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“Fun and fast enjoyable read”Pattigr wrote this review Friday, March 8, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“An enjoyable historical romance with a action packed plot and exciting finish. For the most part the hero and heroine were strong confident characters but sometimes they could be stubborn. Glynis' father is trying to force her into marriage with Alex a womanizer determined never to take a wife.
“There is only one thing that Alexander Bàn MacDonald does with more frequency, skill, and enthusiasm than swiving the lasses, and that's fighting. Though it's a narrow margin. Now that the skilled fighter is back in the Highlands, his cousin Connor settling in as clan chieftan, it is up to Alex and his best friend Duncan to aid their friend in securing alliances while all of Scotland rumbles with the discord between Crown and rebellion.
Paying favor to the neighboring MacNeil clan with a visit is all well and good, but Alex draws the line at the idea of a marriage alliance. He can and will happily bed any and all comely lasses, married or no, but he will never take the shackle himself. Not after the example his parents set for him. He'd sooner take a blade in the chest.
Fortunately for him, MacNeil's eldest establishes quickly and unequivocally that she's no keener on the idea than he. Though she is definitely a beautiful lass.
Glynis MacNeil has good reason to want to avoid a marriage bed. She's had one already and it didn't end well. Her first husband proved himself to be an unfaithful lout, and she ended that marriage with a deft flick of a blade. Wedding Alex MacDonald, a known philanderer, is just as likely to end in bloodshed and pain. She would take no part in it. No matter how handsome the rogue is.
Alex is forced to reevaluate his stance, though, when faced with the consequences of his past. It's only then that he realizes how untenable the idea of marriage would be with any woman besides Glynis. Convincing her to give up her own reservations, however, may take more charm than even the eminently charming Scottish warrior can claim.
It's true, I'm a sucker for a hot guy in a kilt. Toss in a healthy brogue and a bit of scruff and I'm a puddle. And the great thing about Highland historical romances like Mallory's The Sinner is that all the men are hot guys in kilts. It's a veritable cornucopia of yum! In this case, there's also a rather large amount of fantastic story surrounding all that fictional beefcake.
Maybe I wouldn't have been quite so thoroughly entertained, though, if it hadn't been for Glynis. I loved her from the start. She was feisty, independent, intelligent, and not afraid to take a sharp point to a man who desperately deserved it. Mallory made her believable for her time period, gave her a backbone and an inner strength that I appreciated, and imbued her with a warrior spirit, for all her femininity.
Alex was also a pleasure, though I favored Glynis a bit more. He was definitely a nicely layered character with plentiful depth, but I wasn't as fond of his background. I know it's historically authentic, but the bed-hopping man whore persona isn't a favorite of mine for romantic leads. In his favor, he was honest and forthright about it, he certainly didn't deceive or betray Glynis, and his moments of insensitivity, while painful, weren't intentionally so.
I did have difficulty fully sympathizing with him about his parents' contentious relationship. Especially as so many of Alex's issues with marriage concerned the effects of his father's indiscretions - the sort that Alex had spent his life practically reliving. Still, both Alex and Glynis were three dimensional and likable. As individual characters they exuded a force of personality that couldn't be denied, and as a couple, they were incendiary.
The plot was complex and layered and wholly entertaining, especially when surrounding such strong lead characters. Expansive and detailed, weaving together a wide array of plot threads and story elements, it's a varied, intriguing journey through early 16th century Scotland. Action, danger, robust emotion, sizzling sensuality, battles and pirates and kings; it's all bound up into a fast-paced narrative that swept me up and carried me along from the first to the final page.
A major relationship conflict in the romance arc between Alex and Glynis struck me as less compelling. The complete breakdown in communication between them and Glynis' reactions to it, which seemed slightly out-of-character at the time, are never things I enjoy. Despite that, the evolution of their relationship was, for me, the true gem of the book. I loved how well suited the characters were for each other, first as like-minded friends and eventually lovers. The development of their relationship felt organic to both their characters and the situations in which they find themselves.
All the facets of this book pulled together to form a fantastic tale. I haven't read the first in the series, though I'm happy to say it wasn't necessary to enjoy this one, but I have every intention of reading the next. I felt for Duncan after hearing the opening strains of his upcoming opus in this book, and I liked him quite a bit as he stood beside Alex as a warrior and a friend. I am intent on seeing Mallory provide him with the sort of happiness the poor love-lorn male deserves. After The Sinner, I anticipate another rousing romp of danger and intrigue and romance in the Scottish Highlands. And braw men in kilts. Lots of yummy braw men in kilts.
