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February 3, 2015

Loved It: Just In Time for a Highlander by Gwyn Cready + Heady Stuff

Series: Sirens of the Scottish Borderlands 1
Format: eGalley
Release Date: February 3, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Time Travel Romance


BLURB:
It's tough being a woman in a man's profession, especially for Abby Kerr, the unexpected chieftess of Clan Kerr. Loathe to marry but in need of a strong arm, Abby wishes for a Scots warrior and gets . . . Duncan, the historical reenactment hobbyist.

Wall Street Impresario Duncan MacHarg isn't bad with a fencing foil, but he's no Highlander. When a misdirected spell plucks him from the 21st century, he lands in 1705 Scotland at the feet of the fiercest woman he's ever laid eyes on.


QUOTABLE QUOTES:
If ye believe as I do we only learn from mistakes, then the wiser the woman, the more foolish choices you will find in her past.

[on penises]"no bigger than a very average turnip-"
"When they're soft! But hard-"
"Oh, aye, hard they are invested with the pomp and splendor of a common least weasel. And yet somehow we are to believe they are the divine lightnihg rod of God's glory here on Earth."




Surprisingly funny. Unexpectedly touching. Impossible plot yet very engaging. Entertaining banter. Hella sexy. Great new fantasy series. 

That about sums up JUST IN TIME FOR A HIGHLANDER by Gwyn Cready. Since Outlander hit the small screen, time travel romance is trending and we're seeing a lot of these Highland romances lately. I haven't read much myself, but I can give Sirens of the Scottish Borderlands a solid recommendation. The premise is really simple; a witch cast a spell which transported sexy fire crotch, Duncan MacHarg, to 18th century Scotland because Kerr clan chieftain, Abby, is in need of a man with certain... functions. Not necessarily sexual but Clan Kerr is in dire straits so aside from a decent bed partner, Abby needs a savior more than anything else. 

I knew JUST IN TIME FOR A HIGHLANDER was going to be a good, if not a great read, when I found myself laughing so hard 5% in. And the laughter didn't stop there, GCready inserted a lot of humorous dialogue and situations, from penis jokes to plain sarcasm. Anything that can make me laugh is always a good thing. The humor comes as a great and pleasant surprise too because I was expecting a hot and heavy romance a la Outlander, and instead I got something light, at times silly, and overall fantastical time travel love story. 

Abby Kerr is a woman beyond her time. She's a clan chief and a woman at that (were there female clan chiefs?), she is self-possessed, honor-bound, compassionate, stern, and can be both a lady and a wench at the same time. In short, Abby will frack a man if she feels like it and you can't use it against her. As for Duncan MacHarg, he might be a man from the future but his heart belongs in the past. I mean, how adorable is this dude? He's a financial adviser by day, living the swanky life back in NY, but over the weekends he's a reenactor for the Battle of Fort Duquense, and can scream as good and loud as any woman?! I absolutely find him adorable! Now despite these... rather fair qualities, Duncan is a Scotsman through and through, worthy of his kilt, and a romp in the sack too ;). 

Now, I must admit, at times I had problems suspending disbelief on some parts of JUST IN TIME FOR A HIGHLANDER. Like how fast Duncan acclimated to 1705 Scotland and how he didn't seem to resist the idea of time travel hard enough. Maybe it's just me taking things too seriously sometimes, but I half expect a logical financial adviser, like Duncan, accustomed to all the conveniences of the 21st century, to not question his sanity or crave the world he knows or has gotten used to. At the same time, it was quite easy for me to dismiss these things because of the precedent and the humorous feel of the novel. Also it wasn't all silly, there were quite a few heartfelt scenes between the characters one of which when Abby asked Duncan if the Scotland she knows will survive to which Duncan answered that it will not, much to Abby's heartbreak. Overall, I'm excited to read the next Sirens of the Scottish Borderlands, I'm sure it's going to be another hoot!





Time Travel is Pretty Heady Stuff
by Gwyn Cready

People ask what first attracted me to time travel writing. I like to say that being able to play with time makes me feel all-powerful, and, let’s face it, that’s a pretty good feeling. The truth is I’ve been a time travel fan for as long as I can remember. For many people of a certain age, my first exposure to time travel was in Dickens’ A Christmas Carol—in my case, the Mr. Magoo version. The idea of being able to observe oneself in one’s past fascinated me. The idea of being able to observe oneself in one’s possible future terrified me. It terrified me because it reminded me how tenuous one’s future is and how quickly the smallest action can change it.

