Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it. Who hasn’t heard that saying a hundred times? It’s a known fact that what you may think you want isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be. For Cailean Ross his love of medieval fairs and swordplay are about to become more than just a tad bit real.
Cailean Ross is a champion swordsman and jouster who spends his free time traveling to and participating in medieval reenactments and fairs. The pinnacle of his hobby takes place in the village of Heatheredge in the Scottish Highlands where the ultimate reenactment known simply as the Gathering takes place. After dreaming of attending and participating in the Gathering since he was a boy Cailean finally receives his wish and is able to attend. Very quickly he’s singled out as the best of the best swordsman out of all the attendees and the perks begin presenting themselves drawing him farther and farther into the thrall the medieval village seems to pulling him into. Unfortunately, the host of the Gathering forgot to mention that the most profound of all the perks he was receiving was the fact that he was about to be thrust back in time hundreds of years and live the life he’d dreamed about his whole life for real.
Of course, as any modern mostly rational male Cailean doesn’t fully understand what has happened for days assuming the entire ordeal he’s suddenly thrust into is an elaborate playact produced by the modern day Heatheredge residents. Gradually, he becomes to realize that what is happening is no mere play and the woman he is beginning to fall for is in fact the real Lady Julianna Mackay from the history books and not just a fellow actor. Relationships tend to become rather complicated when the person you’re interested in happens to predate your birth by six hundred years or so and you are torn between wanting to be home where there are cellphones, your family, and electric heaters and living the life you always imagined with the person you are falling for and the experience is no different for Cailean Ross.
I have to say that for me the story was a bit a slow at the onset and mildly confusing at times, but the premix was fantastic. I can’t really relate it to Outlander, because really while they’re both fruit of the romance variety we really are looking at apples and oranges in the plot lines apart from the fact that we’re knee deep in Scottish history and traveling through time. I really enjoyed some of the characters, Julianna especially; I love strong female characters and she was no exception (Given that she and I share nearly identical names I would have been horridly upset if she’d turned out to be a wispy piece of fluff with no backbone).
The history being strung throughout the novel was excellent. I’m a huge history buff and I felt that the depiction of so many pieces of the book were so spot on, realistic and thought provoking that it made me enjoy the book at the more. It was a great depiction of the time period something I’m very appreciative of and a bit of a snob about to be honest.
Some parts of the book, the description in particular were a bit drawn out and made me skip a head a couple times. I was a bit annoyed with a few of the things the characters did throughout the book; abandoning Kristen, Julianna’s complete change of heart over Sir Lawren, and Cailean’s several lies to various people. That and the fact that the book ended on a cliffhanger of sorts for the next set of characters made me demote the book from a four star to a three. Over all though, I enjoyed the book and will be looking out for book two. ** I received an ARC copy from Net Galley in exchanged for my honest review and opinion.**