The Return of Black Douglas

The Return of Black Douglas
by Elaine Coffman
release date 4/1/11



Longing for a man like Mr. Darcy and haunted by the feeling she was born two hundred years too late, Isobella Douglas never dreamed she would get what she wished for– until she was hurled back five centuries to the Isle of Mull in the year 1515.  She arrived in the midst of a battle between the Mackinnon’s and Maclean’s, only to be abandoned there by the capricious ghost of Black Douglas.  Left to the mercy of her fate, she prayed for a hero when she saw him, a man as fierce and wild as the barbarous place that surrounded her.

Alysandir Mackinnon was a man who lived by his wits and the edge of his sword.  He was a man of strong desires and in his prime, but what he wanted now were the answers to a lot of questions: Why is she here? Who sent her? And what am I going to do with her?  In spite of suspicion that she is an English spy, Isobella adapts readily to castle life, and being an archaeologist, is soon up to her elbows digging in broken crockery bits, ancient bones and priceless relics, in spite of being forbidden to do so.  Alysandir finds it difficult to trust the headstrong woman, or believe her preposterous time-travel story and battles the desire and distrust he feels, for Alysandir has been betrayed before.

Life in Early Renaissance Scotland is fraught with danger, deceit, clan rivalry and constant threats from the English- hardly the place for the course of true love to run smoothly.  It seems the hapless couple is forever trapped in a series of unfortunate circumstances, and a happy ending never seems so far away.  But, never underestimate the power of a man’s love, a woman’s understanding or the tenacity of a beloved Scottish ghost.


If you are anything like me when you hear Historical, Scotland or Time Travel you are all over it.  So was the case with this one.


Historical – check

Scotland – check

Time travel – check

Hot Lord – check

Meddlesome ghost – check

A book a could not put down – Uh, No


I had such hopes for this.  It starts out great, grabs your interest and you can’t quit reading; than it just leaves you hanging there.  I reached a point, a couple chapters in, where I just could not go on any longer.  I tried, but the story just did not go anywhere and I just kept falling asleep. It had all the good elements in place to be a great story: the characters were interesting, they played off each other well, good tension and humor, but the flow just stopped.   I was going to chalk this up to a dnf and leave it at that, in fact I put it aside and had no intention of picking it up again.  Sad, I know.  Instead I decided to do something that I never do with a book that I am reviewing:  I read other reviews on this book, I just had to know if it was just me or did others have the same problem I was having.  Needless to say I read many reviews, some loved the book others had the same problems that I did.  What I learned from all of them though was to keep pushing through.  So I picked it up again and tried one more time.  Good news, it ended great!  Once I got past the middle of the book it picked up and finished on a high note.


So basically I learned not every book is for every individual, don’t be afraid to listen to others opinions and persevere, it will be worth it in the end.


Grade C




  1. Sue K

    I am more than half way through this book and I am loving it! It hasn’t slowed down for me and I can’t wait for the HEA.

  2. melanie - admin

    Sue, I am glad you are enjoying it. This just goes to show you that everybody has different interests and tastes in romance. Thankfully there are so many authors out there to feel all of our needs.

  3. Aurian

    I am glad you picked it up again and enjoyed it after all. I don’t very often give books a second chance after I give up.


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