Authors: Serena Yates
Publisher: DSP Publications
Pages/Word Count: 200 Page
At a Glance: A romance between two men from different planets… with kilts.
Reviewed By: Ben
Blurb: In 845 a group of Gaels fleeing the Vikings stumbled through the mystic Eye of Scota and found safety on a planet they named Dalriata. Seven centuries later, the arrival of the Crìosdaidh religion changed everything. Fugitives stopped appearing, and the newly established Council of Priests used the energy of Slànach Stones to enforce their religious laws. But by 2500 the Stones’ power is dwindling. The High Priest is desperate—none of the warriors sent to find more Stones have returned.
Cináed MacAlpin, a young healer priest, is chosen to undertake another attempt. He hopes that new Stones will reduce the pressure to heal only those deemed worthy by the priests. But his task is not easy. Cináed must travel to the land of Bunádh and find the Eye that is the source of the Stones. Once there he meets Tadeo Banderas, a spaceship captain exploring the newest Earth-like planet discovered by the Solar Exploration Fleet. Cináed and Tadeo soon find out that the spark of energy between them may hold the key to Dalriata’s future.
Review: I’ll confess, at first I was a bit confused. This book was published by DSP Publications, the non-Romance imprint of Dreamspinner Press, but about halfway through reading, it struck me that Eye of Scota had the setup of a classic M/M Romance. I looked into it and realized this was a reprint from a 2010 Dreamspinner title, and it all started to make sense. Part of me is sincerely hoping the author plans on expanding this series, and continuing it with more of a non-traditional feel. From what I could gather from Yates’s website, she is working on the second book now, six years later. How neat!
As it stands, this is a lovely, romantic tale of two human men from different planets who—through seemingly magical circumstances—are thrust into each other’s company, forced to give up their old lives, fight their families for recognition and respect, and come to terms with their desperate desire for one another. It’s sexy. It’s full of political intrigue. And there are kilts!
Highlander meets spaceman—Cináed MacAlpin is a kilt-wearing priest who stumbles upon a man from outer space, in need of some severe medical attention. Tadeo Banderas’s voyage into space to discover uncharted worlds was cut short when the intelligence that resides in the stones of Dalriata brought him there and left him stranded to be mauled by a bear (That’s a bit harsh, but that’s higher beings for you, am I right?).
Cináed’s world is sort of a throwback to Scotland in the 1700s. They had left Earth through the stones in the 9th century, but it wasn’t until the 26th century that “modern day” humans could travel to visit their part of space. A lot of Cináed’s world is still primitive, but there is an added bonus of magic, or at least that’s how the inhabitants of his planet see the portal that brought them there, and the stones that surround it, seemingly blessed with magical energies.
We don’t get much of Tadeo’s world besides the brief description of the fleet that abandons him after believing him dead, but the bonus to having an outlander’s point of view on the planet is that we get to see the wonder that is Cináed’s world through fresh eyes. And hey, he did discover an uncharted world in the end, so mission accomplished! He also discovered love.
Because this reads as a traditional M/M Romance, the sex is sweet and passionate, and there’s very little conflict between the two protagonists. That doesn’t mean there isn’t angst, but our two lovebirds seem to keep it together through thick and thin. There are some interesting parallels between Yates’s world-building and the Christian Church, and not all of those doctrines create the best environment for Cináed and Tadeo to explore their love. Because of these ideals, most of the conflict we get is external.
For those who love fated mates tropes, this is a unique take I think you’ll enjoy immensely. I say unique, because I don’t think I’ve ever read a fated mates story where fate was coordinated by a god inside a stone ring (have you?). And for those who love the Scottish Highlands, I believe you’ll appreciate the world-building and historical touches, with the addition of magic and our spaceman’s technologies. And if you like kilts… I mentioned the kilts, didn’t I? Yup. Definitely read this for the kilts. What bonny knees they have!
You can buy Eye of Scota here: