Thursday, December 29, 2011

In Bed With the Highlander by Maya Banks

Book Description:
Ewan McCabe, the eldest of the McCabe brothers, is a warrior determined to vanquish his enemy. Now, with the time ripe for battle, his men are ready and Ewan is poised to take back what is his—until a blue-eyed, raven-haired temptress is thrust upon him. Mairin may be the salvation of Ewan’s clan, but for a man who dreams only of revenge, matters of the heart are strange territory to conquer.

The illegitimate daughter of the king, Mairin possesses prized property that has made her a pawn—and wary of love. Her worst fears are realized when she is rescued from peril only to be forced into marriage by her charismatic and commanding savior, Ewan McCabe. But her attraction to her ruggedly powerful new husband makes her crave his surprisingly tender touch; her body comes alive under his sensual mastery. And as war draws near, Mairin’s strength, spirit, and passion challenge Ewan to conquer his demons—and embrace a love that means more than revenge and land.

Quickie Review: After skimming some other reviews of this book, I guess I'm not the only one out there who felt they were reading a Julie Garwood medieval.  This started out similarly to Ransom (with the kidnapping of a laird's son) and then morphed into The Bride (one of my all time favorite romances.)   Mairin, the heroine has lived in an abbey for the past several years - in hiding.  She is an heiress and she is kept hidden so that no one will try and kidnap her and marry her for her dowry.  Of course, the villain in the book succeeds in capturing her, but she manages to escape and winds up in the safety of the McCabe's.  As soon as the hero, Ewan sees her and learns who she is - he wants to marry her - for her money and because of the way she makes his blood heat up.  She is very beautiful (of course.)

Mairin has a number of endearing type qualities that are supposed to make the reader think she's adorably quirky, one of which is mumbling to herself while unaware that she's speaking aloud.  I just couldn't help comparing her to a Garwood heroine, and because of that, I felt Mairin was a copycat.  I know it's crazy, but I just couldn't help it.  She's also incredibly naive when it comes to kissing - not unlike the heroine, Jaime, in The Bride, who feels she isn't a good kisser.  Here, Mairin, tells her soon to be husband, Ewan, that he doesn't know how to kiss right.  Everything Mairin knows about kissing came from her mother superior - a nun - while living at the abbey.  I told you she was naive.

And then she gets hit by an arrow and doesn't even know it?  How can you not know when an arrow goes right into you?

And please don't even get me started about her vomiting.  I don't think I've ever come across a heroine that vomits as much as this one does, though I have come across a hero who does it.  It's understandable when she's first pregnant and suffering morning sickness, but then it starts to become a chronic problem.  Is it just from the pregnancy?  Finally, when the dastardly villain in the story, Cameron, tries to bed her, she throws up all over him - hmmm... that's one way of dampening a man's ardor.

To sum it up, this book was a retread of several Julie Garwood novels I've read in the past, only without the winsome and endearing heroine. Nor as funny. Instead, this heroine is much too sheltered to be believable and her tendency to vomit is belabored upon much too often. Okay, I get it already, she has morning sickness morning, noon and night! It wasn't bad, but nothing is as good as Garwood when it comes to this genre. I also felt there could have been more background on who Mairin's father was and what Neamh Álainn was.  Was it land, a castle, land and money - what??   Whatever it was, everyone wanted it!  Also, when exactly did this book take place?  I gather it's some sort of medieval period, but the author really doesn't give us much background in that department.  There are three Scottish kings named Alexander in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, which one was supposed to be Mairin's father?

I've decided to skip the rest of the series, of which this is the first for fear I'll only be disappointed.  If someone wants to convince me otherwise, be my guest!



The_Book_Queen said...

I'm sorry that this one was a disappointment; I've got it (and book 2 I think) in my TBR, so I will no doubt read both of them, but we will see if I enjoy them or not. A up-chucking heroine with not much else to offer? Hmm, already sounds like I will also find flaws in it.... But I love the covers, and it's about a Highlander, so I bought them. :D Lol.

Oh, and I plan on reading All You Desire as soon as I can, thanks for the recommendation. :D


Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

TBQ-I agree the covers are great! Glad to hear you'll be starting AYD!

Blodeuedd said...

I'll not try to convince ya ;) Ok so i have not read book 1, I am curious but I fear that I would feel just like you

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Blod - I'm discovering that there are too many good books out there and I just don't want to waste my time reading the hyped up ones that are mediocre at best. The one really good thing about this series is the covers! My New Year's resolution is to learn how to say no and not continue with a series if I suspect it's going to be a disappointment, no matter all the rave reviews. *scratching head* I'm really surprised this series is so highly rated.

Terry said...

Julie, please please read #2! It is so much better. No feminism in the castle, either, which bothered me in #1. Brother #2 is engaged to a MacDonald to cement relations between the clans, and he is prepared to do his duty, but...
#3 is good, too. Brother #3 was betrayed by his first love and that led to the ruinous state of his clan and castle. Now he's vowed to never trust another woman.

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Terry, hmm, maybe I'll give it a try, it was obvious what the next two books would be about, but I'm wait on them, but thanks for the rec!

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