Then came episodes of Star Trek, Bewitched, Rocky and Bullwinkle, and Lost in Space. But if A Christmas Carol was my primer on time travel, Back to the Future, Parts 1, 2, and 3, was my Bible.  Those utterly charming movies made me see the wide range of entertaining and thought-provoking questions time travel raises—Can you change your future? Can you become a better person? If you got a chance to do things over, what if anything would you change? Were your parents ever cool? (And, of course, the answer to that is a resounding no. Ask my children.)

After BTTF, I became a time travel aficionado. I loved Quantum Leap, Peggy Sue Got Married, Time After Time, Terminator, Austin Powers, and Kate and Leopold. I laughed when Bruce Willis meets his adorably irritating younger self in Disney’s The Kid and wept when Ray gets to play baseball with his dad in Field of Dreams.

My favorite time travel novel is the Time Traveler’s Wife. Pack Kleenex. My favorite time travel movie is 13 Going on 30. When Jenna pops into her future and discovers that the choices she made in high school severed her forever from the boy who was her best friend, it’s absolutely heart-breaking. Do we ever realize how the choices we’ve made led us to the exact spot we are in our lives, or that one single different choice could mean the life we live now would be totally unrecognizable?

FOR GOD’S SAKE, PEOPLE, TIME TRAVEL IS PRETTY HEADY STUFF!!!

And that’s what attracts me to it as a writer. I want to find out what people do when put in a time where what they know isn’t necessarily helpful, where they have to adjust to a new world and discover things about themselves and others they didn’t know. Time travel helps separate what’s important—love, honor, bravery, loyalty—from what’s not—money, possessions, status. It also makes characters ask, “Am I going to be the same person I was before, or am I going to use this opportunity to re-make myself into someone better?”

In a romance, the hero and heroine have to change in order the earn the right to be loved by the other, and the change should be painful and fundamental. Lizzie Bennet has to overcome her prejudice against the wealthy, and Mr. Darcy has to battle his pride. (Or was it the other way around? I always get them confused.) Time travel is ripe with opportunities for change. Time travel also adds another layer to the traditional love story: In which time period will the lovers end up? The character willing to forgo his home and time wins the reader’s heart. I generally like the hero to be the one who chooses to give up his time. (I’m not saying it happens in Just in Time for a Highlander.) Heck, it’s a love story written by a woman for women. Why shouldn’t the hero be willing to give up everything in order to win the heroine? What could be a more noble gesture? <long, happy sigh>

What do you think? Does time travel up the ante for you? Should the hero always be the one who gives up everything for love?




Gwyn Cready is a RITA Award-winning romance novelist. She's been called "the master of time travel romance." She lives in Pittsburgh.

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54 comments:

  1. If this is anything at all like Outlander then I just know I will love it!

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    1. Outlander is more serious I think. This is pretty silly :D

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  2. Sounds like a hilarious read! I have to add this to my pile. :)

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    1. Don't expect serious, you won't get that here. Just expect to have a good time ;)

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  3. I recently saw this in an email to request for review and was thinking of requesting it, I'm a sucker for a highlander story so I was sold just from the cover but after reading your review and learning there's some humor in the story makes me want to get to it sooner! Adding to the TBR pile right now, thanks for sharing Braine! :)

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  4. I like a good time travel story, and even if you had some issues with belief it sitll sounds fun. Thanks for the recommendation.

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    1. Expect to be entertained, no logical explanations, just good 'ol Scottish fun

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  5. So glad you included that quote! That's what sold me on this book. I've been very picky lately about my romances.

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  6. Couple of days ago I saw the cover for this one, but I wasn't sure, I thought it will be "another" TT romance. Lately I'm in the mood for books that make me laugh and this sounds just perfect for me.

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  7. This one sounds like a winner, glad to see you enjoyed it! And oooh that coverrrr

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    1. Any cover with Paul M on the cover is a good thing

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  8. Funny yet touching sounds like something I could love.

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  9. I will be adding this to my TBR pile. Time travel romances are either hit or miss for me. Great review. I would like to read this one.

    Grace @ Books of Love

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  10. Hehe! I love it when a book has you laughing from the start... I know i will enjoy it then!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

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  11. I loved Seducing Mr. Darcy and I'm looking forward to this one! If I did a time-travel backwards, maybe I'd visit the Scottish highlands and find my own Highlander?

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    1. Not a bad idea and I will look up Mr. Darcy! Oh lord, I don't know how I could wrangle him from Lizzie Bennett!

      Do you still have a blog? I visited the one on your profile but I'm not sure if I got the right ones.

