In a cave deep beneath Inverness, a dragon shifter stirs and wakens. The cave is the same and his hoard intact, yet Lachlan senses something amiss. Taking his human form, he ventures above ground with ancient memories flooding him. But nothing is the same. His castle has been replaced by ungainly row houses. Men aren’t wearing plaids and women scarcely wear anything at all.
In Inverness for a year on a psychiatry fellowship, Dr. Maggie Hibbins watches an oddly dressed man pick his way out of a heather and gorse thicket. Even though it runs counter to her better judgment, she teases him about his strange attire. He looks so lost—and so unbelievably handsome —she takes him to a pub for a meal, to a barbershop, and then home. Along the way the hard-to-accept truth sinks in: he has to be a refugee from another era.
Never a risk-taker, Maggie’s carefully constructed life is about to change forever. Swept up in an ancient prophecy that links her to Lachlan and his dragon, she must push the edges of the impossible to save both the present and her heart.
Ann Gimpel is a clinical psychologist, with a Jungian bent. Avocations include mountaineering, skiing, wilderness photography and, of course, writing. A lifelong aficionado of the unusual, she began writing speculative fiction a few years ago. Since then her short fiction has appeared in a number of webzines and anthologies. Several paranormal romance novellas are available in e-format. Three novels, Psyche’s Prophecy, Psyche’s Search, and Psyche’s Promise are small press publications available in e-format and paperback. Look for three more urban fantasy novels coming this summer and fall: To Tame a Highland Dragon, Earth’s Requiem and Earth’s Blood.
A husband, grown children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out her family.
@AnnGimpel (for Twitter)
Although I loved the concept, the story seemed to be missing a few things. The amount of back story and world-building felt rushed and the whole relationship between Lachlan & Maggie was equally propelled forward without much build-up or forethought. That said I still enjoyed the book and felt the idea behind it saved it from being just another cheesy paranormal romance novel that only plays on spicy scenes.
From a writer’s perspective I did struggle with the opening chapter. I really had to push through the way they talked and the random ‘thoughts littering the paragraphs. Perhaps it all would have worked better if it had been told first person from alternative viewpoints of Lachlan and Maggie. To be honest I wouldn’t have pressed on with it if I hadn’t been part of a tour – and I would have missed out on an original romantic tale.
The front cover is not great and the tartan is a little on the nose (or maybe scale covered snout?) – really there should have been at least Maggie, a modern day setting behind + hunky dude and dragon on it to make it more obvious that this is a new style story to beckon the reader. I keep saying it, but the cover is really important and everyone (regardless of their political correctness) judges a book by its cover.
Overall I’d give To Love a Highland Dragon 3 out 5 stars. Do give it a read with an open mind and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.