on January 8, 2007
Hannah Howell brings us the story of Sigimor Cameron, a Highland Laird, who goes to England to aid a man, Peter, who saved his life years ago. He arrives to find himself captured by Peter's evil cousin, Harold. Harold has killed Peter and plans to hang Sigimor and his clansmen until Peter's sister, Jolene sets them free. In exchange, she asks Sigimor to help her and Peter's son, Reynard, escape Harold. Harold seeks to marry Jolene against her will and to kill Reynard so he may inherit Peter's title. Sigimor and his clansmen flee with the pair but are pursued by Harold and his hired men. Sigimor, a 6'4" warrior, finds himself very attracted to Jolene, even though she isn't his type, she is petite, dark haired and English. He prefers buxom blondes or so he thought. Jolene, 23 years old, is still a maid because her brother gave her the freedom to pick her husband. Nobody has stirred her passion until she meet this huge redheaded Scotsman. In order to protect Jolene in the case she is captured Sigimor proposes marriage. Jolene agrees knowing she can always seek an annulment if she wants. When it comes to a head, she must decide whether to stay with her husband or to keep the promise to her brother to watch over his son. When her other kinsmen show up to help, she must make her decision.
I loved the humor of this book, the reaction everytime a Scotsman finds out she is English is hilarious. Jolene's reaction is even funnier. The characters have such chemistry that it just keeps the story hot. Great story I highly recommend.
on May 19, 2006
Maybe because I haven't read the author's previous books, I find the negative reviews puzzling. No, the hero is not a very complex man but I thought his character was appropriately portrayed. He isn't a man of court but a laird in the often violent Scotland of the 15th century. He was appropriately honest, straightforward, and a bit rough on the edge. I thought the romance between the hero and heroine was cute. One could feel the growing love between them, and even though the villains were dispatched rather easily, sometimes it's refreshing to read a romance without contrived twists and turns designed solely to put the title couple through hell and back. A light enjoyable romance.
on April 27, 2014
Ahhh this was a sublime reading experience for me! It's the second Hannah Howell novel that I've read, and I absolutely loved it! When I started reading reviews for Ms. Howell's various novels, so many reviewers compared her to Julie Garwood, who is my all time favorite author of Medieval and Highland romance novels. I didn't see any similarities in the first Howell novel I read, "Beauty and the Beast" and was a bit disappointed--although that was a really good read for me.
However, as soon as I started reading this book, I understood completely what others were saying. OMG! This book is very much like a Garwood novel! I absolutely love the story that unfolds in "Highland Conqueror." Sigimor--really Ms. Howell must do something about the names she chooses for her characters. LOL--is a wonderful hero. He has qualities of an alpha male, but for the majority of the story, he evinces such a caring gentle attitude towards Jolene that I couldn't help but fall in love with him.
The story starts with Sigimor and five of his family members being held prisoner in the dungeons of Drumwich Castle. Sigimor is in England at the behest of his friend, Peter, Earl of Drumwich, who asked for Sigimor's help. When Sigimor arrived, he discovered that Peter is dead and Peter's cousin, Harold, has taken control of Drumwich. Very quickly, Harold takes Sigimor and his companions as prisoners and holds them in the dungeon pending their hanging.
Lady Jolene Gerard, Peter's sister, frees the men, and request their help in getting herself and her nephew--the legal heir to Drumwich--safely out of Harold's clutches. Harold is intent on killing Reynard--Peter's 3 year old son--and marrying Jolene to secure his claim to Drumwich.
Sigimor and his men flee, taking Jolene and Reynard with them, thus immediately thwarting Harold's dastardly plans. Harold is forced to pursue them across the border into the Highlands of Scotland. A large part of the story encompasses the group's travels to Sigimor's holding, Dubheidland.
During the journey, Sigimor decides that in order to better protect Jolene he needs to marry her. Once he convinces her of the rightness of his decision, the two marry, although Jolene keeps in the back of her mind the fact that she can easily obtain an annulment if/when she returns to England.
