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September 19, 2019

Highland Jewel by May McGoldrick ~ a Review

by MK French

Maisie Murray was used to being overlooked due to her sister's brilliance in medicine and surgery, and she used that to her advantage. She helped to found a women's suffrage group in Edinburgh, modeled after those in other parts of England. The problem was, the Prince Regent and his advisers saw any and all reform groups as traitors to the crown.

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September 2019; St. Martin's; 978-1250317278
ebook, print (336 pages); Regency romance
Highland Jewel is the second novel in the "Royal Highland" series, following Maisie through the events prior and after those discussed in the first novel, Highland Crown (read my review). If you missed that novel, you only really miss out on Isabella's story. You learn over the course of this one that she's a physician and then is wanted for information she possibly holds about the protesters and rebels that her husband was meeting with. Maisie is separated from her sister after the British officers storm their home and kill her brother-in-law, and she is shuffled from one location to another to keep her safe. This novel starts long before that fateful day and details how Maisie actually spent her time when not with Isabella in the household.

Maisie is not the meek and empty-headed girl she presented herself to be. She actually wrote a lot of speeches and worked with her best friend Fiona to stir up consideration for women's suffrage in 1820 Scotland. This is not a popular topic by any means, and many protests are dogged by British officers determined to root them all out. The tactics used by the Crown are hardly savory ones, and Niall Campbell is only too aware of them due to his position as a former officer in the army. He wants to keep his sister Fiona safe, but she is soon abducted in order to force him to become a spy against the reformers in Scotland. He is also charged to find the "Son of Scotland" and kill him so that the Scottish people wouldn't rally around him and oppose rule by the Prince Regent, who was also busy defaming his wife with the intent to divorce her. The "Son of Scotland" is her son, and none other than Cinaed Mackintosh, the man that Isabella married.

The driving force of this novel is to flesh out what Maisie was up to, as well as her romance with Niall. Political forces oppose them, and the events that Niall and Maisie had actually happened. Isabella's story had been so tightly focused on what she was experiencing at the time, and in contrast, Maisie's story involves the outside world. She's interacting with different people in Edinburgh, and her experiences with Fiona, Niall, and the various other characters along the way give us a look into the city of the period in a different vantage point. I have no doubt that Morrigan's upcoming story will further flesh out this highly changing time period.

Buy Highland Jewel at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband and three young children.

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  1. i love when the second book in a series fills me in on the necessities so the book can stand alone
    sherry @ fundinmental

  2. That's such a great feature, which is why I always try to include that aspect for readers. :)