded her from branches and other brush in their path. They came to a clearing and Bryce halted. "We'll camp here for the night. There's a small brook beyond those trees." He gestured to the right. He called two men over. "Backtrack and station yerselves to keep watch. I want to know of the first sign of a MacKenzie."

Before she could object, large hands circled her waist and lifted her down. "Follow me." He turned on his heel, leaving her with no choice but to do as directed. He led her into the dark woods, and she wanted nothing more than to turn and run the other way. Twigs cracked beneath the weight of their footsteps. An owl hooted in the distance. A small animal shifted and darted through the leaves. She wondered if it was a rabbit. Crickets sang around them. Akira rubbed her arms in discomfort and crouched close to his back to avoid the leaves and limbs he shoved aside. They reached the brook, and he motioned for her to kneel beside him. She bent and watched him remove more of his plaid. He dipped it into the water and brought it against her face.

She jerked at the cold contact. What was this about?

"I merely want to bathe yer face."

She leaned back. "Nay!"

His hands fell to his sides, still holding his wet plaid in one hand. "I can see the swelling and darkness just below yer eye, even in the moonlight." As if brought on by his words, the skin under her left eye tightened and grew numb. Her fingers inched to her cheek as she stared at him. He was stern with his men and they rushed to do his bidding. A man did not earn that kind of respect and power with a gentle nature. They feared him, and they wanted his approval. She could see it in their faces when they looked at him. Admiration shone in their expression.

"Ye've no reason to fear me, unless ye plan to make it so," he interrupted her thoughts. "I'll treat ye with all the respect owed and due a lady, but heed my warning: Don't anger me by trying to escape. There is naught I despise worse than distrust and betrayal."


