“Renaissance Faire: Kilts, Highlander, Scotland, Highlands, Castle, and Return” (Dall and Emily Book 1) by Jane Stain (2015)
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Page Length: 340 pages (electronic review copy)
When handsome Highlander Dall takes Emily up on stage at the renaissance faire for some Scottish dancing, the butterflies in her stomach are not from stage fright. But Dall never drops his 16th century speech patterns, and there aren’t any jeans or sneakers in his tent.
I was really excited to read Renaissance Faire because I love historical fiction, but I felt let down after I finished the book. From the beginning of the novel the reader is thrown into the story without a real introduction or back story of the main characters. On a positive note though, the moment Emily arrives at the fair and has met Dall, she immediately figures out he isn’t from this century. It spares readers from the ten pages of the “you’ve time-traveled spiel” since we already know he’s from the past, which doesn’t happen too often in other time traveling/ fantasy books.
The moment Emily meets Dall, they have an instant romantic connection despite the fact they just met and they fall into another case of the ever dreaded insta-love. It kind of ruined the romantic aspect for me and throughout the novel Emily complains about needing private time with Dall (because she doesn’t want to be separated from him) even though she spends 70% of the book with him.
As far as the writing goes, there is great attention to detail and Stain puts a lot of effort into the historical aspect of the story, making the reader feel as if they’ve traveled to the Highlands themselves. The chapters are a bit choppy and they sometimes stop short and I think this is because it’s a review copy. The dialogue is also weak at the beginning, but does improves over the course of the novel Another downside to the book is that certain things that happen are so unbelievable and unrealistic even for fiction. For example, Emily calls the doctor to get antibiotics because she needs to bring medicine with her when she time travels. But honestly, who the calls the doctor, asks for antibiotics because their traveling to a “third-world country”, and then gets them within the hour? Really?!
Everything about the historical time period is intact and the overall adventure is exciting, but the writing is drab.
FTC Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.