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Audiobook review: Beyond the Highland Mist (Highlander #1) by Karen Marie Moning

Title: Beyond the Highland Mist (Highlander #1)
Author: Karen Marie Moning
Narrator: Phil Gigante
Story rating: 2 of 5 Stars
Audio rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Overall rating: 2 of 5 Stars


An Alluring Laird

He was known throughout the kingdom as Hawk, legendary predator of the battlefield and the boudoir. No woman could refuse his touch, but no woman ever stirred his heart—until a vengeful fairy tumbled Adrienne de Simone out of modern-day Seattle and into medieval Scotland. Captive in a century not her own, entirely too bold, too outspoken, she was an irresistible challenge to the sixteenth-century rogue. Coerced into a marriage with Hawk, Adrienne vowed to keep him at arm’s length—but his sweet seduction played havoc with her resolve.

A Prisoner in Time

She had a perfect “no” on her perfect lips for the notorious laird, but Hawk swore she would whisper his name with desire, begging for the passion he longed to ignite within her. Not even the barriers of time and space would keep him from winning her love. Despite her uncertainty about following the promptings of her own passionate heart, Adrienne’s reservations were no match for Hawk’s determination to keep her by his side…


Are you a fan of Fever series by Karen Marie Moning? My advice to you: don’t compare Beyond the Highland Mist with Fever. I know, I know, it’s impossible. Oh, well… I’m a huge fun of Fever series. Before I started Beyond the Highland Mist I’ve read a lot of disappointed reviews from those readers, who wanted more Fever from the author. So I lowered my expectations, and was prepared for the worst. Or so I thought.

While reading this book I kept seeing glimpses of future Fever series (which Moning wrote seven years later). Beyond the Highland Mist reads like a draft to Fever.

I should probably tell right away that I rarely read Historical Romance; and I can count on the fingers on one hand the number of times when I picked up a Highlander Romance. It’s just not appealing to me. I prefer contemporary, but I needed a book with time-traveling for my challenge so I decided to try this book.

I can’t say that Beyond the Highland Mist is very bad. Hawk was your usual romance alpha-hero: strong, beautiful, honorable, skilled in bed and madly in love with the heroine. Adrianne however was not your usual shy virginal heroine. She was a strong-willed, outspoken and smart woman. I really liked her.

Adrienne was thrust from modern-day Seattle into medieval Scotland where she was forced to marry Hawk. While both of them went into this marriage unwillingly they felt instant attraction. I already knew that Moning can write smut. Adrianne and Hawk’s interactions were full of sexual chemistry. Moning’s writing is so deliciously sensual. But I wasn’t sold on their insta-love. Their feelings to each other progressed in such unrealistic pace

The other thing that bothered me was how easily Adrienne embraced her new life. She was so ready to leave 21 Century behind. I get that she was an orphan and didn’t have any family, but why didn’t she have any friends? With her personality I find this unbelievable. At one moment in the book she told that she didn’t want to return in future because in her time people were cruel and they killed each other. Like life in medieval Scotland was peaceful and not savage at all.

In truth I contemplated DNFing this book multiple times. The only reason I finished it was my reading challenge.

Side note: I could live without comparison of Hawk’s manhood to stallion’s one. These remarks that Hawk was hang like a stallion really grated on my nerves.

My thoughts about the audiobook

Beyond the Highland Mist is narrated by Phil Gigante who also happened to narrate Fever series. I absolutely loved his performance in Fever; I added him to my list of favorite narrators, and I actually made a shelf for him on GR. So I was really looking forward to listen to this audiobook.But I didn’t take into consideration one thing. In Fever we had a dual narration. Natalie Ross narrated female voices while Phil Gigante narrated male voices. Beyond the Highland Mist is narrated only by Phil Gigante, so he performs male as well as female voices. And while I love his deep rich low masculine voice, I’m not impressed by his high-pitched female voices. I know it’s probably difficult for a man with a low voice to sound like a female, but it lessened my enjoyment of the audiobook.

I didn’t like Beyond the Highland Mist, but I’m not a fun of Highlander Romance and I couldn’t help myself but compare this book to the Fever series. I’ve seen a lot of positive reviews, so probably it’s just me.

2 Comments on “Audiobook review: Beyond the Highland Mist (Highlander #1) by Karen Marie Moning

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    Oh, how I hate "hung like a stallion", I always picture something not too attractive, at least not to me. The same with guys who leer and smirk. Who wants a man who leers at you or smirks? And they do that ALL THE TIME. I don't get it.

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