A centuries old curse, a mysterious amulet and a young love reignite a vendetta that had died down long ago…
Samantha, an outsider, finds an old pendant within her deceased grandmother’s belongings. A short while later, the seventeen-year old goes on a school-exchange to Scotland. No sooner has she arrived at her host family’s than she is drawn into the country’s tales and myths. When she then also meets the attractive Scot Payton, her world completely falls apart. The mysterious Highlander soon conquers Sam’s heart. Caught up in her feelings, she does not realize how much danger she is in – what she does not suspect: Payton’s past holds a dark secret. A secret that has bound together both their families’ fates for hundreds of years and which is now also endangering Sam’s life…
(Blurb from Amazon)
Where is it set?
Mainly in Scotland but the ending is in the US.
Who are the main characters?
The story centres on Samantha and Payton, and there is a whole host of bit-part characters that hold the story together. You could argue that Scottish history is a character in its own right too.
How well is it written?
As I read it I was struck by how badly it was written, but afterwards I learned that the original was in German and this is a translated version. Well, that accounts for the poor grammar etc, but the plot itself was very poor. A derivative of a derivative of a derivative…and a weak one at that.
My overall impression?
Once I’d got over the poor structure and the US teen-speak I actually quite enjoyed this story. Yes it was derivative of so much else; yes it was peppered with plot holes as big as Loch Ness (like, how did all the 270 year old people who were living under the curse in a semi-immortal state manage to travel from Scotland to America without little things like passports?); yes it was clearly aimed at young adults; yes most of the places that Sam travelled to on her “day trips” were geographically impossible to travel between in the given time-frame; yes, we all know that American teenagers are just sent on planes to visit strangers in Scotland with no prior contact; yes we all know that Scotland is the land of myths and legends….not Ireland?
But for all of that I was entertained by this story. It had the best element of all for me in a book and that was romance.
It was extremely cheesy and totally lightweight, but sometimes you know, you just need a bit of pure escapism to make yourself feel better and this book did that for me.
Will I read the next in the series?
Probably not. I only read this because it was offered for 20p on Amazon but what it has done is reawakened my desire to read some more Barbara Erskine who makes this sort of thing her speciality. I read “Lady of Hay” years ago and I absolutely loved that so I’ve been on a little fact-finding mission (courtesy of Amazon) and am now reading “Hiding From The Light” which is fabulous.
Would I recommend it to my friends?
Only to those who want a total escape and who don’t mind a bit of cheesy teenage romance mixed in with their (inaccurate) history lessons.