Dark Highland Skies
Grade : A-

Using Power Search, it seems that there have been no reviews of Lizzie Lamb’s books at AAR. That’s a surprise. She is a buried treasure in my view who deserves some attention.

Her newest book, Dark Highland Skies, was particularly poignant for me because one of the central themes is bereavement and how one deals with regrets. Having had a very recent bereavement myself, I could identify with Halley Dunbar’s journey through the grieving process and the many emotions and challenges it throws up.

In Halley Dunbar, we are given a heroine who, whilst fiercely intelligent, is nonetheless not yet fully matured as a woman even in her mid to late thirties. She had an experience in the past that has coloured the whole of her adult life and, sadly, she needs to let it go so that she can properly love and live with our hero, Hector (“Tor”) Strachan, eldest son of a laird in Lochaber, a remote part of the Scottish Highlands.

The drama in the story revolves around Halley settling the affairs of her late uncle, arranging his funeral, catching up on old friendships and understanding how the past has affected her and ensuring that the burgeoning feelings she has for Tor are real and capable of growth. The family dynamics played out here between the Strachans, Lizzie, and her late Uncle Tam include a secret/not-so-secret gay relationship, a marriage embittered and tattered, children without motivation or direction and handling responsibility for a large and prosperous estate. Tor, the heir, is himself damaged goods though a decent, honourable and caring man. A former career soldier, he was invalided out of the army following horrific wounds sustained in a dreadful incident in Afghanistan for which he cannot forgive himself. Despite their attraction to each other, old wounds, emotions, experiences must be resolved before any chance of an HFA.

Lizzie Lamb has a wonderful knack of bringing the stunning beauty, mystery and occasional pathos of the Western Scottish Highlands and she brings this wonderful part of the world to life. She writes with aplomb, grace, subtle humour and care. Her prose is excellent, flows well and she creates wholly believable characters. And in this book, I adored that her hero and heroine were thirty-seven and forty-four; I relish mature lovers who are rounded and real so I hope she continues writing her Scottish stories peopled with such wonderful characters.

~ Elaine S

Reviewed by Guest Reviewer

Grade: A-

Sensuality: Subtle

Review Date : April 7, 2023

Publication Date: 02/2023

Review Tags: PTSD Scotland grief military

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Over the years, AAR has had many a guest reviewer. If we don't know the name of the reviewer, we've placed their reviews under this generic name.
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