Top critical review
Crude - I just couldn't enjoy it.
Reviewed in the United States on January 28, 2015
Daphne MacLeod is an outcast thanks to her father’s misplaced loyalty to the Old King, rather than young James. But her own stubbornness does not speak well of her character, either. Refusing a marriage to Laird Broen to keep Highland peace and allow Broen to secure a love match could be considered admirable, but allowing roguish Norris Sutherland to take her virginity to avoid the new king’s order for her to marry Broen was nothing short of insanity. Now she has nothing – her virginity lost and her clan facing starvation, she works hard to set things straight within her own clan and she waits for a rumored “savage” half brother to step up and take his position as laird. Will he be kind to her or sell her to the highest bidder?
Norris Sutherland’s pride was stung when bonny Daphne MacLeod walked out of his tent with nary a “thanks and good day” after their quick tryst to ensure her marriage to Broen would never take place, regardless of James’ decree. He finds that forgetting HER, however, is nearly impossible. Checking on her wouldn’t hurt – as her overlord, it was important that he provide aid to the clan MacLeod. Passion reignites and Norris finds himself unable to leave Daphne behind, even after her brother Saer takes his rightful position as laird. So what does a highland do when he wants something? He takes it! Norris is also fiercely loyal – to his King, to himself, and most importantly, to his father who wants him to take a rich wife without the stain of a treasonous clan. Following his heart might just mean giving up everything else he holds dear.
So, I gave you the book summary and now it’s time for the review and I’ll be honest, it’s going to be harsh. What might surprise you is why. First of all, I always subscribe to the idea that vinegar should always follow sugar, so I’ll tell you what I DID like about this book. First of all, I love the way that Mary Wine wraps her stories around the rich history of Scotland and Highland tradition. She’s an incredible writer who develops her characters so well, you truly feel like you KNOW them by the end of the book. So, there’s my spoonful of sugar. Now comes the vinegar.
Ok, look – I’ve been married over 16 years and I’ve read some racy books, but ladies, this is nothing short of smut. First and foremost, I do NOT respect a female character who does not recognize her value. I don’t care if the cow gives a little milk for free if she knows that she’s found her bull, but for Daphne to be satisfied with being a leman just to spend time with the man she loves (who insists on keeping her around and in his bed to sort out his feelings), is the antithesis of romance to me. But that’s not my biggest complaint. Seriously, the first 2/3 of the book was nothing but raunchy sex and on two occasions, I put the book down due to language. I didn’t think I could finish it, but not only was I committed to this book, but also the next TWO books I bought in the collection. So I mucked through it and it did get a little better as the storyline got out of the gutter and into the real obstacles this couple faced. I’m no prude – but this exceeded my threshold of tasteful and bordered on porn. The ending seemed unrealistic and hastily written, but I was thankful that the snippet of the next two characters gave me a glimmer of hope for the next book in the set.