Customer Review

78 of 93 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cute but predictable and a bit dull, August 21, 2011
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This review is from: In Bed with a Highlander (The Highlanders) (Mass Market Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I see review inflation has run wild with this title. This is not a 5-star romance. It is a collection of reworked ideas set forth in a straight-forward, simplistic style. They are all good ideas, of course. It's just they worked much better in the original context.

Kidnapping and marrying an heiress was done much better in, for example, Julie Garwood's The Wedding. Consummating under time pressure was done much better in Lindsay Sands' The Deed. The list goes on. It seemed like on every page there was a plot device that I had read in another book. So the story is predictable and feels recycled.

The setting, for no particular reason, is the Scottish highlands. You can tell it is Scotland, because people wear trews instead of trousers. Beyond that, there is nothing recognizably Scottish. There are no historical or geographic landmarks to orient the tale, and all of the attitudes and language are very modern. At one point the heroine says "I have a theory". The hero advises her to avoid "potentially explosive situations". The enemy is a "greedy power-hungry bastard". The are all interesting phrases, but they don't sound like ancient Scotland. They sound like modern television.

The plot begins at the beginning, moves forward in a straight-forward way, to a predictable ending. Secrets are revealed, but they are predictable and not very dark. The bad guy is not a tortured guy whose natural good character qualities have been flawed by unfortunate circumstances. He's just a big dumb bully. The characters are dull and their dialog is very boring. Here is a sample:

"I won't hurt you this time, Mairin."
"You won't?"
He smiled. "I won't. You're going to like it."
"I will?"
"Aye, lass, you will."
"All right," she whispered.

Not exactly scintillating conversation.

So the book is missing originality, clever dialog, interesting characters, an authentic setting and a creative writing style. Mostly, it is just a bunch of a bunch of romance-novel cliche's strung together to achieve predictable satisfaction from devoted (and not very picky) romance readers. Personally, I found it dull.

This is mass-market blandness, with no doubt wide but shallow appeal. Easy to read and easy to forget once you've read it, and no way is this book worth 5 stars.
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Comments

Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 28, 2011 10:06:40 PM PDT
Erin Satie says:
Harsh but true. I have a hard time going below three stars with a book that's competent and flows well but...I had all the same thoughts.

Posted on Aug 31, 2011 8:28:32 PM PDT
Honeywell says:
"Mostly, it is just a bunch of a bunch of romance-novel cliche's strung together to achieve predictable satisfaction from devoted (and not very picky) romance readers."

That's me! Unfortunately, I didn't like this one either. DNF.

Posted on Oct 21, 2011 9:07:34 AM PDT
Burst out laughing when I read the romantic exchange between the heroine and her honey that you inserted into your review. Just great...thanks.

Posted on Apr 17, 2012 4:10:16 PM PDT
Buggy says:
Couldn't agree with you more in fact this (recycling) is a trait I have noticed with all the books Maya Banks is pumping out these days. -I wondered how she was publishing so many so fast? Her KGI series reads like bits and pieces of every other romantic suspense going, nothing original, very simple and predictable. With story threads and character traits from many other (better) books

Posted on Jun 18, 2012 8:57:55 PM PDT
Jaga says:
I actually think there was a book written by another author that was nearly identical to this one. It took place in England though. This whole book was copied by various authors to the point where I knew everything that would happen. I am stunned to see this was released in 2011, because as I read it I kept thinking, didn't I read this book a few years ago? The plagiarism is disgusting and poorly done as well.

Posted on Oct 8, 2012 9:00:36 AM PDT
A reader says:
I agree with your example not being "scintillating conversation", but disagree about the too "modern" language used in the book. Of course it's modern, it has to be - this book is set in Scotland in the middle ages, when people talked very, very differently from nowadays. If she's stuck to the way people actually spoke then and there, you would have read something like this:

"Till all žat žir lettres herys or seis Alysandre lyndessay lorde of glennesk knycht gretyng in god euer lestand Wete yhe me for me and myn ayres and assigneȝ at že instance of a noble & mychty lorde Sir William Erle of Douglas & of Marr haue releissit quytclaymit & for euer mare remittyt till an honorable lady dame Mergarete contesse of Marr & to Elyȝabeth hir systir dachteris & ayres till an michty lorde Thomas stywarde som tyme Erle of Angous all my rycht clayme persuit chalenge or askyng žat I or myn ayres has or may haue or our assignes in tyme to come be ony ways to fourty markis worth of land in ye qwilkes ye foresaid Erle of Angous was obligit be his lettres to gyve me heritably eftir žat I had tane že ordre of knycht sa žat nowthir I no myn ayres no our assigneȝ že foresaid dame Mergarete Elyȝabeth hir systir žair ayres no žair assigneȝ by cause of že foresaid fourty markis worth of land no for na maner of rerageȝ žare of may chalenge inquiete distourble or be cause foresaid aganis žaim qhestioun or plede in tyme to cum be ony maner of way bot fra all manere of rycht and colour lauch of askyng following owthir to possessioun or proprete to že forsaid thingis be ws excludit & assoillit be žir lettres for euer mare"

(This is a quote by Alexander Lindsay, Lord of Glenesk, dating from a few years before the time period of the novel.)

My point is that using authentic language in a book set in the middle ages is just impossible. It has to be translated into modern English. It's just that when that English sounds a little more old-fashioned, we suspend our disbelieve more willingly, forgetting that even old-fashioned English sounds a LOT different from Early Scots language.
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Location: Las Vegas, NV USA

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