An Angel at the Highland Court
by Celeste Barclay
“An Angel at the Highland Court” is book 11 in the Highland Ladies Series by Celeste Barclay. The author provides background about the historical setting she uses as a tweaked framework, and about some of the relevant clan dynamics. It is helpful and interesting, but if history is not your thing don’t worry about it because you can enjoy the book anyway. If you’re familiar with this series, you get to see some of the past characters appear in this story, but a prior knowledge of those other books is not necessary to enjoy this one.
Lady Abigail MacLeod is trying to be a better, less judgmental person after learning some harsh lessons in life. She realizes that she’d been very immature and selfish person, causing trouble for people including most importantly her brother and her sister-in-law. Abigail had jumped at the chance to have a handfasting with a man who turned out to be horribly using her. Now she is serving as a lady-in-waiting to the queen and trying to figure out her life. While in residence at the royal court, Abigail encounters Laird Ronan MacKinnon, who she first wrongly judges to be a meek man. It turns out he is simply a quiet and observant man who believes in thinking before he speaks. He is actually quite strong and decisive and an excellent leader. I enjoyed how the author flipped the usual gender norms with regard to sexual experience and gave the woman the more experienced role. Abigail and Ronan have terrific chemistry, and they communicate like smart adults instead of jumping to conclusions all the time.
This book starts off a little slow because there is a lot of background to set up, but then it kicks into high gear with lots of action and intensity. The bad guys are terrible, the alliances are awesome, the love scenes are sizzling hot, the humor is fun, the descriptions of the geography and locations are vivid, and the tension builds to a dramatic finish. Definitely an enjoyable story in a great series.