Author submission in exchange for an honest review.
Legacy of the Highlands
November 1, 2011
What does a vow made 700 years ago in Scotland have to do with a murder in twenty-first century Boston?
When Will Cameron’s body is discovered in a Boston alley, the only clue to the thirty-four-year-old man’s murder is a pristine Scottish sgian dubh dagger left beside it. His devastated widow, Alexandra, flees Boston to find refuge in the Miami villa of Will’s best friend, Diego Navarro, who has the means, power and temperament to solve the puzzle and to avenge the senseless killing.
Diego, a handsome and wealthy Argentine, is equally determined to win the grieving widow’s heart. The growing attraction to each other becomes hard to resist as Alex and Diego follow leads that take them from Miami to Buenos Aires and Scotland, unraveling the Cameron family’s secrets and the Legacy of the Highlands.
The premise of Legacy of the Highlands sounded fantastic to me. A young man is killed because of a centuries old blood feud and his family and friends are left to unravel the reasons and track down his killer. Yes please. I liked those elements. The unraveling of the history behind the attack wasn’t really predictable, but still believable. In fact, I liked the majority of the story line. The one exception being the romance between the two main characters.
Will’s brutal murder happens within the first two chapters. He and his wife Alex have a seemingly perfect marriage. The two are clearly soul mates, so it makes sense that Alex would be utterly devastated when Will dies. In fact, Ms. Schultz does a remarkable job capturing Alex’s broken spirit and despair. I could almost feel my heart breaking with hers. At the funeral, Alex starts to reconnect with Will’s former best friend, Diego. Alex is in such a terrible state that she turns to Diego for help. Fortunately, Diego is obscenely wealthy and whisks Alex away to his home in Miami on his family’s private jet.
Alex takes a few months to recover in Florida, but while she’s there, she begins to notice that she is drawn to Diego in more than a friendly way. This is the part of the story I had a problem with. As readers, we know that Alex was so heartbroken and lost after Will’s death, that it was debatable as to whether or not she would recover. And only a few months later, she’s lusting after her dead husband’s best friend. Granted, we do see Alex struggle with this same issue, but I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. And I certainly couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that Diego was encouraging it. It’s one thing for a grieving widow to feel some confusion in her feelings, but at times it felt like Diego was taking advantage of it. That didn’t work for me.
That said, the adventure in this story is great. The characters were real people – Ms. Schultz is extremely good at showing personalities though conversations and word choice. Though the story focuses on Alex and Diego, their budding romance isn’t the centerpiece. It’s more about how they are both out to avenge Will’s murder. Throw in a supporting cast complete with off-the-wall best friend, smug bodyguard, and a legion of Scottish terrorists, and you’re in for a wild ride.