Highland Thirst
Hannah Howell and Lynsay Sands
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East meets West across time and tradition as three young American women and their Indian immigrant mothers take first steps toward true sisterhood, shattering secrets and sharing joy and tears in Hannah Howell and Lynsay Sands's
Highland Thirst

Buy *Highland Thirst * by Hannah Howell and Lynsay Sands online

Highland Thirst
Hannah Howell and Lynsay Sands
304 pages
September 2007
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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This book is the follow-up to My Immortal Highlander, also by Hannah Howell and Lynsay Sands, and it follows the same group of people, the MacNachton clan and their kin, who are vampires (although they don't tend to call themselves that). As in the former book, this one consists of two separate but related stories, here featuring two vampires, Heming MacNachton and Tearlach MacAdie. Heming and Tearlach are searching for information about local knowledge of their clan as they fear that too many Outsiders know about the vampires. However, Heming and Tearlach are drugged and kidnapped, each taken to a different location.

The first story, "Blood Feud" by Hannah Howell, follows Heming after he wakes up and finds himself chained in a dungeon belonging to Hervey Kerr, a laird who knows a little about the MacNachton clan and desires the longevity that they appear to possess. He has Heming in his dungeon in order to get him to tell the secret of his long life, but Heming resists the torture over several days. Eventually Hervey (with Angus, his sidekick) wonders whether drinking Heming's blood will have an effect as they have seen Heming drinking the blood of Peter, a local man, which clearly gave him strength and healed his wounds.

Brona Kerr is Hervey's cousin, and her father was the former Laird. She is aware that someone is being held in the dungeons and eventually goes to see Heming and two other imprisoned men. She decides to rescue them along with Peter, who is still alive after his blood was given to Heming. She manages to rescue Heming and the others, and they hide and then travel towards Heming's kin in order to be safe. When Brona is recaptured, Heming's plans have to change. Along with Colin, Peter, Fergus and some others, he returns to rescue her.

This is a relatively simple story with no great characterization or plot depth. I was rather surprised how easily they escaped and found it rather fortuitous that Brona managed to overhear exactly the information she needed to know how to act, which felt like lazy plotting. However, it is an easy, enjoyable read, and those who like Highland historicals with a touch of paranormal should enjoy it.

The second story, "The Capture" by Lynsay Sands, follows Tearlach's exploits as he, too, is rescued by a woman, Lucy Blytheswood, this time from the Englishman Wymon Carbonnel. Like Brona, Lucy seems remarkably phlegmatic about finding herself in company with a vampire, and she's a strong, independent woman who seems fairly adept at helping him. Tearlach, being a full vampire, is unable to be out in the daytime; consequently their escape from Carbonnel, aided by Lucy's maid Betty, is a little more difficult. Lucy's acceptance of his vampiric nature involves her actively looking for men for him to drain - quite an unusual trait in a lady. At any rate, the plot of this story is basic, with Lucy and Tearlach trying to evade Carbonnel's men, find safety in a Bothy, fight those who come to recapture them and set Lucy on a journey to Court to make Carbonnel's evil deeds known.

The romance between Lucy and Tearlach is one of propinquity again - Lucy and Tearlach spend time together, thus fall in love. Tearlach's reluctance to make anything long-term of their relationship is the only rough patch in the otherwise smooth romance, but all is sorted out as one would expect in a novel of this type. As with "Blood Feud," this is a short novel and consequently doesn't go into enough depth in terms of character or plot to make it a truly satisfying read, but it's enjoyable enough.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. Helen Hancox, 2007

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