Friday, August 28, 2015

Review: First Time with a Highlander by Gwyn Cready

First Time with a Highlander by Gwyn Cready
Book Two of the Sirens of the Scottish Borderlands series
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: October 6, 2015
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher

***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers***

Official Summary:

She needs a man-but only for a night

What do you get when you imbibe centuries-old whiskey-besides a hangover the size of the Highlands? If you're twenty-first century ad exec Gerard Innes, you get swept back to 18th-century Edinburgh and into the bed of a gorgeous, fiery redhead. Gerard has only a foggy idea what he and the lady have been up to...but what he does remember draws him into the most dangerous and exhilarating campaign of his life.

Be careful what you wish for...

Serafina Seonag Fallon's scoundrel of a fiancé has left her with nothing, and she's determined to turn the tables. If she can come up with a ringer, she can claim the cargo he stole from her. But the dashing man she summons from the future demands more than a night, and Serafina finds it easier to command the seas under her feet than the crashing waves he unleashes in her heart.

What I Liked:

I requested this book from the publisher on a whim - mostly because I absolutely LOVE the cover, and because I love Scottish historical romance novels (I could list a dozen!). I've not read Just in Time for a Highlander, book one of this series, but as with most historical romance series, this one is a companion series, so I didn't feel the need to read it. I may go back and read book one though, as I am now very interested in those two characters' story!

Serafina needs a man who looks like her ex-fiance Edward Turnball, so that the man will sign over the cargo that Edward stole from her back to her. Her friend Undine is something like a witch, so when Undine leaves herbs and a potion, Serafina mixes a potion and BAM! Gerard Innes from twenty-first century New York is now in the eighteenth century, in Edinburgh. At first Gerard is furious, but he discovers that he likes 1706 Edinburgh, grumpy Duncan, mischievous Abby, contemplative Undine... and fiery Serafina. Serafina is only trying to get her cargo back - falling for the man from another time and country wasn't the plan. But Gerard is seductive and captivating, and just what Serafina needs,

This historical romance was different from any other I've read, in that it deals with a bit of time-travel. It's not centered around time-travel, but clearly time-travel has a huge impact on the book. Time-travel novels are hit or miss for me, so I'm glad time-travel isn't overwhelmingly present. It is, but it isn't. It becomes more of an issue towards the end of the book. The paranormal aspect is big in this book, as Undine is something like a witch. Gerard is pulled from the twenty-first century into the eighteenth century - that is magic!

I LOVE Gerard. He is hilarious! He is so modern and such a guy, yet he's so complex. He's a lady's man for sure, charismatic and charming, a big flirt ("seducer" in 1706 terms). He has a wonderful sense of humor, and he is so easy to love. He transitions into 1706 remarkably well (too well?), and after his initial shock and anger, he does what he can to help Serafina. Did I mention that he is quite the flirt? I love this guy!

Serafina is a complicated woman. Her fiancee "ruined" her, they became lovers but weren't married, but then he stole her cargo, which is basically her life's worth. She has nothing, not a penny to her name, so she will steal back the cargo if she has to. Serafina is fierce and fearless, strong and strong-willed, refusing to let anyone boss her around, speak for her, or save her. Honestly, she has a lot of pride, and sometimes, it gets in the way. But she sees this. Serafina is a likable protagonist, and I think she and Gerard are a great match.

The story is a bit of a wild goose chase - Serafina is trying to get her stolen cargo turned back over to her (stolen by her ex-fiance). But then the cargo goes missing! Serafina and Gerard, as well as Abby, Undine, and Duncan, all play important roles in finding the cargo. Serafina sneaks around (and pisses off Gerard in the processes), and stops at nothing to uncover an even more complex scheme going on, involving her former fiance and noblemen. 

