August 4, 2016

Loved It: Every Time with a Highlander by Gwyn Cready

Series: Sirens of Scottish Borderlands 3
Format: eGalley
Release Date: August 2, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca 
Source: Publisher via NetGalley 
Genre: Time Travel | Historical 

She can work her magic on any man...

In a quest to bring peace to her beloved Scottish borderlands, fortune-teller and spy Undine Douglas agrees to marry a savage English colonel. Desperate to delay the wedding long enough to undermine the army's plans, Undine casts a spell to summon help and unexpectedly finds herself under the imperious gaze of the handsome and talented Michael Kent, twenty-first century British theater director.

But in this production, he commands the action...
Though he abandoned acting years ago, Michael will play whatever part it takes to guard Undine's safety—he's used to managing London's egocentric actors and high-handed patrons, after all. But not even Shakespeare could have foreseen the sparks that fly when the colonel's plans force Undine and Michael into the roles of their lifetimes.

To me, Gwyn Cready's Sirens of the Scottish Borderlands is like a romcom version of Outlander. Angus Mohr (RIP) could easily fit into this world. 

But instead of magical stones, Undine Murray is the one responsible for all the time traveling that's been happening, and EVERY TIME A HIGHLANDER is her book. Though the books are relatively romantic in nature, three an underlying seriousness to the overarching plot and that is England taking Scotland under their Empire which, of course, our beloved high and low landers are trying and fighting to stop. It's this sense of desperation that Undine grabbed Michael Kent, actor/director, in the middle of a Shakespearean performance and brought him to 1700 Scotland to help her delay and maybe stop her pending marriage to Bridgewater, one of the key players in this takeover and a villainous person a la the Sheriff of Nottingham.
EVERY TIME A HIGHLANDER, like its predecessors, is rife with comedic breaks thanks to Michael's improvisations and Bridgewater's oblivion to what's happening behind his back. I got a lot of laughs reading this third installment and truly admired Undine's determination and craftiness. There were a few convenient resolutions, but as this is a romantic comedy to begin with, EVERY TIME A HIGHLANDER delivered on this front solidly. This third installment is funny, sweet, and sexy. A recommended addition to your Summer TBR.

What Three Qualities Every Romantic Hero Needs

You say, are we talking physical or personality qualities? Well, just pull your mind out of the gutter and let’s really consider this. There are certain physical qualities every hero seems to have—at least nearly every hero portrayed on a romance novel cover. Have we ever seen one who wasn’t handsome, cut, and sporting at least a glimpse of hair-less chest? And while that’s fine (and by that I mean fine), that isn’t the only thing women find attractive in men right? I like a nice smattering of chest hair, for example. I have also found any number of men without broad shoulders and muscles to be both handsome and extremely sexy. There are some women who find a slighter build attractive. Heck, there are even women who actually find broad shoulders and muscles off-putting. Personally, I’d much rather find a guy who loved to give foot rubs.

And don’t even get me started on the cover heroes who look nothing like the men in the stories. Every Time with a Highlander has a hero who’s probably close to 50. He started as a theater actor, became a star, then left acting to direct. He’s handsome and tall, but, believe me, he doesn’t spend his free time pumping iron. Actors have to be ready to disappear into any role. They can’t look like they just stepped out of a WWF match. There just aren’t that many wrestling roles in the drama world. But there was no point in telling my publisher that. I knew I was going to be getting a 30-year-old model who looks like he could uproot a tree with one arm on my cover. DO WE REALLY NEED GASTON ON EVERY BOOK??? How cool would it be if, just once, we showed a guy with a receding hairline and some laughter lines at the corner of his eyes? That’s all I’m sayin’.

Where were we? Ah, yes, the three qualities every romance hero must have. Well, clearly my answer isn’t big arms and a GQ face. In fact, I can say with utmost confidence that physical attributes have nothing to do with what makes a hero a hero. I once fell in love with a science fiction hero—and you would, too—who was both deformed and extremely short. IT’S WHAT’S UNDERNEATH THAT MATTERS. And, no, I don’t mean his tailored trousers. I’m the kind of writer who needs to fall in love with the hero she’s creating, so the hero rules for me are:

  • The hero must be good at what he does. There is nothing sexier than a guy who’s found his groove and does it well. I don’t care if he’s a maintenance guy, a dock worker, or the CEO of a company. If he does it well, I’m liking it. (By the way, the corollary of this is, if he doesn’t do anything because he’s rich, that’s not sexy at all.)
  • The hero much be willing to sacrifice his own happiness for that of the heroine. I’m not saying she should take him up on it, but he must make it clear to the reader that the needs of the woman he loves come first. Romances are fantasies, and my fantasy is a guy who wants me to be happy. (Actually, my real life is a guy who wants me to be happy, too.)
  • The hero has to be smart and funny. Sorry. I know that should probably be two rules, but the assignment was three, so I’m going to just stick them together. Actually, I’m not sure a hero could be funny if he wasn’t smart, so maybe just saying he has to be funny is enough.

