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Beyond the Highland Mist (Highlander, Book 1)
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109 of 115 people found the following review helpful
on June 12, 1999
Karen Moning with Beyond the Highland Mist brings a romance novel back to Romance. I loved this book. The kind of novel romance readers thrive on. A book to curl up with and takes you away from the everyday. The characters were well developed, the struggle between the hero and heroine compelling and the added touch of fantasy makes Beyond the Highland Mist a story you can dream on. I found BTHM witty, funny and touching. Hawk is an example of the true alpha-male, so handsome, strong and masculine in every way, but with a past that makes him vulnerable. Adrienne is not only beautiful but strong and independent. Badly hurt in the present she finds it hard to trust in the past. The catalyst for conflict is an amazing character called Adam Black, beautiful but sinister. This book has it all. Fantasy, fun and drama. Karen Moning has created with words a mind painting of romance of old. This is her first book and I for one am eagerly looking forward to her next book. I read approximately 300 romances a year and this one is a keeper.
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156 of 171 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2000
The book was well-written and started out with great sexual tension and humor. The major problem I had with this book is the same one I've had with quite a few books I've read lately: they start great, end great, but the entire huge middle portion is filled with exasperation and poor attempts at trying to stretch out the inevitable sex scene with too many scenes where the heroine begins to "think clearly" at the last minute.
The heroine also takes her weariness of trusting a man too far, to the point where she was hurtful and insulting to the hero, who treats her wonderfully throughout the whole read. There were a couple scenes where she even deliberately called the hero by another man's name in the heat of passion in an effort to push him away. The first time, I was like, okay this might make for great tension. By the second and third time, I disliked the heroine immensely. She seemed too selfish and heartless for me to relate to.
The book was well-written, I give the author that much. And if you enjoy books where there is constant mistrust and outward conflict between the hero and heroine, you will like this one too. My tastes run along different lines, which is why I can't give it more than a 3.
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 1999
Aoibheal, Queen of the Fae, told her court about "the Hawk". She told of how he could win any woman's heart and soul. She even made some believe Hawk had stolen her favor, as well. The King of the Fae, as well as "the Fool" Adam, decided upon revenge. Adam traveled through time until 1997. It was there he found a perfect woman who hated beautiful men, for very good reason.
Adrienne de Simone was whisked through time to the sixteenth century and forced to wed a man known as Hawk. She wanted nothing to do with such a good looking man. Beautiful men mean trouble and pain. Hawk could not believe she would have nothing to do with him. Worse yet, a smithy suddenly appeared in town, named Adam Black and was determined to woo her away from him! Adrienne, wanting nothing to do with either of them, was made into a pawn of which only Aoibheal, who ruled over all, could save.
***WOW! I loved this book. It is definately "a keeper"! Here is one that will never see the inside of a used book store. Powerful, romantic, and leaves you believing in Fairies.***
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68 of 78 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2011
Bought this book on the strength of the good reviews. Being Scottish I also thought I'd enjoy a "time travel" story set in Scotland.
I was sorely disappointed.
The story has some enjoyable aspects to it, but the total disregard for historical fact, the clear lack of research, and the ridiculous use of language meant that I became increasingly frustrated with the novel and the author's sloppy work.
Despite the book being set for the most part in the early 16th century, characters drink tea and coffee (neither of which became popular or even available in Scotland till much later), eat potatoes (which hadn't even been introduced to the country) and stroll in gardens full of rhododendrons (again a much later import).
The use of the "Scots" language is downright silly, and reads more like somebody's hackneyed idea of what a Scot might talk like, based on a couple of viewings of Braveheart and Brigadoon. The scenes of castle life are utterly unrealistic and clearly unresearched.
Most irritating of all is the author's insistence on using the word "smithy" throughout to refer to Adam the blacksmith. A smithy is a blacksmith's workshop, not a person.
There are many more inconsistencies and factual errors, most of which are inexcusable and could have been easily researched by the author.As a result, I would not recommend this book to anybody who's ever been to Scotland or has any knowledge whatsoever of British history.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2003
I must admit that this has not been one of my favorites by this author. I think she has finally come into her own since penning this novel. I think it's unfair though to compare her to other authors based on the fact that they share the same genre, and location.
My biggest problem with this book was Adrienne. I realize that she was abused and hurt but hello...to base your judgement on a person based on what they look like is shallow and in my opinion a waste of time in a romance book. There were many different times I just wanted to shake her and say alright already!!! The fact that it took her more then half the book to see beyond Hawk's looks to see the good in the man was upsetting.
Hawk on the other hand may have had the looks but he was hurting on the inside and found himself tied up with a shrew...still he saw past the facade to the goodness that was buried deep in Adrienne. Just like a hero should.
This book was very slow to start but did pick up and Ms. Monings trademark humor and style began to shine out in the end. For the most part this book had all the good things it needed to be a winner, time travel, yummy men in kilts, fairies, and intrigue...it was just not put together all that well. If you are knew to Ms. Moning this is a good example of her earlier work and worth taking time to read...just be aware that she does have better books out there!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2003
This author seems to be quite popular and highly praised so I bought a couple of her books. I seem to be in the minority here because I found Beyond The Highland Mist to be a very tedious read.
After a very traumatic fallout with the man she thought she would marry, Adrienne de Simone swears to have nothing to do with beautiful men when she suddenly finds herself catapulted from her Seattle home into 16th century Scotland where she is forced to marry Laird Hawk Douglas. Hawk is everything she doesn't want in a man: he is absolutely gorgeous and pretty arrogant and she is determined to have nothing to do with him.
I'll start with the first aspect of this story I disliked. I had to read over two hundred pages of Hawk trying to get to know his wife and her just being incredibly nasty to him because she doesn't trust beautiful men. Nothing else goes on, and by the time they start falling in love I just didn't care anymore. The second thing that ruined the story for me was Adrienne herself. She is supposed to be this intelligent modern woman, and she acted like a nasty, petty, mean little girl. It was beyond me what Hawk saw in her, and towards the end I didn't have a lot of respect for him either.
This author is highly rated so I will give her another try. I just hope Kiss Of The Highlander is better.
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33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2000
I bought this book for my mother-in-law who loves time-travels. On her recommendation I bought second copy for myself and began to read. I could not put this book down. I found myself emotional. Never have I been so engrossed in a book like this to the end. Hawk was the Adonis of 1513. Adrienne, an orphan who did not trust beautiful men. Brought together by fairies who want to see Hawk refused by a woman, Adam must make sure that Adrienne refuses Hawk at all costs. Not only does he want the Hawk to fail but he wants Adrienne. The details in this book will make you feel as if this were unfolding right before your eyes. I cannot believe this is her first book! I will definetly follow Monings writing career.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2009
I am probably in the minority here as I have only started reading the Highland novels after reading the current books in Karen Marie Moning's Fever series. I wanted to know more about the fairies and the side characters, thus when I read that I could find them in the Highlander series, I simply could not resist. And boy am I glad that I actually read the Fever series first or I may not have been reaching for the next Highland book after this. For as much as I found the characters entertaining, I wasn't particularly drawn to the story.

