Once Upon A Romance

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The Return of Black Douglas by Elaine Coffman


Cover art: The Return of Black Douglas Reviewer: Robyn Roberts
Title: The Return of Black Douglas - 2nd in the Black Douglas series
Author: Elaine Coffman
Publisher: Sourcebooks
ISBN-13: 978-1-4022-5074-3
Release Date: April 2011
Genre/Sub-genre: Historical Paranormal Romance, Highlander Time Travel
Year/Setting: Present Day Scotland and 1515 Scotland
Overall Rating: 4.5
Sexual Content Rating: Sensual
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: Mild
Violent Content Rating: None
Elaine's Website: www.elainecoffman.com

Isobella Douglas and her twin sister Elizabeth have traveled to Scotland to research their family history. Both are fascinated by the Douglas family tree and after Isobella’s broken engagement, she wants to put her archeological skills to use. She gets Elizabeth, a medical doctor, to join her on this trip. While driving in Scotland, they see a mysterious figure that appears to be an apparition of Isobella. Some other unusual things happen, but when Isobella touches a painting of the Black Douglas, she and Elizabeth are transported back in time to the year 1515.

Elizabeth and Isobella are disoriented and don’t realize at first what has happened. Then they realize they are in the middle of a battle. Elizabeth is spirited away by one faction and after a nasty and almost life-threatening fall, Isobella is rescued by none other than the laird of the Mackinnon clan—Alysandir. Alysandir agrees to take Isobella in…even though he doesn’t trust women and believes she is an English spy. Her beauty does take his breath away, but beauty isn’t enough to overcome the scars of his past.

Isobella loves learning about an archeological dig while it is still a real live active moment in time. She finds herself fitting in well in the past. The only thing she can’t figure out is her place in Alysandir’s life. She is attracted to him and knows he wants her, but she doesn’t want to be a mistress. She worries that she could be whisked back to the 21st Century at any given moment and doesn’t want to have a child left behind…especially an illegitimate one.

Can Alysandir fight the demons of his past and trust enough to love again? Will Isobella ever stop fighting fate? Can they find a way to make it work?

What an amazing story. While it’s paranormal in the sense that she travels back in time, it really turns quickly into a true Highland romance. Having a modern girl put back in time is such an interesting premise that the story never got old or stale. She’s got modern thinking as far as women being equal to men, but she has to temper that with what is accepted in that period of time. She’s a spitfire in their eyes, even though she doesn’t always mean to be contrary.

Alysandir is an enigma. It took me a while to figure him out. He’s really very tenderhearted underneath his clan leader mantle and the wall he has erected around his heart. He is a man that proves chivalry was truly alive and well in the Highlands. And let me just say, he’s one of the sexiest men I’ve read about in a long time. And it’s not just his looks, it’s the package of mind and heart and chivalry that goes with his looks that makes him so attractive.

Alysandir and Isobella’s interactions were always entertaining and certainly never dull. I was always anticipating what they would do next. At times, they went through their own version of one-upmanship. This story was a delight to read from first page to last. I see the third book in the series will be released next year. It won’t come soon enough for me!


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