Reviewer: Robyn Roberts
Title: Highland Blessings
Author: Jennifer Hudson Taylor
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Release Date: May 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: Historical Inspirational Romance
Year/Setting: 15th Century Scotland
Overall Rating: 4.5
Sexual Content Rating: None
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None
Violent Content Rating: None/Minimal
Jennifer's Website/Blog: www.jenniferhudsontaylor.com
Akira MacKenzie is kidnapped on her wedding day by one of the warriors from the rival clanóthe MacPhearsonís. Bryce MacPhearson is honoring the promise he made to his father on his fatherís deathbed. Bryce hopes that by one of the MacPhearson brothers marrying Akira, it will end a family feud that has gone on far too long. Once married, Akira tries to come to terms with her resentment towards Bryce and his family. As her commitment to the Lord becomes a silent witness to her new family, they slowly begin to suspect a traitor in their midst.
Little accidents become more and more frequent and as people begin to die, suspicion abounds everywhere. Who is the traitor looking to murder the MacPhearsonís and Akira? Will they catch the traitor in time? Or will another have to die?
What an impressive debut book! Jennifer Hudson Taylor has a way of piecing together the parts that make a good story and sewing it into a beautiful quilt of a story. I was surprised to find myself liking Bryce so early in the story. Iím not usually drawn to brutes that steal women on their wedding day. I think the sincerity of his actions, motivated by the desire for peace, makes him a shining male who we can all love.
Akira is the picture of inner strength. I canít believe the things she went through and each time, we can watch her draw on her inner strength and her faith to pull her through. She is the sort of person that everyone wants to spend time with. She sees the good in all people and tries to draw out that goodness. Iíd love to have a dozen friends like her!
The story was put together in a way that kept moving, but didnít lose you along the way. The only downside to the book is the sexual content is so non-existent that I actually didnít realize for about a third of the book that Akira & Bryce had finally consummated their marriage. While I appreciate the lack of details and leaving private matters private, I wished there was a little more information passed along to make it clear when the marriage had become a marriage in every way. It would have enhanced the story. I also like the way Akira does not go around preaching her faith. She lets her words and actions stand as a witness to her beliefs. I didnít realize until I was halfway through the book that it was Ďinspirationalí. The lack of preaching enhanced the story and made a stronger point than anything Akira could have said.
Overall, I was very impressed by Jennifer Hudson Taylorís debut novel. I enjoyed the story and the characters and the setting. I look forward to reading more of her books in the future.
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