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  12. I really liked this review and the dialogue about time travel from the author. Very interesting. And yes, I like time travel (started by reading Outlander series) and the situations that arise when someone lands in a time they are unfamiliar with. I was glad to hear from this reviewer that there's plenty of humor because I like humor in my action stories and romances...and I imagine there's plenty of situations in time travel that can be pretty humorous. This story is sounding better and better to me! Thanks for the post. jdh2690@gmail.com

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    1. I'm so happy you loved the post & found the review helpful! I hope you find the time to give this a go

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  13. Time travel, hella sexy, a highlander..oh yum. It has been a while since I fed my need for this genre..and this may be the perfect book to do so!

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  14. Oh I love Highland romances! This one sounds really good and I confess that I'm intrigued now! It's been a while since I've read a book like that. I should go back to them. I even have the whole Outlander series at home to read.

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    1. That's cool! I should maybe try and read Gabaldon too!

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  15. Oooos Braine! Sounds like I need to check it out. I enjoy time travel ones :D

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    1. Don't wait too long then! Take a trip to the Lowlands!

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  16. I'm with you. Make me laugh and I'll love your book. Oh, nice twist that the guy is the time traveler and the gal is the ferocious laird of the clan. I would love to time travel to just about anywhere and any time period just so long as I could come back to the comforts of home so I always think of that when I'm reading a Time Travel too. I love that there seems to be little angst over it, but like you practicality would think that he'd resist it a bit.

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    1. Cready set things up in a way where you shouldn't take things too seriously, if you know what I mean. It was easy for me to dismiss those but for the purpose of full disclosure I want to set ex

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  17. Great review and post, Braine! Time Travel PNR is just about the only type of time travel I'm down with, and your description greatly reminded me of KMM's Highlander series, which I luuuurve. I also think it's way cool that it's a GUY who gets tossed back in time for once. Definitely adding this to my wishlist.

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    1. That's great! KMMs Highlander series was superb too. I love the humor in that one as well.

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  18. Sounds good :) And I like that it was he who went back

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    1. Usually it's the ladies, so it is a nice switch up indeed.

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  19. Reading the summary all I could think was that this was almost gender swapped Outlander. But from the sounds of things it's a lot more entertaining! I doubt I'll ever get around to reading it because it's not really my type of book but I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

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    1. That's alright, that's why bloggers like us exists. We read books so some don't have to. :)

      Thanks for visiting back, Beck :)

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  20. I admit to developing a keen interest in these types of reads thanks to reading/watching Outlander. I like that there's a lot of humor, too; added this to my TBR!

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    1. This is way to silly than Outlander. I hope you enjoy it though.

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  21. This read sounds like so much fun, with the NY financial advisor getting together with a clan chief! Wow that's not a plot I've read before, and I love how hilarious it sounds! Thanks for the review Braine!

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    1. You're welcome. I love funny reads, we all need a little bit of laughter in our lives.

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  22. I love it when a book can make you laugh but then still delivers a good story as well. Great review!

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  23. Appreciate the interest. It was a fun book to write. Pretty romantic, too.

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  24. I have for many years read time travel books and loved anything with time travel as I am a fan of Doctor Who. I had read some of Gwyn Cready's earlier books and loved them. I know I will love this one as well. If I could travel back to the Highlands of Scotland I would be a happy person I know I would miss my conveniences but I think it would be worth it if I had my own Highlander waiting for me. Well one can dream.

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  25. Yum! Highlanders, humor and some romance? I think this is my kind of story, Braine, and time travel is always something I appreciate in my books :) Thanks for sharing.
    I hope you're having a great weekend!

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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  26. Sounds good, this one is going on my TBR!

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  27. Fab review, Braine! This one is definitely being placed on my tbr - high in priority! That you laughed so much is really appealing. And I was thinking about what you said about Declan misisng 21st conveniences, etc....do you think it'd be easier for a guy to go back in time than a girl? I mean, I'd miss indoor plumbing for sure! But guys don't need such things. *ha* Thanks for sharing the guest post as well - I'd never thought about time travel like that...it IS heady stuff!

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    1. And if I could travel in time to any place, I'd probably choose Regency England. :) I'd love to say 18th century Scotland because, um...Highlanders. But I don't know if I'm tough enough! *ha*

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  28. I'd love to go back in time and find me a sexy Highlander in Scotland, but only if I could bring him back to the present with me...LOL I'm not too sure I could make it in that time period. I thought about Victorian England, but those corsets must have been torture! ;)

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  29. Not any special place to which I would like to return, it would be a time! It would be back before my knees gave out, I would love to dance again!!


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  30. Time travel isn't my cup of tea. I like the here and now - I know what to expect. If I did travel, it would be back to visit with my Mom. I have many questions unanswered.

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