Friday, January 2, 2009

Master of the Highlands by Veronica Wolff

Book Description:
A modern woman finds true love across the ocean -— and across time.


Lily Hamlin has finally realized that her life isn't as perfect as she once thought. Making a pilgrimage to Scotland, a land she's only heard about in lullabies, Lily hopes that she can find her place again. But while exploring the Highlands, she discovers an overgrown maze and a strange stone map—and lands in the Lochaber of 1654...


Ewen, Chief of the Clan Cameron, is a busy man who must figure out how to save his people from the brutal redcoats and has time for little else. Having sired an heir, the widowed Ewen has no need-or room-for another romance. Then into his life drops a saucy lass with a peculiar accent, no regard for his title—and an arousing body. Drawn to each other despite their differences, they both realize that they don't want her to go back to her own time. But with battles brewing between the Camerons, the redcoats, and a rival clan, staying is a gamble.

This is the debut book from this author that came out in 2008 and based on the description - a highlander romance with time travel thrown in? Sounds right up my alley. Well, it was okay, but tended to drag and I found it took about 50 pages just to start to get into the book - not a good sign. More than once, I found a few Outlander plot similarities:

1) The first time our hero and heroine meet, she has a dislocated shoulder that he fixes for her. Hmm, sound familiar? 2) General Monk is the commander of the garrison of English soldiers that are invading the Scottish highlands. He is a slimy character who is more interested in his clothes and comforts. He doesn't exactly bear any resemblence to Jack Randall, but he is an effeminate English general (although in the epilogue he marries beneath him - I was sure he would turn out to be gay!) who has it out for our hero, Laird Ewen Cameron (though, he just wants him dead, he doesn't want to bed him first!)

Lily, our heroine, just can't really believe she's gone back in time, even though she's been straight out told she has, and all the evidence is smack up right before her face! But, still she tries to run away, at night, in the cold, in her barefeet no less! Of course, she's captured by horrible smelly, foul English soldiers who plan on raping her. This girl seems to have a tendency of getting herself in rape-able situations, this is not the last time she has to fend off the advances of some dirty, smelly, uncouth 17th century barbarian. There was a lot of action, sword fighting (or claymore fighting) and wrestling around in dark stairwells, but I still just did not find myself caught up in this book. It was kind of boring to me and didn't keep my interest. Fortunately, it wasn't long (less than 300 pages long) and it was a quick read.

Lily and Ewen find they are mutually attracted to each other, blah, blah, blah, yet fight it and then finally give in only to have to immediately jump up and go deal with the latest of crises that take place in the book. There was no real courtship or deep feelings in this book. Plenty of head hopping, "he thought" "she thought" business, but it was dull to read about. Not enough romance in this romance novel!

The one thing that I did like about it was the tie in with the song about the other time traveler, Robert, and how in the song he sacrifices himself for Ewen and takes a bullet for him and dies. It wasn't exactly how you think it will turn out and I liked that part of it, but the rest was just fodder. I've read much better time traveler Scottish highlander romances. This one was touted as one that Diana Gabaldon and Karen Marie Moning fans will love - well I didn't. I didn't dislike it, but it was just kind of blah.


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