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Lloyd Sealy Library

John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Faculty favorites: spring 2015

Highland novels

… wherein faculty share a favorite book with the rest of us.

Bonus material from the Spring 2015 Newsletter

Hannah Howell is the author of fifteen Highland.... romance novels about the Murray clan, published 1988-2015 by various publishers. 

An eminent full professor at John Jay, who prefers anonymity, relaxes from the rigors of scholarly work with Hannah Howell’s novels, reading and re-reading them. Our professor recommends them to you, especially Howell’s fifteen titles about the Murrays in 15th century Scotland. The latest is Highland Guard (2015) which falls into the usual format: noble warrior who’s a wonderful, thoughtful lover, an independent, intelligent, beautiful princess, hot explicit sex, loyal servants, a demesne managed with kind care for all inhabitants, a dire threat to the good guys, and the threat overcome.

Howell is wonderful at creating likable characters and odious villains with a few deft descriptions, and then working it all out in action. These knights can cut off a head with a flick of the wrist. In Highland Warrior, there’s comic relief in personality traits, in children, and in unlikely animal behavior. Religion and the local priest are present only when there’s going to be a marriage, usually when the hot knight gets the hot lady and they fall in love. One obstacle to their love, in addition to armies at the gate, is always the question Does he really love me or is it just great sex? Sound familiar? Though Howell’s Highland settings are medieval, the characters and their concerns are contemporary. Our informant advises men to read these novels for their how-to content.

Comments solicited by Janice Dunham

More from the Spring 2015 Newsletter »