Review: Diary of the Heart by Gail Symmonds

Diary of the Heart by Gail Symmonds
Release Date: April 4, 2012
Publisher:  Wild Rose Press
Pages: 370
Source: Publisher

Within the pages of a secret diary, modern-day bookworm Julia Brown discovers an intriguing tale of mystery and deceit. But, little does she realize just how much her existence is intertwined within the ancient journal…until she is thrust back in time to the Scottish Highlands 1681. Armed only with the passionate writings of a woman long gone, she will pursue the truth of her own past…and discover the man of her dreams.

Torn between the future and the past, Laird Alexander Campbell sees Julia as an unwanted complication. His world is in turmoil as war beckons, revenge his primary goal—and other pressing oaths he must honor. But something about the feisty English woman calls to him.

And he will fight for her life…and never let her go.


Review: I snagged this book because of the interesting premise. I recently read a time travel regency and really enjoyed how the author dealt with modern times and the past. I’d never read a Gail Symmonds book before and I’m a huge fan of historical romance, so I dove right in!

Julia has been transported into the past–directly into the arms of handsome Laird Alexander Campbell. The book literally starts off with a bang and doesn’t quit. Immediately, he knows that he has the wrong girl, he was expecting her sister Aileen. What he got was an outspoken book worm who set his blood to boil! I loved Julia’s character. She was the perfect blend of a modern head strung female. It was interesting to see how the author allowed her to have the personality of a 20th century woman, but still allowed her to be wise. Julia was a historian after all, so she knew what was and was not appropriate for that time era. The character development was astounding and after a few chapters I found myself immersed in her love story with Alex.

Alexander Campbell is everything I’ve come to expect for a Highland Hero. He’s blunt, overbearing, and fiercely protective. I loved him right away and at times was frustrated with Julia for not giving into him more. For a historian, she wasn’t very well versed in how men of that era acted. They were known for being loud, boisterous, and yes very bossy.

The love story was drawn out perfectly. As a reader I really wanted that happy ending and I’m so relieved that the author took her precious time in showing both sides of the story. Why Alex was afraid of loving her and why Julia was afraid of rejection.

The story had so many twists and turns that I was caught off guard! I thought it was a simple time travel romance. I am happy to announce I was horribly wrong! Gail Symmonds had a few plot twists that I did not see coming! It made the story that much more delightful for me!

The only complaint I had for the story is that you never really see what happens with the secondary characters of Aileen and Logan. I thought perhaps the author was putting it off so that she could make this into a series, but it looks like it’s the only book. I mean we find out that they are together and that she is a lot for him to handle, but that’s it.

All in all it was a fantastic read that I would honestly pick up again! It did have cursing and around three graphic sex scenes, your typical romance novel stuff.

I look forward to reading more of Miss Symmonds in the future! Well done!