The Legend of Lady MacLaoch

I know I've lamented my lack of travel experience on this blog before but I've also stated that I love books for their passport nature.  It's exciting to me to visit new places and travel the world without going farther than my local library and one of my recent journeys took me on a trip across the Atlantic to a locale I've long dreamed of visiting in real life. 

Cole Baker is a spunky American graduate with a passion for her family's past.  In studying her ancestry she discovers a link to a Scottish clan with a strange history.  Unable to sate her curiosity where myth and legends cross with reality she hops a plane overseas determined to find her family's roots. 

Rowan MacLaoch is the modern day laird of the clan linked to the bizarre story of ancient star-crossed lovers that Cole uncovers.  Curses should be a thing of fairy tales but Rowan's people have a hard time shaking the superstitions they have lived with for centuries.  Cole finds herself drawn to the secretive Scotsman but as a veteran of the RAF, Rowan lives with scars and shadows of his own past even on top of the legends of his clan. 

The Legend of Lady MacLaoch was a delightful journey through the past and present castles and highlands of Scotland.  From the sights and sounds of lush gardens to the intricate tastes of Scottish whiskeys, author Becky Banks paints masterful scenery that leaps from the page in stunning details.  Cole is a heroine to cheer for with equal parts smarts and sass and Rowan walks a delicious line between brooding heartthrob and renaissance man.  From start to finish, the book was hard to put down and it seamlessly blends action, mystery, and romance with just a dash of magical realism.  Not since Diana Gabaldon's Outlander has a book left me with such a desire to see Scotland for myself, but The Legend of Lady MacLaoch is certainly cheaper than plane tickets and makes for an excellent literary journey.
I'm pleased to be part of author Becky Banks' Legendary Blog Tour promoting this book.  Check out my previous post for my interview with Becky Banks and a chance to win a paperback copy of The Legend of Lady MacLaoch (leave a comment on this review for an extra entry into the giveaway!)

And of course I'm still trying to pinpoint what it is about Scotland that has me so enamored.  The kilts?  The accents?  The highlands?  The whiskey?  Maybe it's all of the above.  Feel free to chime in with your own thoughts about the book (or Scotland) below!

15 Response to "The Legend of Lady MacLaoch"

  1. EJ Says:
    September 27, 2011 at 2:29 PM

    The kilts?
    The Accents?
    The Highlands?

    I am not a whiskey fan but all the others are reasons you should take a trip there if you ever get the chance. It is as beautiful as you have heard.

  2. Anonymous Says:
    September 27, 2011 at 3:20 PM

    I'm an armchair traveler, too. There are so many places I would love to visit, but who knows when/if I'll get there. Scotland just seems like such a gorgeous place. The kilts I'm not so fond of.

  3. Anonymous Says:
    September 27, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    Becky!!!! Outlander found you w/out any need to reference them! I'm so proud of you. Now give us some Austen characters to reference in the next novel!

  4. Becky Banks says:
    September 27, 2011 at 3:55 PM

    Armchair traveling! I love it! And yes, Scotland is all that it's rumored to be. The whisky, I have to admit, I wasn't too sure about before going (though I had sampled bourbons, and I love me a good southern bourbon) and after a trip through sweet-whisky country, Craigellachie, I was a convert. Only now a zillion years later am I coming around to the smokey-sea style whiskys of the isles. Yum! In the book there is quite a bit of whisky consumption, and in real life I wouldn't doubt that if there's a national drink for Scotland it would be whisky.

  5. lisa :) says:
    September 27, 2011 at 4:02 PM

    EJ - The Accents? Aye! LOL! I don't know if/when I'll get to Scotland but it is high on my list of places I'd like to go someday!

    carol - No kilts, hmmm. What about bagpipes?

    Anonymous - Was mentioning Outlander a good thing or a bad? I feel like I just won or lost someone a bet...

    Should I add that I really enjoy Gabaldon's work? I never want to imply that authors have too much in common because Becky Banks certainly has a unique and original voice. At the same time, though, I've had readers tell me that they like when I include "if you like x, you'll enjoy y" comparisons because some people are hesitant to try out debut/indie authors.

  6. lisa :) says:
    September 27, 2011 at 4:03 PM

    Becky - Now you're making me thirsty! ;)

  7. Becky Banks says:
    September 27, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    Oh, and I have one more to add to your list Lisa! Castles!! Even dilapidated, castles are amazing and in Scotland you can be cruising around and come across an open pasture and smack dab in the middle of a herd of cows is a castle! The one mentioned in the novel, Castle Laoch, is based upon a real castle that has been the home base for its chieftains for nearly 800 years.(!!)

  8. Becky Banks says:
    September 27, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    Anonymous - Mom? Is that you?! :0)

  9. lisa :) says:
    September 27, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    Castles?!?!? *swoon*

    And I thought my list was long enough!

  10. Unknown says:
    September 27, 2011 at 4:34 PM

    Sounds like a fabulous read. I am a Scot fanatic so all of the above apply to me. It's not on the list (and I can see why) but I don't care for haggis. :)

    Scotland is the land of my heart and I can't wait to go again next year!

    Cyndi Tefft

  11. Becky Banks says:
    September 27, 2011 at 4:46 PM

    Hi Cyndi! Awe man, I love haggis! When we were there it was served just like sausage - and tasted quite like it too. Though I've heard when it comes in the traditional manner, right from the sheep's stomach it's, well, bad. :0/

    So jealous that you're headed back there next year - maybe Lisa can sneak into your suitcase?!

  12. Bailey says:
    September 27, 2011 at 8:59 PM

    Sounds like a great read! I love armchair traveling. I mean, actually traveling is much more fun... but also much more difficult :) I've always thought I'd love Scotland, so I'm sure I'd enjoy this one!

  13. lisa :) says:
    September 27, 2011 at 10:11 PM

    Wonder if we can go on a "bags fly free" airline... I'm going to have to start practicing yoga again or find a reeeeally big suitcase!

    Bailey - Based on books we have in common I think you'd love it!

  14. sonia says:
    September 28, 2011 at 8:57 AM

    This looks really interesting. Thanks for sharing it. Off to put it on my list!

  15. Joni says:
    September 28, 2011 at 12:22 PM

    I have been a fan of books about Scotland every since I started reading The Outlander series many years ago. If this book is even half as good, it will be a great success.

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