Review: Beyond the Highland Mist by Karen Marie Moning

Posted April 30, 2014 by Jessica in Jessica, Paranormal Romance, Reviews / 104 Comments

Review: Beyond the Highland Mist by Karen Marie Moning
Beyond the Highland Mist by Karen Marie Moning
Series: Highlander #1
Published by Dell
Published on: November 4 2009
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 388
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
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He would sell his warrior soul to possess her...

An alluring laird...

He was known throughout the kingdom as Hawk, legendary predator of the battlefield and the boudoir. No woman could refuse his touch, but no woman ever stirred his heart—until a vengeful fairy tumbled Adrienne de Simone out of modern-day Seattle and into medieval Scotland. Captive in a century not her own, entirely too bold, too outspoken, she was an irresistible challenge to the sixteenth-century rogue. Coerced into a marriage with Hawk, Adrienne vowed to keep him at arm's length—but his sweet seduction played havoc with her resolve.

A prisoner in time...

She had a perfect "no" on her perfect lips for the notorious laird, but Hawk swore she would whisper his name with desire, begging for the passion he longed to ignite within her. Not even the barriers of time and space would keep him from winning her love. Despite her uncertainty about following the promptings of her own passionate heart, Adrienne's reservations were no match for Hawk's determination to keep her by his side...


Beyond the Highland Mist by Karen Marie Moning was the first paranormal romance I ever read.

10+ years ago the only books I’d read that could even remotely be compared to PNR or UF were Anne Rice books (and if any of you have read Anne Rice books, you know that they are so not the same). I don’t think I even picked up my first modern (not Narnia or LOTR) fantasy until my freshman year of college (The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan).

I’m sure that all the Vivian Vande Velde, Robin McKinley, and Christopher Pike books I read when I was a teenager set the stage for the love of all things supernatural I developed as an adult, but for whatever reason, there was a five(ish)-year gap after high school in which I never managed to stumble across anything that could pass as either of my favorite genres today (the aforementioned PNR and UF).

And I was so bored.

Enter one of my sisters who was always reading the historical romances that she began filching from our maternal grandmother (not the fairy tale-reading grandmother) at WAY too early an age. She was always trying to get me to read some bodice-ripper or another, but it just wasn’t my thing. Then she brings one that she swears I’ll LOVE.

*squints in disbelief*

“No, really,” she says, and then explains that this is not just a historical romance, this is a paranormal/historical romance. A paranormal/historical romance in which a hot, evil version of Puck drags a woman scorned from the modern world back in time 500 years to the Scottish highlands.

Fairies, you say?

Back in time, you say?

Hmmm . . .

So I gave it a shot.

And I loved it. I read all seven books in the series, and then several years later, continued on to read the (loosely) connected Fever series (which I loved even more). Come to think of it, the Fever series was my very first foray into UF, so that makes a Karen Marie Moning book responsible for my introduction to both of my favorite genres. C-R-A-Z-Y. Anyway, loving the Fever books even more than the Highlander books made the Highlander books take a back seat in my mind. I don’t think, in hindsight, that I fully appreciated how good they were. It was a finished series. I didn’t reread them, like I did the Fever series, every time a new book came out.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

So fast forward to this past weekend.

I’m bored. I hate my ovaries. Historical romance is sounding good-ish to my nutso hormones, but not exactly right . . . I know! I’ll reread those really good Karen Marie Moning historical/time-travel PNR books. YES!!!

Best idea I’ve had in a long, LONG time. It was hilarious. It was HOT. It was sweet. It was clever.

Our heroine is an orphaned hater-of-pretty-men who is on the run from her past. Our hero is just GAH—a literal legend among men AND fairies alike (which is why both hero and heroine find themselves in their predicament, incidentally). There are crazy Gypsies, fairies in disguise as smokin’ hot blacksmiths, AND (my personal favorite thing about PNR vs. UF) an absolutely sublime HEA—as it turns out, nutso hormones are all about the instant gratification when it comes to books.

Basically, if you’ve never read them, or it’s been a while since you last did—READ THEM. It’s an excellent way to spend an overcast (and cranky) weekend afternoon.

Jessica Signature

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My name is Jessica and I live in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I’m trying my hand at writing, but mostly I read. My favorite genres are Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, and the YA versions of those genres, but if there is a book of a different color getting lots of buzz, I’ll read it too, just to be informed. If I’m not reading or writing, I’m probably on Goodreads or Pinterest or baking blueberry pies because I love them.


