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Search tags: freedom-in-kilts
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review 2014-07-09 00:47
Rionna FINALLY weds her McCabe brother
Never Love a Highlander - Maya Banks

Opening Line:“The weather for her first wedding had been a splendor of nature.”

 

This was a great conclusion to the McCabe brothers trilogy, reinstating the fact that I should have listened to all the rave reviews earlier because I’ve really enjoyed these hunky highland warriors with all their manly swordplay (LOL), their battle for the McCabe legacy and lovers who face impossible odds in claiming their HEA.

This one picks up directly after (Seduction Of A Highland Lass) with sacrificial lamb Rionna finally (finally) getting her McCabe man. This poor girl has really had the run around but Caelen, the last remaining brother steps up, takes one for the team and Rionna actually gets her wedding, bringing an alliance to the McDonald and McCabe clans once and for all.

Caelen may put loyalty above all else but he trusts no woman, hardening his heart after a prior betrayal ended in the murder of his father and brother’s wife. This is to be a marriage of convenience for him, nothing more. This couple butt heads almost immediately upon return to the McDonald grounds as it becomes apparent that Caelen’s new bride is no wallflower. He of course tries to put her in her place, which would be inside the castle walls, running the staff and household not out leading the men in swordplay wearing trews which is where Rionna is happiest.

Who knew Rionna was a “warrior Princess” it sure melts Caelen’s defences watching her in action. Initially Caelen’s character confused me (or should I say was realistic) as he was all smooth words, white hot longing and gentleness in the bedroom when they’re alone but outside of those stone walls and fur bedding he is gruff moody and harsh almost to the point of being cruel to his new bride.

There is a lot of action in this one and I particularly enjoyed the scenes where Caelen is training Rionna in combat skills. She also has some great scenes with Gannon the 2nd in command who I’ve enjoyed in all 3 books.

Maya Banks surprised me here with a fade-to-black love scene. What?! She makes up for it with plenty of others though. I felt that Caelen went a little soft towards the end spouting mushy nonsense in front of the King and his clan and the last battle had a few silly moments however the epilogue which has been taken from Caelen’s diary is so freakin good it will bring tears to your eyes as it is signed; Caelen McDonald laird of the McDonald clan. You’ll have to read it to find out the significance. Cheers.

387jb4
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review 2014-05-31 01:17
Another excellent historical romance, another yummy Mackinnon brother
Untamed (MacKinnon's Rangers, #2) - Pamela Clare

  Opening Line: “Major Morgan Mackinnon lay on his belly, looking down from the summit of Rattlesnake Mountain to the French fort at Ticonderoga below.”

Och lassies, Pamela Clare has done it again. Tis no fair, I dinnae ken i twas possible for her to top the sheer bonnie-ness of Surrender (I’ll stop now) or that she could possibly create another hero capable of capturing my heart the way Iain did (yes Iain of the hundred lashes Iain) but then I hadn’t properly met his brother Morgan yet either and damn if this brave, sexy Mackinnon brother hasn’t also stolen my heart.

Yes, Untamed is equally as good as the first book and in some ways I suppose even better because I’m now more familiar with the Scottish brogue and also have a better understanding of the French/British war being fought in the Colonies of 1759. This book was also interesting on a personal level because I have family in French Canada so I enjoyed reading the heroine Amalie's Français and some of the history as to why my country is bilingual. As others have mentioned this also sent me on a historical search (which a romance novel has never done before) to learn more about the battle of Trois Rivières and the time period in general.

There isn’t a whole lot I can add about this amazing series as I’m a little late to the party and there are already so many great reviews out there. All the praise is worthy though; Pamela Clare is simply an amazing writer, giving us characters that you won’t be able to let go of. The romance here is just perfect; sweet, passionate (hello waterfall sex), tear jerking and sighworthy. What a fantastic couple. In fact I loved everything about this; the suspense, the humour, the language, the history, the secondary characters (Joseph, Connor, Iain & Annie, the Rangers and even William) I was also never certain where this story was going to go, jeez the choices Morgan was forced to make, eventually becoming the enemy of both the French and the English.