Disclosure: An ARC of this book was provided to me by Forever publisher Grand Central Publishing via NetGalley. This rating, review, and all included thoughts and comments are my own.
Reviewed for One Good Book Deserves Another.
Reviewed by Suz & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog
Alexander MacDonald has sworn he will never marry and certainly never fall in love; after a childhood spent in a house where his parent hate each other, he vows he will never do the same. However, that doesn't stop him from enjoying a woman, as long as she wants no more then a night, and he is well known for his philandering ways. The beautiful Glynis MacNeil has also sworn never to marry again, her first husband was a brute who humiliated her and she would never go through that again; no matter what her father says. Both their resolves are tested as they are thrown together and find themselves drawn to each other and they start considering the unthinkable. Marriage.
This is my first Margaret Mallory book and although I wasn't blown away by it I did really enjoy it. Especially the parts with Alex....nekkid.... how can I resist a hot Highland warrior?
This was essentially a reformed rake story, only Highlander style, and I enjoyed reading as the very stubborn main characters, Alex and Glynnis, fell in love. They were both very likable characters, Alex was charming and gallant and although he was a womanizer he wasn't as intense and complicated as rakes can often be portrayed, and Glynnis was strong minded and beautiful. You could feel the connection between them and see how it grew through the book as although they were instantly attracted to each other, it was great to see it grow into a friendship and deepened in to love.
This book also had a little action and although there wasn't really much of a plot that wasn't directly about the romance, it had enough adventure in it to appease my bloodlust. You could also tell it was a well researched book, although I am definitely no expert on Scottish history, there was a depth about the settings and characters surrounding the main couple as well as mentions of the political climate of the time as to give it the air of authenticity.
The reason this gets 3.5 stars and not 4 or 5 is that although I did like it, I found it a little slow to start and it took me a good 100 pages to get into it. Also, although I liked the characters and the romance which was sweet and sexy, it also wasn't something extraordinary or original. But it was well written and fun to read, and I will be reading more of Margaret Mallory's book in the future.
* Review copy provided by publisher ”
As a self-confessed Urban Fantasy fanatic it probably seems weird that I have this big soft spot for historical romance. Not all the time, but every now and again I just need some real romance, you know? And to me, no one does that better than a hunky highlander or a fearsome knight. They have to be warriors of some sort for my liking- no rakes, rogues, fops or dandies for me, thank you. I want battle-worn men with the scars to prove it. This is for two reasons: Reason one. Hello? Warriors, swords, big muscles, yeah, yeah, yeah, I really am that shallow. And reason two: slightly less shameful, it's because this generally means that the book will contain some kind of battle/conflict/fight scenes to keep my action-loving tomboy alter ego happy.
This book is quite simply one of the best of this genre I have read. It pretty much had everything I could hope for in a highlander romance.
The dialogue was one of my favourite parts. So authentic (or at least it seemed so to me). The banter was excellent, the stories that the characters would tell around a camp fire really served to bring them to life for me. I could imagine their lilting brogue as if I were sat amongst them.
The characters themselves were very enjoyable. After my initial worry over Alex's womanising ways - I'm not always a big fan of men who believe themselves God's gift to women- I grew to greatly appreciate his character and the changes he went through during the course of the book. The transformation was convincing and I genuinely believed it was sincere, which often isn't the case with former "sinners". Once a player, always a player as Jerry Springer would say.
Equally delightful was Glynis. From the initial encounter in her "disguise" to the very last pages, she was someone whom I respected and could easily empathise with. There was not a moment of whining from her regardless of the circumstances. She really was a great female lead.
I was very invested in both of these characters. Although sometimes I did want to scream at them to talk to each other, and indeed there were some painful, heart-rending moments to go through along the way, but to me, this just proves how good the book was. That I was so engrossed I felt the heartache right along with them.
The main story and the two or three sub-plots were all well paced. There was a great climactic finish which was very satisfying also. And a lovely epilogue as the cherry on the cake.
This is book two in a four-part series featuring each of the four warriors I met in this book. I know now that I will be reading the rest of them at some point. And I recommend that you do, too.”