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On a Highland Shore by Kathleen Givens
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Not well written, exaggeration of characters traits, and Shore's attempt at feminism was vastly out of place. As much as I hate to admit it or think about it, the rights for women at this time were so few. The narrator's voice certainly did not reflect that. It seems the actions of the main character could certainly have found her killed at the time. As a lover of Scottish history, I can say that this novel seemed to engage the spirit of Scotland. Yet it still failed in its historical narrative. ( )
  cemagoc | Aug 8, 2016 |
In 1263, Margaret MacDonald is about to marry Lachlan Ross when her village is attacked by Vikings. Most of her family is killed, and her brother Davey is kidnapped. Gannon MacMagnus is one of those who appear just after the raid, and despite being part Norse, he and his brother, Tiernan, show kindness to Margaret and her sister, Nell. Margaret's brother, Rignor, insists that she still marry Lachlan, despite having caught him in an affair with her best friend. They marry, but Lachlan publicly shames her because he saw her kissing Gannon before their wedding. Margaret declares she will have the marriage annulled. Rignor, always immature, turns his back on her and makes reckless decisions, ending up getting himself killed by Vikings. Margaret is kidnapped by the Viking who raided them. Tiernan is also killed in the second raid. Gannon pursues her and rescues her just in time.

A very good and complicated story, making me want to read the rest in the series! ( )
  dolphari | Sep 3, 2013 |
I suppose my expectations were too high for this novel. Set in medieval Scotland, Margaret MacDonald is struggling to avoid an arranged marriage when her family home is attacked by Vikings and she becomes determined to find her missing younger brother. She is joined by Gannon MacMagnus, who she soon develops feelings for. As I read this novel, I kept thinking how much better it could be. A number of the secondary characters had potential, but they were never really developed as characters. Overall, On a Highland Shore is more of a simplistic romance than historical fiction. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Apr 15, 2012 |
I really wish I had liked this book more. It has all the elements I was looking for going in: historical setting, deception, violence, gorgeous strangers, etc. But for some reason I could not make myself care for the characters as much as I wanted. I'm not even sure why I couldn't. The writing isn't bad and there's plenty of build up to the major events of the story. But there were little things, like Lachlan's seemingly instant personality change once Margaret 'caught him in the act' that just didn't flow for me. Overall, the story was enjoyable, though, and I will be looking into Kathleen Givens's other works. Just not something I'd gushingly recommend to others or reread many times. ( )
  hellonicole | May 14, 2011 |
Gannon MacMagnus is a beautiful, strapping man, half Irish and half Norseman....a proud man, a decent man, an honourable man. He has left his home in Ireland to accompany his uncle to Scotland to help those who have been raided by a band of vicious Vikings. It is here that he encounters Margaret MacDonald...his destiny. Margaret MacDonald is the eldest daughter of a prominent laird in Scotland. She is betrothed to a powerful man, Lachlan, a cousin to the King. But when Lachlan betrays Margaret with her best friend, she is determined to end the betrothal. But as the times dictate, Margaret is to wed Lachlan for the good of her clan. But this becomes the least of her worries, when upon her return home from court, Margaret and her brother and sister discover their village in ruins, every man and women brutally murdered and the carnage left for them to see. Margaret must somehow rebuild her life and help her people. She is told her destiny is to be with "the golden one" and that she will "fight dragons". Is Gannon her golden one? Will she choose the right path and be forever happy or die a tragic death?

I was totally engrossed with this story. I have never read a book set in the early 13th century, or one that deals with Norsemen in Scotland. I was intrigued by the history of this time period, including the battles for land and the raids by the Vikings on the people living on the Western shores of Scotland. But what truly held me were the characters created by this author. I was immediately taken with Gannon. His strength of will and commitment to his family and people were remarkable. But I feel that it was the heroine, Margaret, that took center stage. She was one strong-willed, loving, smart and determined woman. She was not one to be easily bullied by men, something rare for a female of the time. She knew what she wanted....a safe land for her people, a place to call home, and true love with a partner who would honestly listen to her. I could feel her emotions so often in the story...I felt her outrage at her betrayal, her overwhelming grief at the loss of her family, and the soaring of her heart when she looked at Gannon. Although this is a historical romance, it is so much more. There isn't the usual happy fluff. This is an intense tale filled with the political and social realities of the time. There are suspenseful and sometimes graphic battle scenes that kept me on the edge of my seat. Woven within all of this is the emotionally satisfying love story of Margaret and Gannon. I could not put this book down and I highly recommend it to all readers. You will gasp, cringe, cry and laugh. You will become immersed in a time and place that could be both brutally harsh and epically beautiful. And you will want to read more...just as I do. ( )
  avernon1 | Feb 17, 2011 |
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Margaret MacDonald, the oldest child of the Laird of Somerstrath, had been betrothed to a nobleman since childhood. But two weeks before her wedding, she finds her village decimated by a Viking raid. In shock, Margaret goes to her uncle's castle and finds that only one man, Gannon MacMagnus, a half-Irish, half-Norse warrior will help her hold her clan together and locate her abducted younger brother.… (more)

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