As High as the Heavens

Written by Kathleen Morgan
Review by Nancy J. Attwell

It is 1568, and a group of loyalists plan to rescue Mary Queen of Scots from her imprisonment in Lochleven Castle by boldly replacing one of her captors with Duncan Mackenzie, a man who looks exactly like the queen’s jailor. Raised in the highlands as the son of a crofter, Duncan is, in fact, the identical twin brother of Colin Stewart, heir to the Stewart fortunes. Heather Gordon is sent north to train Duncan to act and sound like a nobleman, but she must never let him learn of his true parentage. The attraction between teacher and student is immediate. But when Duncan learns the truth of his birth and, worse, that Heather has been a party to the secrecy, all hopes for their future together are ruined.

There are many charming aspects to this romance, but it was a disappointment that the foundational building block of the story–the transformation of a lout into a nobleman–was given scant attention beyond Heather teaching Duncan to play chess, then handing him a book of manners. Duncan is an appealing hero, however, and Heather overcomes the character flaws that keep them apart. Taken altogether, this is an enjoyable Highland romance.