Monday, February 16, 2009
A runaway beauty finds love in the brawny arms of a handsome stranger.
Talented surgeon Libby Hart is fleeing to Pine Creek, Maine, when her car spins out of control and crashes into a pond. She is rescued by Michael MacBain, a medieval highlander trapped in the modern world by a wizard's spell. Wounded in love once before by a modern woman, Michael wants nothing to do with Libby, but he can't resist the intense desire she stirs within him. Can this proud warrior pledge his heart to a woman whose secret threatens to change their lives forever?
I luuuuuurved this book!
It's been a while since I read the second book in this series, Loving the Highlander, and I admit, I had been a bit disapppointed with it, after loving the first in the series, Charming the Highlander. Well, this book (3rd in the series) more than made up for it! This is Michael's story. I wasn't crazy about him in the first book, he came across as an adversary of the MacKeage's but by the end of it you empathized with him and this book really made me fall for him!
Michael MacBain, a swoonworthy 800+ year old Scottish warrior sent forward in time to present day is living in Maine with his 8 year old son, Robbie. Raising his son on his own, with the help of fellow dislocated Scottish warriors, the MacKeage's, Michael vows he'll never fall in love again, after losing Robbie's mother eight years earlier in a tragic automobile accident.
But, he didn't count on meeting Libby Hart who comes to Maine, escaping her life as a top notch surgeon in California. Libby has just had the shock of her life. She can magically heal people, simply by holding them and making them well. Freaked out by what she doesn't understand, she decides to flee to Maine and live a simple life to get her head together. Yet, she's not a hand wringer or worry wart. She rents Robbie's mother's old house, thus Michael MacBain becomes her landlord - and what a landlord to have! I think I'd melt into a puddle right on the spot.
Michael is brimming with testosterone. Tall, dark and handsome with the confidence of an ancient Scottish warrior, Michael knows what he wants - and he wants Libby! I just loved how they meet (she plows into a few of his prized Christmas Tree farm trees and he has to rescue her from her rental car in Pine Lake). Their courtship doesn't have the usual hemming and hawing and all of a sudden one day, "Hey, I love you!" pattern. They both are attracted to each other almost from the start and agree right off the bat to have an affair. She's not looking for a husband, and he's not looking for a wife. But, that's not exactly how things go. Life if much more complicated than that. I loved every minute of seeing how these two get along, and sighed and laughed and giggled throughout the book - wishing I had a highlander of my own too! What is it about these highlander men I love? *sigh*
Libby is a likeable heroine. A brilliant doctor, she has to deal with leaving her old career in a shambles and begin a new life. I liked how her doctoring common sense comes out, she worries about helmets and the appropriateness of giving an eight year old a knife for a Christmas present! She has no idea who she's dealing with in these odd Scottish highlanders in the back woods of Maine! She's a do-er. She doesn't hesitate or think forever about something. When she makes up her mind to do something, she does it. She's not a whiner or complainer. If she wants to fix up her house and buy things to make it homey - she goes out and does it. I was glad she didn't throw a hissy fit at Michael when he mistakenly decorated her place while she was sleeping. It was a cute scene when she saw what he had done and she handled it with aplomb.
One of my favorite scenes is when Michael and Dr. Kessler, one of Libby's associates from California, meet. Neither of them like one another, and I loved it how they curtly call each other by their last names only, circling one another like dogs checking out the competition! Michael easily puts the doctor in his place and sends him packing back to LA - good riddance!
The side characters are great in this book. Robbie, Michael's son, is a total cutie and old beyond his years, big for his age too. Winsome, endearing and resourceful, he's motherless, but, like his father, he knows what he wants and he's certain Libby is the one for his single father to settle down with. He has a snowy pet owl, who may or may not be his dead mother, Mary, reincarnated. Libby's mother, Katherine, comes to visit and eventually stay, and I loved her reaction to Ian MacKeage, another great big transplanted Scottish warrior (a bit on the older side.) The two of them hit it off.
That's one of the things I like about these books, the side characters' storylines are interesting too, not just fodder to fill up the pages. The MacKeages's from Charming the Highlander are throughout this book, but not too much, the story is really centered on the relationship between Libby and Michael. There is great chemistry between them, the sex scenes are tasteful, just right, not over the top, realistic and satisfying. Though, my one pet peeve was, why in the world did the author make their first time in a truck, when there are 3 other bedrooms in the house! Libby felt uncomfortable going to bed with him in the same bed that used to be Mary's (Robbie's mother and Michael's old lover). I understand that, but why not just use another bedroom instead of the back of her truck in the garage? A minor point, but it bugged me - LOL! Once Libby's mother moves in, it really cramped their style, I laughed at the idea that there could be "no sex" while Mom's living in the house! A good way to keep the sexual tension going in the storyline.
I highly recommend this book. It has the appeal of a Scottish highlander romance, with the modern conveniences of a contemporary. A win win combination with an exciting (albeit, predictably angsty) ending. A real keeper!