Spell of the highlander (K. M. Moning) – A highland magician enchants the archeologist

Cian MacKeltar needs Jessica’s help to escape a millennium old spell that keeps him both alive and bound inside a mirror.

broken glass on dark background

“Suddenly he smiled, and the sadness was vanquished by whisky heat. ‘Aye, Jessica, I like you. And I’m not just stuck with you. You fit me here, woman.’ He thumped his chest with his fist.”

Cian is a 9th century highlander of the druid clan MacKeltar. With more power at his disposal as the usual druid, he is tempted to use dark magic by his supposed friend Lucan, thereby unwittingly eliminating the inhabitants of a whole village. Afterwards, he is locked into a mirror, which is one of the dark fay’s hallows. In exchange for a tithe paid every hundred years, Lucan keeps himself and Cian alive for over a millennium. When Jessica, a graduate student of archaeology, first comes in contact with the mirror, she sees nothing but an interesting artefact. Soon thereafter, assassins try to kill her, and she’s forced to change her mind and trust in the voice that speaks to her from out of the looking glass. With a spell, she can free Cian for an unforeseeable amount of time. Long enough to fend off her attackers, however. Jessie is persuaded to accompany Cian to Scotland, for her own protection as well as his. When they are about to buy camping gear in a shop in Inverness, they chance upon Dageus, whom we know from the previous three audiobooks (Cian MacKeltar needs Jessica’s help to escape a millennium old spell that keeps him both alive and bound inside a mirror.

Cian’s love spell

Cian is used to having things his way, and after a thousand years of celibacy, the obvious thing on his mind when confronted with an attractive woman is making her strip. To his dismay, “voice”, the druid magic of compelling others to do his bidding, doesn’t seem to work on Jessie. Luckily, his huge, muscular frame does.

The couple’s relationship starts off as a connection of interdependency. Since Jessie has seen the mirror stolen from Lucan’s estate, she’s chased by assassins striving to kill everyone connected with the theft. Cian on the other hand needs to keep the mirror from Lucan until it is too late for him to pay the tithe, by which time, both Cian and Lucan will be mortal once more. During their escape to Scotland, what started off as mutual sexual attraction, turns into a passionate love story. So much so that Jessie is willing to knock down a woman at Edinburgh airport, who tries to bar her way to Cian’s mirror. What stands in the way of their relationship is the distinct possibility of Cian’s death as soon as the spell binding him to the mirror is broken. This is why Cian doesn’t allow Jessie to repeat the druid mating vows that bind a MacKeltar to his true mate. In a final confrontation between Cian, Lucan, and Jessie, all their fates are decided. I like the fast pace of the story. It doesn’t take long for the action to start. There are some tragic twists that even put a tear or two in my eyes. The passion, you have to wait for a little bit longer. Yes, there’s a lot of sexual tension and semi-public fooling around going on. But the true thing doesn’t happen for a while. When it happens, it doesn’t disappoint, though. If there’s something Moning is good at, it’s the writing of sexy scenes. The attraction between the two, however, seems to be rather shallow. She’s a virgin, whose fantasy man has come to life. He’s a notorious alpha male, who hadn’t had sex for centuries. They are cast together because it benefits both of them, but apart from that, there are no similarities in character as far as I can see.

The spell of a deep voice

The narrator manages to catch the personality of the male characters, as usual. With regards to the deep growling of an alpha male, his voice is outstanding. On the other hand, his female characters disappoint with their undetermined tone of voice. He is able to narrate the erotic scenes in a way that make me feel truly immersed in the story with just the right amount of dreaminess. In spite of the female characters, I still prefer Gigante’s performance to every other romance audiobook narrator I have heard as of yet.

The female spell

Jessie is the first female lead in all the highlander-serieswho isn’t blessed with a mass of long blond hair. Instead, her hair is short and brown. What I like best about this character is that she shows some fight in the end. Unwilling to simply let her man die, she’s willing to make a pact with Lucan. She even fights him with a knife, (no comma there either) when he threatens Cian’s life. Additionally, she is immune to Cian’s magic. He can’t make her do what he wants. At least not with voice. On the other hand, he can carry her off on his shoulders, seduce her with his steaming gaze, whiskey burr, and arousal inducing touch. Despite of him being stuck in a mirror and Jessie being the only one to know the spell to free him, it his Cian, who calls the shots. If there is a weakness in Moning’s writing, it is her tendency to introduce intelligent female characters without them ever using their intelligence for anything useful. As I have noticed in “The dark highlander” and “The immortal highlander”, the female leads don’t set the story’s pace. Rather, the plot seems to happen to them without them having a say in the matter. As a consequence, a great deal of the audiobook is dedicated to Jessie’s repetitive inner dialogues and thoughts about Cian, his appearance, and how she has never felt so attracted to a man.

