Deep in the rugged Scottish countryside lies the Highland Targe, an ancient relic that, along with its Guardian, protects the heart of the Highlands.
For centuries, the MacAlpin clan has watched over the Targe, but Lady Elspet, the current Guardian, is gravely ill. Her niece Rowan MacGregor, the rock of the family, is doing everything she can to hold her clan together when she meets Nicholas fitz Hugh.
Handsome and charming, Nicholas quickly joins clan life - yet he is not what he seems. A cunning spy, Nicholas is charged by the king of England with stealing the Targe, part of a plot to break the Scottish rebellion.
Despite his loyalty to the king, Nicholas finds himself falling for beautiful Rowan. When Lady Elspet's health worsens and the guardianship is in question, Nicholas must choose between the king’s will and his own. Can he betray his king and mission? Or will he turn on the woman he loves and the family he has come to care for?
©2013 Laurin Wittig (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
~~~~~~~HOPEFUL ROMANTIC~~~~~~~~~ ~~Love Audiobooks~~ Especially Historical & Inspirational Romances ~~No Spoilers Here~~
When I saw this book was read by Phil Gigante I had to give it a listen....he can make a mediocre book sound wonderful. I was delighted to find out this book was good on its own and he made it even better.
This book is packed with adventure from the start. Nicholas is a spy who is sent to the Highlands on a mission only to find out that his love for Rowan is stronger than deception. Nicholas has to prove himself to Rowan as well as the clan. Rowan is a woman who determined, loyal, and learns how to handle the dishonesty and choose to forgive.
The author wrote the book so that even the minor characters had intriguing personalities. There was so much detail to their personalities and mannerisms they didn't seem so minor. This increased the depth and funny moments of the story which added to the appeal of the book as a whole.
If you enjoy a good highland tale filled with fantasy, adventure, and more romance than sex...then this is for you. I will be pre-ordering the next in the series.
I had never read a story written by Lauren Wittig before but when I saw Phil Gigante was the narrator, well I hit the pre-order button without a backwards glance. You see, Phil could read me the phone book and I would sit enthralled for hours. So I figured how bad can it be? Turns out not bad at all.
Ms. Wittig has woven a story rich in history and Scottish lore. While I felt this story was a little skimpy on the romance, thus only four stars, I still felt it was a very good story excellently narrated. The intrigue and plot twists were very refreshing and I was very pleased with my purchase. I wouldn't use my credits since its under $10 but at that price it's definitely worth a listen.
Phil Gigante does a great job as always. The story was interesting and creative. The idea of the highland targe is a novel one. I like Scottish romances that have a bit of intrigue. There were a few slow parts, but overall I found the audiobook enjoyable. I will likely buy the next in the series.
I love being swept away by a new romance and thankfully Audible's ever growing Library means I get to indulge myself over and over again
Yes this was a historical Highland romance which, of course, caught my eye straight away being a fan of handsome kilted highland hunks (yes I'm that shallow), but when I saw it was read by the Maestro himself - Phil Gigante - I just HAD to get it and before I could say "I love you Phil" it was snuggly in My Library.
It was a well written story as Laurin Wittig is such a talented storyteller and when you hit 'Play' suddenly you're transported to the private rooms of the King of England where you become a willing fly-on-the-wall listening in as a secret evil mission is planned. Then, as the fast-paced moving adventure progresses into the medieval Highlands of Scotland, we encounter Clan conflict, a dying woman, spies, lies, betrayal, murder, revenge, myths, forgiveness, redemption and love.
Nicholas and Rowan are 2 likeable characters but are on opposite sides and Nicholas has to choose between his mission or love but as he does he's betrayed and the do da unfortunately hits the fan with devastating results. Good supporting cast of characters that help or hinder the 2 lovers but Clan loyalty must come first. I should think book 2 will move the storyline further as the Guardians and the English want the same thing - and I can't wait.
Worth a credit? For under $10 I bought it saving my credit for a more costly, but maybe not more worthy, listen. However, if I had spent a credit on this I would not have been disappointed in the least.
I love all genres of books. However, when I listen to audio books as I clean, garden, drive they are better with a lot of heat!
Three and a half stars, but I've selected 4 since it's well written. This is one of those stories that teaches you some history and reflects on human nature, with a little magic to boot. The hero changes course when he discovers there's more to life than achievement. I'm not a big historical romance reader but I sometimes like them as a change from contemporary or paranormal, but I like more romance in a romance novel. Possible SPOILER: Sex is withheld until they marry, at the VERY end. They kiss a few times, develop feelings for each other and of course there's a misunderstanding that nearly ruins everything. Just not enough romance for me.
