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Book Review-The Highlander Who Loved Me by Adrienne Basso

by | Mar 18, 2016 | Book Reviews | 10 comments

Book Review-The Highlander Who Loved Me by Adrienne Basso

Book Review-The Highlander Who Loved Me by Adrienne BassoThe Highlander Who Loved Me by Adrienne Basso
Also in this series: No Other Highlander, The Bride Chooses a Highlander
Series: The McKennas #1
Published by Zebra on December 29th 2015
Genres: Historical Romance, Scottish Highlands, Medieval Era
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
ISBN: 1420137670
AmazonLibrary Thing

Scottish Highlands, 1329. Sir James McKenna, second son of the powerful McKenna Chief, knows he has found his destiny when he falls in love with sweet Lady Davina Armstrong, niece of the Armstrong Chief. Orphaned in childhood, Davina has always felt like an outsider, and with James finally feels that she belongs. But their plans for a happy future are shattered after a brutal attack by a band of rogues. Horrified, Davina’s overprotective family quickly shelters her from everyone—including James…
Five years later, James is a changed man. His fighting skills sharpened to perfection, he is hardened by the war and destruction he’s endured as a Scottish knight—and by the loss of Davina. Weary, he returns home—and is shocked to find Davina there. Is it too late for them to start anew, or will the past dare to lay claim to their future once more?

My Review


Sir James McKenna is a younger son of the McKenna Chief in the Highlands. James has always had a rivalry with his older brother Malcolm. He then meets Lady Davina Armstrong, and as he is escourting Davina and her cousin Joan home. We see the instant relationship that begins to build between these two. James and Davina spend every moment they can together and they fall in love with each other. But on the day when they make plans for their future and believed nothing could dampen their happiness…the worst happens. They are surrounded by a band of rogues, and James against six men, was too much. Davinia suffered nightmares and withdrew from the world and from James. Davinia was in shock, but her family shelters her from anyone outside their home. Davinia after five long years, takes James mother’s offer on a Christmas celelbration at the McKenna holding. She knows that this is what she needs. But upon arrival, she is sought after by Malcolm and then James arrives unexpectedly from his battles down south. By decree of their father….Malcolm and James must both court Davinia and win her hand. Thus the rivalry between the brothers continues, however fated love doesn’t go away…and soon James and Davinia rekindle the fire that once burned between them if they can overcome the trials of the past.

The Hero 

James McKenna, has always had to work hard to seek his father’s approval. As the younger son, he has needed to prove himself even more than his brother ever has had to do. But when he discovers the love for a sweet and kind woman…he is hooked heart and soul. Until the worst happens, and he is unable to fully protect the woman he loves. When she rejects him and their plans for the future. He leaves Scotland, he heads down to fight in the crusades. He hones his skills in battle, every day building strength and skill. His guilt of that one day driving him to the brink…to prove himself. He becomes hardened by experience in training and a losing battle. He returns home, battle worn and weary. This hero…*sigh* is pure deliciousness. My goodness I just wanted to hold him all the book long. He is a fighter, holds his emotions in, and suffers from guilt of the past. But despite his anger toward Davinia, he still loves her and fights for her when he needs to. I loved his drive and determination to win over the woman he loves.

The Heroine 

Lady Davina Armstrong, has grown up sheltered and always looked under from the beauty and grace of her cousin. She is pretty, but not overly so, but she is kind and sweet spirited and couldn’t hurt a fly. She has a calm disposition and never seeks out conflict. When she wins the love of James, Davina knows she is one lucky woman. Until the day of hell arrives, and her life changes forever. She is attacked, traumatized and has no memory but has the fears of every man surrounding her. Including her beloved James. She can’t ever be his wife in the true sense and pushes him away for his own good so he can find a woman he can be with intimately. But five years pass, and she is still suffers in her own little world and needs escape from it. She needs to get out, explore and get over her fears and fight for her life and happiness. She wants to find joy again and she knows a little trip for the holiday with James’ mother is exactly what she needs. Davina is a heroine I grew to really like. Even at the beginning, I liked her. I felt a kinship to her, many of her qualties I felt I could relate to. What we see next is a version of medieval PTSD. And how a young sweet girl reacts to it, and maybe not in the best way, but she eventually works through it. However I think her uncle and aunt and their over protection were damaging to her healing. She really starts to heal the moment she decides for herself she wants more in life and goes after it. This is where we see such character growth and the book surrounds her character. I LOVED that. Even though I liked both brothers, there was something so enchanting about Davina that I was drawn to. And it was an adventure to see her grow and change and become a strong woman.

Plot and Story Line 

The Highlander Who Loved Me is a truly emotional and riveting romance that I was instantly hooked on. I honestly couldn’t get enough of these two and their story. Now technically it can be termed as a “love triangle” but in all honestly it’s a very minimal aspect to the plot. From the beginning, you know that this love story is centered on James and Davina. I understand why this author chose to pick the angle of mixing in the brother. In the end it turns out to benefit all three involved. What wins you over though is the beginning blooms of their romance. Its sweet, fun and silly at times.