Excerpted from Highland Blessings by Jennifer Hudson Taylor Copyright © 2010 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Excerpted by permission of Abingdon Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Highland Blessings 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Carlybird More than 1 year ago
Ok, I just need to get this out of the way first. There was one thing that I did not like about this book, the dialogue. There was a lot of "ye" "'twas" "yer", and so on, which really slowed me down. I understand the book was written that way for the sake of authenticity, but I found it distracting. Of course, I always feel that way when authors use authentic language in their stories, so my dislike of it in this book is nothing unusual. I'm sure most people don't even notice that sort of thing and they are not bothered by it at all. It's just a personal preference for me. As I said earlier, the dialogue was used to give the book an authentic feel, and it was very effective. As I read this book, I was not sitting in my apartment in North Carolina in 2010. I was transported to Scotland in 1473. The author did a fantastic job with setting up the time and place of the story and the dialogue was the only part of this book that I did not care for. Everything else about this story was beautiful and I am thankful I took the time to read it. Jennifer Hudson Taylor is a very talented writer who has obviously done a lot of research to make this book real and believable. So, don't let me negative comments at the start of this review discourage your reading of this book. Like I said, it is simply my personal preference. If using authentic language does not slow you down, you will find this book flawless. I look forward to much more from this author. I love all things Scottish and this book makes a nice addition my Scottish delights.
AAR More than 1 year ago
HIGHLAND BLESSINGS by Jennifer Hudson Taylor is an inspirational historical romance/suspense. It is set in 1473 Scotland. This is this author's debut book and she is an author to watch for in the future. It is well written with depth and details and you can easily tell there has been a great deal of research, also the dialog is in the style of the period.This helps give the story its authenticity. It has faith, betrayal, forgiveness,suspense, adventure, romance, everything Scottish, murder, a pre-arranged marriage between two rival clans, and the coming together of two clans for peace. The hero, Bryce, is strong, determined, handsome, a born leader, tough, keeps promises he makes, has tenacity, faces the turmoil of betrayal, falls in love with the womon he kidnaps( due to a promise made for his dying father),and becomes a powerful, well liked laird which be becomes after the death of his older brother, Evan.The heroine, Akira, is humble, strong, has a strong faith,loyal to her clan, her new clan.She is determined to make her marriage work, even after she had been kidnapped on the day of her wedding to another. She was kidnapped in order to observe the pre-arranged marriage between her and Evan, the Laird of the MacPhearson clan. This is a powerful story of love, trust in your faith and learning to love even during times of angst and turmoil. I would highly recommend this story especially if you enjoy everything Scottish. This is a personal buy by the writer of this review. Details can be found at Abingdon Press and My Book Addiction and More.
JanalynVoigt More than 1 year ago
Bryce McPherson kidnaps Akira McKenzie on her wedding day to keep a promise made to his dying father.The fact that the McKenzie and the McPherson clans are sworn enemies won't save Akira from marrying the McPherson Chiefton. But can such a marriage bring peace, especially when a series of murders seems to indicate otherwise? And can Bryce and Akira find love in the midst of hatred? With fine prose and deft skill, Jennifer Hudson Taylor takes us to the highlands of Scotland at a time when men lived and died by the sword. But the struggles woven into this book's plot are not of the flesh alone. Akira needs to make peace with both her earthly and heavenly fathers, and Bryce must learn to trust an enemy. But a greater threat waits in the shadows... I recommend Highland Blessings for readers who enjoy historical fiction and historical romance. © 2010 by Janalyn Voigt * A complimentary copy of this book was provided to me by the author for purposes of review.
onedesertrose More than 1 year ago
My Review: When I first agreed to read Highland Blessings by Jennifer Hudson Taylor, I was a little apprehensive about the book because of the country setting and brogue issues. I am so glad I chose to read it! It was engaging the whole way through the book, and the whole storyline flowed naturally, particularly for the time era and country setting and clan rules, keeping me intrigued. Akira had been jilted at the altar, kidnapped on her wedding day, and forced to wed another man from an opposing clan, one that had been feuding with her side of the family for a half-century. Akira's character was humble and yet strong and steady when necessary, dealing with all the emotions of the circumstances. She relied on the Lord to help her through each situation, and there were many intense moments from beginning to end! Bryce's character was just as compelling, with his deep loyalty to promises he made and his tenderness amidst the tenacity and decisiveness needed for his clan position and enemy threats and murders. Upon reading the book, I found some similar analogies of Akira to Esther and Joseph from the Old Testament, with testings and trials to bring out Akira and Bryce's characters. The storyline will impress you. Jennifer is one fine writer! I highly recommend her book! This book was provided free by Mark Yeh at Abingdon Press for my honest, personal review. I consider it a privilege to recommend good novels for your reading delight.
Danzingfool More than 1 year ago
As a fellow Medieval author who keeps hearing that this time period is a hard sell in Christian fiction, I am thrilled this book made it safely to print. Highland Blessings is set in 1473, which is a little late in history for a medieval novel, but all of the cultural elements we associate with the Middle Ages, stone castles, armor, flying pennants, are still firmly in place in Scotland during this time. Add to that plaids, clan lairds and feuds, and the stage is set for an exciting story similar to those written by CBA author Kathleen Morgan. While I felt this story had some small technical issues, overall I enjoyed it very much. My favorite element of the book was the spiritual aspect. Akira is truly a woman of God to be admired. She puts aside hurt and unforgiveness in order to submit herself to God's plan. In addition, she is open to the spirit of God and known for her prophetic dreams. She speaks them forth boldly despite the danger of being thought a witch in her superstitious culture. Here's to hoping this novel will start a new wave of Medievals. It's time the market took notice of this exciting and underrepresented time in history.
ButterflyBlessingsBlog More than 1 year ago
