Test Driver Hapax purchased this book from the Harlequin bookstore as “part of a historical bundle that I wanted to read for the other authors.” Hapax asks that I let y’all know the review is spoilerific, so proceed with caution.
This was my first experiencing in actually sitting down and trying to READ an e-book.
Dear Saint-Jerome-and-his-slavering-lions, just drool me to death Right Now. The pain…
And I can’t blame the Sony for this one. I’m fairly certain, in fact, that the e-reader is the only reason I kept paging through, because I wanted to read the next book in this Blazing Bundle, and Sony, in its generosity, didn’t provide me the option of jumping around the table of contents. So flick through I did, 700 pages of engorged print for my aged and increasingly baffled eyeballs.
The opening had some promise, actually. Our barely pubescent Heroine, Brianna MacLeod, the feisty tomboy with the obligatory untamed red hair and flashing green eyes, has a veritably unique Meet Cute with an even younger hero, lanky dark-haired grey-eyed Ewan Fraser, who admired the vigorous manner in which she relieved her bladder in the stable.
Naturally this led to a First Kiss and a blood-oath to wed.
Flash-forward ten years. Generic Disneyland Scots (TM) of poorly-researched medieval provenance prance about in plaid, dropping burr-burdened bon mots about the “braw bonny bairns” whilst our heroine struggles to maintain control over her clan as newly designated Laird (yeah, I know, just work with me, here) while secretly yearning for a lusty lover and lots of babies.
In pursuit thereof, and also to settle a pesky escalation of a long-standing feud with the Fraser clan, which involved the recent murder of her husband and her subsequent miscarriage (no biggie, she’s SO over that), she decides to kidnap the twin brother of The Fraser, who just happens to be her childhood love, and chain him to her bed until he impregnates her. No. Really. Send this lady to the U.N., she’s a bloody diplomatic genius.
Anyhoo-hah, let’s ignore the preposterous plot and Central Casting characters, we’re obviously here for the sex. And the set-up does sound intriguing—alpha hero in chains, torn between his pride and his lust, while the heroine simultaneously milks him for his seed and struggles not to enjoy herself too obviously.
And this lasts for one scene. After that, his inner Dom re-asserts himself, and he manhandles her ladyhandles, to her damp and squishy satisfaction, and it’s page after page of thrusting and plunging with fingers and tongues and shafts, into assorted holes and clefts and slits, all accompanied by squirts of cream and hot excited drippings, and really, it’s all about as erotic as playing with an Erector Set amidst the wreckage of Thanksgiving dinner.
Here and there amidst the splashings in this gravy boat of Hawt Bondage Action, there are occasional splorts of plot. The hero WhatzHisMac’s twin brother is a Tool—no, wait, he’s a Misunderstood Sensitive Hurtfella who luurves his brother—anyways, he decides to declare war upon the MacLeods. Except Brianna says “whoops, sorry!” and lets her studmudffin go, after one last leaking gush, and retires to pine (and, we hope, to wash the sheets.) So no harm, no foul, right?
Except that the villain turns out to be—‘WARE THE SPOILERS!!!—
her own trusted advisor! (Nobody could have seen that coming, right?) And it turns out Brianna’s murdered husband was So Totally Gay, so it’s a-okay that he’s dead and stuff. And Brianna’s BFF, the ex-Ho with the Heart o’ Gold, is just the domestic submissive mouse that The Hero’s brother has been secretly longing for, and the ancient crone herbalist nanny totally prophesied it all, so cue the yays.
And all the rest of the Bad Guys run away in the night, and Brianna’s clan is convinced that all of this somehow proves that Women Really Are Just As Good As Men and they’re all “Female Lairdz Rockz!” and I think there was a subplot with the clan ring and another one with a frickin’ flute or a cat or something and they were just completely dropped, but whatever.
So I’ll say this for e-reading. At least the thought of expensive mangled electronics kept me from possibly damaging the plaster by throwing this against the wall.
My grade: D + I still like the pisser of an opening scene enough to save this from an F, though it should have warned me that copious bodily fluids were going to be a recurring theme. And the “plus” goes for the unusual pleasure of chaining up the hero, for a change.