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One of the biggest recent novel successes has been the time travel romance series Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon. It's Not really a new series since the first edition to the series came out in the early 1990s. It instantly became a huge hit worldwide to women everywhere fantasizing about being hurled through time to meet their own Scottish Highlander and fall in love.
This series became a hit television series in 2014 when STARZ picked it up and introduced the world to Jamie Fraser, Claire Randall, and Frank/Black Jack. Of course, the success of the television series highly boosted the tourism rate for Scotland and had women coming from everywhere around the globe to hug standing stones in hopes of traveling through time to the past to meet a rugged Highland warrior and fall in love. The only downside to the book series and the television series is the time in between each next installment or season. This is what we Outlander fans call Droughtlander.
Once you fall in love with a series and a cast of characters, it’s hard to find something else to satisfy you until the next book comes out. It takes Diana Gabaldon approximately three years to write each book. It takes the average reader approximately one week to read each book. So what is the answer for the in-between reads? I have come up with a list of the top ten novels that will whet the appetite of the most devout Outlander enthusiast, to tide them over while waiting on the next edition. I hope you enjoy.
1. The Love Beyond Time Series by Bethany Claire
I have to start with the obvious. This is a time travel romance series set in the Scottish Highlands. I mean, how much closer can you get than that. Now, I will admit, however, the writing does not come up to par with Herself, Diana Gabaldon, but then, in my opinion, who does, right? But it is a good series to immerse yourself into when you are feeling homesick for time travel, Scottish love series. There are several books in the series, so it will keep you busy for a while at least.
2. Beyond The Highland Mist by Karen Marie Moning
This is a really good read about a young woman, transported through time from modern-day Seattle to sixteenth-century Scotland, where she encounters a rugged Scottish laird named Hawk who wants to possess her body and soul. It provides well in the erotica division for that lusty reader, and has the Scottish backdrop, for the Outlander's heart. Definitely worth a seat on the top ten list.
3. Mariana by Susanna Kearsley
While this is not a Scottish romance, it does cover time travel, to a degree. The story wraps around a woman named Julia that moves into an old house, only to be haunted by a woman named Mariana, who lived in 17th century England. Julia finds her life being encompassed by Mariana’s and her world being eclipsed by the past. It is a hauntingly beautiful read that will have you turning page after page with no escape for rest.
4. The Highlander Next Door by Janet Chapman
This is a fun little read, with a twist. The twist being it is not the heroine that is the time traveler, but the hero instead. And he travels forward through time, not back. So this little gem is set in modern time, with the leading lady, Birch, a full-fledged modern woman falling in love with her mysterious Highland neighbor. Very cute book that will keep you interested until the last page.
5. Time For A Highlander by Maxine Mansfield
This book is time travel, sort of. When 45- year-old Bethany saves a child from falling off a cliff on her dream vacation to Scotland, she finds that her heroic action is paid for with the price of her life, until Fate steps in. Rather than going to Heaven, Bethany is transposed, instead, into the body of 20-year old Lady Elspeth Fraiser in 1643 Scotland. It is here that she encounters Quinton MacLeod, a rough and tough laird with a thing against love. Fate requires that Bethany, now Lady Elspeth, to marry Quinton, and provide him with the heir he was originally denied. Quite interesting to say the least, and will keep the reader captivated.
6. Legend by Jude Deveraux
While this time travel romance is not set in Scotland, but rather 1873 Colorado, it is still a really good story that will catch the reader’s attention from the start. The leading lady, Kady is about to be married in modern-day Virginia, when she eyes an old vintage wedding dress in an antique shop. When Kady slips into the dress, she is overcome by dizziness and wakes to find herself in 1873 Colorado, about to witness the hanging execution of one Cole Jordon. Through wits and quick thinking, Kady manages to halt the execution, sparing Cole’s life. Romance ensues.
7. Until Forever by Johanna Lindsey
This is a bit of an odd tale, consisting of immortality more so than time travel. When the heroine of the story buys a thousand-year-old Scandinavian sword, she finds that it is attached to an ancient Viking warrior. Of course, there is romance and intrigue. It is a good read, nowhere near the caliber of Outlander, but will help pass the time in a pinch. In other words, not a complete waste of time.
8. Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor
Now, this was a very interesting book. It follows Madeleine Maxwell and her merry band of time-traveling “scientists” of St. Mary’s Institute throughout time from The Great Alexandrian Libraries to eleventh-century London, World War I and the Cretaceous Period and beyond. This book will have the reader jumping from time to time with adventures and intrigue throughout. A must have for any time travel buff.
9. Perfect Timing: A Harrigan Family Novel by Catherine Anderson
I really enjoyed this story. A time travel forward book, where the heroine comes forward through time from 1574 Scotland, a druid, on a mission to end an ancient family curse, and finding love and romance in the midst of it all. The hero in this novel is sweet and loving, and really relatable throughout the story. It was one of my favorites on the list.
10. The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A. Flynn
This was by far my favorite book on this list. The only period I love as much as eighteenth-century Scotland is nineteenth-century London. And Jane Austen is one of my favorite authors of all time, so this tied in time travel, period drama, Jane Austen, and romance all in one read. In this story, Rachael and Liam travel back in time to London, 1815, in hopes of meeting and befriending the legendary Jane Austen in hopes of unearthing a little known unpublished novel of hers to be taken back to the future and published. However, complications arise when Rachel battles with her growing friendship for Jane, her inner struggle between being the modern scientist that she is and the gentle lady of society that she is becoming, and the complicated growing relationship with Liam, who is posing as her brother in the past. I could not put this one down.
So this is my compilation of the top ten reads to discover as we wait for the next book in the Outlander series, or for any time-travel buff who likes a little romance along the way.