I am pleased to be a part of this blog tour organised by Xpresso Book Tours. Today I’m reviewing this novel by Liz Gavin and there is also an international giveaway at the end of the post.
This is a standalone, historical/paranormal romance. Its mature themes – violence, religious war, and pagan rituals – might not be appropriate for audiences under 18.
When ancient gods ruled and Druids kept Faith alive, the Celts thrived as a democratic, matriarchal society. Then savage Roman soldiers swept across Europe, killing and enslaving. The Celts did not succumb without a fight. Their Old Ways survived centuries of ruthless domain until another menace loomed: a tortured god worshiped in cold stone buildings. The sacred shores of Avalon began to drift away, the mists threatened to hide the island from mortal eyes forever.
Against the bleak backdrop of war, the gorgeous Scottish Highlands stood tall, sheltering its inhabitants from greedy invaders. Yet the reach of the eagle banners was long and the highlanders turned to the Goddess for protection. However, the sacred groves felt silent and grim as Avalon faded away. Once sad, pealing bells began to sound strangely comforting while the high walls of monasteries offered an alluring barrier from violence. Caught in the middle of this centuries-old war, a young High Priestess might be Avalon’s last chance.
Wise beyond her years and powerful like no other Priestess in her lifetime, Rowen had served the Goddess faithfully, forsaking her family and the company of her soulmate. When the Lady of the Lake asks for another sacrifice, it might be one too many for her scarred heart. How could she obey the Goddess without betraying Caddaric? Could she trust Eochaid, who embodied everything she despised and hated? Would she be able to fulfill her duties without losing her soul?
Caddaric had been Rowen’s companion in countless lives; but, now, they existed in different realms. Beautiful Rowen lived in the mortal world while sweet Caddaric remained in the sacred isle of Avalon, watching over her. Could he step aside to allow another man – a flesh and blood man – to become her protector?
Eochaid had sworn to protect the Old Ways. The rude warrior never quite understood his faith yet his loyal heart belonged to the Goddess. A gorgeous, fiery High Priestess was not in his plans. He would risk his life to protect Rowen; but, would the Goddess safeguard his heart? Could he defend the bewitching maiden from himself?
When stakes were so high that a simple mistake could cost their very world, a priestess, a Druid, and a warrior must learn to trust each other and the mysterious ways of the Goddess. Their success would save Avalon. Their failure would tear the island from the human realm forever, condemning it to oblivion.
Failure was not an option.
Rowen is a High Priestess of an ancient religion in the highlands of Scotland. It is her responsibility to keep the villagers belief in the goddess strong, she looks after their health and wellbeing, trains apprentice priestesses and is well loved. She is also deeply in love with her soul mate, Caddaric, who is not part of this world but still in Avalon (their version of heaven), as High Priestess she is able to travel there in spirit to spend time with him but misses out on the physical aspects of a loving relationship.
When the Lady of the Lake tells Rowen someone will be coming to the village who she is to marry and have a child with for the future of their people, she reluctantly agrees to her mission. When Eochaid comes into the village with his warriors she instantly wants to dislike him but there is a pull, and he has had dreamt about her his entire life and knows they are destined for each other.
The beginning of this book is quite solid in the build up to the romance, in Rowen’s tug of war between her old love and this new love which is building in front of her. The descriptions of how she carries out her tasks as a high priestess are beautiful and draw you into the world wonderfully.
I felt uncomfortable by some of Eochaid’s earlier approaches to Rowen, they are very aggressive, these are two people who are supposedly destined, and I understand he is trying to convince her but I felt like some of the advances were just wrong and deserved a bloody hard slap across the face. Had I been Rowen he would never have been spoken to again at the very best. Story over. I think it was these situations that put me off the story and lowered my overall enjoyment.
There were several festivals celebrated in the books and whilst a lot was discussed as to what was done at the festivals, I didn’t really understand what the festivals were about and it would have been useful to weave in somehow an explanation of what the festivals were for.
This is definitely far more an historical romance with a mythological feel than a paranormal romance. It’s an enjoyable read but not gripping and it didn’t blow my mind.
About Liz Gavin
International best-selling author Liz Gavin, has accomplished much in her short career. Her books have made to #1 and Top Five best-selling ranks in her home country Brazil and others as diverse as Japan, the UK and the US; both in English and Portuguese, collecting 5 and 4-star reviews. Nominated for a Summer Indie Book Award in 2016, and again in 2017, this RWA member constantly seeks new opportunities to improve her craft.
This thirst for knowledge propelled Liz to leave the comforts of family and friends in Brazil and move to California to pursue a Master’s degree in late 2015. She lives in sunny SoCal, where she’s researching the writing process, for her thesis, in hopes to figure out why she creates in English instead of her native Portuguese.
Liz Gavin writes in contemporary, paranormal, and historical genres. In her sexy stories, one finds smart, independent women, who don’t need rescuing by knights in shining armor, but indulge in steamy action with swoony Alpha males with big hearts. She also writes about women discovering their sexuality and finding happiness in unconventional setups.
Head to Rafflecopter to enter the international giveaway to win one of 3 x $25 Amazon gift cards.
Book & Buy Links
Title: Celtic Fire
Series: Highland Celts Series #1
Author: Liz Gavin
Genre: Adult | Historical | Paranormal Romance
Publication Date: 31 January 2017
Review Format: N/A
Other Formats: eBook | Paperback
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US