The Return of Black Douglas

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The Return of Black Douglas

What I liked about this book:

Aside from it being well written is the fact the author actually took the time to give us a flavor of Scotland in the 1500's. It's a time fraught with clan rivalries, skirmishes with England, and is a wild and dangerous land. The author keeps to the history of the time, including it's a male dominated time period with very set roles for men, women, gentry, and the lower classes.

Problematic parts handled well:

Time travel can be a tricky, but fun story premise provided it's done correctly. Ms. Coffman does it correctly. She keeps the reactions of the characters true to their time as well. First off, time travel would be a hard pill to swallow in today's world, much less in the 1500's where anything unusual is considered the work of the devil and witchcraft. Lest you forget your history, any form of witchcraft was greeted with a nice toasty fire, a stake, and death. Second, languages have changed considerably from the 1500's to today. Even three hundred years ago, Gaelic and English, written and spoken would be hard to understand even if either were your natural tongue, but almost five hundred years ago? So Ms. Coffman's use of background on her main character, Isobella, as an archeologist who has studied the old languages is a smart move and helps facilitate a realistic story.

All that aside, the story is fun. I have to admit a fondness for the capricious ghost of Black Douglas and his desire to mettle in his modern family's love lives. Isobella is an archeologist, dreamer, and romantic. Her twin, Elizabeth, is a trained doctor, and is the opposite, not at all romantic, and very practical down to earth modern woman.

Alysandir Mackinnon is a warrior, head of his family, which he loves fiercely. He refuses to believe in love between a man and a woman and refuses, after being betrayed by his first wife, to take a wife again. But he is attracted to Isobella and more than he wishes. Isobella comes from the modern world of morals but understands the morals of the time period she finds herself. She's determined to be Alysandir's wife or nothing.

Overall, I enjoyed Ms. Coffman's foray into Scotland of the 1500's. A well-paced story with a good sense of humor weaved in. I enjoyed watching Black Douglas meddling, the way both Elizabeth and Isobella adapt to their new home and make it their own and in process teach these Scots a bit about acceptance and love.

Book Blurb for The Return of Black Douglas

New Scottish time travel romance written in response to reader demand by award winning and New York Times bestselling author Elaine Coffman (5 million books sold). When Isobella Douglas is pulled back in time by the ghost of her infamous ancestor The Black Douglas, she encounters a Highland laird who's completely captivated by the modern lass...

Night Owl Reviews Apr, 2011 4.00