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104 responses to “Review: Beyond the Highland Mist by Karen Marie Moning

  1. I love this series on audio. I started listening to it years ago. I thought the story was a little to historical romance for me, even with the paranormal aspects, but I love the narration so much that I kept listening. Phil Gigante does a great Scottish accent. He does both men and women extremely well and many different voices all in an old world Scottish accents. I’m not sure if he is originally from Scotland or if he is just that good at Scottish accents, but I highly recommend this series on audio.

    • I’ll add it to my audio list, Melanie 😉 And if I was going into it for the first time right now, I might find it light on the paranormal aspects, but back then—it was AMAZING! Hard to be objective after that, LOL.

  2. Wow, thanks for your review, I can tell you really loved Moning’s books. This one sounds really crazy with all the gypsies and stuff, isn’t it awesome to return to an old favourite to get you through a cranky day? Lovely review Jessica!

  3. Ohoho, you had me at ‘alpha’ 😀 I’m SO reading this series!
    I keep trying to make time and read books released during the time I wasn’t on a reading spree, I mean SO much good stuff came out like prior to 2011-2012 when I really got started on getting my reading on. Just like you said, for a while there, except Ann Rice there wasn’t really to much to totally grab me like there are zounds of yummies now.
    Of course, with lots of smexeh coming out, there’s always the risk of getting caught in the hype of all the newness and I keep getting dragged away from all those series I SO want to read from a few years back. Sigh. Such are the troubles of today’s bookaholic, lol.

    Loved the review!

    • Thanks, Livia! And yay! I hope you love them as much as I do. I’ve actually got the opposite problem. After I got started on the PNR and UF, I devoured EVERYTHING. I was so bored for several years until the ebook explosion, and now I’m trying to figure out how to fit everything in, LOL. So little time, SO many books. But there are definitely worse problems to have, right?

  4. I haven’t read anything from Karen Moning. That makes me a terrible person, doesn’t it?! But seriously, this book (and series) sound like the perfect way for me to forget how horrible pregnancy makes me feel. MUST READ. Lovely review!

    • NO! It doesn’t make you a terrible person! It just makes you a person who has entirely too large TBR lists (just like every, single one of us, LOL). I hope you get the chance to read this, and that is soothes the wild beasts (that are nutso hormones) for you, like it did for me 😉

  5. bookwormbrandee  

    Awesome, awesome review, Jessica! I read the Highlander series while waiting for Shadow Fever to release. I couldn’t get enough of KMM. And I LOVED them! I’m thrilled that your cranky weekend ended up providing you with some gratification after all! 😉

  6. O yes Jessica, I read these books a long time ago, and I sure love them more than the Fever series. Not a fan of Mac or Barrons. Yes, really. Perhaps time for a re-read. I never did connect the ending of these books to the Fever books, and I thought that would happen somehow, and was the only reason I kept on reading the Fever series.

    • No, I think I like these better too. I do love Barrons, but Mac . . . towards the end of the series, she got better, but Mac 1.0 . . . not a huge fan. This series, on the other hand, WINS across the board. My reread went even better the second time through 😉

  7. I’ve only read one of the books in this series Jessica. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!!!! The Fever series is one of my all-time favorites and KMM is pretty much my hero for bringing to life Barrons and Ryodan. *dies just thinking about them* I think I read Adam’s book (maybe book 4?) and really enjoyed it, so I’m definitely going to have to go back to the beginning. CANNOT WAIT!

    • Adam’s book was great. It might even have been my favorite. But they are ALL (except the last one, still good, but not quite as good as the others) so, so fabulous. You need the MacKelters in your life, Jenny. NEED.

  8. Confession: I haven’t read this series yet! I planned to after I finished the Fever series but never got to it, even though they’re on my Nook…LOL I’ve only heard fantastic things about this series so maybe it’s time for me to finally get to it!

    • They are so good, Lori. I was so annoyed with myself when I reread them for forgetting how great they were. KMM is funnier in these books. The dialogue is more clever. And the males are every bit as Alpha as Barrons. It’s really win/win. I hope you do read them (and love them).

  9. jsnow09  

    I haven’t read this one and I probably should. I loved Fever and somehow this one just sat in the back burner. Thanks for reminding me I need to read it.

