When Fate Dictates is a full length novel of approximately 90 000 words and is book one in the ‘Highland Secret Series’. Book two of the series is called Beyond Time and the third is Entwined both of which have both been released. The Scottish Highlands are well known for their mystical charms and tales of fantasy, yet very few have encountered the power of a Highland Stag, the magic of a Campbell crystal or the enchantment of a sprig of heather. Indeed, even those who dwell within the shadows of these formidable mountains are often unaware of their charms. In the early hours of February 13th 1692 the sulfurous smell of a fired gun hung in the air of these mountains. Men, women and children screamed in terror, withering against pain as they fell, bludgeoned to death by men of the army. The shameful scar of a dreadful and tragic event was etched upon the landscape of a beautiful and otherwise honorable place forever. Awoken by the sickly, metallic copper stink of fresh blood and death, Corran MacDonald is forced to flee into blizzard swept mountains. She mysteriously defies death only to come face to face with one of her enemies, Simon Campbell. With her family massacred and her village destroyed, Corran trusts the man when he offers to help her escape. But things aren’t quite what they seem and very soon their bid for freedom is thwarted by Simon’s old enemy and fellow Red Coat, Angus. A perilous journey of mystery, magic and intrigue takes the couple through time to modern day York where a twist of fate leads them to a conflict that will shape the final destiny of all Highlanders.
As you can see from the blurb, there is a lot going on in this book. It’s not that hard to keep up with, though. When Fate Dictates is a historical fantasy, but unlike many fantasies that I’ve read, there is not an overabundance of characters to keep up with. Corran and Simon have trouble trusting each other, but soon learn that they have no one else to count on, and of course, end up falling in love. This is much more than a romance, though, because that is just the beginning of their story. We follow Simon and Corran through the next twenty-something years of their lives. The people they meet and experiences they have will all culminate in a showdown in present-day York.
I’ve read enough stories about Highlanders to know that they can be rather high-handed and arrogant, but Simon really needs to work on his communication skills. Man can not live on pride alone. In fact, when too much pride is involved, man usually doesn’t live very long at all if you’re living in a time of swordfights and gun battles.
I flipped out when I saw how the book ended, but I’ve since learned that this is the first book in a series and the author didn’t leave us hanging. The second and third books have been added to my (over-burdened, ever-growing) TBR list.
About the book:
Title: When Fate Dictates: Book One of the “Highland Secret Series” (Volume 1)
Author: Elizabeth Marshall
Release date: June 4, 2012
Where I got the book: I won it.
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