It’s no secret I’ve been a fan of Suzan Tisdale for years. Before Outlander, she was my introduction to the world of hot Scots. And now she’s launched her own publishing house called Glenfinnan Publishing and launched her new endeavor with a historical, romantic anthology, Once Upon a Highland Glen.
Since there are six stories, I’ll have six sections in this review, with my thoughts italicized for easier reading.
- Heat Level: the stories range from wholesome to steamy.
- Genre: Historical Romance
- Overall Rating: 5/6 Glass Slippers
The Legend by Violetta Rand
Laird Bron Kieth was not a kind man, and one night when we went out in search of his prized ram. He was set upon by his enemies and drug himself to the safety of a glen. A mysterious woman gives him one wish and he asks for a second chance at life, so he can be a better man.
This short introduction set the scene for the rest of the stories.
Wager of the Heart by Suzan Tisdale
Graham Kieth is the descendant of Bron, but has yet to learn the same lesson. A directionless cad, he drunklenly stumbles into a glen after a game of cards, where he laments his loneliness and wishes he had a family to care for him. When he awakes to find his wish comes true, he’s less than thrilled with his new reality. But when he must decide what kind of man he wants to be, more than one future will depend on him.
I thought this story was cute and could have easily been a full length book on its own. Graham and Leelah weren’t a match made in heaven, and he’s certainly no match for her stubbornness. It’s hard to tell who needs who more by the end of this story.
Clouds Across the Moon by Kathryn Lynn Davis
Braida is only sixteen when her daughter is born. Her husband Bran is twenty-two, the tutor for the laird’s children, and not an overly kind man. He feels detached from his daughter and longs for his wife to be the carefree, moldable teen he once met.
I have to admit I wasn’t a huge fan of this tale. A husband being basically disgusted by his child bride’s changed body and her devotion to their baby made me uncomfortable. There wasn’t the romance I expected.
Highland Heart’s Desire by Victoria Zak
The fairy Breena was enchanted by the forbidden human world. While she’s not very good with magic yet, she does what she can to keep the animals in her forest safe. When a hunter is injured, she breaks the fae laws to tend to him. Robert Keith thinks he imagined the beautiful woman that day, but five years later, he’ll question everything he ever knew.
This story was sweet and charming with a lot of heart. Breena was adorable and Robert was a gem. Watching their romance span the years was lovely.
The Lost Soul by Ceci Giltenan
Spoiled Margaret Grant is sent to live with her betrothed, Logan Carr’s clan in an attempt to make her come to peace with her betrothal. After a fall, she finds herself in a glen where she makes a wish to prove she can be a better person. But before she can go back to her pampered life, she must walk in the shoes of another.
This story was a bit on the humorous side, without losing the message that’s been carried through the anthology. It also held a nice amount of detail that really set the tone.
Whispers to the Soul by Kate Robbins
Kenzie is on the run from a vile clan guardsman when she’s rescued by the handsome Gaelin. But she soon learns she is no simple kitchen maid as she and Gaelin go on a journey to find safety and the truth.
This was my favorite story in the anthology, so I believe Robbins has found a new fan in me! Witty and steamy, Kenzie was a heroine in her own right and I would have lived to read a full book focused on her tale.
The Courageous Highlander by Lily Baldwin.
Laird Owen MacArthur rules over a secluded clan where every year the laird must hunt alone to bring prosperity to the people. On one of these hunts, he finds the beautiful Gwynn help captive in a strange glen. He’s struck by her beauty and promises to free her, but at what cost?
A magic tale, Baldwin’s addition was action packed with a touch of mystery. It was a wonderful addition.
Overall, I enjoyed most of the anthology with a few standing out as deserving a full length novels. I recommended this collection to all historical romance fans.