Review: HIGHLAND SURRENDER by Dawn Halliday

Review: HIGHLAND SURRENDER by Dawn Halliday

Releases April 6, 2010

Determined to put his roguish past behind him, the Earl of Camdonn arranges to marry the proper Lady Elizabeth. But when an accident lands the Earl in the expert hands of a beautiful Highland medicine woman, all well-laid plans are thrown to the wind- and, just as in the old days, his passions run high…

Ceana MacNab has terrible luck with men. Resigning herself to the healing arts, she has steeled her heart against love. Then fate sends Cam her way. Even though he’s a well-bred Earl-and Ceana a low-born Highlander-their all-consuming passion may lead the way to lasting bliss.

Publisher: National American Library/Signet Eclipse

Genre: Erotic Historical Romance

Single Title/Series: HIGHLAND SURRENDER is the sequel to HIGHLAND OBSESSION but can be read as a stand alone title.

Cover Thoughts: My love for this cover is boundless. The golden hue of the cover model's skin against the deep blue background draws your eye and holds you captive. Absolutely stunning.

Why I Read It: I was offered an Advanced Review Copy by the author.

My Review:

The Earl of Camdonn has selected a wife amongst London's offerings based on the requisite that he not feel the slightest bit of passion for his countess to be. While Lady Elizabeth is perfection personified, Cam is relieved to feel nothing for his beautiful bride and signs the betrothal contract with nary a pause. However, life can never be easy for Cam and Fate soon makes its presence known when Cam is shot and cared for by the Highland healer, Ceana MacNab.

Descendant from a line of female healers, Ceana is cursed to never marry. Stealing her emotions, Ceana has sought comfort when she's desired warm arms to hold her and turned away when her heart became too engaged but when the Earl of Camdonn's life's blood is spilling before her, Ceana can't contain the possessive emotions that flood her heart. With news that Cam has brought home his English bride, Ceana knows that she must stay as far from the earl as possible but distrust for the resident doctor at Camdonn Castle has Ceana following Cam home.

Cam, doing his best to learn from his past obsessive behavior with women, tries with all his might to maintain distance from Ceana for his future's sake. He needs the connections that Lady Elizabeth brings and he's sworn to honor his vows. But Cam's not married yet and while he knows that's no excuse he still can't help his raging desire where Ceana is concerned.

For Elizabeth, Cam represents her long sought for freedom. Since she was a little girl, Elizabeth has lived in utter terror of her Uncle Walter, the Duke of Irvington. Unable to curb her headstrong behavior, Uncle Walter devised a cruel way of punishing Elizabeth that leaves her physically unharmed but psychologically tortured. She knows that Cam feels nothing for her but she also recognizes his honorable heart and hopes that one day they might find affection. Unfortunately dire circumstances forces Elizabeth into the company of Robert MacLean, the earl's stable master. Recognizing a deep-seeded control within Robert, Elizabeth finds him utterly compelling but mostly she finds sanctuary in his presence. Despite the fact that this point in her life is the most crucial to her survival, Elizabeth can't help her growing passion for Rob. Even Uncle Walter's punishments can't instill enough fear within her to distill her yearnings.

Since reaching manhood, Robert has been longing for a woman that needs him not only for her safety and well being but for her physical release as well. His passions run dark and he's yet found the opportunity to unleash his inner beast that demands complete submission until he meets the beautiful Lady Elizabeth. No woman has been more beyond Robert's reach but he can't help his body's recognition of its mate. Within her seemingly fragile form, Robert discerns equally dark passions within Elizabeth as well as the need to relinquish control. Her entire facade is rigidly schooled to present an image that couldn't be more opposite of the hellion within. Robert wants nothing but to set her free within his domain and even though he risks his very life to pursue the earl's betrothed, Robert can't stop the raging possession that tears at his soul.

So here's the conundrum: Cam needs Lady Elizabeth's connections but Ceana's highly respected reputation with his Highland tenants could also help him in his task of winning over his people. Ceana can't and won't marry because of a deadly curse and the last thing she wants is for Cam to die because of her. She loves him, yes, but she also loves him enough to let him go. Elizabeth recognizes Cam as her freedom from her terrifying uncle but there's also a form of freedom with Robert. She loves Robert where she can barely speak to Cam. Robert can't stand the thought of the earl possessing Elizabeth and while every fiber within him demands that he make her his, Robert also knows that he could never provide Elizabeth with the life she's accustomed to. And Fate is determined to mess with them all.

HIGHLAND SURRENDER is a tale of two separate couples whose fate is complexly interwoven resulting in each move made by one affecting the whole and forcing their Happily Ever After's to be precarious and rife with tension.

I really enjoyed the dual interwoven romances and the feel of having two romances in one. Both stories were intensely compelling and captivated my interest from beginning to end. There's great anxiety over whether or not an HEA for each couple is possible and as you barrel towards the end, your knuckles may turn a bit white from your death grip on the book.

