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The Handfasting (The Handfasting Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 399 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Although Maggie's father is Laird of their clan, the McBedes are a sept of the McCay clan, of which Bold (Talorc the Bold) is laird. I think that means he was an overlord of sorts and they owe him fealty. In any event, the best part of the story is Bold's single-minded determination to make Maggie his. The man pretty much became obsessed with Maggie from stories he heard about her, told by her brothers and the other men of her clan; stories about her bravery and her fiery nature. When stories about her past deeds inspire the up to then defeated men, to win a battle, Bold decides he will marry Maggie, sight unseen; a woman of her strength of character and bravery would make him an excellent mate and produce a bevy of equally strong brave children. LOL Even though he decides to marry Maggie, Bold expects to be disappointed with her physical appearance once he lays eyes on her. Well, this is a romance novel, so you know THAT doesn't happen. LOL! Instead, the opposite is true. There is an instant, combustible chemistry between Maggie and Bold, one which confuses and scares the innocent beauty. However, Maggie is determined not to marry a warrior, and Bold is the quintessential warrior--he has a reputation of being fierce and fearless on the battlefield; a strong leader of men.
Bold uses every method at his disposal, both fair and foul, to get Maggie to marry him. It was equal parts fun, equal parts uncomfortable for me to read about the methods he used to get her to agree. In the end, she agrees not to marriage, but to a handfasting...now all she has to do is keep her heart and her body safe and in a year and a day, she'll once again be a free woman. But there's a conspiracy against Maggie, one to keep her married to Bold, one which is forged by none other than her family. Unknown to Maggie, once a couple consummates a handfasting, they become husband and wife, just as surely as if they had been married in a church. This little fact is one that Maggie's mother conveniently forgets to tell her. LOL Anyhow, the couple marry and travel to Bold's home, and the story quickly progresses.
There is a personal vendetta against Bold, and a conspiracy to see the McKay clan destroyed, as well as its allies. Maggie is in the way of the villains plot, thus a murder plot against her life is hatched. Bold must keep Maggie safe, while continuing his campaign to get her to willingly give herself to him, so that he can make their marriage a permanent one...her mother made him promise not to force Maggie. The romance between the two is the focus of the story with the conspiracy/murder plot adding plenty of intrigue and action to the plot. Overall, it made for a very romantic, very exciting read. FYI, this is not a clean story. There are a couple of love scenes; although IMO, they are not overly graphic, nor is there any crude language used. My only complaint, aside from the mild editing issue, is that when the villain is uncovered, there was talk about banishment. I had to wonder if they hadn't learned their lesson about banishment--he doesn't work! Anyhow, I'm happy to report that someone took matters into their own hands and killed the bastard. Thus all ended as it should with everyone getting exactly what they deserved. Happy reading!
Overall, I loved the story Becca St. John told. It was enough to keep me interested and wanting to read more. I liked both protagonists although they could be rather frustrating at times. I wasn’t surprised by the villain, however. I felt that I should have been, that the author wanted me to be, but it was too obvious. The other villain wasn’t even brought up until it was time in the plot to reveal them.
The main problem I have with this novel is that it desperately needs editing. There are many errors in terms of grammar, spelling, and syntax. I found there were many words that had too many letters such as having three H’s when there should only be one. But mainly there were just a lot of passages that didn’t make sense. I found myself reading sentences and paragraphs multiple times overs to try and understand what they meant. I would like to chalk it up to just a lack of my imagination on my part, but genuinely they just didn’t make sense. The actions and words of the characters weren’t logical and didn’t translate well. I almost wonder if the author ever went back to what she had already written to make sure it flowed and was clear and plausible.
I think St. John has a good story here, but I think the execution could be better.