Review: Highland Scoundrel by Monica McCarty ★★★

Highland Scoundrel by Monica McCarty
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Clan Campbell #3
Publication Date: April 2009 ISBN: 0345503406
Page Count: 416
Rating: ★★★
Review Copy: Audiobook
Synopsis: Framed for a crime he did not commit, Duncan Campbell, the illegitimate son of a chieftain, has returned to the Highlands determined to clear his name after ten years in exile. He is drawn to the unforgettable sensual beauty of Jeannie Gordon, the headstrong girl who once pledged him her love, gave him her innocence, and then betrayed him. Now, in the glow of the moonlight, she defiantly shows Duncan the bad end of a pistol.

Jeannie is stunned to discover that the broad-chested brigand she just shot is the rogue who broke her heart years ago. No longer a starry-eyed girl but a woman with dangerous secrets, Jeannie cannot forgive Duncan’s shattering mistrust of her–nor can she sign his death warrant by turning him in. Soon passion flares hotter and bolder than before, sealing a fate the onetime lovers can no longer deny. Caught up in a deadly game of murder and intrigue, Jeannie is willing to risk everything for a man and a love she vows never to lose again.

REVIEW

Black Duncan's return.

Monica McCarty has to be one of the most inconsistent writers I've ever encountered. Out of the six or so of her Highlander books that I've read so far, I've rated them anywhere from 4.5 stars to 1.5 stars. Some books have seen me so invested in the romance, that happy tears were streaming down my face as I read the final pages. Others have been tedious and left me completely unaffected.

This one falls somewhere in the middle.

I was quite keen to read this instalment to find out the full story behind Duncan Dubh's treason at long last, since it's been mentioned in the other books of the trilogy several times. The story opens with quite a bang in the present—albeit still in the 17th century—day, then it takes us back the 10 years to when the hero and heroine, Duncan and Jeannie, met and fell in love originally, before the alleged betrayal/treason nastiness all happened, causing Duncan to flee to Ireland for a decade or else face the hangman's noose. So it started very well, and I rather liked the couple at the beginning; they were very sweet together and had some great sensual scenes and some nice angst and drama. It was once we returned to present day that I found myself falling out of love with the story.

One of the main reasons I don't like romances featuring ex lovers, is the inherent bitterness they always bring with them. In this case, I never felt like Duncan and Jeannie truly got back that magic they'd had when they first met. There was just too much water under the bridge.

The next problem was that the plot just seemed to stop for about a hundred pages or so while they dithered about deciding whether or not to trust each other again. It was annoying to the nth degree to watch them get close and then retreat into distrust again, a cycle which was then repeated ad nauseam. I really think the book could have been a good hundred pages shorter and lost a lot of this padding and filler section. I realise it's the finale of the trilogy, and the one we've all been waiting for, but making it longer doesn't automatically make it more 'epic'.

It perhaps wouldn't have been quite as tiresome if we, as readers, didn't already know everything that was going on. We knew Jeannie's secret, we knew about Duncan's innocence, and we knew who the real villain was. It was just a matter of waiting for the characters to catch up.

All together, I'm glad I read it and that I've completed the trilogy, but it wasn't one of McCarty's best efforts.

3 Stars ★★★

No comments:

