Sunday, May 10, 2009
Powerful. Sensual. Seductive. He is all that is shamelessly erotic in a man. In her sexiest Highlander novel yet, New York Times bestselling author Karen Moning stirs up a sizzling brew of ancient mystery and modern passion as she brings together a devilishly handsome Celtic warrior trapped in time... and the woman who's about to pay the ultimate price for freeing him. Age-old secrets haunt them. Deadly danger and irresistible desire shadow their every move. It's a relationship for the ages. And all that separates them is a mere thirteen hundred years....
Jessi St. James has got to get a life. Too many hours studying ancient artifacts has given the hardworking archaeology student a bad case of sex on the brain. So she figures she must be dreaming when she spies a gorgeous half-naked man staring out at her from inside the silvery glass of an ancient mirror. But when a split-second decision saves her from a terrifying attempt on her life, Jessi suddenly finds herself confronting six and a half feet of smoldering, insatiable alpha male.
Heir to the arcane magic of his Druid ancestors, eleven centuries ago Cian MacKeltar was trapped inside the Dark Glass, one of four coveted Unseelie Hallows, objects of unspeakable power. When the Dark Glass is stolen, an ancient enemy will stop at nothing to reclaim it, destroying everything in his path -- including the one woman who may just hold the key to breaking the ninth-century Highlander's dark spell. For Jessi, the muscle-bound sex god in the mirror is not only tantalizingly real, he's offering his protection -- from exactly what, Jessi doesn’t know. And all he wants in exchange is the exquisite pleasure of sharing her bed.
Yet even as Cian's insatiable hunger begins to work its dark magic on Jessi, his ancient enemy is about to obtain the final and most dangerous of the Unseelie Hallows -- and the ninth-century Highlander must stop him from getting it. Nothing less than the very fabric of the universe and two passionately entwined lives are at stake–as Cian and Jessi fight to claim the kind of love that comes along but once in an ice age....
Oh. My. God. I loved this audiobook. Once again, I am in love with a voice. This time, it's Phil Gigante who is the voice of Cian MacKeltar. He has this deep, strong, masculine voice, that has such repressed sexuality in it - it just makes you melt listening to him! At one point I was walking down the aisle in the supermarket listening to him, and almost felt my legs give out beneath me - talk about your legs turning to jelly! I wish I had listened to all the other KMM books before this one, since this is the 7th in the Highlander series of hers. Now I know what everyone has been talking about with this guys's voice! It's sex on a stick. If you haven't listened to any of these books yet, at least listen to this one. It made me absolutely love this book - I think it might be my favorite of the series, or if not favorite, 2nd favorite.
The book opens with Jessi St. James, who's a graduate student, studying anthropology. Young and pretty with no social life because she is working and studying so hard for her Masters degree, she wishes for something exciting to happen in her life someday. Well, I'd say she got her wish and more...
By doing a favor for her professor, she meets the man in the mirror, Cian MacKeltar. He is a Highland Scot who is a Druid from the 7th century. He has had this spell on him for over 1,100 years, which has kept him locked in the mirror and soon, within a month he will have a chance to escape from the mirror for good. But, he must convince Jessi to release him from the mirror by saying "the magic words", a special Celtic prayer. She hems and haws and doesn't do it right away, since she's understandably freaked out by the whole thing. But, as she finds out people are dropping like flies who have all seen this mirror, she realizes that Cian is her only hope of not getting murdered herself. He is the only one that can protect her from the evil Lucan Trevaine.
Once she releases him the book becomes hysterically funny. Picture this six and half foot god of a man who hasn't had sex in over a millenium being released from captivity by a bosomy, young college co-ed who also happens to be beautiful and has been longing for a boyfriend of her own as well. Of course, she's a virgin, and has some moral scruples - but still! A girl can only withstand so much testosterone! Cian is irresistible and not the sort of man that will take no for an answer. He is like a stallion that is ready to go - come hell or high water. The first thing he says to her after he is released is something like, "Remove your blouse and show me your breasts, woman!" Her response is something like, "Are you for real? As if!" You see, Cian has this power known as "Voice" in which he can command people to do whatever he wants. His voice gets this strange sort of ringing vibrating sound to it. But... "voice" doesn't work on Jessi because she has a metal plate in her head from a car accident she was in when she was a senior in high school. After this initial meeting between the two, all hell breaks loose and they must flee and get themselves to Scotland for Cian to escape his captor and evade him until Samhein which is in about 25 days.
Jessi puts Cian's amorous advances off (she is a virgin afterall) as much as she can, but she's losing the battle, he is so amazingly handsome and virile and... big. As luck would have it, he can only be out of the mirror for short periods of time, and at some very inopportune moments he all of a sudden is transported back to the mirror until the next day, when Jessi has to say the magic words again and let him out. This is probably the only thing that saved her virginity until they got to Scotland. There were plenty of amusing moments between the two. Poor Jessi has to put up with Cian's caveman sensibilities and using "voice" on everyone that they come across. It really was good, and I enjoyed every minute of it.
One particularly funny scene that I liked was when they're in a hotel room in Chicago, and Jessi has almost been killed, and Cian has killed her murderer from the mirror (he can throw knives and clothing from inside it). She's screaming and screaming and can't stop. Finally, once she does, some guy from the hallway is calling her to see if everything is okay in there. She has to act like she saw a spider and she mouths to Cian to say something, since she's told the guy in the hall her husband killed it. Cian booms in his big voice, saying something like "Twas nice of you to be concerned, but all is well now!" After the guy walks away, Jessi says to Cian "Twas?? All is well now?? Could you sound more archaic?" It was so funny, but you have to hear it yourself to appreciate it. They were some pair!
Together they travel to Scotland, she is dragged along wherever he says to go. In some ways this part of the book reminded me of Kresley Cole's A Hunger Like No Other that I reviewed last year. They both came out around the same time, coincidentally. I liked this book more, simply because I prefer men over werewolves and vampires. But, I digress...
Once they get to Scotland and Jessi manages to battle a snippy female airport employee, they hook up with Cian's descendents, Drustan and Daegus MacKeltar from the previous books in the series. They are not exactly glad to see him, and even they think Cian's outlandish with his braids and tattoos and demanding and unreasonable attitude! The only one who can tame him and bring him back to earth is Jessi. I really liked Jessi, I know some people found her annoying and stupid, but I liked her. Poor thing, at one point Cian stole her some clothes (because hers got all bloody) and he didn't even get her a bra, so through most of their long journey, she's bouncing around wishing fervently for just a bra - any kind will do! I had to like a girl like that.
I won't spoil the rest of the story or how it gets resolved, but just be assured it ends happily with an exciting ending within the last 20 minutes before midnight on Samhein.
If you have never read these books, listen to them, if possible. If ever there was a book to listen to - instead of reading - this is one of them. I think I'm going to go back and get all the audiobooks to these books and just listen to them, rather than re-reading, it really takes it all to a whole new and better dimension with this narrator who is absolutely fantastic! I could listen to him all day. My one gripe about him is he's not the greatest at female voices, making them sound kind of ditzy. Jessi has brains and is no ditz, but understandably, she did get flustered around Cian at first (who wouldn't?) and had a lot on her plate dealing with him.
A thoroughly enjoyable book, I highly recommend this highlander romance with a contemporary setting and paranormal themes - I simply loved it! Plus, I loved the sexy cover!