Highlander Ever After
Jennifer Ashley
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Buy *Highlander Ever After* by Jennifer Ashley online

Highlander Ever After
Jennifer Ashley
323 pages
April 2008
rated 3 of 5 possible stars

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Princess Zarabeth of Nvengaria is in danger, and her father arranges for her to travel from her central European home to the Highlands of Scotland to stay with his friend Egan MacDonald. Zarabeth is sent with three guards to protect her, but as she arrives in Scotland her ship is wrecked, and she is rescued by Egan. As she returns to Egan's remote castle, she and Egan begin to reacquaint themselves with one another.

Zarabeth has loved Egan since she first met him when she was twelve, five years earlier. He rejected her advances then, and she ended up married to the unpleasant Duke Sebastian. Her divorce is proceeding, but Egan still seems reluctant to open his heart to her. Zarabeth is a witch and has some skills, but none of her attempts to turn Egan to her seem to be working.

As Egan tries to keep Zarabeth safe while not dishonoring the daughter of his friend, others are plotting against the ruler of Nvengaria and against Zarabeth herself. Is the strange logosh, a part-demon, part-wolf, part-man creature accompanying Zarabeth, some kind of traitor? Can Egan overcome his feelings of guilt over his brother's death? Can he be satisfied living as laird in the Highlands? Can the curse on his family be broken by Zarabeth?

Most of this book is standard Highland historical romance with a rough-spoken, kilt-wearing, sword-wielding Highlander and a young, delicate woman. The paranormal aspect - Zarabeth's ability to read some people's thoughts, the curse, the logosh - seem an unnecessary distraction to this story. The paranormal aspect isn't particularly interesting, andthe interactions between Zarabeth and Egan lack depth. Somehow, despite reading a great deal about Egan and his life, I didn't feel that I really understood his character.

Zarabeth, too, has some nebulousness about her - her main interactions with Egan seems to be wanting to find out what, if anything, he wears under his kilt. A side romance between Egan's sister and another character adds some interest but is presumably going to be the focus of a future story. The rest of this tale is easy enough reading, but also rather unsatisfying.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. Helen Hancox, 2008

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