Review: Highland Vow by Hannah Howell

Ten years ago, young Elspeth Murray rescued a wounded young knight and lost her heart forever. Now a stunning beauty and gifted healer, she is reunited with Cormac Armstrong when he saves her from an unwanted suitor. But Cormac is promised to another, a woman who has blinded him to her ruthlessness. Now Elspeth must battle against the odds to claim a man and a love she will not be denied.

Cormac is stunned by the desire Elspeth's kiss awakens, tries to resist -- and fails -- the temptation she offers. A man of honor, he is torn by his pledge to another and his growing need for Elspeth. Blinded by duty and indecision, he is unaware that he is a pawn in a clever and deadly trap from which Elspeth is desperate to save him. But by the time he understands her gift of selfless devotion will it be too late to claim his perfect love?

When Elspeth was just 9 years old she helped save a knight from certain death. The knight, Sir Cormac Armstrong, stayed at her parents keep for 2 months and in those months Elspeth’s infatuation just grew. Now it’s 10 years later and Cormac finds her kidnapped by a man who plans to rape then marry her – a man who was courting her and is pissed off because Elspeth turned down his offer of marriage. Cormac gets Elspeth away from danger but he knows they won’t be far behind.

Elspeth knows from the first moment she sees Cormac again, and kisses him, that he is the one. Cormac has vowed his love and loyalty to a woman name Isabel who is not worthy of him. Elspeth decides that she will do everything in her power, while they travel to Court, to show Cormac that he should choose her rather than the murderous Isabel. Elspeth thinks that she’s won the fight but when Cormac sees Isabel again the words that pass his lips anger and sadden and Elspeth and she decides it’s time to call it quits.

I have to say that I really love a good road romance. I think there’s something about the isolation, especially in medieval romances, that brings the h/h together in a special way. This was an unexpected road romance since the blurb really didn’t let on that the couple would be traveling for most of the book and that was a nice surprise.

Cormac was to me, for most of the book, a besotted fool. And not for the right woman either. Yes, Elspeth was nudging him in the right direction but the fact that he could look at all the facts of Isabel and still want the woman – or even believed he wanted the woman - made me want to crawl into the pages of the book and smack him multiple times. I really liked the guy, I did!, but he was almost delusional for most of the book – talking himself into believing facts that weren’t in evidence. Say, like, Elspeth tells him that she wants no commitment, just continuous rolls in the hay. Cormac didn’t seems sheltered but the fact that he would believe a woman such as Elspeth would do that made me look at him sideways. He also believed that Isabel was a good person, despite the fact that he had been strung along for 10 years and that all 4 of her husbands had died in mysterious ways. I liked how he made amends at the end though and I though he did truly love Elspeth so that was a bonus. :)

Elspeth, I thought – gave up too easily on Cormac once he was in Isabel’s presence. She had worked so diligently to sway him to her way of thinking but yet the first time she sees Isabel and Cormac together she heads home. I wanted her to stay and fight, especially after she’d just told her cousin that that’s exactly what he planned to do. I understood that her heart just couldn’t take the beating, though, and was happy she didn’t make Cormac grovel too too much.

Overall it was a good story. It was definitely a slower read at times but a good steady story none-the-less.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Hannah Howell


Sandy James said...

I love Hannah's books, but I have to say there were times I wanted to kick Cormac's butt! He definitely needed to open his eyes! I did, however, love Elspeth's little "speech" at the black moment. :)

Tracy said...

Sandy - it's been days since I finished that book I think I STILL want to go back and punch Cormac a time or two. lol Elspeth's speech was a good one, that's for sure. :)

Elf2060 said...

I love reading these comments (and your review)...obviously this book made an impression, lol.