After finishing HIGHLAND SURRENDER, I'm hard pressed to pick a favorite couple amongst the two. Cam's and Ceana's story is radically different from Robert's and Elizabeth's despite their close connection. For me, my love for each was crucial to the success of the novel and I thought that Dawn Halliday did a superb job with this very complex but refreshing plot.

Readers wanting a two for the price of one, look no further than HIGHLAND SURRENDER. Twice the steamy sex plus twice the intense romance equals one scintillating read that shouldn't be missed. Dawn Halliday has a distinct voice that paints the Highlands beautifully. Be prepared to truly live and experience another time as well as an unparalleled passion that will leave you absolutely breathless.


Other Reviews:

Sapphire Romance Realm: 4.5/5 hearts
Stacy's Place on Earth


Patti said...

Yay - this is the first review I've seen of this book! I enjoyed Highland Obsession and have been waiting for this one. Nice review, I can't wait to see how everything works out!

Leontine said...

I'll never complain to receive a 2-1 romance :) and I really want to sample to steamy Scotland of Halliday. I really enjoyed reading your review VFG!!

VampFanGirl said...

Patti, if you loved OBSESSION then you'll love SURRENDER. I thought it was beautifully written with an incredibly tight plot. And two romances for one? You can't beat that.

Hugs, VFG


Thanks for enjoying my review, Leontine! Trust me, you need look no farther than Dawn Halliday for a super steamy and super romantic Highland romance. I hope you give her a read.

Hugs, VFG

Blodeuedd said...

This one sure sounds good, I do hope she doesn't trick us in the end and give all sorts of strange HEAs

VampFanGirl said...

Hey Blodeuedd!

No, no worries, the HEA's aren't strange at all. It's mostly that you just don't know how everything could possibly work out for Cam and Ceana to be together as well as Robert and Elizabeth. The author really backs each couple into a hard place that they must extract themselves from for it all to work. Trust me, the tension is delicious and the way it all works out is perfect.

Hugs, VFG

Tracy said...

I've been worried that I wouldn't like Cam in this one after his actions in the last book - but this sounds very good. Thanks for the review.

VampFanGirl said...

Hi Tracy!

I really think Cam atoned for his past behavior with Sorcha in HIGHLAND OBSESSION. He wasn't a petulant child, mad that he couldn't have his way. He did what was right in HIGHLAND SURRENDER.

Thanks for reading and enjoying my review!

:) VFG

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

I can't wait to read this, I too loved "Highland Obsession" so I'm eager to read Cam's story! Thanks for the great review!

VampFanGirl said...

You won't be disappointed, Julie!!

Thanks for reading and enjoying my review, girl.

Hugs, VFG

Smokinhotbooks said...

"Twice the steamy sex plus twice the intense romance equals" --> say no more my little bloggy friend, you had me at steamy sex.

Your review had me saying 'far out' I was so excited.

Cecile said...

You had me from the start, lol. Great review honey. The other review I read was just as intriguing. Now that I have it on my TBB list... I guess it is time it moves up the TBR list - soon!!!
Your words are very well written!
Great job!
Hope all is well!

Charlotte Featherstone said...

I've had this on my radar for quite some time, and know learning that we get TWO sexy romances, well, I'm off to buy a copy!

Great review as always!!
Hope you're doing well~

Mandi said...

A death grip while you read? I love books that make you do that :)

Monroe Dawson said...

This book sounds good! And look at that man meat of a cover! Yum! ;o)

VampFanGirl said...

LOL, KC! Since steamy sex is definitely on your radar, HS is the perfect book for you. Whew is it ever!

Hugs, VFG


Thanks for lovin' the review, Cecile! I think you'd really love this book so good thing you're moving it up in the TBR.

Hugs, VFG


Hey Charlotte!!

OH yeah, the two-in-one deal is awesome. And Dawn did such a wonderful job weaving these stories together. I think you'd like it for sure.



Mandi! YES, the death grip was niiiiice. So good. I love when the HEA's are seemingly impossible.

Hugs, VFG


Oh yeah, Mondroe. I'm soooo with you on the man meat cover. Don't be ashamed to lick it. *wink*

Hugs, VFG

Barbara said...

I really can't wait to read this one. I agree, the cover is gorgeous. I had no idea until you mentioned that there was more than one love story in this book.

BTW, I'm dying to see what you think of Patience. It's next in my TBR.


Donna [F.D. Ramblings] said...

I really like a book that can make me worry about how the HEA is going happen. Nice review!!

VampFanGirl said...

Hey Barbara!

Expect a pressie in the mail soon! *wink* I think you'll really enjoy this dual romance.

Oh gosh, me too! I had no idea that their was going to more than one romance in HS either. I was pleasantly surprised. It has such smooth plotting too. Halliday did an excellent job.

I just got PATIENCE last night. AHHH!!!! I'm going to start it as soon as I'm done with MASTER OF NONE so probably this weekend.

(((HUGS))) VFG


Thanks Donna! Me too on the suspensful HEA. It really holds your interest.


Tricia said...

You sold me with "two for the price of one" and that cover is yum!

VampFanGirl said...

Woot! Happy reading, Tricia!!

Hugs, VFG

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