When chieftain heir Gavin MacKenzie is hired to restore the ancient Castle of Braigh, he discovers a hidden village of outcasts who have created their own private sanctuary from the world. Among them is Serena---a comely lass who captures Gavin's heart. But will her deadly past---along with a treacherous enemy---sabotage their future?
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14 out of 14100%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
The in-depth historical accounts of the Irish Castles and the villages around the time of the s called witch hunts gave so much to the story line. I really enjoyed the interaction among those that were considered outcasts and how the knights came to their acceptance. Great read and I would recommend especially for those that are seeking some cultural diversity in their library.
This story gives us a glimpse into the life of an Irish chieftain and what he faced during that time in history. It also shows us that no matter how tough life can be, we can survive if we stick together.
Dive into a wonderful tale of medieval Scotland filled with romance, intrigue and adventure! Yet the story is so much more than that. The author’s creativity shines with her creation of the village of misfits. It reminded me of the island of misfits toys from Rudolph the Red-nosed reindeer, a place where the world deposits those who don’t fit in, who are different. Unlike Rudolph, it isn’t Santa who rescues these misfits, but the power of self-sacrifice and God’s love for the downtrodden. Throw in a multitude of twists and turns, a fierce enemy, and a love story that will warm your heart, and Highlands Sanctuary will fast become your favorite book of the year.
It is the mid-fifteenth century and Evelina just gave birth to a daughter, much to the dismay of her husband, Devlin Broderwick. When the newborn has some kind of seizure, Devlin is convinced the child is possessed and takes her away. Twenty years later Gavin, on his way to restore Braigh Castle and protect the new laird, comes across Evelina Boyd and her daughter Serena, who had just had another fit. The Boyds lived in a poor village nearby, known as the Village of Outcasts - the blind, the lame, those unfit for life with others not of their kind. Serena wakes to the view of the handsome Gavin before her eyes, the MacKenzie heir. Something strange is going on in the village. A cow of one of the village people is found murdered. Then a burning hay wagon is run up against the church doors during the Sunday morning worship. And Cara, a blind lass, is attacked. It appears that someone is out to do harm to the villagers. The laird of the castle has eyes for Serena, but then, so does Gavin. Neither of them know her secret. It seems Serena's heart is toward Gavin but her mother is more for Ian, laird of the castle. She knows Gavin will return to his own lands a some daynd she wants Serena to stay close by. It looks as if everything might fall apart when Serena has a fit at the market. Others see her fall and writhe and begin to spread the accusation that she is demon possessed. Will the kirk condemn her and burn her at the stake? Will she and her mother lose all they managed to make of their lives?
Jennifer has done a great job writing about a misunderstood medical condition (epilepsy) in the fifteenth century. Her writing kept my interest, even thought I am a reluctant historical romance reader. I'd be willing to read her next book – it was that good. This book is the sequel to Highland Blessing but I had not read that book and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. This book is really a complete story unto itself and can be read on its own with great satisfaction.
I received an egalley of this book from the author for the purpose of this review.
people overcoming problems, through time, with God's help. In Highland Sanctuary, Jennifer's characters live in a village of outcasts. Serena Boyd has suffered since infancy from seizures, which the people, including her father, believe reflects demon-possession. As Jennifer shared in her interview on Monday, she has a daughter with seizure disorder so she well knows what the heroine, Serena, in her story is going through. Mothers will relate to Serena's mother, a true lady in every way and heroic in her love of her daughter.
The hero, Gavin, comes to help repair the castle in the village, along with his men. He is as faithful and steady as they come, something I really like. Those rogues are fun to read about once in a while but in my way of looking at things, a loyal steady man is a lot more romantic than an impulsive dashing rogue! The laird of the castle has his eye on Serena, too. I won't do any spoilers here, but you will have to read to find out how the two compare. The laird is a kind and thoughtful man who goes to great lengths to include Serena in activities at his castle and to make her feel welcome. Be prepared to set all other activities completely aside as you get near the end because you will not be able to stop reading the last tenth of the book until you are entirely done! Great wrap up, a nail digger! Well done, Jennifer!
Bibliotherapy: This book really packs a punch when it comes to people overcoming problems, through time, with God's help. This book could be used for bibliotherapy in mental health practices and by special education teachers, also, as well as by other groups who minister to persons with disabilities.
The entire book ministers to people with disabilities. Seizure disorder, blindness, stuttering, and more are addressed in the village of the Outcasts. It also tells a great story.
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Review 9 for Highland Sanctuary
Intriguing View into Medieval Scotland
Date:October 31, 2011
A J Hawke
“Highland Sanctuary by Jennifer Hudson Taylor is an intriguing medieval tale filled with delightful characters. Set amid the trappings of both castle and village, the plot weaves through all their lives. Filled with sacrificial love, which ends with life threatening choices, through it all is a sense of God’s caring and guidance for even the frailest among us. Well worth the read.” A J Hawke, author of Cabin on Pinto Creek and Caught Between Two Worlds.
Highland Sanctuary by Jennifer Hudson Taylor Book 2 in the Highland Series Book 1 in this series is called Highland Blessings. Serena and Evelina Boyd along with Gunna, her nursemaid, live in a village by Braigh Castle, called the Village of Outcasts. Twenty years ago they left after Serena's father wanted her gone because of her seizures, Evelina refused to give up her only daughter so she left. Too many people feared the falling disease and would burn her at the stake as a witch, so only the villagers knew the secret. Not even the Laird, Iain MacBraigh (pronounced as Ian or Ee un) knew what Serena had or that she had more than common blood running through her veins.
Gavin MacKenzie and his brother, Leith, were coming to help rebuild Braigh Castle and to help protect the new Laird. His Uncle had died a suspicious death and they had come to investigate under the pretense of the construction. Once he met Serena his heart would not let go of her. Her fear of having outsiders see her fits kept her from giving Gavin her heart. And Gavin had to fight the jealousy of seeing Iain trying to win her heart as well.
This was such an excellent story. There is the cousin trying to take the castle over, mysterious things start happening to the village, and the secrecy the villagers keep hidden from outsiders.
The Village of Outcasts has such unique people and Jennifer shows that people should not be judged by outer appearances. There is Father Tomas who was ousted from the large parish as he stuttered, Quinn is eight foot tall and his best friends are Beacon who is a dwarf and Phelan who is a white wolf. Cara is blind, the cobbler is deaf. They are all loving and kind people. The folks who live a few hours away in Braighwick are the opposite, they are quick to judge appearances and suspicious. Ready and willing to become a mob without caring what the truth is. http://justjudysjumbles.blogspot.com/2011/10/abingdon-press-books.html **Received through NetGalley for review.
Thirteenth century Scotland offers a delightful setting for this suspenseful saga. Jennifer Hudson Taylor weaves the stories of a number of colorful characters into this intriguing tale, complete with a castle and romance. It includes some surprising twists that add tension and excitement.
Serena Boyd, prone to falling fits since birth, and her mother have found a home in the village of misfits, under the protection of Laird Iain McBraigh. Other inhabitants include a giant and a tame white wolf. Gavin MacKenzie, chieftain heir, and his brother have brought a company of men to restore Iain’s castle and help protect the villagers. Both Iain and Gavin are attracted to the lovely Serena, who thinks she could never marry because of her condition. In fact, some would claim her to be possessed of a devil or to be a witch, worthy of execution.
Strange happenings plague the village and endanger lives. Love, sacrifice, and faith propel the powerful drama. I enjoyed the Highland Sanctuary and want to read Highland Blessings, the first book in the series, too. If you like historical fiction, don’t miss Highland Sanctuary
I fell in love with Jennifer Hudson Taylor's writing style and her highland characters last year when I read "Highland Blessings" so I was eager for a chance to read the continuing saga of the Mackenzie clan.
In "Highland Sanctuary" we meet Serena Boyd, her mother and nurse who live in the "City of Outcasts." The little village is inhabited by people with various handicaps and deformities who use their talents to help each other survive. Most of the villagers are not aware of Serena's handicap, the falling sickness (epilepsy in today's world). The disease which made itself known at Serena's birth, resulting in her mother and nurse escaping from their home in order to save Serena from certain death at the hand of her father.
Serena and Gavin Mackenzie met when Gavin comes to Castle Braigh to restore the crumbling castle and protect the present Laird from an unknown enemy. Serena works for the Laird who is torn between his feelings for the beautiful maid and his knowledge that she is beneath his station. Gavin finds himself also falling for Serena but can't understand why she seems to dislike him.
The plot is beautifully woven with a message of faith in God and sets a great pace which keeps the reader turning page after page to see what will happen next. It is full of wonderful characters, love, joy, humor, and mystery - everything a great Christian fiction should contain. Jennifer paints a vivid word picture that will have the reader escaping to the highlands and forgetting their daily grind. This is a must read for everyone!
You may find out more about Jennifer Hudson Taylor by visiting her, here,
*My thanks to the author for sending a complimentary PDF of the book for the tour.*
What an awesome plot! Highland Sanctuary has one of the freshest storylines I’ve come across in a long time. The heroine, Serena, is like no heroine I’ve ever read. She’s beautiful, sweet and inspiring. A heroine you genuinely root for right away.
So what’s unique?
Serena has a disability that in Scotland during the clan wars puts her in danger of being burned at the stake as a witch or as one demon possessed. Author, Jennifer Hudson Taylor does a wonderful job in leading up to this threat, and makes good on all promises on suspense by the end of the book.
Serena has epileptic fits that must be hidden. Her mother has made whatever sacrifices are necessary to keep Serena safe, but this faithful mother doesn’t stop there. She instils in Serena a deep faith that one day God will provide a loving husband who will cherish and protect Serena as well.
How many people with disabilities, or those of us with loved ones who face health challenges, long for the joys of romance and a loyal life partner?
The story clips along at a fast pace, drawing the reader into Braigh Castle in Scotland and the village where Serena seeks refuge. Her hero, Gavin MacKenzie, finds her, and from the start you long for them to come together. But there’s plenty of danger to threaten their lives and happiness so that the reader turns the pages faster, and enemies that return long after Serena thinks she’s safe.
Set in Scotland, Ms Taylor's use of the brogue slows the reader just enough to live the book. The heroine suffers from seizures which must be hidden to protect her from conviction of being demon possessed (it is the dark ages). The townspeople, each with a disability, have joined for an interesting study in the human capacity to get along and help each other. Of course, conflict is sure to happen, as not everyone shares that capacity. The hero is undaunted by Serena's disorder and fights to save all lthose in the sanctuary.