That, my friends, is the recipe for me. What qualities does it take to be a great hero for you—I mean, other than a darned fine foot rub?

Gwyn Cready is a writer of contemporary, Scottish, and time travel romance. She’s been called “the master of time travel romance” and is the winner of the RITA Award, the most prestigious award given in romance writing. She has been profiled in Real Simple and USA Today, among others. Before becoming a novelist, she spent 25 years in brand management. She has two grown children and lives with her husband on a hill overlooking the magical kingdom of Pittsburgh.
Follow Gwyn
Website | Facebook | @GwynCreadyGoodreads

You can win a copy of book 1, Just In Time for a Highlander,
by answering this question:

If you can return back in time, which hero, real or fictional, would you want to have a romantic affair with and why?

Leave your answer and email address or Twitter name on the comment section below.
Best answer wins.
Winner will be selected on August 14, 2016.
US Only.

Talk Supe


  1. I was thinking how that guy on the cover looks like he means serious business, and then started laughing at the comment about cover models. I totally agree! And it's definitely a great sense of humor that will make me swoon for a hero.

  2. Omg, he so screams alpha ma!e ahha!!

  3. I'm not usually one for time travel romances, but I'm here for a sexy highlander! And it's funny too, so I clearly need this in my life!

  4. this looks and sounds fabulous!! Ummm... I really can't think of a historical figure that I would want to have an affair with... I keep thinking of how they didn't bath very often :) thanks for sharing!

  5. Loved the guest post and it drew its share of chuckles from me. :-)
    sherry @ fundinmental

  6. This just makes me miss Outlander all the more.

  7. A rom-com version of OUtlander sounds pretty awesome, tbh!

  8. If I could go back in time to have a romantic affair it would be with Mr. Darcy. He has always been one of my favorite romantic fictional heroes.

    1. Sorry...forgot my email.

      castings at mindspring dot com

  9. It is amazing how covers end up completely different than the characters in the book. Hell, I saw one that was a PNR with shifters and the publisher put the wrong cat on the cover. *sigh* The author was not happy, but it was too late to make any changes, she had to go with it. I think this is where self published authors have it best, they can work with an artist themselves and really get what they think fits the characters the best. I don't have a problem with an older character. I've read several books that had them. I could see where having an older character on the cover might hurt some romance sales, but it could also increase them too. Someone might pick it up because they want to read about something besides 20-somethings.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

  10. That does sound like a good recipe for a great hero :D Guess he's shy about that one mip on the cover, trying to hide it :( Hmmmmmm I'm not sure who I should pick for my man if I was able to go back in time. I'd say someone smart, funny and knows how to cook. Any hottie chefs? :D

  11. It would be nice if the cover models looked something like the characters in the book.

  12. I love the idea of a Rom Com Time Travel to Scotland. I keep seeing this series and wanting to read it, but...time.

    Oh yay, a giveaway! Let's see, for my answer, I am going to cheat and say that I would love to have an adventure to the past and end up with my husband. And may, since I love several time periods, we could do a deja vu thing and keep meeting up and getting together for each those fav periods. :)
    sophiarose1816 at gmail dot com

  13. That cover is something else! I totally need sexy and funny right now. Hmm to answer the question, I would go back to the WWII era, I think because it was when my grandparents were young and in love and it appeals to me.

  14. The cover and the title immediately made me think of Outlander, lol. I like that there's a lot of humor in this series; I definitely need to check it out!

  15. I need to read more Highlander stories...especially with that recipe for a hero!

  16. The cover is a total eye catcher. Sounds like a great read :D I wish I was caught up enough to read these now!

    Eh on the affair. Men are so messy right now. I'd just like a nap and a cookie, please? lol

  17. I don't read a lot of time travel books, but if I pick one up it has to have a lot of romance or humorous situations and it sounds like this one has both. And I like the word play with time in the title.

    I would love to see some different types of cover models on the covers. I love to read about the characters that aren't necessarily the standard definition of handsome. And I believe that's their personality is a lot more important than their looks.

  18. I need to give a highlander story a try one day. Thanks for the thoughts and guest post! :)


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