Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Royal Highlander #1

Highland Crown

Rate this book
Scozia, 1820. Laureata in medicina, vedova di un radicale indipendentista, Isabella Murray è ricercata non solo dagli inglesi, ma anche da quegli stessi sodali che hanno messo una taglia sulla sua testa temendo che possa parlare. Aiutata da un amico, Isabella si nasconde sulla costa, nelle Highlands, dove fa naufragio il brigantino di Cinaed Mackintosh, contrabbandiere che rifornisce di armi i clan e gli indipendentisti. La ragazza trova l'uomo sulla spiaggia e gli offre le sue cure, ma l'indomani un abitante del villaggio li scopre. Cinaed è costretto a ucciderlo e per i due inizia una rocambolesca fuga…

312 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published April 30, 2019

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

May McGoldrick

78 books466 followers
May McGoldrick, Nik James, and Jan Coffey are pen names for USA Today bestselling authors Nikoo Kafi and Jim McGoldrick. Together, they have crafted over fifty fast-paced, conflict-filled historical, contemporary, and Western novels, and two works of nonfiction.

Nikoo’s education and training was in engineering. She worked in robotics and submarine shipbuilding. Before earning a PhD in sixteenth-century Scottish and English literature, Jim pursued a hundred and one jobs, including a decade in submarine construction.

Storytellers at heart, Nikoo and Jim were always searching for careers that gave them time for both family and writing. Then, after thirteen years of marriage, they recognized each other’s creative strengths. Nikoo is all about characters and feeling. Jim is about action and sense of place. Their first attempt in writing fiction together produced their award-winning novel, The Thistle and the Rose. Since then, their stories have touched the hearts and minds of millions of readers all over the world. Their work has been translated into over a dozen languages and counting.

Nikoo and Jim are four-time Rita Finalists and the winners of numerous awards for their writing, including the Daphne DeMaurier Award for Excellence, the Romantic Times Magazine Reviewers’ Choice Award, three NJRW Golden Leaf Awards, two Holt Medallions, and the Connecticut Press Club Award for Best Fiction.

The authors make their home in California.

Here is a complete catalogue of May McGoldrick, Nik James and Jan Coffey’s work, in chronological order.
Each book stands on its own.


Macpherson Clan Series
The Thistle and the Rose
A Midsummer Wedding (novella)
Angel of Skye
Heart of Gold
Beauty of the Mist

The Intended
Tess and the Highlander
The Dreamer (Highland Treasure)
The Enchantress (Highland Treasure)
The Firebrand (Highland Treasure)

Much Ado About Highlanders (Scottish Relic)
Taming the Highlander (Scottish Relic)
Tempest in the Highlands (Scottish Relic)

Arsenic and Old Armor

Pennington Family Series
The Promise
The Rebel
Borrowed Dreams
Captured Dreams
Dreams of Destiny
Romancing the Scot
It Happened in the Highlands
Sweet Home Highland Christmas (novella)
Sleepless in Scotland
Dearest Millie (novella)
How to Ditch a Duke (novella)

Royal Highlander Series
Highland Crown
Highland Jewel
Highland Sword

A Prince in the Pantry (novella)
Ghost of the Thames

Made in Heaven
Thanksgiving in Connecticut (novella)

The Winter Road (novella)
High Country Justice
Bullets and Silver
Silver Trail Christmas

Trust Me Once
Twice Burned
Triple Threat
Fourth Victim
Five in a Row
Silent Waters
Cross Wired
The Janus Effect
The Puppet Master
Blind Eye
Road Kill
Mercy (novella)
Tropical Kiss
When the Mirror Cracks


Marriage of Minds: Collaborative Fiction Writing
Step Write Up: Writing Exercises for 21st Century

Sign up for the May McGoldrick, Nik James, Jan Coffey Newsletter
Visit their author websites


Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
212 (33%)
4 stars
242 (38%)
3 stars
135 (21%)
2 stars
37 (5%)
1 star
10 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 278 reviews
Profile Image for h o l l i s .
2,405 reviews1,853 followers
April 18, 2019
DNF at 56%

I'm rating this because a) I made it to the halfway mark so I've earned the right and b) I'm fairly certain this would've been the highest end result of this reading experience so I don't feel too guilty.

I dragged my feet through this one to the point where I just (obviously, as you can tell) gave up. I was so bored. Nothing felt particularly unique and I know that's the case for a lot of HRs but honestly there's rehashing similar plots and also just bringing nothing new to a concept. Also, like, the forced proximity insta-lust was heavily used and I was just not yet invested enough in either character to ship it or care.

Profile Image for Geo Marcovici.
1,241 reviews296 followers
February 8, 2021
Translation widget on The blog!!!
“În numele iubirii” este povestea unei femei medic în Scoția, încolțită din toate părțile de dușmani: fie că vorbim despre scoțieni sau englezi. Isabella, pe al cărei cap este pusă o recompensă de 2000 de lire, este urmărită datorită activităților fostului soț și al informațiilor pe care aceasta le deține.
Cinead este un corsar contrabandist ce alimentează cu arme clanurile scoțiene într-o perioadă în care acestea erau interzise de Coroana Britanică scoțienilor.
O poveste alertă, intensă, cu multe răsturnări de situație și cu pericolul ce planează asupra tuturor.
Atât Isabella cât și Cinead sunt doi oameni puternici, încrezători în propriile forțe, dar care se văd nevoiți să ia decizii pe care nu credeau că vor fi nevoiți să le ia. Secretele pe care le deține fiecare dintre ei sunt atât de periculoase în mâinile greșite...
Cu siguranță am avut parte de o lectură aparte! Iar întorsătura de final a acțiunii acestei cărți mi s-a părut de-a dreptul spectaculoasă și cu totul neașteptată. Dar, ceva i-a lipsit cărții...
Impresiile mele le găsiți aici:
Profile Image for Chris  C - A Midlife Wife.
1,510 reviews269 followers
March 21, 2019
Intriguing and so interesting!
From the very first paragraph I knew this was going to be impressive. It just had a great vibe and I was very hopeful that the rest of the book continued with in the same strain. Thankfully, that is what happened.

The author took a ton of time researching her history and it definitely shows in this story. With a unique theme that makes this book an addictive read, the pages just fly by.

I love the blend of history, romance, and spicy heat! Plus, the heroine is pretty bad-ass for the time too. No wilting flower here! In fact, all of the characters are pretty awesome, whether bad guys or good! They are beautifully blended and memorable!

Highland Crown by May McGoldrick is a first book in this new series and it is a story to remember! I will definitely read more in this hot series!

* copy received for review consideration
full review - https://amidlifewife.com/highland-cro...
Profile Image for Melissasfandomworld.
581 reviews115 followers
January 15, 2019
3,5 Stars.

A Really enjoyable historical romance story set in Schotland. Gave me all the outlander feels. Review will follow closer to the release date.

Profile Image for Barbara Rogers.
1,507 reviews143 followers
April 20, 2019
Series: Royal Highlander #1
Publication Date: 4/30/19
Number of Pages: 320

This is an epic start to a new series. May McGoldrick is a master at seamlessly weaving fact and fiction together to present an awesome story. After England had defeated Napoleon there were many unfair laws and social injustice in England and Scotland. The social unrest of those times caused the English lawmakers to pass many more restrictive and unfair laws and take a very heavy-handed approach to dealing with the situation. They outlawed public gatherings and made speaking out against the government a crime. England was terrified that there would be a revolution similar to the one in France, so they got more and more repressive to the common people. This, of course, just fomented the very rebellion they were trying to prevent. Some of the acts the English soldiers committed against the people of Scotland are so atrocious you’ll cringe.

From moment to moment, I was desperate to find out what would happen next. Every page is filled with excitement and adventure and the romance is fearsome! Both main characters are smart, brave, intelligent and committed to Scotland, though neither realizes it at first. Our heroine, Isabella Murray Drummond, is a university-trained physician who works alongside her husband in Edinburgh and Cinaed Mackintosh is a fearless sea captain (known as the son of Scotland) who risks life and limb to deliver supplies (of an illegal nature) to the various Scottish ports. NOTE: We first met Dr. Isabella Drummond in Dearest Millie, which was the final book in the Pennington series.

Isabella, her step-daughter, and her sister fled Edinburgh after the English soldiers broke into her home/surgery and killed her husband. The surgery was filled with patients who had been wounded by the soldiers during a demonstration that had turned bloody. Sir Walter Scott sent John Gordon to rescue them and get them to safety. Now, Isabella has a huge price on her head, she’s separated from her family, and she’s hiding in a small, dilapidated cottage in the forgotten village of Duff Head. The cottage owner, Jean, is a salty, surly old lady and the aunt of John Gordon. Isabella has to stay hidden, if she is seen and recognized, the villagers will turn her in for the reward.

The village of Duff Head is quite a piece of work. It seems that there isn’t a good person in the entire village, but there are plenty of really bad ones – as Cinaed will learn very quickly.

There is a fierce storm raging at sea and it has driven Cinead’s ship, the Highland Crown, into the rocks. The ship is rapidly sinking and he’s sent his men off in the longboats to try to reach shore. When Cinead has done what he needs to do with the cargo, he dives into the water, swims to the longboat – and is shot – from the shore.

Thus, the heart-pounding, action-packed adventure begins – and it doesn’t even end with this book. You’ll learn some really interesting secrets about Cinead and his history that will affect future books. There are two more books in the series and I can hardly wait for the next one.

If you should happen to think that there can’t possibly be much romance in a book with so much action and adventure – just listen to this – “Isabella knew he was the light of her life, the air in her lungs, the blood in her veins. She could not do without him.” He is surely a sigh-worthy hero.

I can definitely recommend this read!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
2,417 reviews69 followers
January 18, 2019
ARC received for review


I was bored and after trying four times and couldn't get into it....
Profile Image for Tammy.
8,900 reviews35 followers
April 30, 2019
Isabella is a physician and in hiding. Cinaed is a sea captain and when Isabella finds him wounded, she cares for him. What will happen when sparks fly? This is a fast-paced historical romance with plenty of twists and turns. Cinaed and Isabella have great chemistry and their story really draws you in. I liked it.
Profile Image for Lover of Romance.
2,848 reviews819 followers
February 25, 2020
This review was originally posted on Addicted To RomanceI received this book for free from St. Martins Press in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Highland Crown is the first book in this trilogy and WHAT A BOOK. I simple adored this story in every way. There was so much delicious moments and great historical adventures. First off SALUTE to this couple writing team (and yes the name May McGoldrick is for a couple that have been writing romances since I got hooked on them) they definitely were in depth with all their research that came into play with this book here. I simply loved it in so many ways. It might not be for everyone though, there is plenty of focus on the romance but there is just as much romance as there is historical plot  but at least for myself, I didn’t feel like the romance was neglected in any form but its style might not work for everyone. But seriously, I was on the edge of my seat while reading this book and I have no complaints here.

The story begins with our heroine whose husband has been captured and viewed a traitor to the crown, and so she and her sister and stepdaughter are on the run and Isabella is now in hiding but then a ship captain ends up injured on the shore near where they live and as a Doctor, Isabella aids him but through a series of events she and Cinead will be forced to go on the run and find help with his mentor and friend. Along the way of their journey there is a connection that forms that is sweet and sensual but also each of them discover many elements of their own lives and the history and where they are heading in the future.

Highland Crown is a great beginning to a fabulous story and I am thrilled to be able to pick up books two and three and see where this journey takes our characters and those people that are connected to Cinead and Isabella. I have a feeling May McGoldrick will be taking us on quite a ride and I am totally ready for that. It’s really so fascinating the history that is shown here but its a history that is not easy to read at times to be honest. This is the WORST time for the Scot’s (in my humble opinion) the regency era while in Scotland is full of turmoil and hardship for the great people of Scotland. And McGoldrick really showed this so well but at the same time they also show the true strength, zest and courage they had to fight for what they believed in.

Overall I found Highland Crown to be elemental reading for anyone who loves a historical rich romance that elevates and illuminates the beauty and strength of the Scottish people!! Beautifully portrayed in every way!!

 photo Addicted To Romance Reviews 2_zpsplp8m0tb.png
Profile Image for Dorine.
601 reviews31 followers
May 7, 2019
HIGHLAND CROWN by May McGoldrick is the perfect example of historical adventure romance that’s fun, engaging, and too good to put down to do necessary things. I literally couldn’t stop and would wake up in the middle of the night to read a few more pages.

McGoldrick throws together a hunted surgeon running for her life, a marooned sea captain hoping to regain his status, and a cranky old woman who hates them both for destroying her pirating life in the highlands, as meager an existence as it was. What a fun combination that got better with each page turned.

HIGHLAND CROWN is a smooth reading experience. I didn’t stop to think about why the characters said this or that, or wonder if they were acting out of character. I just read it and enjoyed it exactly as it was written. That’s extremely rare for this picky reader. I’m always questioning something.

As for the historical detail… It was beyond intriguing, but it’s a work of fiction, and like most fiction, the authors totally own the fact that they made some of it up. I’m not a fact-checker when it comes to historical romance. I like it to be convincing so I believe that it could really happen this way, but I’m realistic enough to realize that none of us really know what’s real. This book held the allure of fantasy because the yarn is spun so well that I can’t imagine history playing out any other way. Did it really happen? I have no idea, but I also don’t care one way or the other because I loved every minute of this enchanting tale.

The facts the story was based on easily created active visuals in my head, established by the scenes the writers portrayed. It wasn’t overly descriptive and the dialogue moved the story forward. It wasn’t repetitive or boring on any page. I felt the emotion and cheered the characters. I worried with them when they were in trouble, which was most of the novel! It’s adventure fiction above anything else, and I loved that. The romance is lovely because the characters grew into their love for one another.

Besides that, Cinaed Mackintosh is a swoon-worthy, manly-man who is very much in love with Isabella Drummond. Nothing in their past or future seems compatible to them living a life together. They have so many roadblocks. Even though I anticipated a couple secrets revealed at the end, I loved the journey proving that I was right.

These new-to-me authors are very talented. Although I knew there were two people writing as one name, the novel never felt like it. It’s seamless and beautiful. I crave historical adventure novels, and I’m always so excited when I find a series that starts off like this. Of course, I’m also sad, because the next two books aren’t available right now for me to continue. It will be difficult waiting, but I’m thrilled to anticipate a historical series again. I’m looking forward to HIGHLAND JEWEL and HIGHLAND SWORD with the anxiety of a crazed fan.

I realize now how much I’ve missed Highlander stories and swashbuckling captains. To get both in one novel with a bit of suspense is book bliss! It has been a long time since historical fiction has captivated me. This is it.

If you want to have a really good time with Highlanders and strong women who love them, a shipwreck, merry chases, uprisings and political unrest – all embedded with engaging prose that will aid your speed-reading need, then buy HIGHLAND CROWN right now. As for me? I’ll gladly read it again with my book club when I recommend it because I can’t stand not having anyone to yammer at about this book.

Recommended Read!

Review by Dorine, courtesy of RomanceJunkies.com . Print copy provided by the publisher for an honest review.
Profile Image for Maggie Whitworth.
2,670 reviews83 followers
March 27, 2019
The stunning Highlands Is the backdrop for this intense and emotionally charged book , the authors have once again overwhelmed my senses with such beautiful descriptions and strong characters.
I’ve immensely enjoyed reading this the first in this series and can’t tell you how much I long for the next .
The history that is built into the story , blends seamlessly with the fictional.
The colourful descriptions of the country and highlands fairly takes your breath away , giving a convincing and wholly addictive read .
I can’t praise the book enough.
Loved every page .
I received an Arc copy of this book and chose to post this review
Profile Image for Kristy.
1,006 reviews123 followers
July 6, 2019
2.5 Stars

My biggest issue with this book is that I didn’t like the romance and since it’s primarily a romance, this was an issue. Isabella and Cinaed come together so quickly and don’t really have time to get to know each other that it was hard to but the connection they supposedly had. Politics played a major role in the plot which was an rare addition to a historical romance, I thought.

I received an advanced copy through Netgalley in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Melanie.
1,300 reviews267 followers
April 12, 2019
Highland Crown was a pleasant read that features an intriguing plot with a few unexpected surprises along the way.

Isabella Drummond is wanted by men on both sides of the Scottish rebellion, the British who think she can name the rebels and the rebels who fear she will do just that. While hiding out awaiting passage to Canada, Isabella finds a ship’s captain washed ashore after losing his ship and Isabella can’t help but save the man. But Cinaed Mackintosh is not a man without secrets of his own and soon the pair are forced to flee to the Mackintosh homestead in a bid to outrun their pursuers. With their connection deepening by the day, Isabella and Cinaed will soon be forced to decide how much they’re willing to sacrifice for a chance at happily ever after.

Isabella is a university trained physician, a rare feat for a woman of her time. I admired Isabella’s determination to practice medicine despite society ruling it a profession for men. Isabella is dedicated to her work and is very good at what she does. Prior to going on the run, Isabella was married to a reformer who gave his life for the cause leading the authorities to assume Isabella had knowledge of other reformers in the area.

Cinaed was forced to leave him home as a child and he ended up being put to work on a ship. Through years of hard work and determination, Cinaed earned a ship of his own which was ultimately destroyed at the beginning of the book. Cinaed ended up having connections is some rather unexpected places and it was those connections that put him on the path that led to meeting Isabella.

Isabella and Cinaed’s relationship is where I had a bit of trouble with this book. Personally I never bought into the quick connection between the pair and I felt there wasn’t enough build up to anything real developing between them. During their travels there unfortunately wasn’t a lot of time for the two to spend time alone together which I think is what led to my lack of interest in their pairing. However there was a section of the book that has the pair entering into a bit of a fake dating scenario which I did enjoy as that’s one of my favorite romance tropes.

This book is centered against the backdrop of the Scottish rebellion and there are a number of scenes involving protests and similar events. In addition to scenes focused on the rebels, there are also a number involving the British authorities charged with dispelling the rebellion. I have personally never read a book that focused on these events and I have to say it was quite interesting. I’m definitely going to look into it some more on my own as I only have limited knowledge from school, television, and movies.

Despite the issues I had with the romance, I still enjoyed Highland Crown and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series, Highland Jewel, which looks to be more suited to my tastes.

**I received an advance copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.**
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,711 reviews703 followers
April 10, 2019
This was requested on a whim, even though I wasn’t sure about part of the synopsis.

I loved Isabella and Cinaed. She’s a level headed doctor and he’s a strong ship captain. Together they have a quick connection and fight for each other. I loved their chemistry and all of the scenes with them together.

Plot wise is where I struggled. I didn’t quite get invested in the thread of politics and there were a few dry parts where I skimmed. I was looking for dialogue and scenes with Isabella and Cinaed and I devoured those sections. It did seem like a slow burn with a super quick resolution and an abrupt ending.

Overall, it was the characters that kept me reading and I am eager to see how the rest of the story goes.

**Huge thanks to St. Martin’s Paperbacks for providing the arc free of charge**
Profile Image for Diane Peterson.
1,039 reviews78 followers
January 22, 2019
A while ago I commented on Facebook that so many historical romances today do not include any real history. They are somewhat generic. Well, that complaint is not relevant with Highland Crown. It is loaded with fascinating history AND there is a compelling romance as well. Isabella Drummond is a doctor and was recently widowed. She is wanted by the British government because she knows the name of Scottish insurgents in Edinburgh. Cinead Mackintosh is a ship captain importing weapons and other supplies to the Highlanders until his ship crashed on the Scottish coast. From that point Isabella and Cinead are on the run and danger abounds while love develops.

This book is full of heart-stopping adventure and its all part of history! I was so happy to find out that the love story (and history-embedded story) of Cinead and Isabella is not over. Their adventures in Scotland will continue in two more books, focusing on her half-sister and her step-daughter. I am definitely looking forward to them! Anyone who enjoys history and a really good romance will love Highland Crown.
Profile Image for Alex.
457 reviews147 followers
March 14, 2019
Yes! Yes! YES!

This book filled my heart! All that love and romance! I'm just so here for this!

I'm obviously a nut and devourer of all thing highland, this did not disappoint! I'm just still so happy I got to read this and so incredibly excited to read more!!

May McGoldrick wrote this amazing and stunning story! She did an amazing job building a and weaving you the best of worlds! AND THE CHARACTERS! AHH LOVE THEM!!! Seriously the book just flows effortlessly and you won't be able to put it down. I'm seriously cannot wait to get my greedy hands on the next book!!!
Profile Image for Lori D.
3,641 reviews85 followers
April 1, 2019
Once you begin this story, I warn that you will not be able to stop until the end. The prologue set the stage for Scotland in 1820's when there was the Radical Uprising and Scotland was in turmoil. The time is June 1820 on the Northeast highland coast and thus begins an adventure that will take you on a journey like never before! Brimming with history and such three dimensional characters you feel you are there with them. The emotions and intensity will leave you almost breathless as this fast paced story pulls you into a world and time in history full of danger and intrigue that starts with the heroine, Isabella Murray Drummond.
May McGoldrick have outdone themselves with the start of this new series. The heroine Isabella is on the run. A brilliant doctor whose deceased husband was deemed a rebal and traitor, so she was as well. The Crown wanted her and her husband's rebellious allies, who were scared she knew information to inform on them, wanted her and there was a hugh price on her head. She had to protect her sister and stepdaughter that were in danger and she would do whatever it took!
Fate walks in by the name of Captain Cinaed Mackintosh and if you were not captured before, you will be now as the story continues.
I highly recommend this book and cannot wait until the next in this series!! Amazing and love the cover!
Profile Image for Alison.
710 reviews6 followers
January 14, 2019
Highland Crown
Royal Highlander #1
By May McGoldrick

Isabella Drummond is smart and beautiful, but that's not the only things she's got going for her she's also a trained physician who is wanted by both the British Government and Scotish Rebels. She has come to the Highlands desperately trying to survive. Then one night she sees a man shot from a long boat. The man washes up on shore almost dead and as a doctor she decides she has to help him no matter the danger.

Cinaed Mackintosh was cast out of the only home he knows as a child and had to work for everything he ever has. Because of this he is a fierce soul who's only allegiance is to himself until he meets Isabella the beautiful physician that saved his life. There is just something about Isabella that makes him want to protect her and he will protect her with his life if he has to. Now, the only way Cinead can keep her safe is to seek refuge at Dalmigavie Castle, the Mackintosh family seat. But when the scandalous truth of his past comes out will he still have a chance with Isabella? How much with these two ill- fated lovers have to go through before they can find their way home?

This is May Mcgoldrick at their best. This book was absolutely fantastic. Almost from page one this book sucked me in leaving the real world to fend for itself around me until the hold let me go at the end. I'm almost speeches. There was so much great chemistry between Cinaed and Isabella that it made me feel as if I was intruding on a real couple at times. The flow was wonderful and there was never a dull moment. There was so much action I never knew what was going to come next. I can't wait for the next book to what they do next.
Profile Image for Cathy Geha.
3,650 reviews67 followers
April 26, 2019
Highland Crown by May McGoldrick
Royal Highlander #1

In 1820 life in Scotland for the Scottish was one of oppression and being under the yoke of an occupying force. Having lived in such a situation I know that what the occupier and those being occupied experience is not the same. It is true of Scotland and many other countries that have been occupied in the past. There are atrocities perpetrated, freedom-fighters heroes of the country considered terrorists by the occupiers and...anyway...it has not changed in centuries and no doubt will remain the same for centuries. Anyway, this book is set in Scotland when England is occupying it. The English feel they have valid reasons for being there and doing what they are doing BUT that is definitely up for debate. The people that suffer most in situations like this are often the poor who are without means of any sort to deal with the political shenanigans and horrors they face but...they do often survive against the odds.

So...I digressed but in doing so perhaps set the stage.

There is a woman with a bounty on her head. She is wanted by the English and also by others. She believes she has found a place to hunker down and hide till she can move on to Halifax with her half-sister and step-daughter but while she waits to move on events are set in play that change her life entirely. A ship founders on the rocks of the bay near where she is hiding and when her skills as a physician are put into play saving the ship’s captain both her life and the captain’s are changed forever.

This book contains a fair bit of politics and history but not to the detriment of the romance and the wonderful introduction to the books that will follow. We meet Isabella: physician, widow, step-mother, guardian of her half-sister, forward thinking female who is being hunted for treason. We also meet Captain Cinead MacKintosh: orphan, man of the sea, ship’s captain, man of honor, charismatic leader, superb lover, and more. That Isabella saves Cinead’s life is not lost on him and when he is able to return the favor he manages to do so even when not at his physical best.

What I liked:
* Isabella’s strength, intelligence, skills, calm demeanor, passion and so much more.
* Cinead...I really liked him and how he managed to do what was needed even when he should have been laid flat on the floor PLUS he was a swoon-worthy book boyfriend – at least in my opinion.
* Searc (though I think his name is said Shark) – his cunning and ability to play both sides for the benefit of all...especially himself.
* Jean: for an older woman she is a great role model
* Carmichael: the physician didn’t get a lot of time in the book but his role really supported Isabella’s abilities and character
* The relationship between Isabella and Cinead and how the two grew together and as individuals.

What I didn’t like:
* Hudson the Hussar and his buddies – talk about people who deserve to be roasted on a spit over a fiery pit!
* Habbie – and his village companions out to glean what they could from the ship that crashed on the rocks...I mean...really? Sure...the sea takes and it gives but it also gives not only goods from shipwrecks but also human lives that should be saved and not squandered!
* The historical times – I hate reading about injustice...in the past or in the present and yet...sometimes the story has to have mention of these injustices to give them the setting and impact they need to solidify the story.

What am I looking forward to in this series? (yes, I do want to read more in this series)
* Finding out how Isabella and Cinead move forward now that they are a couple
* Finding out more about Cinead’s background
* Seeing who Maisie and Morrigan end up with
* Finding out whether or not John Gordon survived his time under torture and finds a HEA.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC – This is my honest review.

5 Stars

Profile Image for Jessica {Litnoob}.
1,190 reviews88 followers
June 7, 2019
While i picked this up just seeking a romance I have to admit that I didn’t finish this book for a love story. They couple was cute enough and I wasn’t mad they got together. But honestly I wasnt half as invested in them as I was in the politics of the revolution brewing in Scotland. That was where most of my interest came from and for that I might just continue on with the series.
Profile Image for Rachel.
1,433 reviews24 followers
April 29, 2019
Isabella Drummond is not like most women of her time. She is being hunted by both sides, the British and Scottish, for what she may know, she is in terrible danger if her identity is discovered.

Cinaed Mackintosh is loyal to only himself after he was cast out from his village and family as a child. When Isabella saves his life he finds himself indebted to her and determined to protect her, even if it means doing something he hasn’t done since he was cast out - return to his family lands.

I loved Isabella and Cinaed. She is a fierce leading lady battling gender roles in her own way on a time period that didn’t appreciate her skills. Cinaed may not have typically been protective, but her fierceness pulled him in as none had before. It was her different that drew him to her and brought out the protector in him.

The setting and period are developed wonderfully. The highlands came to life in the descriptions. But a large part of the plot deals with period politics and though it was very detailed and descriptive, I found myself wanting more of Isabella and Cinaed rather than the politics that were driving their lives.

I was looking for a change when I picked up Highland Crown and I found what I was looking for. I haven’t read this author duo before but will keep them in mind when I’m looking for historical romance, and will certainly watch for more from this series. A great mix of romance and history kept my mind and heart interested in equal measure.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
1,247 reviews
January 16, 2019
This was my first book by May McGoldrick, but it won't be the last. Cinaed Mackintosh was everything I love in a Scottish hero. He was brave and strong, dependable, loyal and protective. He was a leader with a heart of gold.
With no home or family, Cinaed turned into a self made man sailing the high seas. His luck ran out when his ship smashes into a reef and he ends up getting shot while trying to save himself. Enter Isabella Drummond: widow, sister, stepmother and physician. She's also an outlaw with a price on her head. While hiding from the English soldiers hunting her down and tryng to avoid the radicals who want to find her to ensure her silence, Isabella literally pulls Cinaed from the sea. Despite not knowing whether he is friend or foe, the doctor in her can't turn her back on trying to save his life.
From there the story takes off as Cinaed and Isabella try to clear her name and return her to her sister and stepdaughter.
There is danger all around them,but it is not enough to distract them from the attraction simmering between them. I'm a sucker for couples who are powerfully drawn together despite the odds. While this book was less steamy than others I've read, the romance is emotional and touching and i couldn't wait to see how it all worked out.
13 reviews
January 19, 2019
Thank you to NetGalley and St Martin’s Press for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Highland Crown written by May McGoldrick is an amazing, fascinating historical romance. This story has provided readers with glorious characters and now Highland Crown is on my favorite book list, it makes me read again without feeling dull. The author has put lots of effort into the research, words, characters, settings and it shows the beauty of great storytelling, the combination of fiction and history stand together. I felt like I'm watching a movie with magnificent, picturesque pictures of 1800’s Scotland. If you have never visited Scotland before, you will feel like you know it manifestly by the time after reading this book. It was about Isabella and Cinaed standing hand in hand against the world and they 're willing to sacrifice in order to be together. It was their faith in each other and how they loved in a truly unforgettable adventure about fighting for their freedom and for the freedom of their countrymen. An encounter with our beautiful Isabella has changed everything and you know, the ending makes me satisfying. Besides, this is also a beautiful tale of Scottish history and full of emotions that I can't put it down. I commend the writing style because it's entirely flawless. Highland Crown is book 1 of the Royal Highlander Series but can be read as a standalone. I'm looking forward to reading the other books of the series and I know this will be fabulous.
Profile Image for JenReviews4U.
362 reviews
January 8, 2019
As an avid and critical reader of historical romance, I have very few that qualify as my favorites but Highland Crown is now top of my favorite list. It is rare for a book that I’ve just finished to scream at me to read it again but this one does. Highland Crown has a fine and well detailed crafted story line that is very well written. There was a tremendous amount of research and care put into the words, the characters, the settings and it shows. The weaving of fiction and history together was done effortlessly and beautifully. I could envision every scene as if watching a movie and indeed, this could end up being a great motion picture. For sure, it should win an award for great storytelling and very lovable characters. I cannot wait for the other books of the series to come out. Well done.
I was given an ARC to read in exchange for my unbiased review
3,394 reviews13 followers
January 11, 2019
Highland Crown by May McGoldrick is a fantastic historical romance. Ms. McGoldrick has provided readers with a well-written book and a stellar cast of characters. I got such a kick out of Jean, probably because I'm turning into her. Isabella was in hiding with a double bounty on her head. Cinaed's ship sank and he was shot as his longboat was headed to shore. Isabella and Cinaed's story is packed cover to cover with drama, action, humor, steamy sexy bits and suspense. I enjoyed reading Highland Crown and look forward to my next book by May McGoldrick. Highland Crown is book 1 of the Royal Highlander Series but can be read as a standalone. This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received from NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Sissy's Romance Book Review .
7,856 reviews16 followers
May 1, 2019
Highland Crown by May McGoldrick is book One in the Royal Highlander Series. This is the story of Cinaed Mackintosh and Isabella Drummond.
Isabella is a very bright women who learned the skills to become a trained physician who worked in her husband's office. But her husband had a double life where he worked as a DR during the day but a radical reformer at night. This lead to his death and put a price on Isabella's head. Of course she is on the run now but ends up meeting Cinaed, a sea captain who she ends up saving his life. Cinaed is a smuggler of arms into Scotland from Canada. On this run he ends up having to do some dangerous action to prevent his loot from falling into the wrong hands.
Of course Isabella and Cinaed are caught in their attraction but both have danger following them...can they have a happy ending?
Great start this this series!!

Profile Image for Heather❀Kiss The Pages❀.
709 reviews272 followers
April 30, 2019
This was a great story with a great blend of romance and historical fiction.

I loved Isabella right away. Her achievement of becoming a physician in the 1800s already speaks to her intelligence and strength of character. She is on the run from both the British government for alleged treason and the Scottish rebels who believe she will spill their secrets if she was caught. From the start of the book, we are caught up on the intrigue of her attempting to escape Scotland to find safety.

Her first encounter with Cinaed was to use her skills to save his life. He quickly becomes enarmoured by her and not just because of her beauty. He acknowledged her bravery and the risks she took to nurse him back to life. Their connection of savior and saved eventually propels into a beautiful love.

Cinead and Isabella's love story is centered around the political unrest in Scotland during this time period but I never felt like the history was too much. Rather, I enjoyed watching this romance grow in a time of danger with a looming threat to both of their lives. The strenght of their love is seen as they sacrifice and risk everything for each other.

I didn't realize this was the first book in the series so there is definitely more to come with these two. However, I didn't feel this was a cliffhanger. You can certainly appreciate their HEA at the end of this book.

4 Stars
Historical Romance
Heat Level: Mild
POV: 3rd person


Follow me for your next comfort read!
Profile Image for Susan.
4,330 reviews93 followers
March 28, 2019
Excellent blend of history and fiction along with a fantastic romance. It is unusual to find a Regency-era novel that doesn't deal mainly with the English nobility and their high society lives. In this book, we have a female Scottish physician and surgeon with a price on her head and the independent Scottish sea captain who came to her rescue. I was sucked into this book from the first pages and didn't put it down until I read the last page.

It opened with some musings supposedly by Sir Walter Scott, who felt guilty over what he saw as his unintended influence on what has happened to the Scottish people. It was a time of social unrest throughout Great Britain. Life is especially hard in Scotland which still suffered from the consequences of the Jacobite Rebellion. In Edinburgh, Isabella Drummond is a trained doctor and surgeon who is called to treat everyone, no matter their status. Her husband, who is also a doctor, is an activist with those pushing for reform. When protests turned deadly, her husband was killed, her younger sister and stepdaughter were spirited to safety, while Isabella was taken to a small fishing village to hide. Both the British and the Scottish rebels have put a price on her head, the first wanting to find out what she knows and the second to prevent her from talking.

I liked Isabella from the beginning. She was smart, stubborn, and driven. She had no trouble speaking her mind and standing up for what she believed was right. Jean, her "hostess" is something of a curmudgeon. When they witness a shipwreck on the reef, Isabella was horrified to see the villagers shoot a man on one of the lifeboats, angry that the ship exploded before they could recover any of the cargo. The argument between Isabella and Jean over Isabella's determination to save the man was intense, and I loved seeing Isabella out-stubborn Jean. The description of Isabella's efforts was so vivid I felt as though I was there.

Cinead was a self-made man. He was cast from his family and sent to sea at the age of twelve, and has created a life where his only loyalty is to himself - or so he likes to believe. However, it was clear from his first appearance that he is protective of his crew, and of those he sees as needing help. Even as severely injured as he was, he found the strength to protect Isabella and Jean when they were threatened. He was drawn to Isabella, though he also sensed that she had secrets that were dangerous to her and any who tried to help her.

The intrigue and drama that followed Cinead, Isabella, and Jean from the seaside village to Inverness to his former home at Dalmigavie Castle had me glued to the pages from beginning to end. The price on Isabella's head brought the attention of a British soldier that would give Outlander's Black Jack Randall a run for his money. The only way that Cinead could think of to keep her safe was to take her to his Uncle Searc, a man of questionable values and morals. And the best way to protect her from Searc was to pretend that they were married. I loved seeing Cinead and Isabella grow closer. It was clear that Cinead was quite happy to have Isabella as his wife, and he would like nothing more than to make it real. Isabella was a bit warier. Because of the price on her head, she was determined to retrieve her sister and stepdaughter and emigrate to Canada, but she also could not deny her growing feelings for Cinead.

To complicate matters, the Scottish protests against British tyranny were spreading from Edinburgh and Glasgow to Inverness. Cinead found his love for his homeland growing and was caught up in the intensifying unrest. Meanwhile, Isabella's concern for the people of the town had her taking risks in her efforts to treat their illnesses and injuries. When the peoples' peaceful protests ran up against the British army's determination to maintain their iron-fisted control, the results were predictably inflammatory. I was on the edge of my seat as Isabella came face-to-face with her nemesis. The encounter was a nail-biter, and I loved how it turned out.

Once peace was restored, it was time for Cinead and Isabella to go to Dalmigavie Castle. Cinead had to face his past, starting with a confrontation with the uncle who threw him out. There were some unexpected revelations that came out of this conversation. Cinead discovered that not everything was as black-and-white as he remembered it. He was shocked by the things he learned, which put a whole new spin on his plans. All he needed to do was convince Isabella of his love. Isabella had some eye-opening conversations herself. The sister and stepdaughter that she thought were anxious to leave Scotland had undergone some changes while they were apart. I loved seeing these two young women stand up for their futures, which in turn freed Isabella to go after what she wanted. I can't wait to read the next book to see what is in store for Cinead and Isabella, as well as Maisie and Morrigan.
1,858 reviews17 followers
April 30, 2019
What a gripping read! There were certainly some very tense moments when I was on the edge of my seat and left me quite breathless but also some lovingly tender moments. The two main characters, Isabella and Cinead were very engaging and I enjoyed their connection. There is also a mystery surrounding Cinead’s banishment from his clan and the significance of his mother’s ring. Some are explained near the end but others continue into the next book, a book I will be looking forward to reading. I received a copy and have voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 278 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.