Untamed starts shorty after Surrender and sees Scottish warrior Morgan MacKinnon still reluctantly fighting for the English. Upon his brother’s release Morgan is now in command of the Rangers and in the opening chapter we join him in the midst of a horrific battle, which see’s our boy gravely wounded and taken hostage by the French. His loyal Rangers assume he’s dead (or soon will be) and are so moved by his final heroics that they write a ballad in his honor (Loved it)

Incapacitated, Morgan is shackled to a bed where the French plan to interrogate him before turning him over to the Abenaki -who will then burn him alive for crimes against their people. It’s not looking very good for ole Morgan. Bearing two festering musket holes he wills himself to die rather then turn traitor on his men or burn at the stake, but it’s not going to be that easy. Enter his nursemaid, sweet, innocent, young and beautiful Amalie. Raised in a convent and now upon the death of her father (at the hands of British) the ward of Chevalier de Bourlamaque who will either see her returning to the nunnery and marrying god or one of his chosen French officers. Amalie however has other plans and has decided that this man must live.

“Morgan fought the urge to touch her, crossed his arms over his chest.
“You have no’ answered my question, lass. Why are you here? And dinnae tell me it’s the summer heat that brings you, for ‘tis hot in my bed too.”
She looked away again, distress on her face. ”I…I needed…”
“Needed what?” He knew the answer, but he wanted to hear it from her.
When she spoke, her words were but a whisper “I needed to be…near you.”

302jb5

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review 2014-04-01 01:14
Great series -I should have listened to the rave reviews sooner
Seduction of a Highland Lass - Maya Banks

Opening Line: “Alaric McCabe looked out over the expanse of McCabe land and grappled with the indecision plaguing him.”

Whoa, hello sexy Highland Warriors. I guess I should have listened to all the rave reviews; I’m sorry now I waited so long to discover this series.

This is the second book from the McCabe brothers trilogy and what an epic love story it turned out to be. I’ll be honest, it took me a bit to get into the story but Alaric and Keeley grew on me as did Banks’ particular take on historical Scotland, so that that by the end I found myself ensnared by these lovers who face impossible odds in claiming their HEA. Yeah the ending left me kinda breathless actually; exciting, heartbreaking, and surprising

Centering on middle brother Alaric we join him on his way to meet his betrothed. His is not to be a marriage of love, Alaric is marrying out of a sense of duty, family and to bring an alliance to the McDonald and McCabe clans and because the King demands it. So it’s fair to say there is a lot riding on this union. In the midst of his journey Alaric and his warriors are attacked and he is gravely injured. Managing to escape, his horse conveniently deposits him near the cottage of a healer.

Keeley McDonald lives alone after being banished by her people (the whys are pretty harsh and expanded upon throughout the story) Anyways, Keeley is handy with the ole herb which is lucky for our fallen Highlander. Getting the warrior’s bulk into her small cottage is no easy task but she is swiftly drawn to him and the wicked glint in his green eyes as she begins to care for his injuries and nurse him back to health.

In time his (equally sexy) brothers locate Alaric and then essentially kidnap Keeley so that she can care for him back on McCabe land as well as serve as midwife for the birth of Ewan and Mairin’s (In Bed With A Highlander) upcoming child. It’s not all bad as they offer her a position within their clan.

Back at the McCabe castle Alaric and Keeley are having trouble keeping their hands off each other and finally just abandon any pretenses and go for it. They both know that there is to be no future for them as Alaric is promised to another but for the time they have they’re going to create memories that will last forever. And because this is Maya Banks boy do they ever! The sex scenes are plentiful and even a bit naughty!

So this is where their love story really started to grow on me, as their time together neared an end and each moment became precious. How will they say goodbye? How can Keeley watch while he marries another? I honestly wondered how these two were going to get their HEA and then tragedy struck and a big twist that totally made sense and set up the next book beautifully. Oh the ending is just so good.

I had put off reading this series for quite a while because I just couldn’t come to terms with the author of (Colter's Woman) being able to write a decent historical Scottish romance. (That book may have just scared me for life) I’m very glad I gave this a go because Banks surprised me here.

Earlier I mentioned Banks’ particular take on medieval Scotland, she has written this in modern English. Sure we get a few “Aye’s” and lassies, lochs and lairds, tankards of ale and even descriptions of how ‘things’ are about to burst out of trews but this has been written for the masses. It’s also vague on setting and time period which usually bothers me (i.e. not much research went into this) yet somehow it still worked and I can’t wait to continue on with Caelen’s story in (Never Love A Highlander)

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