Friday, December 3, 2010

Highland Blessings by Jennifer Hudson Taylor

Highland Blessings is a novel set in Scotland during the late 1400’s. From the very first page the characters came alive and real. You are drawn to the characters and into their stories as they are woven together.

Birk MacKenzie signs a peace settlement with Cedric MacPhearson to end the half-century old feud between the clans. It states that the MacKenzie daughter will marry the MacPhearson son to bond the two clans together. Cedric MacPhearson is attacked on the way home from that signing. One of his sons finds him before he dies and Cedric tells him of that settlement and his desire that it be kept despite the fact that a MacKenzie warrior is the one who dealt the mortal wound.

Akira MacKenzie is the only daughter to the Laird of the MacKenzie clan. She has a strong personality. She relies on the Lord to guide her. Fear does not stop her from acting or speaking when she feels she should. She understands doing something for the greater good around her and yet is not immune to her need for love. She struggles with wanting to escape and doing what she knows she must.

Bryce MacPhearson is the second son to the MacPhearson Laird. He is honorable and kind. While he leads his men with a strong hand he can also be seen as compassionate. He didn’t grow up under a mother’s attention so he is unsure of how to react to Akira on many levels. He starts out trying to make sure his older brother fulfills his duty to marry the MacKenzie. Things don’t quite end up the way he planned.

There are villains in the book that are unseen and some that are obvious from the start. The secondary characters in the book are as real to the reader as the main ones. Some we get to know while others we only get a glimpse of who they are.

In this book we learn how even when we think things are not for our best, God can work them out in a way that is better for everyone. We see love is a choice. We can choose to love or hate others. When we chose love it changes everything.

As someone who started reading historical romances at a very early age, I found the same adventure and excitement in this book WITHOUT the unneeded sex scenes. It is very well written and I enjoyed it greatly. I read it all in one night because I just didn’t want to put it down. (Yes, I have a habit of doing that.) The love and romance were in the story but Jennifer Hudson Taylor showed us that certain things just didn’t have to be in the book to make it good. It is appropriate for any age and something a mom wouldn't have to worry about her daughter reading.

This is another wonderful book for Christmas. It is such a joy to read these “first” novels and look forward to many more from them. God is really blessing those who want to write for Him and bring Him glory. I hope to join their ranks in the near future!

Check out her website: http://www.jenniferhudsontaylor.com.

and this book video!