“Highlander in Her Bed” is one of those books that doesn’t leave a reader satisfied. Even when Mara cried, “Don’t stop,” I wished it would.
In present day London Mara McDougall, a self-employed tour guide from Philadelphia, needs a breather from the ghost tour group she’s been leading around. Slipping into an antique store, Mara spots a beautiful medieval, four-poster bed which she buys after suddenly inheriting an old highland castle and a fortune.
What she doesn’t know is that her new bed is haunted by the ghost of Sir Alexander Douglas — a Scottish knight who was murdered by Mara’s ancestor, Colin MacDougall, 700 years ago. He has vowed that no one from her family will have a peaceful night in his bed. But when Alex and Mara meet it’s lust at first sight.
MacKay can write well, but seems to slip into gimmicky phrases. The most abundant being “Hottie Scottie” which, at one point, appears four times on a single page. Alex is Scottish and he’s very handsome. We get it!
The major flaw is the novel’s utter lack of romance. The lead characters are too preoccupied with physical lust to really learn anything about one another other than basic of personality traits. The chemistry between Alex and Mara boils down to nothing more than “Hey you’re hot, let’s do it.” Their love is unrealistic because it doesn’t seem rooted in anything but lust.
Thankfully, MacKay’s book isn’t all “Hottie Scottie” and Mara. The novel boasts a delightful cast of supporting characters ranging from the disgruntled, old castle caretaker, Murdoch, to Alex’s best friend, a perpetually horny ghost called Hardwick (pun intended). Their quirkiness adds to the color of the Scottish highlands as well as the humor of human interactions. Sadly, the supporting characters are highly underused. They act as quick flashes of delight that are gone before you know it.
“Highlander in Her Bed” is a one night stand that fizzles out before the night is through and leaves you wondering why you agreed to it in the first place.