The story that unfolds is, in a word, gripping. It's chock full of intrigue and excitement, what with treachery, betrayal, kidnapping, greed, murder, and an ex-lover of Sigimore's who is determined to win him back. The relationship between Sigimor and Jolene is extremely touching and oh so sensual. The very first time he lays eyes on Jolene--and I do mean the very FIRST time--Sigimore's mind screams "mine." This is true even though Jolene is the complete opposite of the type of woman Sigimor usually finds attractive--Jolene is small, thin, dark-haired, and worst of all, English!
For her part, Jolene too is extremely attracted to the gorgeous Highlander. Soon she finds herself fighting against intense feelings of lust--at least she supposes it's lust, as she's never actually experienced it before. Jolene is smart, cunning, stubborn, and determined. She stands up to Sigimor whenever the occasion calls for it and refuses to be cowed by the highlander. Sigimor can't help but admire the woman who so bravely stands up to him, when most women find him intimidating.
This book makes for fabulous reading! If you're a Julie Garwood fan like I am, you very well may love this book. It's well written, with an engaging, dynamic plot, and a wonderful cast of characters. I loved all the members of Sigimore's massive family, especially Liam and Somerled (what kind of name is that?!), Sigimore's cousin and twin brother respectively.
So, bottom line, I loved this book and very highly recommend it. FYI, this is not a clean romance. Although I have to say that Ms. Howell's love scenes are some of the most beautifully written ones I've ever read. They are fully described, yet are not the least bit crude, nor, IMO, overly graphic. Happy reading!
on January 26, 2007
Sigimor Cameron goes south into England to help save the life of a man who saved his. He arrives at Drumwich Castle to find his friend Peter has been murdered. Peter's sister Jolene and his son go into hiding in the bowels of the castle. Sigimor and his men agree to get the three year old heir and his aunt out of the castle and to safety in Scotland. They are pursued by Harold who wants Jolene and the little boy so he can keep the castle and fortune that belonged to Peter. There are several altercations between Harold and Sigimor, Jolene is captured at one point. Sigimor gets her back and talks her into marrying him to keep Harold from getting her. They fall in love, but continue to fight Harold's attempts to get Jolene and the little boy. Jolene and Sigimor are a great couple because they are so different and but "fit" perfectly. Hannah Howell's books always have unlikely couples who meet and stay together through one travail after another. She's done another great medieval romance, and kept the stories of the Cameron clan going. If you like Hannah Howell and want to know more about the Camerons, get this book.
on May 13, 2010
One thing I have noticed about Hannah Howell's romance novels is that they are the same in some ways (as one reviewer of this book pointed out, "A strong male, a tiny woman, an evil man and a horrid female"), but in other ways her writing is very inconsistent. I'm used to romance authors that consistently deliver while injecting unique characters and plots (Kresley Cole, Paula Quinn, Kathleen Givens and Marsha Canham are among those I have given 5 star reviews to for their Highland romances). I also prefer better researched history and some of that in the story. With Hannah Howell, some of her books put me to sleep (the last such book was Highland Bride) while others, such as Highland Conqueror, delight me. While not much of a Scottish historical romance, and while repeating her strong male, tiny woman, evil man and horrid female theme, I thought this book hung together well and I quite enjoyed it. I really liked Sigimor...I liked the fact he did not waver in his intentions toward Jolene and that he was intuitive and complex and deeper than the Cameron laird in Highland Bride. He was what you'd expect from a Highland laird, even a younger one (he's 32). And Jolene was not flaky or strange, but had a quiet courage that was truly rewarding. But I have to say I am really tired of the "wee lass" and "wee wife" thing. Does the author only like short petite women paired with the giant Scots? And, although I've not read all her books, it does seem interesting that her villain females seem to be tall blondes. I'm thinking Hannah Howell is a short, petite dark haired woman who is seeking revenge on us tall blondes. How about a story of a tall, graceful blonde one of these days? And just so you know I can do the math, if Sigimor is 6'4" and Jolene is a foot shorter, she's 5'4" (which some of my friends who are the same height would not see as "wee"), and could not "press her lips to the hollow at his throat" when standing in front of him as described on p. 274. This same mistake (exactly) was made in Highland Bride as I pointed out in my review of that book. I would think she could use different love scenes with different characters. So, while her work is inconsistent, I did give this one 4 stars and can recommend it.