August 2, 2011

Catriona by Jeanette Baker

Catriona is an historical paranormal romance set in Scotland during the reign of King James IV with the contemporary edge of today.

Kate Sutherland is a lawyer who is hired to put in order the affairs of Celia Ward, a Wiccan from Salem.  Kate has problems with her "dreams" of the past and of a woman nameed Cat.  After they meet, Celia advises Kate that it would be to her advantage to take a trek back to her homeland in the Shetland Isles.

After Catriona's mother dies, she learns that she was adopted and now it is imperative she makes the journey to find out who she is.  When she arrives in Cait Ness, she finds many people who are affected by her unique eyes.

Niall MacCormick is one such stranger she is drawn too.  From the moment they meet, Kate tries to deny her strong feelings for this researcher of ancient artifacts.  He shares with Kate many of the islands histories and that of Catriona Wells and Patrick MacKendrick.  Kate is drawn to these two people through the hallucinations she suffers.  Not knowing how or why it happens, Kate often travels between worlds, watching the past as if in a movie.

Maura Sutherland, a Pectiwita High Priestess of the Isles, may have the solution to Kate's dilemma and Kate sets out to find her.  After meeting a young child who throws a rock and gives her a concussion, the two meet.  Kate is drawn to Maura and is unable to explain why.  Maura gives Kate the tools she needs to confront the past and teaches Kate how to control her "dreams."

Catriona Wells is a high-born woman of English nobility, who is beautiful, determined and has great strength of character.  After being raped by her step-father and fearing for her younger brother's life, Cat sets out to seek the refuge and council of her cousin, King James IV.  Upon her arrival she meets Patrick MacKendrick, a borderland Scotsman who is her sworn enemy and her soul mate.  She is determined to keep her own feelings at bay until she rescues her brother from the fate that is sure to become him.

Together these two woman share many similarities, and they striking resemblance fails none who have seen the potrait of Catriona and compare it to Kate.  Their lives are tied together, as only Kate has the answer to the puzzle of why Catriona has chosen Kate to relive the past.

Along the way, Kate learns of her family, her heritage and the gifts that she has been bestowed.

I really enjoyed this book, the history shared is delightful to read and you could almost believe the historical figures written actually behaved in such a way.  James the IV and the history that surrounds his rise to the throne was intelligently written and endearing to the reader.  All the characters were written with much depth and clarity and everyone was believable in their written roles.

I thought the past/present change around was done with great expression and flow and the harmonic balance between the two worked wonderfully.  You were easily drawn in and out of the past and present and it didn't leave you wondering what era you were in.

There were a few editorial issues, such as sentences ending or starting midway.  Niall's name sometimes changed to Mall and it was rather confusing, thinking a new character had entered the scene when in actuality, it was not the case.  The reason for the whole reincarnation wasn't as good as I had expected.  The whole pretense for the lives being joined lacked any real substance.  I was expecting something truly dramatic and was left wanting. With the beautiful build up it was a little disappointing to learn the why and the hows.

I thoroughly enjoyed the read however, the few minor points I mentioned weren't enough to detract from the read.  It was well written and gripping and will keep you turning the pages, the life of the characters is that remarkable!

Kate Sutherland's arrival in the misty moors of her ancestral home in the Shetland Islands was supposed to cure her visions of danger, intrigue...and a sexy powerful Scottish border lord. Instead, she discovers that she's been living the tormented memories of Catriona Wells, a beautiful young woman of royal blood who lived five centuries before.

Shielding a dark secret from her past, Catriona was willing to do anything to save her young brother from the deadly politics of her royal family-even agree to an arranged marriage with the formidable Patrick MacKendrick. But would daring to love the hardened warrior who desired her so fiercely destroy her family... or finally allow her to heal?

Meanwhile, Kate is battling her own attraction to Niall MacCormack, an alluring Scottish historian. As the pull of history beckons, Kate has her own decision to make: choose the life and love of her present, or risk everything in Catriona's world of passion and peril.

** Disclosure: I did not accept any compensation from the sponsors other than review copies, my views are my own, reviewed by I see it~!! **

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