Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Review – Dark Highland Fire – Kendra Leigh Castle




The Blurb

Desired by women, kissed by luck, Gabriel MacInnes has led a charmed life. A Highland werewolf with Alpha blood in his veins, he'd always known that responsibility was something that he, as the second son, would never have to worry much about. But with his Pack now squarely in the sights of an ancient and rediscovered enemy, everything has begun to change. Guarding the legendary Stone of Destiny has never been more important for the MacInnes Wolves, and keeping watch for things that creep through the darkness is a task that must fall to them all. Having come close to losing everything, Gabriel has begun to want more. He just has no idea that the more is about to be thrust into his arms, whether he wants it or not. And to top it all off, she bites...

Exiled from the Drakkyn realm, on the run from the dragon prince who will stop at nothing to have her as his own, the last thing Rowan an Morgaine wants is to be left at the mercy of a bunch of overbearing shifters in the middle of nowhere. But when her hiding place on Earth is discovered, the MacInnes Pack is her only resort until their common enemy can be stopped once and for all. With blood the only thing that can restore her waning power, the fiery demigoddess has little choice but to accept Gabriel as a protector, something he's stubbornly determined to be. If only he wasn't so deliciously appealing, Rowan might be able to accept his help. But she has sworn to belong to no man. And she's beginning to suspect that no matter how frightening her hunter is, this strangely familiar werewolf poses an even greater danger to her heart.

As the Earthly and Drakkyn realms converge, Gabriel and Rowan find themselves running from enemies who will stop at nothing to see them torn apart. But in the deep woods, under a different moon, there are secrets yet to be revealed. New love will be tested by fire itself. And each must decide how much they're willing to sacrifice for fate...and for one another.




The Review


Rowan an Morgaine – A much loved daughter, bath in light and happiness and knows that she is surrounded by her kind – that is until the prince of darkness takes a shine to her. Once her life changes, she comes into her own and she puts up a hell of a fight.

Gabriel MacInnes – The loved brother who was never able to understand the demands placed on his brother. The much loved son who felt like he never fitted into the world that was all he had ever known and he was also the lover that the ladies can’t seem to get enough of.


The Plot

Rowan is exiled on earth when she becomes the target of a demented dragon prince. Barely managing, she make the best of a bad situation along with her brother.

When she is saved again by her brother and left not only on Gabriel’s pack land, but in Gabriel's arms – she does what she does best – goes on the defensive, however this time she has meet her match and she will not grin and bear it.

Gabriel has is hackles up, just as much as his pack – when the door they have been guarding opens and through them emerges two beautiful people. He soon finds himself with a handful of woman and as much as he doesn’t agree with the plan, he takes his responsibility very seriously.

With more than their egos at stage, Rowan and Gabriel have to not only sort out the fragile thread of their relationship, but also be on constant alert, because Rowan comes with a whole heap of trouble and Gabriel refuses to let her out of his sight.


Surprise element

The author has clearly thought out the plot of this series and in this second book, she has further define the past of the shifters and there role in what is currently happening to Rowan. The Drakkyn Realm was so clearly described that you could actually form a pretty clear idea of what this place would look like. I thought this was nicely down by the author.



Any book that has shifter in it, I immediately start thinking “Oh god, the dreaded pheromones”, however – that aspect of the book did not overtake the plot or even infringed on how the end came about. 


Smut/Ick Factor

You guys know how i love my smut, but i have to admit the act itself in this book did nothing for me. It has romance, there is no doubt about that, however the innuendos and self denying was so much fun to read about, that when they finally came together, it wasn’t fireworks for me. However the merry chase to getting there and staking their claim on each other was just like cream on cake.



From the moment i read the first in the series, i love the concept of the world that Ms. Castle has created and CALL OF A HIGHLAND MOON was a wonderful opening book to the series – so i was very pleased at how Ms. Castle – used the stripper angle to pull me in.

The fact that she steps out of the norm and pair Gabriel – a werewolf shifter  with Rowan – a Demi-Goddess, was also a path less travelled , but it worked and it was good.

The sexual tension between these two as mention before was so rich – they themselves didn’t even know what was happening and that was a big plus for me.

The emotional highs and low of soul searching, confession and some levels of vulnerability was well timed and well played.

Another area for the book i was impressed with was the growth of Gabriel – from realizing who is mate was to the fact that he opened himself to embrace the difficulty that his brother was under being the older of the two brothers.  

The entire book kept true to form, meaning Rowan’s world was a mixture of light and darkness, the beings and there description was cognizant of this fact. Gabriel world was earth – with it’s fault and it’s secrecy but no more than when the two world collide and little bits and piece of info starts melting the worlds together to give readers the bigger picture of what was happening.

In this second book, the story is all about Rowan and Gabriel, no secondary characters stood out. While i loved how some of the support cast stood out in the first book, i was pleased with the fact that Ms. Castle made a clear difference in who was leading the story DARK HIGHLAND MAGIC.  

I also liked the emphasis on the senses, Ms. Castle was very descriptive in the sound of The realms (screams,laughter), the look (Cave, tunnels, rich pillow and scenes) , the feel (slithering creatures, teeth made only for one thing) and highlighting the six sense that is so much more sharper when they were in the Drakkyn realm.

Ms. Castle has left us on a high note, but with enough assumption and guess work that really make me can’t wait to get my grubby little mitts on WILD HIGHLAND MAGIC.

Another great review of this book is done by Ruthie – Books Books and More Books.



The one thing that mar this book for me, is somewhere about a third in, the pace of the book dragged. With Ms. Castle fleshing out the dynamics of the Realm and how they came to be and it’s relevance to the situation that Rowan and her brother now find themselves in – for me it got a bit long winded.

Once the world was defined the business was back on and i really regretted having to leave Gabriel and Rowan and all the angst that i can see waiting in the wings to happen.



What's not to like, a highlander and wolf. Hey that’s woman's fantasy. I couldn’t image how they would have represented Rowan, she was such a vibrant character.


8 Speak To Me:

Unknown on 28 April 2009 at 13:43 said...

Hi EH!

Great review!

I love a good highlander book, so I'll be checking this out.

Unfortunately, I have to get through some of the TBR stack first....lolol


Dottie :)

Mandi on 28 April 2009 at 14:42 said...

Great Review!! Ms. Moonlight has this author on her blog today..now I REALLY want to read this series!! I keep hearing great things about it. I love highland romance books:)

Blodeuedd on 28 April 2009 at 14:54 said...

Hi E.H.
My thoughts exactly, what is not to like highlanders and wolves ;)
I am so digging this concept.

Erotic Horizon on 28 April 2009 at 19:00 said...

Hey Dottie..

This is a wonderful series - I hope you do get a chance to check it out.


Erotic Horizon on 28 April 2009 at 19:02 said...

Hey Mandi,

I have been over to say hi to Kendra already - cool interview.

You just have to love those highland men, throw the shifter element and I am in heaven.


Erotic Horizon on 28 April 2009 at 19:02 said...


You so get it... Them lads does it for me every time..


VampFanGirl on 28 April 2009 at 21:19 said...

Loved the Review E.H.!

I must admit, a werewolf highlander is very hard to resist, so I'll be snapping up this series when I make my weekly stop at the bookstore.

Thanks for the recommendation!

:) VFG

Erotic Horizon on 29 April 2009 at 04:13 said...

hey VFG

A wonderful series you'll love it.