Saturday, March 5, 2011

Karen Marie Moning - Beyond the Highland Mist

Highlander Series:

Book 1:
Beyond the Highland Mist: Sidheach James Lyon Douglas, Third Earl of Dalkeith A.K.A Hawk and Adrienne de Simone

In 16th Century Scotland Hawk is considered the most beautiful man in Scotland as well as is legendary in his prowess in the bed chambers, woman flock to Hawk to be able to experience even just once to see if the legend is true. Hawk is not one to turn down what is offered freely but he only gives pleasure and nothing else of himself. When the consort of Queen Aoibheal of the Fairy hears the tails of the Hawk and suspects his own queen having had sampled the legend the King is overcome with jealously and devises a plan along with the Fairy Adam Black to bring an end to the legend of the Hawk.  The plan is to find a modern day (20th century) woman that can resist the Hawks charms and to lead him on a merry chase only to leave him once he has fallen for her. Adam Black has found the perfect woman in Adrienne de Simone; fresh out of an abusive relationship with a beautiful very wealthy man and running for her life always looking over her shoulder, she hates ALL men especially the beautiful rich ones. When Adrienne falls through an empty space and finds herself in 16th century Scotland and into the lap of a greedy nasty man she is understandably confused and doesn’t know what in the world is going on, but a survivor she has always been. When her life and all the women in the castle lives have been threatened if she does not pretend to be some other dead woman and marry some man sight unseen her survival instincts kick in and she agrees, at least until she can find some way out of the 16th century and back into her own time. When the groom doesn’t even show up but sends a proxy instead, Adrienne is fuming from the lack of respect and she is thrown on a horse immediately after and sent to her new home. After years of forced service to the King, Hawk now only has one worry, his ordered betrothal to a rumored hideously ugly crazy woman (whom no one has actually laid eyes on), whom he has been avoiding most of his life, but time is running out. He has very little time before the date that he has to be married or the King will destroy his castle and the entire village. On the date the wedding is to take place he send his best friend Grimm in his place, the less contact he has with his “bride” the better, he has even instructed his staff to ignore the lass. When Adrienne arrives at the keep and is rudely ignored by the entire household including her “groom” she is rightly angry, she has been treated callously by her own husband. Never mind that she never wanted to be married and would actually prefer if she never saw him, it was the principle of the matter. When Hawk finally gets around to seeing Adrienne who was talking to the handsome blacksmith Adam Black he sees how beautiful his wife is and is finally coming around on the whole marriage thing, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad with a woman as beautiful as she. Hawk is uncontrollably jealous when he sees his wife talking to the smithy and Adrienne gets an introduction to her husband she will never forget. Hawk has messed everything up from the beginning and is now at a loss on how to woo his own wife; the lass will have nothing to do with him and damn it he wants to exercise his husbandly duties. Can Hawk overcome his past mistakes, Adrienne’s fears regarding mean and the repeated attempts on her life or will all be lost?

Overall the book was pretty good, it got somewhat redundant in parts and I’m glad this was not the first book that I started with in this series or I may not have continued with the series. Adrienne to me was not very believable especially in her past of domestic abuse, I can’t really put my finger on it but something just wasn’t quite there for this. Maybe it’s because my best friend is a domestic abuse counselor and the patterns of her behavior didn’t seem to match the real stories that I have heard over the years, so I could be biased. Although I did enjoy how Adrienne certainly made Hawk beg for it, she did not go easy on him.  I do enjoy when a womanizer is brought to his knees from time to time. The time traveling aspect of the book was a new twist to the highland theme. This may have been my first time traveling book, it was interesting to read a modern woman’s take on 16th century living and how she adapted. Overall, not one of the best of the series but it was still pretty good.

3 moons out of 5

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