Tuesday, November 23, 2010

If You Desire by Kresley Cole

Book Description:
How much temptation can a Highlander resist? He tried to run... In his youth, Hugh MacCarrick foolishly fell in love with a beautiful English lass who delighted in teasing him with her flirtatious ways. Yet he knew he could never marry her because he was a second son with no prospects, shadowed by an accursed family legacy. To avoid temptation, Hugh left home and trained as an assassin. She tried to forget him... Jane Weyland was devastated when the Highlander she believed would marry her abandoned her instead. Years later, when Hugh MacCarrick is summoned to protect her from her father's enemies, her heartache has turned to fury - but her desire for him has not waned. Will passion overwhelm them? In hiding, Jane torments Hugh with seductive play. He struggles to resist her because of deadly secrets that could endanger her further. But Hugh is no longer a gentle young man - and toying with the fever-pitched desires of a hardened warrior will either get Jane burned... or inflame a love that never died.

Second in the "If You" trilogy of three Scottish Highlander brothers who think their family is cursed.  They believe that a prophecy found in a book about their family legacy will prevent them from ever finding the love of a woman.  If they marry and consummate the marriage, that woman will die. Due to the death of their father and an accident that befell the fiance of the eldest brother, they truly believe this ridiculous prophecy.

This is Hugh's story, and he is just as gullible as his brothers regarding this curse.  The middle brother, Hugh is a trained assassin.  He is trying to prevent another dope addicted assassin, bent on revenge, from killing Jane, the love of Hugh's life. Yet, Hugh cannot admit she's the love of his life for fear he'll inadvertently cause her death.  But it seems like everyone (except Jane) is aware that Hugh has loved her forever! *rolls eyes*

Jane's father is basically Hugh's boss.  He trains, hires and oversees assassins who work for the Crown.  One of the best of the best assassins has turned rogue and wants to get back at Jane's father - and Hugh.  He also happens to be a psycho killer hooked on drugs.  He knows how important Jane is to both of them, so that's why he's out to kill her.  As part of the plan, Jane's father orders Hugh to marry his daughter in order to keep her safe and remove her from London, out of danger.  Jane has secretly loved Hugh all her life though Hugh has had no idea.  As much as there is a strong attraction between the two, the curse stands in their way of consummating the marriage.  Jane has been angry with Hugh for the past ten years because he disappeared without ever saying good bye to her.  She thought she'd marry him back then, so she's been carrying a grudge ever since.  That's why she's getting back at him now, by being a brat and a tease most of the time while they're on the road fleeing London to go into hiding.  I didn't exactly like Jane, but I could relate to her feelings for Hugh.  She'd grown up with him and had always loved him.  She had expected that he'd wait for her to grow up and marry her.  Instead he disappeared (working for her father) and had to leave the country with no explanations.  He was afraid for her life due to the curse.  Now, she's a grown up modern woman with vengeance on her mind.  She's going to get him back for what he did to her, even if it kills him! She wants to entice him and make him pay for her broken heart.  Of course, she still loves him too, even more reason to hate him!

At first they are at odds with one another and she's a royal pain in the neck after their quickie marriage.  But, they have to go on this long journey to the Scottish Highlands from London and he saves her life a few times.   He finally clues her in to the whole hunted by the assassin reason for marrying her, and he keeps making it clear to her that their marriage is one in name only.  As soon as the assassin is killed, he will leave her.  Well, this really pisses her off.  Frankly, I don't blame her, but she doesn't know about the dumb curse yet.  They become closer, but it was just so damn annoying with this curse and their lust for one another that they can't act upon.  They wind up at his brother's house that is nearly falling down.  They get to know one another and play house while fixing it up.  She's hoping she can change his mind about leaving her eventually.  Meanwhile this menacing psycho assassin is getting closer.  The worry about him was always hanging over their heads and ruining any fun they might have.  Finally, they give in to their passions and Hugh tosses the curse out the window.

For an eighteenth century aristocratic young lady, I thought Jane was much too modern and independent for me in her thinking. I didn't like her at first, but she grew on me eventually. Hugh, who was supposed to be this ferocious highlander seemed to always be at Jane's beck and call, writhing from un-quenched desire. She knew just how to press his buttons and lead him on to the brink of no return, although often it backfired on her, since she'd be so overcome herself from their kisses and what have you. I found the whole predicament unworthy of him, although it was fun to read! ;) Sometimes I felt like slapping Jane at the way she led him around by his nose. I softened towards her finally when she admitted her love to him and explained how hurt she'd been when he left her and why she was so angry these many years later. He was clueless and had no idea. He marveled at the thought she had always loved him.  Once the assassin is taken care of eventually Hugh learns the curse is not what he thinks it is.  I sympathized with Jane's reaction when Hugh finally tells her about the curse.  She was like "What? You've got to be kidding!"  It's how I would have reacted too!  She didn't believe it, and found it hard to understand that her beloved Hugh did!

I love Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark Series, but this one is just plain annoying.  It's not nearly as good, the chemistry was off, and it didn't help that Jane was so bratty most of the time, although she had her reasons.  As a whole, the book wasn't bad, there were some sexy love scenes and tense moments with the assassin, but it just didn't grab me.  I do kind of wonder what has happened to the third brother who is presumed dead or missing by the drug crazed assassin.  Of course, he isn't.  The third and last book is his story, so I'll probably read it for closure.

Not a bad nineteenth century historical, though I prefer Cole's modern paranormals better.  I think she has a better handle on them.



Lover of Romance said...

I havent read her historical series yet, but I would like to since thats my favorite type of romance to read, and I have enjoyed her Immortals after dark series. I enjoyed your review!

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

LoR - thanks! I feel she's better with modern characters though, maybe that's why her heroine in this historical came across as too modern day to me, not the usual way a well brought up young lady in the eighteenth century would behave and think.

Penelope said...

Hi Julie! I read all 3 of these books at the same time....didn't pack the same punch as her paranormal books, but were fairly enjoyable...I thought they were "B" reads...fun, but not as great as her IAD series.


Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Penny, I agree, this doesn't have the oomph of the IAD series, have you read the sailing series of hers with I think the Sutherlands?

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