10 May 2012

Review: Never Love a Highlander by Maya Banks

Author: Maya Banks
Title: Never Love a Highlander
Series: McCabe Trilogy #3

Caelen McCabe's young, reckless heart nearly destroyed his clan. Now putting family loyalty above all else, he steps up to marry his older brother's jilted bride and salvage the uneasy alliance between two clans. While beautiful Rionna McDonald is a fit wife for any man, Caelen trusts no woman, especially not this sweet temptress who torments him with white hot longing.

As the sacrificial lamb in her father's power game, Rionna will do her duty but protect her heart and her pride from another man's humiliation. Despite everything, the heat in Caelen's touch melts her defenses and she craves the sensual delights of a husband who guards his emotions as fiercely as his clan. But when the ultimate battle for the McCabe legacy is upon them, Rionna's true warrior spirit emerges. She will risk the wrath of her father, the fury of her enemies, and her life to prove to Caelen that his wife's love is too precious to lose.

Though I thought the first two books weren't all that interesting, I decided to read the final book book because the hero and heroine seemed like characters worth getting to know. I was right and I was wrong.

Never Love a Highlander is Rionna McDonald and Caelen's McCabe's story. After being stood up, first by Ewan, and then by Alaric, Rionna marries the last available McCabe brother to seal the alliance between their two families. Caelen moves to the McCabe lands to take over as Laird, and the rest of the story is about their journey to love.

Again, it isn't the best of stories, but there is no doubt Rionna and Caelen are the best characters in this entire trilogy, Rionna more so than Caelen. Caelen has his own demons to conquer, owing to betrayal by a woman many years ago. However, Caelen is a dolt a good amount of the time, especially at McCabe keep. He was still a more interesting character than Ewan or Alaric, though.

Rionna was sort of a disappointment. She'd seemed like such a unique character - a girl who fought with the soldiers and appeared quite good - she could best the McCabe men at swordfights int he previous books. Now, she just sorta floundered.

She is given no 'agency.' We find that she doesn't run with the men because she likes it, but rather because she was afraid of her father's abusive nature and so decided to learn to fight. She spends time outdoors with the men, but secretly wishes she could run the household and do makeup and things like the ladies. She is supposed to be this feisty woman but she obeys every single order that Caelen gives her, even when it is obvious he is being an idiot. She was a much weaker character than she appeared to be in the previous books, but even so, she was better than Mairin, Keeley, and all the one-dimensional women in this world Ms. Banks has created.

The story was marginally more interesting than the previous books, but not by much. And there were also a good amount of fillerish scenes - basically the same old story as the other two, just with slightly better characters. On the whole this series is one I don't recommend at all.




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