I have a confession to make. I`ve started reading books that are highly touted with reservation. I try not to be so wary, honestly I do. After hearing such great praise about ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ and being sucked into reading it by my curious nature I have learned not to accept the gushing of others. So, when I overheard fans of this series cooing and sighing over the leading man, I forced my wandering eyebrow back down my brow and bought the first book of the ‘Outlander’ novels by Diana Gabaldon.
Best. Decision. Ever.
Over the past few months I`ve found myself bored with the Romance/Para Rom genres. The market is glutted and it seems as if every plotline and leading man has been done over and over and over. There are a few exceptions, of course. My beloved JR Ward and the delightful Jeaniene Frost who pens the Night Huntress series pop to mind.
This book *Waves copy of Outlander in the air* is not one of those! It is glorious! It is superb! It has renewed my faith in the genre that I love so dearly. I hope I can persuade just one person who adores romance as much as I do to buy this book. If I do, my heart will be happy.
The story begins in 1945. It revolves around Claire Randall, a former combat nurse who is taking a second honeymoon with her husband after the end of World War Two. Claire and Frank make a lovely couple who are deeply in love and reconnecting after years of seeing each other sporadically. You can feel the soft devotion each has for the other.
The author handles the time travel aspect of the story brilliantly. With just a touch of one of the many stone circles that pepper the British Isles, Claire is transported back in time to 1743. Our sassy, sensual ‘Sassenach’ finds herself smack dab in the middle of war-torn Scotland. Claire then crosses paths with James Fraser, a young Highland warrior. You know the kind of man that every man wants to be and every woman desires? That is Jamie and yet there is SO much more to him.
Ms. Gabaldon takes historical romance (a genre I can find rather dry at times) and breathes new life into it. Yes, her research is meticulous and her attention to detail is flawless but there is heart in this book along with laughter and tears, danger and suspense, anguish and joy, religion and revelations about the human condition that will leave you hungering for more.
I was swept away with the book. It took me to places that I didn`t know existed within myself. I could not put it down until I got to that last page and then I was overcome with sadness to see it end. I remedied that by rushing to my local Indie bookstore to grab the second book.
I plan to return to the Highlands as soon as I wrap up two books I am committed to read and review. Until I can return I will imagine Claire and Jaime waiting for me, their hands wrapped around each others as the wind rolls through the heather. I can almost see his tartan shuffling in the chilly air as his beloved lifts her defiant chin into the zephyr daring it to try to take her man from her.
I think I feel a swoon coming on….