Monday, March 8, 2010
Review: The Highlander's Sword by Amanda Forester
Genre: Romance, historical fiction, Scottish Highlanders
Paperback, 352 pages
Book Source: Sourcebooks
From Sourcebooks and the back cover:
Scottish Highlands romance is a perennial favorite, especially when it's as intriguing and sexy as The Highlander's Sword. Set against the backdrop of the rugged Scottish Highlands and the tumultuous 14th century, Lady Aila Graham is destined for the convent until her brother's death leaves her an heiress and her father hastily arranges a marriage for her with a Highland warrior she's never met.
The Sword Brought Them Together
Lady Aila's dreams of a quiet life are shattered when her hand and fortune are pledged to Padyn MacClaren in exchange for the veteran knight's promise to protect her clan from a vicious threat.
But Only Love Can Bind Their Hearts
Hardened by a life of violence and betrayal, Padyn believes a strong sword arm is all he needs to keep his new bride safe. But a devastating misunderstanding on their wedding night sets off a chain of violent events. Aila and Padyn must throw caution to the winds if they are to forge the powerful bond they'll need to save the clan...
Ah, the brooding misunderstood Highlander and the well-dowered damsel in distress. As much as I wanted to enjoy this book, I could not. It started out really well, but then Lady Aila runs away to the convent and it was pretty much down hill from there for me. The story was too predictable and I did not like Aila or Padyn. I know this is a romance book and all of that, but these two were exasperating to read about. Padyn sees Aila looking like a nun and thinks that he probably can't trust her because she's a woman. She will use her beauty to dazzle him. Aila, although very adept at being chatelaine of the castle, runs and hides at the convent because she is super confused and doesn't know what to do. Aila seems weak at times, but then does a bold thing. It's like I couldn't get a read on these two. Both Padyn and Aila have these flashes of brilliance I liked, then they would do something silly, and I would be disappointed.
I did like the secondary characters of Chaumont and Aila's father Graham. Chaumont provided snarky commentary and Graham was the laird of his clan I expected him to be. The details about dress, the countryside, and the castle were interesting. The overall feel of the story was definitely Scottish.
I'm not exactly sure why I had this reaction to the book. Maybe I like my female characters to have stronger personalities. Maybe this type of romance wasn't for me, even though I have read Scottish romances before. Whatever the case may be, don't let my dissatisfaction totally sway you. Other bloggers have read this book and enjoyed it. I've provided you links to other reviews as a counterpoint to my review:
Linda at Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell
Long and Short Reviews
Yankee Romance Reviewers
Amanda, I'm sorry I didn't like your book but if you write featuring Chaumont as the lead, I'm there!
My Rating: 79/100
2010 Challenges Met: 100+, Historical Fiction, Reading Romance
Thanks to Danielle from Sourcebooks for my review copy and giveaway copy.
That's right...giveaway copy. Stop back tomorrow for your chance to win.
Here is a video trailer I found while searching for reviews. See, Chaumont is HOT!