Phil Gigante did a great job with the narration which helped push the story past 3.5 stars
I actually thought the story deserved a 3.5 but that wasn't an option. It was a good story; nothing wrong with it as a whole. It was in my opinion a creative idea, but there wasn't a whole lot of romance. Every now and then I would be asking myself, "hey romance novel, where is the romance?", and then a kiss would happen. But as it was, it kept be entertained, and I definitely think it was worth the money, especially for the length of the book. I didn't give it a higher rating because I wasn't stressing out at work thinking only about the story and how I needed to finish it. For me that is a 5.
I would. I thought it was a good story; it kept me entertained and intrigued.
Phil Gigante brought a deep, burly sexy Scottish, Heath Ledger/ Gerard Butler voice to the story! Yummy. This is the third audio book that I have listened to, and it renewed my like for it. The first one was okay....not too bad, but I did not like it when the male narrator went into a female voice. It was awful. The second I couldn't stand the accents. This time, expecting the worst, the higher pitch that Phil Gigante used for females, while granted is not as good as say, a female would be, did not bother me. I thought his accent was great. That man has a great voice.
An English spy with no familial ties finds hope in the home of Rowan MacGregor and the MacAlpin Clan; the very people his mission is meant to betray....I don't know if that is a tag line....
So, the page amount says there's 272 pages but according to my iPad the number is 259, That being said, I just want to let all those who don't like sex that they can stop reading at 253 and miss all the sex there is in the whole book. There is a mention of an arousal 2 or 3 times but that's all.
This was a really good book, however.. I liked Nicholas and Rowan a lot. No angst to speak of. No silly misunderstandings. Just a great love story with paranormal throw in.
I like Jeanette and Scotia, too. AND I absolutely hated the bad guy. Sorry it's a little later in the book before you find out who it is and I don't want to give it away. This wasn't a cliffhanger but if you want to know what happens you should read the second book, which I'm going to do right now.
As to the narrator: If you looked at all my audio books you'd see very few man have narrated the books I listened to. They just don't do the women good enough and then when the hero and heroine have sex it's almost like I'm listening to two men. However, I have to admit that Mr. Gigante did a fine job with the women's voices. I wouldn't hesitate to him again.
I am quiet and love being comfortable. I love curling up in a corner either reading or listening to a nice romantic book.
This book turned out to be more than I expected. It was well written and I was delighted with the narration. Phil (my first listening to him) did a great job. I can't wait for the other books or that there would be more books in this series. I assume so just because this is book 1 but I am also wondering if there is going to be another guardian or if Rowan got a daughter that carried on as guardian. There are so many possibilities but since King Edwards wants the Targe so badly, we know he is going to go after it. Can't wait!!
In this unusual story we are transplanted into Scotland, 1307.
In Part ONE we get to know the cast of characters, details of the Clan, their home and surrounding countryside--the beginning of romantic love, with a little suspense to keep the listener wondering what will happen next.
Part TWO changes dramatically -- full of danger, desire, intrigue, murder, grief, betrayal, power! …made even more exciting by the very talented Phil Gigante.
I'm not a fan of paranormal elements, but Laurin Wittig carefully weaves it into the tale in a way that it adds greater depth and emotion to the story. It's an integral part of the history of the clan.
The ending is unfinished and leaves you wanting more…I'm assuming it's to be continued in Book 2 of the Guardians of the Targe trilogy.
I am a lover of books. I enjoy losing myself in a fabulous romance and great story plot.
Well, I'm not sure what I was expecting when I read this book, but it's not that the book was a disappointment, but not what I expected. It seemed like the book was setting a foundation for the series...but not in the typical way.
The best part of this listen was the incredible narrator....WOW, what a voice! Phil Gigante has a gigantic talent in voicing. I was even pleased with the female voices. Wow, what a dreamy, throaty, sultry voice!
I liked the leads & other characters in the book. The leads, Nicholas and Rowan were interesting and had great chemistry. This book was about their friendship, courtship, bonding and at the very end of the book (last 5-8 minutes literally) their marriage & consummation. I liked how Nicholas became Rowan's coach, encourager and strength when she was learning to harness the power of her gift in relation to the Targe.
The book left you hooked as the epilogue revealed the Kind of England's wrath about the outcome of his mission and his next move to capture the Targe......so creepy & scary. It leaves you with the feeling that NIcholas & Rowan have not reached their "ever after." There is a lot more adventure & danger for the clan in store for them.
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