Title: Lake of Destiny (Celtic Legends #1)
Author: Martina Boone
Publication Date: April 25, 2017
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Helping her aunt organize a Beltane Festival in a picturesque Highland village seems like the perfect escape from Anna’s second broken engagement and the meltdown that wrecked her legal career. But to succeed, she’ll need to wrangle kilt-wearing villagers, dangerous sheep, a disaster of a dog, and the reclusive laird who refuses to open his property to the public for the ancient tradition of “Sighting.”
For centuries, Loch Fàil in Balwhither has been known to locals as a “thin” place, one where the veil between worlds peels back on Beltane morning to show the face of a person’s one true love. The tradition could draw tourists by the busload, but that’s exactly what Connal MacGregor fears will reveal the two secrets he’s been desperately keeping hidden.
While Anna struggles to mediate between the needs of the village and Connal’s need to protect his identity and his child, Anna finds herself falling in love with all of them: Connal and his daughter, the magical glen, the villagers. But day by day, opening herself to love exposes deep scars from Anna’s childhood, and confronting those wounds could finally set her free–or endanger her every chance of happiness.
I was a big fan of Compulsion, a YA by Martina Boone, so when I got the chance to review Lake of Destiny, I jumped at it. This was BEFORE I read the synopsis. As soon as I read the synopsis, I was like.. 300% sold. I really love Outlander, and I think I made it to the word “Highland” before squealing, and the squealing only intensified when I got to “kilt-wearing villagers”. Basically, she had me at men in kilts. Martina is a woman after my own heart.
When I started reading, I knew immediately that I’d love Anna. The girl is a mess, and as a twentysomething who is also more or less a mess, I can totally relate, with the exception of my love life being good. Literally within ten minutes of arriving in the village, Anna manages to find herself in a pretty unique form of trouble. You know how I said earlier that Martina is a woman after my own heart? I think Anna has her beat. She’s such a real character, and it’s easy to imagine being friends with someone like her. You root for her, you feel for her, the whole nine yards.
Speaking of characters, Martina has crafted an entire village full of very… *ahem* big personalities. Honestly, even the sheep have some mischief in them. Don’t even get me started on the dog. The village is quite small, so it ends up feeling more like one decently large hodgepodge dysfunctional family, which is a fun dynamic to read about in itself. Jokes are made about how arguing is practically a sport around town, and Anna finds this to be 100% true when she takes on the role of mediator. It was interesting to watch a woman who by all means thought she was prepared to take on a few villagers, but immediately finding out she’s in over her head.
The setting of Lake of Destiny just radiates this magical, almost whimsical feel at times. I mean, Scotland is already a place that I desperately want to visit, but I feel like Martina captured the very essence of a small Highlands village, with all the magic and even a bit of mystery involved. From the people, to the animals, to the land itself, I felt fully immersed, like I was Anna herself, experiencing the story firsthand.
As a closing note, I should warn you not to read this book on an empty stomach, because it will make you so hungry. It was the most unexpected thing, but there’s some awesome food mentioned throughout the story that made my stomach growl.
With a lovable cast of characters and a magical setting, Lake of Destiny stole my heart. Without a second of hesitation, I give it 5 stars and urge you to pick up your own copy ASAP.