Stone of Love

Stones of Iona

Romance - Paranormal
354 Pages
Reviewed on 01/29/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Stone of Love is a work of fiction in the romance, interpersonal drama, and paranormal adventure subgenres, and it forms the opening novel of the Stones of Iona series. The work is best suited to mature readers owing to scenes of a sexual nature, some moderate violence, and references to abuse. Penned by author Margaret Izard, the story unveils the transformative journey of Brielle DeVolt, an American scholar seeking solace from her past in the renovation of Laird Colin MacDougall's chapel. The spark between Brielle and Colin is immediate, but the shadows of her abusive ex cast doubt on her ability to love again. As the narrative unfolds, woven with Fae magic and hereditary duties, a complex tale of love, trust, and the battle against evil forces emerges.

Author Margaret Izard has crafted a highly imaginative and whimsical story world where readers can easily step into a realm in which romance intertwines beautifully with the mystical. The narrative structure is closely linked to its characters and their emotions, offering huge personal depth and making their emotional struggles palpable in every high and low of the plot. I really enjoyed the time-travel element as an added layer of intrigue and felt that the converging plotlines around it and the internal logic of how it worked made good sense. The author also has a strong talent for vivid description, with atmospheric lexis that transports the reader to the Scottish landscape to gloriously enhance the romance and mood of it all. Overall, I would not hesitate to recommend Stone of Love as a must-read for fans of paranormal romance, and I cannot wait to find out where the series goes from here.

Delene Vrey

Stone of Love (Stones of Iona) is a lovely paranormal romance by Margaret Izard. Brielle DeVolt takes an opportunity to oversee a restoration job in Scotland, hoping to make a clean break with her abusive boyfriend. In Scotland, she begins work at the chapel of Laird Colin MacDougall. Colin's parents are recently deceased, and he is called back to the castle to oversee the restoration that was his mother's project. When the Laird and the scholar meet, they are both surprised by the attraction they feel. But, this is Scotland, and tales of the Fae and clan lore abound. When Colin learns that the bedtime stories of his childhood are true, his world is turned upside down. He is now responsible for the Fae Stones. When his Fae messenger orders him to go back in time to find the Love Stone, Colin is prepared to do his duty. Bree is at a loss when Colin stays away for a long time, but through the machinations of the Fae, she is transported back in time. Now Colin, posing as his ancestor Roderick, has to navigate eighteenth-century Scotland, root out an evil Fae, and find the Love Stone while keeping Bree safe and away from scrutiny. When the two are torn apart, one in the twenty-first century and the other in purgatory, will their true love overcome obstacles and bring them back to each other as the Fae Fable Book claims, or will they forever be separated?

Margaret Izard has written an emotional and action-packed time-travel romance. The characters are modern people with characteristics that help them fit into eighteenth-century Scotland. The plot is exciting and keeps the reader's attention, making it a riveting read. Enough time is spent on all aspects of the plot. The time before the time travel happens is thoroughly utilized to drive the story and build the relationships between the characters. The time spent in eighteenth-century Scotland is also optimally used to tell a complete story without skimming over information. In an era where many authors now tend to break their stories into two or three books ending in cliffhangers, it is refreshing to find a story complete in one book that does not feel rushed or cryptic. The theme of true love, as opposed to abusive love, is well explored. There is sexual content, making Stone of Love more suited to mature readers, though there is very little violence or swearing. This book will find a place between the Scottish Highland romances that are so popular.

Ronél Steyn

Stone of Love (Stones of Iona) by Margaret Izard is a paranormal romance set in Scotland that spans time itself. When Brielle DeVolt gets the opportunity to renovate the chapel at Dunnstaffnage Castle in Scotland, she jumps at the opportunity. It’s a chance for her to get away from her abusive ex and see her mother’s homeland. Colin MacDougall has returned home after the sudden death of his parents and is now laird of the MacDougall clan. When Colin sees Brielle for the first time, he is captivated and believes she is the girl of his dreams. But the Fae have other plans. He has to travel back in time to rescue his ancestor and keep Brielle safe from the evil Fae. Will he be able to do both and still get back to his own era?

Author Margaret Izard has created a magical world where Fae and humans work together and where true love is possible in Stone of Love. Written in the third person narrative from the perspectives of both protagonists, the reader can share their innermost thoughts and feelings. The characters are easily relatable and character growth is evident from start to finish. Stimulating the senses on all levels, great detail went into the scenery, character descriptions, and love scenes. More suitable for the mature audience due to the sexual content, this book is a must-read for fans of romance and fantasy alike. It will leave your knees weak and you wanting more. I loved that the ending opens the way for another adventure in Stones of Iona.

Alicia DeBerry

What would you choose in the face of saving your one true love or saving the world? Laird Colin MacDougall’s choice will be revealed in Stone of Love by Margaret Izard. Brielle DeVolt, a promising American scholar, takes an amazing career opportunity when she undertakes the renovation of Laird Colin MacDougall’s chapel ruin. The last thing she expected was a renovation in her heart after leaving her abusive ex. Colin returned home and didn’t expect to meet his dream soul mate in Brielle. As he learns of his hereditary duty to guard the magic Fae stones, he wants to do everything in his power to protect Brielle. As he’s faced with fighting the evil Fae, will love prove to be strong enough to overcome all things?

Margaret Izard has written a monument to the power of true love in Stone of Love. I was swept away and in tears by the six rules that Professor Mac taught Brielle about whether a person is right for you. This brought some insight into my life. I came to read a romance but got a wonderful therapy session, walking away with more appreciation for the love I have in my life. I was also engulfed in the beauty of the scenery of Scotland with the vivid descriptions. I plan to visit the country. I loved the fables of the Fae and the love story of the MacDougall Clan with the Iona Stones. I recommend fans of historical and suspense romance to read this book.

Stephanie Chapman

Margaret Izard’s Stone of Love is a time-traveling romance involving Brielle’s work on a Scottish chapel. While working on the renovation plans, the laird requests a meeting with Brielle. Colin is skeptical that his recently deceased mother, Emily, handpicked an American for a historical site. The captain of the castle, John, tells Colin that he believes that the deaths of his parents coincided with the discovery of a crypt beneath the chapel. Over centuries, the MacDougall family has protected the Fae Fables book and Stones of Iona. Colin dismisses the tale as a myth until several events convince him otherwise. In the meantime, Brielle and Colin have fallen in love. When Colin disappears for several weeks, Brielle is heartbroken. Late in the evening, Brielle is in the chapel when a strong wind knocks her down.

Margaret Izard uses a unique approach to develop a romance that involves history, Fae, and folklore. The book of Fae Fables includes the Biblical quote, “And the greatest of these is love,” from 2 Corinthians 13:1. The line is given several references throughout the story. The plot is unpredictable in both the present and the past. It has an easy-to-follow timeline. There were moments when I held my breath because the suspense kept building in intensity. The exceptional details for Scottish and American dialects show the differences effortlessly. The conversations between Brielle and Colin are engaging. The alternating views of Colin and Brielle made it easy to understand their motivations. The supporting characters from both eras were easy to envision. The description of the surroundings of the castle and the Loch was breathtaking. Stone of Love will appeal to anyone who likes romance stories with mythical tales and time travel.