Thirty Nights with a Highland Husband
It’s my masochistic love for the time travel sub-genre that keeps me reading even when stupid 20th century women use disco songs as war cries during some medieval battle. Even though the title of Thirty Nights with a Highland Husband had me cringing, some unknown force was drawn to the words “time-travel” and “Scotland”. Frankly, I blame Diana Gabaldon and her brilliant Outlander series for this affliction. But I’m glad I didn’t pass this one up.
Caitlin Coryell just caught her fiancé cheating on her a week before the wedding. The jerk that he is tries to shift the blame and act as though things are going to be just fine. Cate is still baffled when she heads home and does a little restorative drinking to wipe the horrible day away. Three sheets to the wind, Cate decides to try on her wedding attire, including the antique necklace she found earlier that day. All of a sudden there’s a man in her bedroom and he’s begging her to come with him to help save his sister. Cate’s drunken mind finds this fascinating and goes along with him to 13th century Scotland. The man did promise to return her to her time right away, and she had nothing better to do at the moment…
Connor McKiernan is a descendant of the fey, although the power is only evident in the females of his family. Right now, his sister is about to be married off to a disgusting old man who will be a monster to her, unless she can come under her brother’s protection and out of the hands of their evil uncle. But Connor is in service to the king and he cannot take guardianship of his sister back when he is unable to stay on his own land. The king has given him an out: get married and he will release Connor from service. Yet Connor, in a fit of rage at being spurned a few years back, made an oath to not marry any woman who currently walked the earth. Yeah, that part was a bit contrived, but easily overlooked. I swear.
Luckily for Connor, he has a loving aunt who just so happens to possess a few fey abilities and they set up the scene from Cate’s bedroom. Connor promises Cate that once they marry, she will be returned to her own time. But the evil uncle demands that all traditions be executed for this wedding, including having the banns called for three weeks, hence thirty nights with a Highland husband. Connor’s beloved auntie does throw a twist into the mix by giving Connor his soul mate and not just some woman who could be a temporary stand-in bride. With this snag Cate must figure out how to fulfill the spell since things are not as clear cut as she and Connor first assumed.
Connor and Cate are both well-drawn characters. I adored them along with Connor’s aunt and sister. It was refreshing that we didn’t have a scene where the lead characters had to convince the other about being from a different time. Connor being the one to bring her through time cleared up that awkward moment, which is often handled poorly by authors. Cate does move into TSTL territory a few times, but I wouldn’t declare her “feisty” just yet. She does redeem herself. Connor, too, has his moments with being overbearing, yet he redeems himself, too.
Ms. Mayhue’s writing style impressed me; it was easy and flowing yet never simple. She has done her research and based the initial story in the prologue around an ancient Scottish myth, which was a nice touch. All aspects blended together nicely, not being too heavy on either history or mythology or even the mystical background of Connor’s family. I wouldn’t say it is a wallpaper historical, exactly, but it isn’t heavy handed in the details part.
As for the book’s problems, they mostly centered around the ending. I wanted more gut-wrenching emotion during the climax. I also didn’t like the epilogue; it didn’t seem to fit with the rest of the tale.
I expected either an erotic time-travel or even a screwball farce with Thirty Nights with a Highland Husband because of its silly title. Instead I got a very nice afternoon devoted to a great hero and heroine falling in love and having a bit of adventure along the way. I will be keeping my eye out for future work from Melissa Mayhue and suggest you do the same.