The Highlander Series
Authors: Karen Marie Moning

Review By: Gigs

Ok, so I picked up the last three books currently out for this series on the 
recommendations of a couple friends from Reader’s Dream bookclub. (Yes, shameless plug 
for Lyza, but what are ya gonna do?) I have to say right off the bat that I really did 
enjoy them for the most part.  In fact, I read all three of them in less than a week. 
That should tell you something right there.  Ms. Moning spins an entertaining world of 
time-travel, mystical fey, known to the Scots as the Tuatha de Danaan (pronounced tua-day-
dhanna), and other fun Scottish lore intermingled with more accurate Scottish historical 
facts.  This makes an enticing, magical backdrop for which she can present the delicious 
delights of her succulent Celtic heroes.  And what a treat they are.  I mean how many 
times can you honestly say you misbehaved and looked up the guy’s “skirts”?

Apparently Ms. Moning fully endorses indulging in just that too.  One of the major themes 
threaded through all of her books is that women should become more comfortable with their 
bodies and sexual nature.  They should release themselves from the constrictions of 
morality and ethics placed on them by religion or society at large.  They should rejoice 
in their own intimate nature.  Even when visiting her website, she has several special 
treats encompassing this agenda, which includes an “interview” with one of the books 
heroes on his viewpoint of women and their sexuality.

I was rather baffled in hindsight then that seemingly in direct conflict with this theory 
is the fact that four of her last five novels have been “virgin sacrifice” plots (virgin 
sacrifice being my term for books that portray the heroine as initially a virgin before 
her romantic interlude around which the book is written).  The three that I read, which 
include Kiss of the Highlander, The Highlander’s Touch, and The Dark Highlander, all tell 
a story that apparently only a virgin can hold the attention of an alpha-male Highlander 
for a long-term relationship.  Furthermore, it seems that is has to be said man 
who “teaches” the heroine how to be uninhibited with their sexuality.  Apparently these 
girls are incapable of discovering these things for themselves.

She did mention a possible relationship encompassing secondary characters in her third 
novel, The Highlander’s Touch, where this is NOT the case.  When the author was asked 
about expounding the relationship between Duncan and Beth in a future novel however, she 
said that she had no immediate plans to write their story.  That was a bit of a 
disappointment to me as the character Duncan is rather well-known (ok, they all are, but 
apparently he more so than the rest, if you can believe it) for his sexual exploits.  Yet 
Beth in no uncertain circumstances takes the guy down a notch or two, letting him know 
just exactly what she thinks of him.  I almost cheered out loud at that part.  Finally, 
there’s a woman calling the shots.  Finally, there’s a female character more in line with 
the philosophy being pawned off on us.   

Yet another fascinating tidbit of fiction she threw into the series was the idea that, 
for Druids anyway, once they are “bonded” to their mates, there is no other women/man for 
them.  They will pine away for/need only that one person alone.  This has actually been a 
rather long-standing fairy tale ideal.  I mean realistically speaking, there’s a REASON 
why the terms “forsaking all others” is incorporated into the marriage vows.  That reason 
being that it is, in fact, possible to be compatible with more than one person and we are 
actively choosing to "forsake" all other options for this one person we are wedding.  
Still we blindly cherish the soul-mate idea as being the ultimate satisfying 
relationship.  A sort of sexual utopia, if you will.  Again, I think this is a slight 
contradiction to the sexual revolution Ms. Moning proposes in her work.

Am I reading too much into this?  Yeah, probably.  These stories are supposed to be light-
hearted, romantic entertainment and they certainly do accomplish that goal with flying 
colors.  I further enjoyed learning about some of the historical sites and facts 
intermingled with the story including Dunnotter (a breath-taking picture of which is 
showcased on the author’s website) and The Knights Templar.  I would recommend these 
novels to anyone who loves a good, steamy romance novel and/or a love of all things 
Celt.  Although I would like to see this author, in future endeavors, break away from 
her “virgin sacrifice” routines and try some women from other walks of life to see if 
they can tempt our sexy Highlanders, I’m content to enjoy the fantastical atmosphere 
inspired by her current works and hope you will be too.  Cheers and good reading, folks!