BEYOND THE HIGHLAND MIST is the first novel - and I believe KMM's first published book - and she whisks us back in time to medieval Scotland. We meet a Scottish laird, Sidheach James Douglas or Hawk, whose prowess in the battlefield and beyond becomes the subject of envy by the mystical faction called the Tuatha De Danaan. Obviously suffering from ennui, Queen Aoibheal of the Fairy decides to provoke her court by boasting of the Hawk's prowess in bed. His ego wounded by the insinuation that a mere human has caught his queen's attention, the king vows to seek revenge and sends the court fool to learn more about Hawk, after which they concocted a plan on how best to destroy Hawk in the form of a twentieth century woman whom they think will be his downfall. Without going into further details, suffice it to say that Adrienne de Simone is transported back in time and coerced into a marriage with Hawk. Just as the fairy king expected, she becomes the Hawk's downfall and caused him much grief. And therein lies the problem with the story.

Hawk, though arrogant and cynical in the beginning, practically put Adrienne on a pedestal and really fell for her. Yes, it was what the fairy king wanted and, yes, what woman does not want to be put on a pedestal by a beautiful man. However, Adrienne's character didn't deserve it - at least not in how she was initially portrayed. Adrienne hated beautiful men having previously suffered from the hands of one. However, this carried on for too long and Hawk wasn't given a chance to prove himself and this truly tested my patience. As much as I enjoy seeing a rake suffer, I am not a fan of heroines who act unreasonably. Adrienne came off spoilt and childish. The reason provided by the author wasn't compelling enough. By the time I read that she was supposed to have fallen in love with him, I actually had a `duh' moment. Where did that come from?

Had I not been wowed by the Fever series, which certainly shows how much Ms. Moning's writing has improved, I may not be too keen on the rest of the Highland books. I can only hope that it gets better from here as I have the rest of the Highland books.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2010
It was lacking on all fronts.

What you have here is a mortal Scottish Hottie (Hawk)whos living it up in the 1500's when a Fairy Queen takes notice. The Fairy King is none too happy with his wifes new found obession so he sends a errand boy to the real world to run a muck and get the mortal man to fall in love with a hard to get women. The way the story line flows is strange at best, it jumps around from Fairy land to past (1500's) to present day.

The charaters are not complex and lack real substance. A Fairy is sent on a mission to retrieve a women that will make Hawk submit and the women is from present day Seattle and is on the run from the cops, she's had a hard time of it and trust no one, which means certianly not smoking hot Scottich men from the Dark Ages.She is sent back in time against her will to give Hawk a run for his money and a good chase. But so odd really, why is she from the future, shouldn't she be totally wierded out!?!

All ends well, but again the story line is choppy, the charaters have no meat on their bones, and the whole thing just leaves you going HUH? What was the point in all of this, why did I just buy this book and read it?

I actually skipped some of the play by play because it was the same convo's over and over again just slightly off from the last. Not worth buying, but I guess you could pick it up at the library. Even then I'm kinda blown away that people enjoyed this book enough to give it 4 or 5 stars, makes me wonder what they've been reading because this book is low on the erotica scale and just plain foolish.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2010
This book had high ratings from many reviewers, but I'm not sure why. I can suspend belief for the gods/fae toying with the human hero, but at least the characters need to be believable and their motivations comprehensible. Adrienne seems positively blasé about being dropped in the 16th century, actually prefers it to 1997 because there is no traffic noise. Hawk and Adrienne have barely met and they're madly in love, in spite of her distrust of men and his vast experience of women. Most of the conflict arises from Adrienne refusing to admit she desires Hawk. Overall we never get to know or care about the characters at all. There is essentially no realistic context (sights, smells, activities) to ground the action in 1513, and even the 1990's back story is unrealistic (were there orphanages in New Orleans in the 90's?).
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