ARC Review: How to Handle a Highlander by Mary Wine

HowToHandleAHighlanderBook: How To Handle a Highlander

Series: Highlander #6

Author: Mary Wine

Format: e-book

Page Count: 320

Published: Sourcebooks Casablanca, November 2013

Source: Publisher


Usually people, and when I say ‘people’ I mean my mom and my sister, criticize me over my ability to determine who looks like who. According to them, the two people I often think look alike are very obviously different, and yet the similarity is clear as a sunny day to me.
The point of this three lined introduction is that I thought the cover guy of this book looked pretty similar to the famous-and very nice- tennis player Roger Federer. Can anyone else see the similarity? Or is it just me, and my mom and sister are right? Anyway, that was why this book struck me while I was looking for my next read.

Who doesn’t love a story about Highlanders? Not me. The idea of men in kilts and the possibility of wink wink at the quick lift of said kilt is pretty attractive to me. I mean, think of all the naughty! And so I try not to ever say ‘no’ to any Highlander stories. Enter, the story of our hero and heroine, Gahan and Moira.

Moira is the poor good natured young woman who’s forced to marry a man twice-or perhaps even thrice- her age just so her evil half brother can unite with the groom’s army to defeat his enemy who happens to be our hero’s father. Moira was hell bent on doing her duty to her people, and reading her parts, her desperation on the face of her marriage was a challenge. It made me so angry that she faced such a situation, and I expected some kind of reaction from her also. I may be a die hard romantic, but for the sake of the story, I could well do with some realistic situations. I did, however, expect more from Moira. As a reader, I had the privilege of being inside her head, peeking into her innermost thoughts and emotions, but what did I find there? Not much. Apart from her fear of marrying a man old enough to be her grandfather, her fear of her psychotic brother, and her sense of what I can only call an automatic responsibility towards her people were the only things in there.

The villains had more personality reflected than the hero and the heroine. In fact, all the characters except for the two, I’m sad to say, had more personality shining through the book. I loved to hate the slightly insane evil Bari and his equally evil sister Sandra, yet failed to love Moira and Gahan with the same intensity. And their love felt more like love at first fuck-pardon my French. It seemed like all they did was sneak around to find an opportunity for a tumble in the sheets, and how they found a way and the time to fall in love? Beats me. Actually, would anyone judge me if I said, for all their villainous ways and insanity, I liked the evil brother sister duo better? At least they stood their ground, and their intentions and reasoning for whatever they did was definitely much clearer.

Other than the bad gang, I liked the supporting good guys. I haven’t read any other books from this series but I liked some of Gahan’s half brothers, and I can say I’m actually looking forward to reading stories for a few of them. I think after I finished writing this, I might go see who’s already got a book and who has not.

Since we’re still somewhat on the subject of couples, I can’t say I appreciated the way Gahan and Moira’s relationship began. I know I said I didn’t much like the way it went on but the start wasn’t complementary towards Moira either. Call me a cliche lover-or I might lack the knowledge of the ways of the Highlanders- but I do like my romance a little on the side of the usual. I don’t necessarily mean they see each other, they fall in love, get married and live happily ever after, they don’t even have to be each other’s first love or marriage, no, but in a time where a couple show the soiled sheet on their first night as husband and wife, I don’t particularly appreciate the son of a laird taking the wife of another man-albeit the marriage being unconsummated.

In the end, I can’t really say Moira handled her Highlander that well, and all of this seems to have pointed me towards a low rating, however, I have come across series or authors whose different works I’ve enjoyed on different levels. So, I’ll be on the lookout for the rest. Every book tells another story, and every other story is of another couple. Who knows, maybe these guys didn’t do it for me, but perhaps a love story between, say, a member of a different clan *cough*MacLeod*cough* and a headstrong woman might interest me more.

I’m adding two spoonfuls of this story into my hodgepodge and settle in for my pursuit of the adventures of the MacLeod clan.


Highlanders series by Mary Wine:

  1. To Conquer a Highlander
  2. Highland Hellcat
  3. Highland Heat
  4. The Highlander’s Prize
  5. The Trouble With Highlanders
  6. How To Handle a Highlander
  7. The Highlander’s Bride Trouble

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