Post a Comment

Authors

Adrienne Basso (1) Aimee Carson (1) Alison Bliss (1) Alyssa Everett (1) Amanda Ronconi (1) Amanda Scott (2) Amanda Stevens (4) Amie Kaufman (1) Amy Butler Greenfield (1) Amy Jarecki (3) Angela Highland (1) Angela Quarles (1) Ann Agguire (2) Anna Cruise (1) Anthea Sharp (1) Ashlyn Macnamara (1) Auralee Wallace (1) Barbara Longley (2) Bec McMaster (2) Beth Revis (1) Bianca D’Arc (1) Brenda Hiatt (1) C. J. Barry (1) C.E. Murphy (10) Cara Lynn Shultz (1) Carolyn Crane (1) Carrie Vaughn (3) Cassandra Rose Clarke (2) Cate Rowan (1) Cathy Yardley (1) Cayla Kluver (1) Cecilia Robert (1) Cecily White (1) Cecy Robson (1) Charlaine Harris (1) Chloe Jacobs (1) Chloe Neill (4) Chris Cannon (1) Christine Feehan (1) Christine O'Neil (1) Christine Warren (1) Cindi Madsen (1) Colette Ballard (1) Colleen Hoover (3) Connie Mason (2) Cora Carmack (1) Cynthia Hand (2) D.L. McDermott (1) Danielle L. Jensen (1) Danielle Monsch (1) Darynda Jones (3) Deborah Harkness (1) Deirdre Dore (1) Delilah S. Dawson (2) Devon Monk (5) Diana Pharaoh Francis (4) Dianne Duvall (2) Elizabeth May (2) Elizabeth Norris (1) Eloisa James (2) Emily Murdoch (1) Emma Jane Holloway (1) Emma Pass (1) Erica Kiefer (1) Eve Silver (1) Gail Carriger (1) Gail Z. Martin (1) Gena Showalter (4) H. P. Mallory (8) Hannah Howell (1) Heather McCollum (4) Helen Boswell (1) Ilona Andrews (10) Isabel Cooper (1) J. C. Daniels (1) J. Lynn (1) J.D. Robb (13) J.R. Ward (1) JA Huss (2) Jaime McGuire (1) Jax Garren (2) Jay Kristoff (1) Jaye Wells (4) Jeaniene Frost (3) Jenn Bennett (3) Jennifer Ashley (1) Jennifer Bray-weber (1) Jennifer Estep (5) Jennifer L. Armentrout (1) Jessa Slade (2) Jesse Petersen (1) Jessi Kirby (1) Jessica Andersen (1) Jessica Sims (3) Jessica Sorenson (1) Jessica Spotswood (1) Jill Monroe (1) Jim Butcher (1) Jo Barrett (1) Jocelyn Drake (1) Jocelynn Drake (1) Jody Wallace (3) Jolie Wilkins (4) Julianne Maclean (1) Julie Kagawa (4) Juliet Blackwell (2) Juliet Marillier (1) Juliette Miller (2) Kait Ballenger (1) Kalayna Price (5) Karalynn Lee (1) Karen Chance (7) Karen Greco (1) Karen Lord (1) Karen Marie Moning (1) Karen Rose (1) Karina Halle (10) Kate SeRine (4) Katherine Owen (1) Katie MacAlister (1) Katie McGarry (3) Katja Millay (1) Kelley Armstrong (2) Kelly Creagh (1) Kelly Hunter (1) Kelly Meding (2) Keri Arthur (2) Kerrelyn Sparks (5) Kerri Lake (1) Kevin Hearne (6) Kim Harrison (6) Kimberly Derting (1) Kresley Cole (4) Krista Holle (1) kristen Ashley (2) Kristen Britain (1) Kristen Callihan (3) Kristin Cashore (2) Kristin Miller (1) Krystal Wade (3) L. Shannon (1) L.M. Augustine (1) Laini Taylor (1) Larissa Ione (2) Laura Wiess (1) Laura Wright (1) Laurell K. Hamilton (2) Lauren Layne (1) Lauren Oliver (1) Laurin Wittig (1) Leigh Bardugo (1) Leigh Evans (4) Lesley Young (2) Linda Poitevin (4) Lindsay J. Pryor (3) Lindsey Piper (2) Lisa M. Basso (1) Lisa Shearin (5) Liz Long (1) Lizzy Ford (1) Lynn Kerstan (1) Lynn Kurland (1) Maggie Shayne (3) Maggie Stiefvater (1) Maisey Yates (1) Margaret Mallory (3) Mari Mancusi (1) Maria V. Snyder (4) Marie Force (2) Marie Rutkoski (1) Marilyn Brant (1) Mary Behre (1) Maya Banks (4) Meagan Spooner (1) Melissa Landers (1) Meljean Brook (2) Mia Marlowe (1) Mia Marshall (5) Michele Sagara (3) Michelle Diener (2) Michelle Rowen (1) Michelle Sagara (1) Michelle Willingham (1) Moira Young (1) Molly Harper (4) Monica McCarty (5) Morgan Matson (1) Nalini Singh (2) Natasha Hoar (2) Nenia Campbell (2) Nicola Cornick (1) Nicole Peeler (1) Nina Berry (1) Nyrae Dawn (2) Olivia Hardin (1) Ophelia London (1) Pamela Palmer (6) Patricia Briggs (7) Paula Altenburg (1) Paula Quinn (1) Rachel Van Dyken (1) Rachel Vincent (1) Ranae Rose (1) Rebecca Ethington (1) Rebekah R. Ganiere (1) Richelle Mead (1) Robin D. Owens (1) Robin LaFevers (2) Ruth A. Casie (1) Ruth Silver (1) Ryann Kerekes (1) S.M. Reine (1) Samantha Young (2) Sarah Harian (1) Sarah J. Maas (3) Seanan McGuire (5) Seleste deLaney (1) Seressia Glass (2) Shannon Richard (1) Shiloh Walker (3) Skye Callahan (1) Sophie Littlefield (1) Stacey Kennedy (1) Stacia Kane (6) Stephanie Rowe (3) Susan Ee (1) Susan Krinard (1) Susannah Sandlin (1) Sutherland series (1) Suzanne Brockmann (1) Suzanne Collins (2) Suzanne Enoch (1) Suzanne Johnson (2) Sylvia Day (1) Tahereh Mafi (3) Tammara Webber (1) Terri Brisbin (1) Thea Harrison (2) Theresa Weir (1) Tonya Kuper (2) Tracey Martin (1) Veronica Roth (1) Victoria Scott (1)