My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Maybe, it is a romance written during the early 90’s that I have rated it 3, or I got spoiled by the medieval romance stories written by Julie Garwood (she is the true medieval romance queen), Monica McCarty, Karen Marie Moning, Maya Banks and the likes. When I pick a romance novel, I like to get immersed in the story from page 1 (or at least after chapter 1). There should be a real connection among the characters, which makes me look forward to how the book will end. Otherwise, my impatient self wants to flip through the pages to get a feel of how the story is progressing t(ツ)_/¯ I know, bad habit, I shouldn’t, but I flipped through the pages again… >.< Can’t help it when almost after finishing 70% of the book I was craving for a solid dose of romance ໒( ᓀ ‸ ᓂ )७
Do not get me wrong; the story carries all the best of medieval romance parts in it –
- √ rivalry of two clans/countries
- √ protagonists belonging to rival countries
- √ hostility among the leads
- √ betrayal & kidnapping
This books started at a good pace, but there are many instances in the story where you feel that the author could have come up with a more original idea of bringing the two leads together. Sigh!!! This book was my first by author Ruth Ryan Langan. I love to find surprises and blow me over moments in Medieval romance, especially if it is a book from a new author. I do not know how her other books sound, and this review of mine is solely based on the impression I got from reading The Highlander.
Lady Leonora Waltham, beloved daughter of the English vassal and English King’s confidant, meets Scottish Laird and Robert the Bruce’s representative Dillon Campbell for the first time in a peace talk meeting. She has always heard rumors about the savagery and cruelty of the highlanders. Yet, duty for her king and love for her father forces her to complete the task of making sure the highlanders feel at ease on hostile grounds. What she never expected was getting extremely attracted to the leader of the highlanders, Dillon. Warring nations (you guessed it right…England & Scotland), coming together for peace talks, obviously there will be villainous plots to sabotage it. Facing the capture of his brother’s and worse his own death forced Dillon to kidnap Leonora. Leonora who had no idea what kind of political game was in play, becomes the captive of a highland savage who later on becomes her savior.
The lead couple Leonora and Dillon were likable, and there were definite hints of strong sexual attraction/chemistry from the start. The heat index was high from the moment H&H laid their eyes on each other, but somehow the sizzle factor fizzled out as the story progressed. The thing about antagonism is, it just irritates the hell out of you if it keeps on going in more than 50% of the story. I understand that staying true to the historical times is important, but that does not mean that H&H should be at each others throat ¯\_ಠ_ಠ_/¯ every time they are together. Half the time, I wondered what is wrong with the couple. I mean really, do you have to be so difficult. Put two stubborn, thick headed people together, and voila…the arguments never cease.
Now the bits and pieces of likable parts…the supporting cast. Dillon’s clan was adorable, especially Robin, the slow-speaking giant guard placed for Leonora’s protection. Then there was the staff chef Mrs. McCallum, lady’s maid Gwyneth, and Dillon’s little sister Flame. The moments of romance came in bits too, lasted for a short while then poof…gone. I was hoping that the main leads were able to develop some sentiments for each other. But while Dillon shows some signs of accepting his attraction, Leonora behaves in her prideful manner and never reveals anything, except when she is in the company of others ヽ(ー_ー )ノ That’s why on the romance part the actual development happens after almost 70% of the story is over. I wasn’t expecting a lot of tupping, but I was hoping for some progress; instead it was an abrupt development and only happens when Leonora tries to escape from her captor. Phew!!!
Mutual feelings between the H&H looked rushed to me (finally some tupping action thank you!). I mean dire circumstances brought them together again so that they will accept their feelings for each other. Even the confession looked sudden to me (maybe when death is around the corner, you wanna confess argggggghhh!).
Romance stories should have romance… the arguments, fights…plotting…kidnapping… just left too much to desire. I will ponder on whether to read the rest of the series -.-