I’ve had this one sitting on my TBR shelf for a couple years now and in saying that I wish I’d found the time to read it back then because my tastes h...moreI’ve had this one sitting on my TBR shelf for a couple years now and in saying that I wish I’d found the time to read it back then because my tastes have changed and this just didn't do it for me now. Granted I read it as a standalone, but I don’t feel like I missed too much there. The hero is the ultimate bad boy; cursed, violent and seducing woman at will and the love scenes are pretty hot, in a bodice ripper (un PC)sort of way.
I really did enjoy the first half of the book, which takes place in the Himalayas at the foot of Mt Anaya between Nepal and Tibet. This was a different setting and a fun literary vacation. Our heroine Karen is overseeing the construction of a resort catering to climbers and trekkers looking for the ultimate challenge. She is struggling to prove herself to her father, doing what is considered a man’s job in this part of the world. The mountain is also meant to be alive, so it is spoken about in hushed tones and there is always discontent among the native workers.
This might be why she allows her mysterious dream lover to come into her tent and do delicious things to her body on such a regular basis. Girl needs a release. As the construction progresses the mountain strikes back with a rock slide. Karen is rescued by her (as it turns out) very real dream lover and he, for whatever reason decides to kidnap her.
“He” is Adrik Varinski aka ‘Warlord’, leader of a band of mercenaries fighting the Chinese army. He is also a shape shifting panther, cursed or gifted with this ability by a pact made by some ancient ancestor. Warlord is not a very nice guy but he does have it bad for Karen. Holding her captive and placing slave bracelets on her wrists is probably not the right way to go about things though. When their camp is attacked Warlord is forced to release Karen but not before vowing that he will find her again.
And that was when the book kind of lost me because when we pick up two years later it’s like a different story altogether. Karen is now working at a posh hotel and seems to have been able to put her traumatic experience behind her. And while she hasn’t had a lover since Nepal there is something about this man Rick Wilder, staying at the hotel for a conference that might just change that. He of course turns out to be Warlord (how she didn’t recognize him I have no idea) and from there the book goes deep into paranormal territory with curses and amulets, giant venom spitting snakes, shape shifting eagles, wolves, a plane crash. It was all a bit OTT for me. (less)
I had a ton of problems with this book and I’m finding it really difficult to review because as much as this sto...moreOpening Line: He needed a woman. Bad."
I had a ton of problems with this book and I’m finding it really difficult to review because as much as this story confused me, annoyed me and downright offended me, in the end as much as I wanted to I just didn’t hate it. I did however breathe a sigh of relief when I finished.
Written in 1989 Mackenzie’s Mountain is a contemporary romance however it reads, and for the first 100 pages I thought it was a historical, taking place around 1890-1910. It takes place in small town Wyoming and has a Little House On the Prairie feel to it along with lots of prejudice and small minded gossip.
The heroine is a schoolteacher who has just moved to teach in their school house. She is plain in appearance with her hair in a bun, horn rimmed glasses, a shapeless dress, sensible shoes and zero life experience having been raised by her old fashioned Aunt (presumably in a cave). Mary in fact has never worn a pair of jeans and has definitely never been kissed. She is however clichéd with thoughts like this one;
"Only shameless hussies would wear a skirt without a proper petticoat underneath"
Yes she also speaks like she’s from the 1900’s and her character seemed stranger to me still when I realized it was meant to be 1989 (don’t know many people that wore petticoats then)
Anyways Mary is concerned that one of her better students has quit school and goes to his home to find out why where she meets Wolf Mackenzie and this is when I started to get offended and these are the authors words Not mine. Wolf is an Indian and an angry Indian because he spent time in jail for a crime he didn’t commit and everyone in town hates and distrusts him. To make matters worse (in the authors mind) Wolf is also a half breed and Howard drills this into the readers head every couple of pages in case we forget our hero’s heritage. Now honestly… its 1989, do people really use words like half-breed anymore? Could the average person tell the difference? Have I just been living in happy land my entire life? This is uncomfortable.
Wolf feels his son doesn’t need schooling because he’s an Indian (cringe) Now after all the racist remarks which I somewhat forgave because I thought it was a historical this is when Joe, the heroes son suddenly declares that he wants to join the Air Force academy and fly jets. What?! Damn this really is a contemporary.
Mary then decides to tutor Joe and feels that even though (cringe) he’s a half breed he still has a pretty good chance of getting into the Air Force. Remember its 1989 in this backwards little town. For some weird reason Wolf is attracted to the mousy Mary and the meat of this story revolves around their growing relationship, him giving her savage looks and bedding her and the hunt for the man responsible for attacking women in town which Wolf is initially blamed for.
Now I could go on and on about all my issues with this silly/strange/offensive story but because its also such a reader favourite (I’m assuming with historical romance fans) I will also say that Wolf is a fantastic, sexy alpha hero and as annoying and clichéd as Mary is they still manage to share some steamy love scenes together. I also really liked Joe the wanna-be pilot son and it’s my understanding that his story is up next in Mackenzie's Mission.
As this was my first Linda Howard book I don’t know if writing historical characters in modern times is a trait of hers and as offensive as some of her writing was I did still enjoy her love scenes and easy flowing writing style. Howard just needs to pick one time genre and stick with it. (less)