In our Outlander gift guide, which you can read here, I mentioned the book, The River Maiden by Meredith Stoddard. Now, I met Stoddard in an Outlander Facebook group that we’re both members of, so when I heard she had a book series with a Scottish twist, I knew I had to read it. And I was tickled pink when Stoddard even sent me a signed version, as well as the copy of the second in the series! But we’ll talk about that more later. First, let’s get into The River Maiden…
Overall Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers
Genre: Paranormal Contemporary Romance
Sarah MacAlpin was raised in the rugged Appalachian Mountains. Her Scottish heritage was always a focal point in her life, as she lived with her traditional grandmother. She spent her childhood surrounded by Celtic legends and and trying to dodge the judgmental townsfolk who looked down on her mentally ill mom. While her upbringing sometimes alienated her from her peers in her youth, Sarah still embraced her culture. A graduate student, she planned on writing her thesis on Scottish folklore. But her musical research brings her to the deviously handsome Dermot Sinclair, who might teach her more than a few scales.
Dermot teaches Gaelic song, and finds most of his pupils completely tone deaf. However, he finds that Sarah sings like a native, and is more than pleasant to look at on stage. But there is more to Sarah than a nice voice and a curvy physic. There are some songs too ancient and magical for Dermot to teach, let alone know, but they dwell within Sarah and the supernatural that lingers around her longs to make itself known.
This book gave me chills, made my heart beat, reminded me of the songs of Scotland and the Gaelic verses I’ve studied, and made me wish for more. The cliffhanger at the end was a killer, but as you can see in the picture above, I was lucky enough to recently receive book two, so I can continue the journey of Sarah and Dermot. And, Lord, do I want to continue! This isn’t some heaving bosoms romance where Sarah’s tripping over herself to get at the guy with the hot accent. The characters feel real with carefully worded dialogue that flows effortlessly and a connection that is almost otherworldly.
I highly recommend this book to all lovers of Outlander, who are feeling the effects of “Droughtlander”. The River Maiden gives you enough mystery and romance to keep you reading, all tied up in a neat pale blue cover with a hint of Scottish charm. Really, you guys, I couldn’t find a single thing I didn’t love, and neither will you.
Learn about Kelsey’s contemporary novel and her Scottish historical romance series here!