I like the romance. It's not as explicitly steamy as I'm used to, in historical romance novels. I kind of think this is a negative, but then, the scenes that are supposed to be steamy are not terrible. They're just abbreviated, so even if you can't deal with super steamy scenes in adult romance novels, you'll be able to handle this book's scenes. Super mild, guys. But the romance is sweet. Gerard and Serafina do NOT want to fall for each other, but they certainly like each other in certain physical ways. They bicker and fight and Gerard makes light of anything remotely funny. I like their relationship, and the progression of the romance. 

The world-building is great, very detailed and well-constructed. And it needs to be, as we have a twenty-first century male lead in an eighteenth century world. We NEED to obviously see the differences between the two worlds, Cready did a great job with the world and setting.

I really liked this book! It's lovely and a very fun story. The ending is satisfying and fulfilling. I've not read any of Cready's other books, but I will change this!

What I Did Not Like:

I wanted the steamy scenes to be more steamy. The references to the intimate interactions are super mild. I mean, there is nothing specifically wrong with this, but I am soooo used to really fiery hot chemistry and romance in a historical romance novel! This is my only complaint, I think.

Would I Recommend It:

I liked this book a lot, and I would recommend it! Any historical romance fans out there - you will enjoy this one. It delivers on the Scottish setting, hot accents, swoony males, and several strong females (including the female lead). So much to like about this book!


4 stars. I will definitely be looking out for the next book in this series! Sooo far away... but that gives me time to go back and read book one, Duncan and Abby's story!

Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!


  1. LOL! I guess as disappointments go this one at least allows you to use your imagination.

    I haven't read one of her books and this one sounds fun with the magic, the modern guy, and the highlander stuff rolled into one.

    1. Very true! Still... I love it when things are explained/put in front of me. ;) This one was very interesting, Sophia! I think you would like this book very much. :D

  2. I've been looking forward to reading your thoughts on this one ever since you told me you were reading it! I'm glad that you enjoyed it. It sounds like such a fun book and I think I'd like Gerard a lot. And I'm intrigued by the time travel aspect too. But boo for the non-steamy love scenes! That is really disappointing!
    Great review, Alyssa!

    1. YAY! I'm glad you stopped by, Nick! And lolol it could just be me, totally used to hawt scenes from authors like Megan Erickson or Katee Robert. I am too spoiled, perhaps!

      Thank you!

  3. That cover really is amazing! Totally pulled me in. Darn on the lack of heat but still sounds pretty good. Will have to try her out :)

    1. ISN'T IT?! Half of the reason why I requested it was for the cover! You might loooove this book, Anna! ^_^

  4. I love this cover too! I have never read anything from the author before, but you obviously love this one. Did you read the first book? Do they have to be read in order?

    Since you love Scottish romances, have you read A Year and a Day by Virginia Henley? It's my favorite :)

    1. Same, I hadn't either! I haven't read the first book, and they do not need to be read in order!

      I have not, and I will definitely take that recommendation, thank you, Liza!

  5. Holy crap, I love the cover! It doesn't look like any other historical romances I've seen so automatic brownie points there :) The time-travel aspect of the book really appeals to me and the characters also sound amazing but I definitely like steamy romance in historical romances. Thanks so much for sharing this book and awesome review!

    Zareena @ The Slanted Bookshelf

    1. RIGHT?!?!?! It was the biggest reason for me requesting an actual print ARC, I NEEDED to see it irl. Gorgeous! And the book was great!

      You're very welcome, Zareena! Thank YOU!

  6. Hmmm, historical romance and time travel? A bit Outlander-ish but with roles reversed I guess! I like historical romances steamy too, so I might not add this one to the list...
    Great review as always Alyssa!

    1. Isn't that an interesting combination? Definitely has an Outlander vibe. It is a great novel though!

      Thank you!

  7. Gorgeous review Alyssa. <3 YAY for enjoying this one :D But aw, I'm sorry the romance wasn't more steamy. That is disappointing :) But aw, the characters sounds pretty awesome :D Thank you for sharing. <3

    1. Thank you, Carina! It's not that it wasn't steamy - it just wasn't steamy ENOUGH :D


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