Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Rogue in a Kilt by Sandy Blair

From the Book's Back Cover:
The Bravest Heart
To win a wager – and the keys to a castle from his liege lord – Sir Angus McDougall must find a bride in three months’ time. What woman would refuse so bold a knight? His slightly tarnished armor and battle scars should not matter – and yet they all say no. Then an inadvertent handfasting binds him to Birdalane, a shy beauty and a giften healer whom some consider a witch. And Angus cannot help but fall under her spell…

The Fairest Bride
Though he is a stranger to her, Birdalane leaves her woodland home to follow her new husband over the hills and dales of Scotland. Their journey is difficult and she has neither kith nor kin to help her. But her mystical gift allows her to read his innermost heart… and foretell the incredible path they will travel together.

This book was a bore.

Having previously read – and liked - two other Highlander romances by this author, I really thought I’d like this one in her Kilt series – and boy was I disappointed! I’m just glad this book was short – 255 pages! Still, it seemed to take me forever to get through it. The other two had a time travel aspect to it, but this one did not – too bad.

Birdalane is one pathetic birdbrain! I got so tired of reading about her troubles and utter cluelessness. She had so many problems - where do I begin? Her mother died when she was very young and she wound up taking care of herself in the woods all by herself, she has severe myopia so cows and boulders looks like large blobs to her. She has scars all over her body, because she is a healer that takes on other people’s pain and illnesses and absorbs them into her body to make them well again (not unlike the guy in Stephen King’s The Green Mile.)

The constant need of hers exhausts her body and she gets very sick and must rest afterwards – much to the consternation of Angus, who has no idea what she is up to. This was also very tiresome to have to read over and over. Angus was forever playing nurse to her, taking care of her and worrying over her after each healing episode.

Birdi is considered a witch by many, so people near her home shunned her, so she’s never had any friends, except for one tinker man who was kind to her. Having grown up in the woods all alone, she is beyond naive when it comes to the outside world of 1410, Scotland. She doesn’t even know what kissing is! She thinks Angus is planning on eating her and when he first kisses her, she thinks he’s tasting her! I don’t know where she got the notion that he’s a cannibal! She is also mystified by (but likes) the yearnings and feelings she has in her body below her belly (cough) when she wakes up from certain kinds of dreams (cough cough.) The one thing going for her is she’s gorgeous, which is how Angus discovered her in the first place when she was taking a skinny dip in a pond and he was overcome by her naked beauty as he watched her surrepticiously (well, he wasn't much of a saint at this point).

This book did absolutely nothing for me, it only seemed to make me tired. All the slogging and plodding along that Angus and Birdi must go through, traipsing across Scotland left me weary and eager to get this book over with. Over and over we hear how Angus is attracted to Birdi, yet he won’t dare take advantage of her, even when she’s wearing nothing and riding a horse a la Lady Godiva! He still manages to keep his honor – and his swollen groin - under control no matter what. I kept on wishing he’d lose control of himself or something – at least to make it exciting!

The two of them were attracted to one another, but nothing ever happens! It’s just one big long tease until close to the end. Yes, they kiss a few times, but it’s pretty tame doings. Due to Angus’ big mouth, they wind up handfasted, but even then, he will not take her to bed, since he plans on undoing the handfasting, much to her chagrin, since she’s already fallen for him. Lucky for her, she’s outrageously striking – otherwise she’s got nothing going for her. Eventually, he figures out she’s blind (he’s not all that bright either, in my opinion, since it took him forever to figure this one out!) and it doesn’t seems to bother him, but he does pity her. She’s pretty pitiful! She’s just too stupid and naïve to be believed, I couldn’t get into her! Finally, but the end of the book, they wind up back at Castle Blackstone where we meet some old friends from the last book in the series, A Man in a Kilt.

I could go on and on, but I really don’t want to. Do yourself a favor and skip this book. I’m going to read the next in the series, A Thief in a Kilt, eventually, which I think is about Angus’ friend, Ian, who was one of the more interesting characters in this book – that one sounds promising at least!


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