Book Review: Karen Marie Moning’s The Highlander’s Touch

Posted April 29, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Karen Marie Moning’s The Highlander’s Touch

The Highlander's Touch


Karen Marie Moning

historical romance, paranormal romance in Paperback edition that was published by Dell on November 7, 2000 and has 354 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Shadowfever, Tapestry, Iced, Feverborn

Third in the Highlander historical paranormal romance series with this story occurring in 1314? The couple focus is on Lisa Stone and Cin Brodie.

In 2001, Highlander’s Touch won the RITA Award by Romance Writers of America for Best Paranormal Romance.

My Take

This is one of the good Highlander installments Moning wrote — she’s been very uneven in her writing in this series. It always shocks me that she could do so well with her Fever series. In this story, Moning manages to tease us along as to what Adam’s true plans are as well as how Cin intends to resolve his dilemma. As for the sense of history. Not so much. Sure, Moning uses all the right words, but there’s a contemporary feel to it all. I keep expecting to find a bathroom in the garderobe.

Oh, too funny! I love Lisa’s reaction to her arrival in 1314, and I can’t blame her one bit. I suspect it would be my own reaction…! Then there is Duncan and Galan’s rejoicing in Cin’s uneasiness. And yes, I enjoyed this tease as well. Subtle, but nicely done as to the reason for the those rules.

Whoa, Robert the Bruce’s strategy with the castles and keeps is rather grim. Effective, but brutal.

I’m surprised no one ever remembers the wording of Cin’s pledge to Adam. Especially Cin since he does remember his pledge to his mother. God knows, Duncan is certainly tricky in how he interprets the oath.

I don’t get it. What is Cin’s problem with Lisa’s last name? For that matter, what’s Lisa’s thinking when she goes out to spy on the king? I mean, duh… And why hasn’t she told Cin about her mother? It’s not like it’s some deep, dark secret.

Hmmm, I have my doubts as to whether Elizabeth MacBreide is truly her or the fairy queen come to make mischief. Or Moning is setting us up for Duncan’s fall into love!

Nahh, I’m with Cin: “Kill the man who tries to harm your own.” Gads, I’m bloodthirsty, but it certainly prevents them from trying again.

Oh, crack me up. Lisa stumbles into the secret room and discovers the “temptations” Adam had hoped to seduce Cin with. I can certainly understand her anger over discovering that Cin has a stash of tampons!

On the whole, it’s a fun romantic adventure with a typical — and caring — characters. Yes, even Duncan cares when he remembers between his ladies! Read it for the enjoyment.

The Story

The protection of the hallows is all-important and when the flask goes astray, Adam is only partly mollified that Brodie has put a geas on it, for it to return with its finder.

When the flask does reappear — with its finder — Cin is at a loss, the conflicting pledges and his own heart stay his hand. But how long can he keep his betrayal of his honor a secret from those who look to him for leadership.

The Characters

Lisa Stone is struggling to make ends meet, pay the horrendous bills from the accident and care for Catherine, her beloved, but dying mother. Ruby Lanoue is a singer, and Lisa’s best friend. The only one who remains since the Stones’s fall from grace.

Circenn “Cin” Brodie is laird and thane of Brodie, a Brude, an original Pict and descended from royalty. And immortal through parentage and trickery. Morganna was his mother. James Douglas is the oldest and Cin’s “chief lieutenant and a brilliant strategist”. Galan, 30 and the “second eldest of the five Douglas brothers” while Duncan Douglas is the youngest and nonchalant in everything he approaches, except women whom he pursues with fairly wild abandon. They are Cin’s trusted friends and advisors. Eirren is a wee motherless lad who takes great interest in Lisa. Gillendria appears to be acting as Lisa’s lady’s maid.

Robert the Bruce intends to be king of Scotland with the help of Brodie and his men. Niall and Lulach McIllioch, brothers, are his guards. Another Edward is his idiot brother who makes the battle of Bannockburn a necessity.

The Templars are a secret weapon to whom the Bruce has given sanctuary. Betrayed by Philippe the Fair and Pope Clement V, the Templar knights have been hounded from country to country. Armand Berard is a very unhappy commander of knights, willing to sell out to anyone. Elizabeth MacBreide and her brother Tally claim to be friends of Renaud de Vichiers, one of the Templars.

Adam Black is the Fairy Queen’s deadly jester. One with a deep-laid plan.
Aoibheal is the Queen of the Fairies and quite angry with Adam.

Professor Taylor is obsessed with all things Celtic. Steinmann is the bullying director of the museum where Lisa cleans in Cincinnati.

James Comyn, an angry Scot, is one of Edward’s men and the go-between between the king of England and his spy. Edward II is king of England and determined to conquer the Scots. Sir Philip de Mowbray is the commander of the English forces at Stirling.

The Cover and Title

The cover is is gorgeous with a nice sense of mystery and an excellent use of the fonts. The red really makes the text stand out, and the fade around Cin’s gorgeous face with the focus on his metal bicep cuff is perfect.

The title is a bit of a misnomer since it’s actually Lisa’s touch that sets it all into motion and not The Highlander’s Touch at all.