Breathless when she reached him, Davina stretched up on her toes and quickly kissed his freshly shaven cheek.

“Och, now, Davina, is that any way to kiss a man?”

Teasing laughter bubbled to her lips. “Cease yer bellyaching. Ye are the man who taught me how to kiss, James McKenna, therefore ye’ve no right to complain.”

She gave him a saucy wink, then spun around and raced to the trees. Playfully, he gave chase, catching her quickly and easily. Laughing, he drew her close and they swayed together on the uneven ground.

“I dinnae teach ye that sort of kissing, Davina Armstrong,” he said. “Give me a proper kiss.”

We see how after the attack and the separation how their relationship changes. Both James and Davina will learn that they have to come to terms with the past before they can ever embrace the love that has never died. I loved James’ family. They were so dynamic and wonderful to read…very lively. The parents, well they are fabulous. The father is just like his sons, but the mother is highly spirited and obviously is the leader of the home in many ways. The oldest brother Malcolm, at first I didn’t like him. But boy he grew on me, he is tough and talented when fighting, but he also is a widower and has a precocious daughter he spoils rotten. Malcolm is looking for a wife to be the mother to his daughter. I understood his pursuit of Davina, but he is also respectful and patient with her wishes and needs. I admired that about him.

Now the romance between James and Davina. After they are reunited, it’s a bit rocky…okay a lot rocky. James isn’t sure he and Davina have anything worth fighting for anymore. Davina really hurt him five years previous when she rejected him. That hurt has festered over the years. But slowly James starts to realize how much she really matters to him and he doesn’t want to lose her. But there is also a danger to Davina. A mysterious villain is after her, and James will do anything to protect her.

“I love ye, Davina. With all my heart and soul. ‘Tis time to finally put the past to rest and start the future we both desire.” James knew their love was something that couldn’t be found with another. They belonged together–in this life and the next. They had from the beginning. It might have taken them longer than most to reach for a life of happiness, but now it was firmly within their grasp, James knew he would never let it go. 

Any one that loves a wonderful historical romance…needs to pick this author up, so brilliant!! I am hoping for Malcolm’s story next.

The Cover 

GORGEOUS….I have a weakness for romance covers like these. So sensual and romantic, I love the blue colors used. And yeah I totally adore the bluish colored plaid. Has a nice touch.

Overall View 

In The Highlander Who Loved Me  we find a stimulating and emotionally driven romance of mistrust, anger, pain and we see the healing power of love and redemption. A SEXY PAGE TURNER!!

Books N’Tunes Reading Challenge:

About The Author (2)

About Adrienne Basso

Between stints as a corporate financial analyst, marketing consultant, public librarian, wife and mother, Adrienne Basso has parlayed her vivid imagination and desire to tell romantic stories into a writing career. Regency England is her favorite time period and thus far she has set all her historical novels during that elegant time. She enjoys the challenge of creating stories that emphasize the everlasting strength and power of love and is truly delighted that her characters always achieve the fantasy of living happily ever after.

Adrienne and her husband, both native New Yorkers, now make their home in North Plainfield, New Jersey, along with their two sons. In her spare time she likes to pretend that she is an organized, efficient, dynamic super-woman. It doesn't always work.


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  1. Nick

    Just reading this review is making my heart ache! I love the sound of this hero especially. And my heart is breaking for this heroine. 🙁
    I can imagine that their relationship was rocky after the 5 years. I need to add this to my list!
    Great review!!

    • Lover Of Romance

      Thanks Nick!! It is heart breaking at times. But I love seeing their journey back to each other.

  2. Bookworm Brandee

    This sounds like a wonderful story, Renee! I love Highlanders anyway but I’m really intrigued with James and Davina’s story and the strong emotions between the two. I also love a story that shows such character growth as what you describe with Davina. I’ll add this one to my tbr. 🙂

    • Lover Of Romance

      Thanks Brandee!! You would definitely enjoy this book. Have you read Basso before? She writes highlanders very well.

  3. LilyElement

    It does sound like there’s quite a bit of emotional character growth. Sounds like a lovely read!

    • Lover Of Romance

      oh yes…great character growth. Which is always a favorite aspect to find in a romance right?

  4. Bambi Unbridled

    Awesome review. Yours are always so more eloquent than my “Uh, I liked it!” LOL

    I loved this hero as well, and got totally sucked in by the beginning of the book.

  5. Sophia Rose

    What a tough scenario. I do like the hard-fought ones. It’s been a while on the Scottish medievals. I’ll have to snag this one.

    Great tune! 🙂

  6. Blodeuedd

    Yes on the cover, I do like them too

  7. kimbacaffeinate

    Awe James sounds swoony. I adore the cover on this one. 🙂


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