About My Highlander Obsession

4598413256_2ca71d3044_zThe very first highland romance I ever read was Johanna Lindsey’s A Gentle Feuding. As romances went in the 1980s, I  thought of this one as rather risqué. By today’s standards, of course, its rather tame, but it was always my little guilty pleasure and I kept the book for many years after finding a copy in the local used bookstore. It was really this book more than most that led me to seeking out romance novels.

Once I found my copy, I clutched that book with me and walked into the local library trying very hard to pretend I wasn’t the least bit embarrassed to be presenting one of those novels to a group of 85-year-old women (the library was run by volunteers).

I mean, seriously. It talked about  manhood and thrusting! And the cover. My god the cover had practically a whole exposed breast on it! (I’m ignoring for a moment, of course, that all Ms. Lindsey’s covers at one point featured buff, stunning, gloriously naked men artfully covered by the heroine’s hair and dress.) Fortunately one of the ladies at the reference counter took pity on me and helped me pick out a few others that I might like (may all the gods bless her silvery white hair for eternity).

I dove in headfirst. I read every romance novel that library had, starting with all the historicals. And once I was through with those, I joined the book club at the used bookstore to get the best deal on trade-ins. While I always was on the lookout for my all-time fav romance novel,  A Gentle Feuding always had me forever seeking out similar novels, hoping for ones that talked about clans and arranged marriages and battles where the hero was injured and nursed back to health by the heroine who hadn’t really loved him until that very moment he lay dying. *swoon*

I moved away from these historicals some time around my second year of university, mostly because of my rising love and exploration of fantasy and science fiction. I only had so much time to read when I wasn’t studying. Frankly, it wasn’t until about three years ago that I really started getting back into highlander historicals when I unexpectedly started in on another series containing a book I rank among the top five romances I’d save from a burning building: Jennifer Ashley’s “Highland Pleasures” series, featuring the Mackenzie clan. The first book in a whole series of clansmen? Count me in for the long haul! When I secretly confessed my highlander obsession to a fellow romance reader, she immediately pointed me at Maya Banks’s “Montgomerys and Armstrongs” series.

At that point the highland romance ball was well and truly rolling again and has been holding me in thrall since. The Montgomerys and Armstrongs were quickly followed by Ms. Banks’s “McCabe” series. Of course I read Kresley Kole’s A Hunger Like No Other as soon as it was out. And last year’s camping vacation had me finally starting in on Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander, though I’ve admittedly not made it as far through that series as I’d like. Last week when I traveled to California to the main offices of my shiny brand new dayjob (hooray!), I took six books on the plane with me, five of which were highlander historicals: all three books in Lynsay Sands’s “Devil of the Highlands” series, Adrienne Basso’s How to be a Scottish Mistress, and Karen Ranney’s The Devil of Clan Sinclair. I finished the last of those five books on the return flight to Michigan.

And now I’m out. What should I read next, my friends? Should I continue to work my way through the Outlander series? Should I just start working my way down the Goodreads list of top highlander novels? Help me choose! What would you read next?

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20 thoughts on “About My Highlander Obsession

  1. Jennelle, You can’t love big, bad Highlanders and not read Karen Marie Moning’s series. O.M.G. Big, tough, sexy alpha male scots. Yum. Maya Banks series is not to be missed. I also like Hannah Howell’s series as well. Katherine Ashe is dipping her toe in with a Scotsman as well as Grace Burrows. Can you tell I’m addicted as well?

    Amy

    • The more the merrier on this addiction train! I have to confess I’ve not yet read KMM’s highlander series. I’ve really been holding off until I could get a recommendation from someone I trust. I trust you! I’ll check out your other recommendations too. *scribbles notes* Thanks!

    • I have to agree…Karen Moning’s Highlander series was by far my favorite series, still searching for one that can come close…and have yet to find 😦

  2. Pingback: About My Highlander Obsession | Jennelle Holland

    • Agreed, though I know people these days aren’t very fond of A Gentle Feuding. It’s very 80s in its writing style for romance. Still, I liked it a lot and still enjoy her books a great deal like you. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I would suggest Katharine Ashe’s novella, How to Marry a Highlander and When a Scot Loves a Lady. Nora also wrote a historical, Rebellion, as part of her MacGregor series, which I loved. The second book in Eloisa’s Essex sister series, Kiss Me Anabel also takes place partly in Scotland.

    I’m glad you mentioned Maya Banks’ McCabe series. Did you see this video trailer for it? LOVE IT! 😀

    • Best book video EVER! What a hoot! I have How to Marry a Highlander on my TBR pile so excellent timing there. I didn’t know about Nora’s series, so thanks for the reference. Thanks for the recs!

      • I love Tessa’s book trailers. I think it’s genius how she appropriated the toys from her Darelings’ bedroom. Here’s the first one she made, for her Stud Club trilogy.

        She’s promised another Dareling Room video as one of her Dabwaha incentives. So looking forward to it! 🙂

    • Oh Regan. My god that’s a list. Ok, folks, if you don’t see me again until 2016, you’ll know who to blame. Thank you kindly, ma’am. This is much appreciated and I’m sure all the Teatime readers will appreciate it too.

    • Well then let me share. I also received some recommendations via Twitter:

      — The Lady and the Liard by Nicola Cornick
      — Master of the Highlands by Veronica Wolff
      — the entire Guardians of the Targe series by Laurin Wittig
      — Once Upon a Tartan by Grace Burrowes

  4. Pingback: Happy (Belated) Birthday, Teatime Romance! | Teatime Romance

  5. Pingback: Holiday Romance: An Interview with Regan Walker | Teatime Romance

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