Reading Backwards

Book reviews by your favorite Git.

How to Abduct a Highland Lord

with one comment

By Karen Hawkinshowtoabduct
Found at your local supermarket or
Read: April 2007

Mmkay, I am a sucker for men in kilts. So much so that I’m adding a new category to the Fun Shtuff. Why? Cuz men in kilts are Hawtt. Ahem.

I grabbed this and ran–I just had a good feeling about it. And I was so right. Though there was only one kilt mentioned, and it wasn’t on the hero, the book was still hot.

A romance book earns top marks when the writing and characters are able to overcome whatever silly or contrived elements may be necessary to being the protagonists together. (You may say that silly or contrived plot elements shouldn’t be necessary at all, but please remember: this is romance.) In this case, our wee bonny lass Fiona MacLean’s family has been feuding with the Kincaids for generations. Matters have just come to a head with the death of the youngest MacLean brother, and now the MacLeans are calling for blood. Fiona is desperate not to lose her other four brothers, but she can only thing of one solution: If she marries a Kincaid, the two clans will be family, and they can no longer war with each other.

Black Jack Kincaid’s just a little too drunk to see it her way, however. The gamboling rogue.

The opening two chapters of this book won me over immediately. What better way to hook your reader than with, “Jack Kincaid died as he had lived: awash in a haze of fine bourbon, his perfectly tailored coat pockets stuffed with his winnings from a night of wild gaming, and reeking faintly of the perfume of another man’s wife.” Jack passes out, convinced he is about to die.

Chapter Two, Fiona meets with the priest:

“Fiona, lass, he’s not fit to be a groom!” . . .

“I know,” she said, sighing bravely. “He’s a philanderder who’s been with every woman from the North Sea to the fleshpots of London.”

“The priest flushed at the mention of fleshpots. “Yes, yes. So everyone knows, but–”

“He is also a complete wastrel who has made no effort to embrace a useful life. I know he’s not the best choice of groom, but–”

“He’s not even conscious!”

Come on. You gotta love the Scots.

Thus is Jack Kincaid abducted and married. Thus is the book very, very amusing. Ms. Hawkins has a real knack for this writing thing. She manages to convey the Scottishness of her characters without constantly hitting one over the head with the accent–I greatly appreciate subtle things like turn of phrase. It makes my little heart dance.

The hero and heroine are both feisty, and I liked them a lot. Everything held up really well until the last, say, 80 pages. I felt the “omg someone wants to kill her!” thing was a bit much. It just didn’t feel justified–and I certainly didn’t think the baddie in question had been set up as evil enough to commit such acts.

Nevertheless, I kept turning pages eagerly. I think the book could have benefitted from being a bit longer and taking the time to really grapple with the changing emotions brought about. I mean, thinking the love of your life is dead is convenient to jump us to the “oh, god, I love you!” moment, but it’s also cliche.

This is a series-to-be, as Fiona’s four brothers are also in need of wives. For a while I thought Lady Feathington might be a candidate. (Hah.)

I will definitely be looking for the rest.


Written by Shen

April 19, 2007 at 1:41 pm

One Response

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  1. You should see this film.


    May 11, 2009 at 7:38 am

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