    Ps…I love your reviews, there’s so quirky and funny. 🙂

    • Thank you! I make fun of myself a lot, but at least I can laugh about it, right? And YES. These books are really fantastic. I hope you don’t leave them languishing on the back-burner forever 😉

  10. I loved this series, it’s how I got addicted to Karen Marie Moning’s books/writing style. The Fever series was also fantastic- are you reading the spin off of the Dani O’Malley Trilogy? I think you’d love it just as much! 🙂

    • I love KMM too, but I decided to hold off on Iced until Burned comes out. I’m pretty sure I’ll love them, but for whatever reason I didn’t read Iced immediately, and knowing first hand the agony of a KMM cliffhanger . . . I felt it’d be safer to wait, LOL.

  11. KMM is made of awesome, and the Highlander series is excellent! It’s one of the first historical/romance/paranormal stories I ever read, too. And I thought the going back in time aspect was well done 🙂 Excellent review, Jessica!

    • Thank you, Lexxie! And KMM is made of awesome. I loved everything about these books—the time travel, the Fae, Hake, Adrienne, even (or maybe especially Grimm). They are just well done across the board 😉

  12. I’ve not read her Highlander series, but I do love her Fever series (well, at least the first few books in it! 😉 ) Fae are more my thing than Highlanders, LOL.

    Speaking of, I thought Burned, book two of her Dani series was coming out this year but apparently it has been pushed back to 2015? Boo!

    • Yeah, Fae are my favorite subject for any of the books I read (but KMM can write a mighty fine highlander too). And yes. Every time I check on the status of Burned, the date has been pushed back again. BUT it’s been January 2015 for awhile now, so maybe that will stick *crosses fingers*

  13. i have to admit i’ve never read anything by Karen Marie Moning but you’ve got me interested! I know what you mean by just needing to go back to an old read to gegt you through a cranky weekend LOL! I’m glad this one did it for you!
    Lily @ Lilysbookblog

  14. I read this book right after I finished the first four books of the Fever series and I was awaiting the fifth. I liked it but I still haven’t gone back and continued. I need to. I really did like Hawk.

    • Hawk was fantastic. I liked Grimm (Hawk’s best friend, and the MC in book 2) even better, and don’t even get me started on the MacKelters. I hope you do go back and read them some time. I think they’re wonderful!

  15. I’ve read almost all of the Fever series (still need a couple of books to go, which I have) and have been wanting to start this series as well. GAH! I’m so behind on all the reading I want to do! So glad you enjoyed this series. Makes me want to read everything she has written.

    • That’s a good feeling, you should run with that, LOL. And I know . . . I am grotesquely behind myself. One day we’ll finish all the books we want to read, and that will be a glorious day 😉

  16. We are so on the same page!!!! This is up next for me. I’m wrapping up a book now and I’m starting this one next. I always think of Jude Deveraux when I see anything Historical Romance BUT it is Karen Marie Moning and I loved The Fever Series! Like LOVED!!!! Clever, Funny and Sexy…I’m all over it! Stunning review my friend!!! ♥ PS: I was dying when you wrote about your ovaries! Bawhahahahaha!!!

    • YOU know 😉 Don’t mess with cranky Jessica, LOL. As for Jude Deveraux . . . that’s one of the reason’s that I don’t regret not reading any type of historical romance at all until recently. KMM was it until a couple of years ago, but even that’s more PNR than HR. The little bit of HR I have read was written in the last several years and it’s been pretty good. Not a favorite or anything, but a good palate cleanser. But I did read one old school HR from like the ’80s, and man . . . same and not the same. So yeah . . . not your grandmother’s historical romance. I hope you love it Cristina!

  17. OMG Jessica! You just totally made my day! (and it’s been a CRAZY day so far!) “hate my ovaries” *giggle-snort* Now don’t start throwing things at me…I’ve listened to Beyond the Highland Mist, but that’s the only one I’ve gotten to in this series *ducks* I have read all of Fever!

    This one was the first audiobook I listened too when I decided to give them a second try at the beginning of this year and I did really enjoy it. I fully intend to go back and finish the rest of the series…really, it’s on the wishlist! Promise! But other books have been pushy lately and shoved their way to the top of the queue.

    • Pfft. If anyone knows what it’s like to fall prey to pushy books, it’s me, LOL. You listened to this one, you liked it, so I’m sure you’ll get back to them eventually. Who knows . . . maybe the next time you’re feeling uber cranky you’ll remember this conversation, and BOOM—who’s the pushy book now?! 😉

  18. LOL…you are a crazy person but I totally get you…I guess that makes me a crazy person too! I avoid bodice rippers like the plague but can completely justify them if they throw in paranormal. That makes them something different…right!? I listened to the FEVER series on Audio and woowhew…smoking hot! I haven’t tried any of her other books. Me thinks I need to update my wish list.

    • Yes. Yes, you do! KMM = smokin’ hot, no matter what she’s writing. And I may be crazy, but at least I’m self-aware about it 😉 Sounds like you are too, so I’m in good company, LOL.

  19. I love your story I stumbled on paranormal woo-woo and UF quite by accident and it has been a love affair ever since. You totally convinced me I need to read this series, so thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience Jessica 🙂

    • Not only by accident. By my historical romance-reading sister, LOL. Whoda thunk it? Not me, that’s for dang sure 😉 And always happy to add to your ever-expanding TBR pile *snickers* Two peas, one pod!

  20. Ya know I ADORED the Fever Series and I saw this series by KMM but I don’t think I ever took the time to see what they were really about. I do like historical to an extent, but I have to be in the mood, so I think I dismissed them as historicals that I might get around to when the mood struck. I had no idea it was PNR!!! So now you’ve officially put that much more stress on my TBR because I NEED to get to these. You’re killing me Jessica! (I’m reading Bloodfire right now BTW because of you too! LOL)

    • Yay! I hope you’re liking it! I really liked the first book in that series, but it was also one of those that kept getting better with each installment (infinitely preferable to the other kind). And YES! These are totally PNR. The majority of the books are about MacKelters! As for stressing your TBR pile . . . Sorry, I’m not sorry 😛

      • LOL I think too many books on the TBR is better than too few, right?!? I really really liked Bloodfire – I totally was rolling my eyes about her even thinking she was human, but besides that I really enjoyed it and I LOVE the Lord Alpha. I need to get book 2 soon!

  21. jenniferbielman  

    Wow, a blast from the past. This is one of my first PNR series too. I remember being so freaking in love with it. Then, of course, the Fever series was effing amazing too. Moning is just awesome.

  22. I love it when we reread a book that made such an impact on our lives!! I haven’t read a full highlander novel yet (only a novella) and I think I would love these as much 🙂 I haven’t read a KMM book yet.

    Great review Jessica!!

    Chanzie @ Mean Who You Are.

    • Thanks, Chanzie! And, if you haven’t read KMM yet, I’m sure you’ve heard this 100x (at least), but I’m going to say it again—ZOMG! You have to read her! She’s AMAZING!!

  23. bookaholiccat  

    I read these books years back and loved them, but now thinking about them I just can’t remember what they were about. Do you know what that means? I need to read them again! 🙂

  24. At first I was so against UF book cause I always though they are same things like erotica just with paranormal creatures. You can only imagine my surprise when I read Fever series! The whole new world opened for me!!! 😀 I haven’t read this one but I’m going to for sure. Great review, Jessica 🙂

    • LOL! Even if you don’t have time to re-listen to it now, it will be floating in the back of your mind. So the next time you’re all grumpy and not liking anything, you’ll remember this conversation—it will be there waiting for you when you NEED it 😉

  25. ah this series… I started it a while ago, like years ago but in French and you know what they did? they released them out of order and stopped the publication. So I read some but not this one. And 2 years ago they chose to return to the series and to translate from the first one so I have them since their release and I even have some others as I didn’t read them since more than that but I still need to get into them. I’m glad you enjoyed this one that much! I know I need to come back to them. I really liked the ones I read.

  26. Oh, KMM. I so love that woman. However…I haven’t read this series. I KNOW! WHAT AM I THINKING?!? *runs to buy this first book* *frees out a block of time while I binge the series since I know that’s going to happen*

    • Word. AND completely understandable. For me, it may have started as an afternoon’s diversion, but I didn’t stop until I was finished with ALL of them. Then a couple of weeks later, I reread Fever too 😉

  27. I read this one years ago when I was craving more of her and it didn’t work for me at all. My taste has changed though so that might be different now. I don’t even remember this book at all, other than being disappointed. It’s just different from her other books I guess.

    • Yeah, it is very different, but I still liked it. I’ve noticed that each series she’s writes gets progressively grittier, so I’m unfortunately not surprised this didn’t scratch your Fever itch. But it you’re ever in the mood for higland HR with a paranormal twist, this should for sure get the job done 😉

  28. I am absolutely obsessed with the Fever series; it’s my all time fave but I have never been interested in reading her Highlander series for some reason, I’m not a fan of historical’s at all but you have me really curious so I might just give these a go.

    A fabulous review Jessica 🙂 On a side note, have you read Iced??

    • I have to be in a very specific mood to go for HR, but when I do get in that mood, these books are perfect b/c almost anything is made better by a dash of paranormal (IMO).

      And thanks, Sharon! I have it sitting on a shelf staring at me, LOL. One could say that Fever made me a bit gun-shy of KMM’s unfinished series . . . 😉

  29. Faye M.  

    Hah, I was not impressed with her Fever series! Mac frustrated me so much and Jericho Barrons was a douche with a capital D!! But I may need to check this one out. You liked it, therefore there mus tbe something about it that’s good, right? 😉

    Faye at The Social Potato Reviews

    • Yeah, but I liked Fever too . . . Mac did get on my nerves in the beginning, but later in the series she grew on me. And I was always a Barrons fangirl. SORRY! I may not be a reliable source of PNR recommendations for you, my lovely 😉

  30. Hahaha, absolutely loved the story behind your love of KMM, Jessica! High five for starting with Anne Rice. If you add to it LKH, they totally propelled me into the world of UF. With KMM though I started with Fever series and then tried her highlanders… and I couldn’t read it. Maybe I need to do it again :)) BTW, as a historical romance lover first of all I can tell you that there were a few paranormal historicals I read in those days and loved.

    • I’m sure that if I had done the research, I would have found plenty on my own, but it never occurred to me to even look, you know? I had no idea something like that existed. And yeah, just b/c you liked Fever, doesn’t mean you’ll like this series—VERY different writing style. Clearly I them anyway though 😉

    • Definitely. I only started reading HR myself not even two years ago, so back them . . . not at ALL. But throw in some time travel and the Fae, and it’s suddenly not your ordinary HR 😉

  31. Christy  

    Ohhh … I’ve been wanting to try her Darkfever series for quite awhile now. Hmm – I definitely interested in this one too now. I’ll probably still start with the other though, since I already have that book.

    • Yeah, I do that all the time, LOL. Someone will review a book that sounds great, but I already have something else by the same author . . . I hope you like the Fever series—it’s one of my favorites. BUT if you’re one of the few that doesn’t, this series has a completely different writing style, so you might still like it, even if you don’t like the other 😉

  32. Michele

    You had me at “hot, evil Puck”! Nutso hormones are no fun, but I LOVE that you made the best of it with a fabulous re-read. This is going on the list for sure!

  33. Jessica, my first modern pnr/uf experience happened on college too. 🙂
    I adored Fever series, I can’t wait for next book, but I’ve been shying away from this series because it is historical. Not a big fan of historical. But if you say that it is that good – I’d have to give it a chance, right?

    Great review!

    • Yeah, but it’s historical PNR. I don’t know. It’s hard for me to be unbiased b/c I refused to read HR prior to this and the only reason I didn’t immediately shoot this down was b/c it wasn’t normal HR. Then after that, I discovered that I didn’t hate the normal kind of HR either. So if you know from experience that you don’t like HR, then I would skip it, but it you’ve never tried it b/c you’re convinced you’ll hate it . . . 😉

  34. I think we have the same taste in PNR Jessica, so I would definitely be checking this out. Actually, I’ve been meaning to read books from Karen Marie Moning for awhile now but she has so many I don’t know where to begin! I know her Fever series is quite popular but I’m thinking I should start with this one first. Great review!

    • Since you haven’t read either of them, I would definitely start with these. The first couple of books are only loosely connected to Fever (insofar as meddling Fae), but the last few start laying the foundation. You don’t NEED to read these books to fully appreciate the others, but I’m OCD about things like that, LOL. Plus they are really, really good, so why not 😉

  35. I have yet to read any of her books even though I own this book and the first in the Fever series. I know I know I live under a rock. I big dark rock. I really should start the Fever series since I have 16 hr flights to Europe and back in a little over a week. I guess I have plenty of time to dive into at least one book by this author.

    Thanks for the great review!

    • KMM is one of those authors that is almost universally loved. Even people that usually don’t read UF or PNR have these books. It’s amazing. I really don’t see the huge difference between her books and other UF/PNR, but hey, if they get people out of their comfort zones, and they like it, that’s good enough for me 😉 I hope you do manage to read them at some point! Huge difference, or no huge difference—these books are fabulous 😉