A new era begins

Spell of the highlander provides background details on the early MacKeltar druids including the power of ancient runes, spells, the clan’s history, and the workings of dark fay hallows like the mirror. This audiobook and the previous three can be read as introductions to Moning’s fever series, since they explain much of the conflict between seelie (light fay court), unseelie (dark fay court), and the human realm. If you are tempted to read the fever-series, you will find the main male characters of the highlander series to play a crucial part for the story.

In conclusion, if you’re not a great fan of sorcery, action, and slapstick humour, you’ll probably not find a fit here. However, if you are looking for an audiobook with a hunky highlander, who falls in love with a 21st century lassie resulting in a lot of erotic suspense, and if you enjoy fantastical elements being part of the story, this audiobook is definitely worth a try.

Buy Spell of the highlander:

, The dark highlander, and The immortal highlander). With the help of his descendants, Cian and Jessie only need to protect themselves from Lucan until Samhain, when the tithe is due.

Cian’s love spell

Cian is used to having things his way, and after a thousand years of celibacy, the obvious thing on his mind when confronted with an attractive woman is making her strip. To his dismay, “voice”, the druid magic of compelling others to do his bidding, doesn’t seem to work on Jessie. Luckily, his huge, muscular frame does.
The couple’s relationship starts off as a connection of interdependency. Since Jessie has seen the mirror stolen from Lucan’s estate, she’s chased by assassins striving to kill everyone connected with the theft. Cian on the other hand needs to keep the mirror from Lucan until it is too late for him to pay the tithe, by which time, both Cian and Lucan will be mortal once more. During their escape to Scotland, what started off as mutual sexual attraction, turns into a passionate love story. So much so that Jessie is willing to knock down a woman at Edinburgh airport, who tries to bar her way to Cian’s mirror. What stands in the way of their relationship is the distinct possibility of Cian’s death as soon as the spell binding him to the mirror is broken. This is why Cian doesn’t allow Jessie to repeat the druid mating vows that bind a MacKeltar to his true mate. In a final confrontation between Cian, Lucan, and Jessie, all their fates are decided.
I like the fast pace of the story. It doesn’t take long for the action to start. There are some tragic twists that even put a tear or two in my eyes. The passion, you have to wait for a little bit longer. Yes, there’s a lot of sexual tension and semi-public fooling around going on. But the true thing doesn’t happen for a while. When it happens, it doesn’t disappoint, though. If there’s something Moning is good at, it’s the writing of sexy scenes.
The attraction between the two, however, seems to be rather shallow. She’s a virgin, whose fantasy man has come to life. He’s a notorious alpha male, who hadn’t had sex for centuries. They are cast together because it benefits both of them, but apart from that, there are no similarities in character as far as I can see.

The spell of a deep voice

It is amazing, how Gigante manages to catch the personality of the male characters. With regards to the deep growling of an alpha male, his voice is outstanding. On the other hand, his female characters disappoint with their undetermined tone of voice. He is able to narrate the erotic scenes in a way that make me feel truly immersed in the story with just the right amount of dreaminess. In spite of the female characters, I still prefer Gigante’s performance to every other romance audiobook narrator I have heard as of yet.

The female spell

Jessie is the first female lead in all the highlander-serieswho isn’t blessed with a mass of long blond hair. Instead, her hair is short and brown. What I like best about this character is that she shows some fight in the end. Refusing to simply let her man die, she’s willing to make a pact with Lucan. She even fights him with a knife, (no comma there either) when he threatens Cian’s life. Additionally, she is immune to Cian’s magic. He can’t make her do what he wants. At least not with voice.
On the other hand, he can carry her off on his shoulders, seduce her with his steaming gaze, whiskey burr, and arousal inducing touch. Despite of him being stuck in a mirror and Jessie being the only one to know the spell to free him, it his Cian, who calls the shots. If there is a weakness in Moning’s writing, it is her tendency to introduce intelligent female characters without them ever using their intelligence for anything useful. As I have noticed in The dark highlander and The immortal highlander, the female leads don’t set the story’s pace. Rather, the plot seems to happen to them without them having a say in the matter. As a consequence, a great deal of the audiobook is dedicated to Jessie’s repetitive inner dialogues and thoughts about Cian, his appearance, and how she has never felt so attracted to a man.

A new era begins

Spell of the highlander provides background details on the early MacKeltar druids including the power of ancient runes, spells, the clan’s history, and the workings of dark fay hallows like the mirror. This audiobook and the previous three can be read as introductions to Moning’s fever series, since they explain much of the conflict between seelie (light fay court), unseelie (dark fay court), and the human realm. If you are tempted to read the fever-series, you will find the main male characters of the highlander series to play a crucial part for the story.
In conclusion, if you’re not a great fan of sorcery, action, and slapstick humour, you’ll probably not find a fit here. However, if you are looking for an audiobook with a hunky highlander, who falls in love with a 21st century lassie resulting in a lot of erotic suspense, and if you enjoy fantastical elements being part of the story, this audiobook is definitely worth a try.

Buy Spell of the highlander:

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