Rameau’s ramblings: So far I’ve given examples on what my one star and five star reviews—or a “total failure” and “one brilliant book” ratings—look like. Now it’s time to see what “meh” means to me. This just happens to be one of my snarkier reviews.
Originally posted on Goodreads on January 12th 2012.
Some men are born to rule…
She’ll find him a bride if it’s the last thing she does.
And it very well might be. Evangeline may be powerfully persuasive in her way, but convincing the notoriously wild Highland king Lachlan MacLeod to strengthen his alliances with a strategic marriage seems to be asking the impossible. Stubborn and proud, Lachlan seems determined to go against her will, even if it means endangering the people he’s sworn to protect and the enchanted isle that has already seen so much discord.
Yet the battle-scarred Highlander cannot ignore his sultry advisor for long. When his mentor is kidnapped, forcing him to ride into combat alongside the beautiful Evangeline, he must choose between her safety and his own independence. It’s a choice he makes in an instant…but once wed to the woman he could not resist, he’ll soon find that his heart is in even greater danger than his kingdom…
A while ago I won a book on a Twitter and a little while later I received a small package in the mail. My first ever paperback ARC. So naturally, I postponed reading said book until I could concentrate and give it the attention it clearly deserved. And I did–concentrate–for several weeks.
After I finished reading said book, I wrote a long list of things that bugged me about the novel and I set it aside. This was my attempt to remove the sting of somewhat critical review.
Everyone in their seats? Seat-belts? Safety glasses? Just glance at the stars, hold on, and let the ride begin.
Oh, for the love of… That was my first thought. Repeated several times during the early chapters. With every bountiful breast jiggle I cursed all the smut-writing gods and prayed for fanfic erotica salvation. (I am saved.) What the author must have considered as slow building for the sexual tension designed to bring two stubborn people together and help to break the ice between them I regarded as cheap smut tricks. Thanks to this book I could go on a lifetime without ever reading the expressions feminine curves and his manhood ever again. My quota is full.
I think M(r)s Mazzuca forgot that it’s not the action of a lively pair of breasts women readers think is sexy, it’s the hero’s reaction to it. Though that didn’t work well either when Evangeline and Lachlan went riding with winged horses (see his manhood).
I love the Scotch, both the drink and the accent, but I swear these authors are trying to destroy that love. Writing thick and sexy brogue is anything but. Reading it is painful. I swear, part of the reason why it took me so long to read through this book was because I couldn’t understand a word Lachlan was saying. There were long pieces of incomprehensible dialogue that slowed my reading to the point where I started paying way too much attention to the details. And what happens when the reader starts paying too much attention to detail? This review is what happens (I’d say I’m sorry, but I’m not).
Speaking of Lachlan and his male pride (another thing I’d happily never read again), the caveman mentality sucks. It’s especially unappealing when it’s the only thing continually showing the period. Yes, there’s a time-traveller, but the rest of the characters, human and fae alike, are supposed to be living in the early 17th century. Do they act like it? No, they don’t. And don’t even get me started on the equal partnership-thing. (Seriously, don’t. I’ve forgotten that bit.)
Then there’s the supernatural. I was under the impression that faeries are supposed to be older and long-lived. Sure, there must be or have been fae children once upon time, but those are far and few between. Or so I thought. I don’t even know how old Lachlan is, I just know that at twenty-six, Evangeline is supposed to be older. Why the hell couldn’t she be at least in her sixties to make things more interesting? I had other complaints about the fae, but I’ve forgotten them too.
Perhaps this is explained elsewhere in the series, because before there was a King there was a Lord and a Warrior of the Isles. You can certainly read this book without having read the prequels (I did), but the knowledge of things you’re missing will haunt you (it did haunt me). I would complain more about the abundance of secondary characters apparently known from the other books had I cared enough about Evangeline and Lachlan to be upset when the focus wasn’t solely on them.
The series issue is a hindrance in other things too. I have no way of knowing if this was explained in the other books, but I must assume it was, because if it wasn’t… it’s just a sign of the author’s laziness. Having not read the other books, Evangeline’s fears remained too abstract and thus the culmination of this book fell flat for me. This combined with the fact that there isn’t a true ending for the story, only further groundwork for the sequel, I can’t recommend this book for anyone not willing to commit to a series.
That’s most of my complaining done, but there are few spoilery details such as the vampirism and the pregnancy issue. I still wish Evangeline would have remained childless, because I refuse to believe that every woman must reproduce to find happiness in her life.
There were good bits too, as you can see from my rating. Whenever the author was writing action or was otherwise engaged with the plot, she forgot to add the unnecessary descriptions, which in turn made the text flow better and the reading enjoyable. Mazzuca clearly knows how to come up with plots for her romances, it’s just a shame she doesn’t focus on that more.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher.