REVIEW: In Bed with a Highlander by Maya BanksMonday, September 26, 2011 1:00
I have anticipated reading this book for a while now. I have had the best time reading Maya Banks’ KGI series and her Colter series. So when I learned she’d be writing a Highlander trilogy, well, needless to say I was in heaven. Highlanders by Maya Banks? How could you not love that???
So imagine my surprise, my amazement that I don’t love this book. I like it. I just don’t love it. In Bed with a Highlander doesn’t have the emotion that I’ve come to expect from Ms. Banks after reading the first three books about the Kelly family, and even the Colters wrung more feeling out of me than Ewan and Mairin do. Now, all that isn’t to say this is not a good book. Maybe my expectations aren’t fair in comparing IBwaH to those other, but what’s a reader/reviewer to do when faced with such a dilemma?
Mairin is the bastard daughter of the long-deceased King Alexander. She’s been hidden away at a convent the last ten years to keep her out of evil hands, due to the very large dowry that would go to her husband should she marry. Her pleasant and uncomplicated life is about to have a total turnaround. There’s always one laird who can figure out how to get what he wants, and Mairin is abducted from the convent and forced to marry said laird. But with some unexpected help, she escapes his clutches only to end up in the hands of Ewan McCabe, another laird but one who doesn’t beat women and children. He will, however, marry her to keep her riches for his clan.
The McCabe clan has been through hell and back, when an attack on them years before nearly decimated their numbers. Ewan has worked hard to rebuild, and this boon of having Mairin land in his lap will cement the future of his people. He quickly learns his intended has a willful streak, disobeying him at every turn. That only makes her more attractive to him, despite the frustration he goes through each time she acts on her own. Mairin begins to love not only her laird but his clan as well. She’s never belonged anywhere before, and what she finds with these people is just what she needs to blossom and grow.
In the midst of all of this, there are attempts on Mairin’s life. Ewan and his brothers work to find the culprit, even accusing a neighboring laird of the dirty work, which tosses their peace talks into chaos. In the bedroom, however, all is right with world. Mairin learns fast and discovers her sexual power over her husband, who fiercely enjoys giving himself over to his wife. These scenes aren’t as steamy as in Ms. Banks’ others books, but they work here. In fact, one time I do feel the emotion I mentioned before is the scenes where Ewan is scared spitless he may lose Mairin and also when they finally admit their love to each other, but this is very late in the book. And I do like the relationship between the brothers. They have each other’s backs no matter what. I also enjoyed the scenes with Crispin, Ewan’s son. He takes to Mairin immediately in their dire circumstances and welcomes her as his mother, no questions asked. The scenes between father and son are also one those of few emotional times in the story.
What I didn’t care for is the dialogue throughout most of the book. Most of the time these characters sound like modern-day folks. Yes, there’s a “’twas” and a “nay” and a few other words thrown in here and there, but there’s no brogue to be found anywhere. Not even a “verra.” Which I would have been happy with even used sparsely. I want more of a feeling of the Highlands in the story and it’s just not there.
We do get a nice setup for the next book in the series, Seduction of a Highland Lass, and I have to say that I’m intrigued after learning that Alaric’s story is not going to go as you think once you’ve finished this book. So that alone will keep me reading. I’m even intrigued after reading the blurb for Caelen’s book, Never Love a Highlander, which isn’t what I expected either. I’m hoping for the unexpected to keep driving me along, since I have to assume the dialogue won’t change in either of those books.
So In Bed with a Highlander has its up and it has its downs. It’s still Maya Banks, and if you’re a fan, give it a try. It may be for you. You won’t know till then.
Ewan McCabe, the eldest, is a warrior determined to vanquish his enemy. Now, with the time ripe for battle, his men are ready and Ewan is poised to take back what is his—until a blue-eyed, raven-haired temptress is thrust upon him. Mairin may be the salvation of Ewan’s clan, but for a man who dreams only of revenge, matters of the heart are strange territory to conquer.
Though the illegitimate daughter of the king, Mairin possesses prized property that has made her a pawn—and wary of love. Her worst fears are realized when she is rescued from peril, only to be forced into marriage by her charismatic and commanding savior, Ewan McCabe. But her attraction to her ruggedly powerful new husband finds her craving his surprisingly tender touch; her body comes alive under his sensual mastery. And as war draws near, Mairin’s strength, spirit, and passion challenge Ewan to conquer his demons—and embrace a love that means more than revenge and land.
Read an excerpt.
Other books in this series: