Review: Duet by Eden Winters

A conqueror’s decree can’t separate Aillil Callaghan from his Scottish heritage. He wears his clan’s forbidden plaid with pride, awaiting the day he becomes Laird, restores his family’s name, and fights to free Scotland from English tyranny. An Englishman in his home? Abomination! Yet the tutor his father engaged for Aillil’s younger brothers may have something to teach the Callaghan heir as well.

Violinist and scholar Malcolm Byerly fled Kent in fear, seeking nothing more than a quiet post, eager minds to teach, and for no one to learn his secrets. He didn’t count on his charges’ English-hating barbarian of an older brother, or on red-and-green tartan concealing a kindred soul. A shared love of music breaks down the barriers between two worlds.

Aillil’s father threatens their love, but a far more dangerous enemy tears them apart. They vanish into legend.

Two centuries later, concert violinist Billy Byerly arrives at Castle Callaghan—and feels strangely at home. Legends speak of a Lost Laird who haunts the fortress in wait of his lover’s return. Billy doesn’t believe in legends, ghosts, or love that outlasts life.

But the Lost Laird knows his own.

Forever. A love that literally lasts forever.

How to fully describe Duet by Eden Winters? Beats the heck out of me. It's Highlander historical/paranormal/contemporary/ghosts/with a smidge of light time-travel? Heh. Say that ten times fast. It is two stories with a common bond, intertwined to make nearly seamless music that is the novel named "Duet".

Warning: There is character death. But there is a HEA as well!

"Duet" starts in eighteenth century England and Scotland where a virgin teacher who is gay but most certainly did not succumb to his desire named Malcolm. He's the third son of a baron, no real prospects in sight at a stuffy school in Kent England. He lands a job to tutor a laird's four sons in Scotland and makes to move to escape the scrutiny and try to deny who he is. What Malcolm did not count upon? The laird's oldest son, the heir, Aillil. Aillil hates all thing English and the new tutor brought by his father to teacher his four younger brothers? Aillil hates Malcolm on sight. He accuses Malcolm for a crime most heinous. Malcolm, the smaller, ginger haired musician is anything but soft. And though he's small in stature, he has no problem standing his ground against the towering, brute in a kilt. The two begin to become closer through a shared love of music namely violin playing. 

Aillil is not out of the closet but loves to love men. He somehow sets his sights on the fiery redhead, can't get him out of his mind. The two fall in love, it's sweet. Their story drips with romance but if you read the blurb, expect tragedy. 

The lengths Aillil goes for his love is what makes this story work. It's believable...exclude the Druid magic and ghosts. I think the first half is damn near flawless. One thing I've noticed with this author is that she researches very well but does not information dump you to death. I learned without feeling like someone but the entire search engine's results into the story. Scotland is quite the beautiful country and learning about the English oppression back in the eighteenth century was cool.

The second half was good but not as great to me as the first half. I'd give the first half 5 hearts and the second 4, hence my rating. The contemporary half has the reincarnated lover reunited with his ghostly Scotsman. Some parts were a little funny like the Aillil vs. Luke possessive "mine" bits. I don't think it was intentional but I giggled. Also the rush for the 'big plan' to be put in place...something about it was not as smooth as I'd have liked it to be. 

Is there sex? Yes. However, don't expect heavy kilt sexing at every scene. The three love scenes are key parts that make the story sigh-worthy.

Overall, an all encompassing love story that carries throughout the centuries. 

I definitely plan on reading more stories from this author. There is something about her writing that I enjoy discovering. I can't pin what it is (as this is only my 2nd) could be the awesomeness of a ginger MC in both stories, could be the vulnerability of her characters that make them feel life like or could be she just has serious story skills. Whatever it is, I really dig it.  I loved her possums and now her highlanders. So happy I finally got a chance to read this book. 

This book is a little bit of everything but leaves a lasting impression.

Definitely recommended.

Thank you to Eden Winters (excuse me, Plum Lovely Lady) for being BMB Reviews' Author of the Month.


  1. Baby travelled a lil outside her box with this one, eh? It was the kilts, wasn't it?

    1. I bought this one so long ago. I kept pushing it off but once she became AOTM, BOOM! I was all reading this. Baby love historicals, and now can add Highlanders next to my Regency as types of historical periods I love.

      A certain author named Kresley Cole (you've heard of her?) had wrote a wonderful trilogy with Scottish historical brothers...Baby loved it HARD!!! Nom nom nom

    2. The ghost bit gave me the heebie jeebies because...ghosts but the kilt more than made up for it! :D