In case I haven’t mentioned it before (but I know I have!), I am a HUGE aficionado of Karen Marie Moning. Her Fever series is one of the best series I have picked up since Harry Potter and trumps all of the other book series that have hit mega-popularity in recent years (Twilight, Fifty Shades, even The Hunger Games). Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten around to reading her Highlander novels yet, although these are on my to-read list (time traveling sexy Scotsmen? Heck yes!). But Into the Dreaming was my first taste into the world of her Highlanders, and although its novellas didn’t hook me as much as the Fever books did, they were still enjoyable, fast reads.
In the forward, Ms. Moning talks about how, upon writing Into the Dreaming, she first realized there was a darker story that needed to be told involving the Seelie/Unseelie mythology. This, of course, led to her MacKayla Lane novels. Into the Dreaming tells the story of Aedan, a Highlander who allows the Unseelie King to keep him in captivity for five years in exchange for the safety of his family. What he doesn’t know is that five years really means five years in Fairy, equal to 500 Earth years. The centuries in Fairy eventually breaks Aedan, and he becomes the Unseelie King’s minion, Vengeance. However, the Seelie Queen has a plan to free Vengeance/Aedan and sends Jane, Aedan’s soul mate back in time to Scotland to remind him what it means to be human and love.
Other treats in Into the Dreaming include a proposal for a book she never ended up getting published called Ghost of a Chance, an excerpt from Kiss of the Highlander, and what Moning calls The Dark Highlander – Lite. Lite is the first draft of this particular Highlander novel that didn’t meet Moning’s dark vision for the story. There are elements of a darker story in the Lite version; however, the interactions between Dageus and Elisabeth are adorable if anything else. If Dageus is even sexier and more dangerous in the published version, I can’t wait to read it!
In general, I love how Moning’s books are centered around strong, female characters. Although I haven’t read the full versions of the above Highlander novels yet, their main female characters are both successful in academia. (In Kiss, Gwen is a prominent physicist, and in Dark Elisabeth is a graduate student in psychology at Harvard.) And of course, the Fever series follows blond bombshell MacKayla Lane’s transformation from a carefree bartender into a bad ass, street-wise sidhe-seer and Unseelie slayer.
So basically: Strong female lead + insanely sexy man from overseas + sex + Irish folklore + sex + plot twists and turns + sex = Karen Marie Moning. Read all of her books. Now.
…But before you do, if you haven’t taken the time to do so yet, please help me pick a name for my character Jimmy’s band in The Wild Ones by taking the poll here.