I go weak in the knees at the thought of a Scottish warrior. Not only is Bryce strong, but he has their characteristic loyalty to family, he's sinfully handsome and wants to fulfill his dying father's wish. The only problem lies with carrying that out. His elder brother is chief and has no intention of tying himself with a rival clan to make peace. The lady in question, Akira, is just as strong willed as she is beautiful. He can't help but admire her and regret the actions that may have placed her in harm's way. The rivalry between the two clans has been long standing and many would like to see Bryce fail. It's hard to overcome so many years of hate and prejudice. Trust is hard won and easily broken. Plus someone is working hard to inflame the tempers of both clans. Bryce is a terrific character. He feels bound by his father's dying wish, and yet drawn to Akira himself. Her strength and courage are something he admires, and he enjoys their verbal battles and her beauty. He's first angry at Evan's refusal and rude comments about Akira, then becomes jealous once Evan shows some interest in her after all. He's a strong leader and has the respect of his men. He also has a tender side. He tries to see to her comfort and is upset by the accidental pain he causes her. He does have trouble with trusting her ~ and her family. Akira is brave, intelligent and resourceful. She's also stubborn. She puts her own needs and desires below those of her people. She's no pushover physically either. She has skill with a blade and eventually manages to talk Bryce into giving her one of her own. She has a blind spot when it comes to her clan and doesn't believe any of them could be behind the incidents. She also believed the MacPhersons (Bryce's clan) were nothing more than brutal barbarians with no regard for human life. When one of the plots against the peace ends with the death of Evan, Bryce becomes chief and intends to marry Akira himself. The truce called for her to marry the chief of the clan,it didn't say it had to be his brother. He was the one who believed this was the path to peace but can he trust her? They both want an end to the fighting, but she is there against her will and bad things have happened to both sides. She hasn't been welcomed with open arms either. I want to briefly mention another character that was unusual. Bryce and Evan were two of three sons. The third brother is named Sim. He is deaf (but can read lips) and doesn't speak. His brothers protect and provide for him. They are preparing to teach him to fight, but Akira wants to teach him academics so he can keep the books. She and Sim become good friends. The author has created a book that not only captures a romance between two interesting people, but deals with an issue that is very timely. Both these characters had to deal with whether they were willing to trust each other and God for what was going to happen in their lives. In this economy, I think many of us can relate to needing that same kind of trust. Things look pretty scary to us, but God has it all in His hands.
christianlit on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This was a great book. I love reading about the middle ages in Scotland. This book had love of God, love of family and lots of action to make it iteresting. I've read it several times and highly recommend it.
tarenn on LibraryThing 8 months ago
HIGHLAND BLESSINGS by Jennifer Hudson Taylor is an inspirational historical romance/suspense. It is set in 1473 Scotland. This is this author's debut book and she is an author to watch for in the future. It is well written with depth and details and you can easily tell there has been a great deal of research, also the dialog is in the style of the period.This helps give the story its authenticity. It has faith, betrayal, forgiveness,suspense, adventure, romance, everything Scottish, murder, a pre-arranged marriage between two rival clans, and the coming together of two clans for peace. The hero, Bryce, is strong, determined, handsome, a born leader, tough, keeps promises he makes, has tenacity, faces the turmoil of betrayal, falls in love with the womon he kidnaps( due to a promise made for his dying father),and becomes a powerful, well liked laird which be becomes after the death of his older brother, Evan.The heroine, Akira, is humble, strong, has a strong faith,loyal to her clan, her new clan.She is determined to make her marriage work, even after she had been kidnapped on the day of her wedding to another. She was kidnapped in order to observe the pre-arranged marriage between her and Evan, the Laird of the MacPhearson clan. This is a powerful story of love, trust in your faith and learning to love even during times of angst and turmoil. I would highly recommend this story especially if you enjoy everything Scottish. This is a personal buy by the writer of this review. Details can be found at Abingdon Press and My Book Addiction and More.
melorem on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I received this as a freebie for my Nook. Based on the description it was right up my alley. Set in 1473 Scotland, this book has all the typical historical romance plot elements. Kidnapped bride, strong male character, and fighting clans. The other added element was religion. It was a bit too much for my tastes. I tend to read historical romance as an escape/getaway from daily life but his had none of the romantic action that other books in this genre have.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An enjoyable book with a favorite setting
InSpirit More than 1 year ago
Historical fiction set in the Scottish Highlands in medieval times.  Drama, adventure, romance, mystery, murder.. Lots to keep this reader's attention til the wee hours of the morning! a great entry for a first novel from Jennifer Hudson Taylor ~ Well Done Jennifer!  Reminiscent of Lisa Bergren's Waterfall series. You've won me over ~ now , on to book 2, Highland Sanctuary...
bikrgran More than 1 year ago
Basically, a Hatfield/McCoy type of feud, in early Scotland. A young woman is kidnapped by a rival clan, to become the wife of the chief, when the elder is killed. It was the Father’s wish that by joining the 2 clans, that the wars would end. As the woman and her captors struggle with their angers, and slowly come to forgiveness, it turns out that there’s a traitor who is trying to keep the enmity alive, between the clans. A very good book, about love and forgiveness.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Debbie_Lynne More than 1 year ago
Jennifer Hudson Taylor did a wonderful job taking you back to a time and place of Scottish clan rivalry. You can feel the tension between the characters and commiserate with both. She did a beautiful job with the Scottish accent. Not too much but enough to make it stand out. The story moves along quickly and never falls flat. I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. Even more so if you love a strong Scottish hero!
LovenGod More than 1 year ago
Set in 1473 in Scotland, Jennifer Hudson Taylor's debut novel is definitely a book you want to read! This novel was an exciting book to read. Bryce MacPhearson, rides in on a large gray horse and sweeps the bride away, right in the midst of her wedding. A shock to say the least, but between two fueding families, a downright declaration of war it seems. However Bryce isn't trying to declare war, he is keeping a promise he made to his father, as his father died. The MacPhearson's and the MaKenzie's have been fueding for a half century, and no one really knows why. Bryce's father and Akira's father pledged peace and their children to wed, in order to end the fued, but a warrior kills Bryce's father, and the fued continues. Bryce is determined to see peace and if kidnapping Akira and bringing her to wed his brother Evan, the cheiftan of his clan will bring that peace, so be it. However things do not turn out as Bryce planned, but as God has planned, and Evan is killed. Bryce and Akira wed and both pledge to bring peace. However there seems to be a plot afoot to sabotage that peace. Akira's life is in trouble, and others die as the murderer draws closer and closer to Akira. This book will keep you on the edge of your seat wondering how it will end, and what happens next, most definitely a book you will want to read and add to your library. Discussion questions for book clubs at the end, 298 pages $US 13.99 5 stars
Laurie_Alice_Eakes More than 1 year ago
Having grown up on the historical romances of the 80s, before they learned the accolade of bodice ripper, Taylor's book caught my attention at once. It reminded me of those stories where the heroes were tough, but respectful and chivalrous to the heroines. Abduction isn't seduction; it's the beginning of a new life of renewal leading to peace. This is for the lover of Scottish books indeed.
Ruth_Axtell More than 1 year ago
I quite enjoyed this debut novel by Jennifer Hudson Taylor. It takes place in a popular time period for secular romances, although it's not often seen in inspirational romances. Fifteen-century Scotland, a rough era and yet with some finer things like art. The heroine is a painter in secret. The hero is all that one could desire in big and brawny. The author takes him on a journey of learning how to love a young woman from an enemy clan. He goes from insensitive, Tarzan-type, to someone who is quite patient and sensitive, and who will defend her with his life when the time comes.