A 17th-century Scottish highlander finds romance and intrigue after traveling to present-day Las Vegas.
In February 1692, the hospitality of Braeden MacDonald’s clan, the MacDonalds of Glencoe, is betrayed by a man named Robert Campbell. Braeden’s grandmother hands him a pocket watch and tells him to think of his mother and wish to travel to the meadows. After wishing on the watch, Braeden finds himself in an unfamiliar place. He is greeted by Tessa McTavish, who believes he is interviewing for a security job at her family’s Albannach Resort Hotel and Casino. She takes him to her father, John, who tells him he is in Las Vegas in the year 2016. John knows about the watch and offers to help him in exchange for protecting Tessa. John doesn’t trust Tessa’s fiance, Danny Madden. Despite her misgivings, Tessa is attracted to the ruggedly handsome Braeden and the feeling is mutual. It soon becomes apparent that John’s concerns are justified. When Danny mysteriously dies after breaking off the engagement and an employee disappears after witnessing a theft, Tessa and Braeden begin to suspect the connection is the ancestor of an enemy from Braeden’s past. Vale’s (A Turn in Time, 2015, etc.) latest novel is an enjoyable romantic fantasy highlighted by likable protagonists and clever flourishes of magic and historical detail. The brief but effective opening chapter sets the stage for the Glencoe Massacre and Braeden’s grandmother’s urgent effort to save him by giving him the watch. The contrast between Braeden’s 17th-century Scotland and Tessa’s 21st-century Las Vegas is striking, and Vale captures the humor in the highlander’s attempts to navigate his new surroundings, from riding in an elevator to dining in a fine restaurant. Tessa is a strong and resourceful romantic foil for Braeden. Their relationship unfolds gradually as she struggles with a fiance whose intentions seem insincere. The leads are bolstered by a strong supporting cast of characters, including Niall Campbell, a charismatic magician who seems to know a lot about Braeden’s clan and the watch.
A fast-paced and engaging historical and romantic fantasy with strong protagonists.