Highland Jewel by May McGoldrick (ARC Review)

Hi Blisses,

TITLE: Highland Jewel
BY: May McGoldrick
SERIES: Royal Highlander #2
(can be read as standalone)
GENRE: Historical Romanc

EXPECTED PUBLICATION: Sept. 24th 2019 by St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Maisie Murray and Niall Campbell are maybe both writers at heart but they are opposite in most ways. Maisie, is an activist, fighting for women’s rights with the help of her friend Fiona who happens to be Niall’s sister. Niall is a retired military man who have always followed the law. When he met Maisie, he already have enough of the violence and just wanted a stable life. But thanks to his sister and Maisie, he was thrown again to the political issues he was trying to walk away from. Everything turned worse when Fiona was arrested. Their lives are in danger, and Maisie and Niall have to set aside their budding romance because of it.

This is one of those books I was invited to review on Netgalley and when I read the blurb, I was really intrigued. I was excited to see the romance between a retired military and an activist. Plus the theme is so strong and important, I just couldn’t say no to it. Turned out I was right to be excited though I can say the book isn’t everything I hoped it would be.

I felt unsatisfied by the romance in this book. I found it unromantic and bit bland. It didn’t help that the writing is filled with ‘telling’ and ‘little’ to showing. There’s also lots of info-dumping. It affects the flow  of the story because it ended up as if I’m reading a history book. Like for example, a new character would appear, there would be an info-dumping of who that character is and how does the main character met him/her. And chapters also usually start with info-dumps. It’s really not good for a romance book. The characters are okay, I guess. But they’re not the most interesting.

The great news about this book is the historical part. Like I said, the theme and issues tackled in this book are important. I found it really interesting and in my opinion, the authors handled the theme well. They really did a great job. There’s even further information in the author’s note which I enjoyed reading.

Overall, I still enjoy reading this book. I was just disappointed with the ‘Romance’ part. My one-line review after reading this book said ‘…the focus is confusing’. This book is advertised as Historical Romance so of course, I jumped in hoping to find romance and maybe even feel giddy (hehe). For me, this read more as Historical Fiction, Literary or maybe even Chick Lit. I don’t know, but the romance became the side plot instead of the main. I really hope there’s more romance.

Have you read this book? Or is it on your TBR? Let’s chat about it. 🙂 🙂

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