Buggy's Reviews > Mackenzie's Mountain

Mackenzie's Mountain by Linda Howard
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Jul 23, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: rom-susp, shelf-10, blah, tstl-heroine, bodice-ripper, hist-rom, crazytown
Read from September 06 to 07, 2010

Opening 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.
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Reading Progress

09/07/2010 page 256
100.0%
03/02/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-50 of 57) (57 new)


UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish Wow, that doesn't sound terribly promising. I do have the Mackenzie's Legacy book that has the first 2 stories, so I'll be reading them but I won't be in a hurry to do so.


message 2: by Buggy (last edited Sep 09, 2010 04:54PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Buggy Thats where I read this too The Mackenzies WITH Mackenzie's Mountain AND Mackenzie's Mission by Linda Howard

It seems to be a favourite with people and I liked the style of writing but just couldn't believe the racist wording and weird historical/modern confusion. I'm hoping the second story is more consistant and less offensive


Mollie *scoutrmom* I think there are better books by this author, choosing an author's earlier work is no way to judge in my opinion. Try the Donovan series (Jade Island, Amber Beach, Pearl Cove, etc.) and see what you think... I think she's fantastic.

I graduated high school in 1976 and I was told never to wear a skirt without a slip...I remember white gloves for dress-up... some areas, like small towns, are a decade or a generation behind. As I first read this book in the 1980's, I did not find odd what you did.


message 4: by DarienMoya (new)

DarienMoya LOL, great review Buggy, I actually liked this book a lot when I read it. I guess its the whole mousy nerd teacher, and pissed of Wolf that got to me, such an odd pair up.


Buggy Mollie wrote: "I think there are better books by this author, choosing an author's earlier work is no way to judge in my opinion. Try the Donovan series (Jade Island, Amber Beach, Pearl Cove, etc.) and see what ..."

I agree with you Mollie and I do plan on reading more from Linda Howard I've heard nothing but good about her. Maybe that was why this was such a disappointment (well there were several reasons) Thanks for the rec's anyways.

Maybe this was acceptable writing 20 years ago, I just don't know? I do know that even 20 years ago where I grew up (small town Canada) we never used offensive terms or even noticed someones ethnicity the way Howard pushes it in your face here.


Buggy DarienMoya wrote: "LOL, great review Buggy, I actually liked this book a lot when I read it. I guess its the whole mousy nerd teacher, and pissed of Wolf that got to me, such an odd pair up."

Thanks D I know that you like the Howard (and the nerds) And Wolf was definitely alpha-yummy drool worthy. I plan on trying some of her newer stuff


message 7: by Nissie (new)

Nissie Great review,Buggy! I like historical romances, but I want them to be set in historical times.

@Mollie-When I was growing up my mom made my sister and me wear the white gloves to church, along with a little hat and matching shoes. It was horrible lol. Yeah, that's a small town for you!


message 8: by Zeek (last edited Sep 09, 2010 06:40PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Zeek omyword srsly? I saw none of that in this book- how did I miss it?? (well I did read it initially with much younger eyes, but still! wow.) I am so sorry you didn't like it!! Btw she wrote contemps first not hist\rom! Perhaps this was in her hist\rom phase?!! To me the prejudice seemed authentic- (live in the American south someday.) Perhaps over-dramatized but you'll have this in fiction. At least Mary wasnt prejudice in action! Sigh perhaps its our age- we didnt know Indian was offensive as kids- altho by the time I read this It would have already been part of the collective conscious to stop using the term! Im very happy that you never had to see prejudice in action- it means we're raising the next generation right.

Srsly dont give up, she has some really awesome books out there- well her older ones anyway! Def. read Joe's story- I'll be interested to hear what you think about that one! Try Heart of Fire- that was my first LH and I couldnt get enough of her after that... well until her more recent stuff which is boring crap, imo.


Zeek srsly her newer stuff is crap. just sayin.

And the Donavan series is written by Elizabeth Lowell- which was a good series too but not as good as her contemp/westerns The Mackenzie Blackthorn series. :P


message 10: by AgentScully (new)

AgentScully Zeek wrote: "omyword srsly? I saw none of that in this book- how did I miss it?? ..."

Dunno Z, I loved this book and I didn't find anything offensive in it. Obviously it's set in a small town with many prejudiced people, but not sure how acknowledging that such places/people exist is supposed to offend me. **scratches head**


message 11: by Zeek (last edited Sep 09, 2010 07:27PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Zeek I'm thinking too it must not have struck a nerve because it was the townespeople and not the heroine or main characters. Unfortunately, there really is small minded people like that out there.


message 12: by MelissaB (last edited Sep 09, 2010 07:07PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

MelissaB I love this book too. Yes it is an older book and the heroine is old fashioned but the love story is great. I love Wolf Mackenzie. I wasn't offended by anything in this story.

If you want to try a more modern LH book, try Mr. Perfect.

Those books someone mentioned are by Elizabeth Lowell, not LH.


message 13: by Buggy (last edited Sep 09, 2010 08:38PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Buggy Zosia I'm taking some heat for this review. I guess you can't mess with Linda Howard.

I would very much like for you to read this book and get your take on it.


message 14: by Nissie (new)

Nissie I liked your review Buggy. :) I've never read Linda Howard, so I don't care if you mess with her lol!


message 15: by Jasmin (new)

Jasmin wow, i think you should put this on your time travel shelf. Kidding! Nice review buggy. :D


Auntee Zosia wrote: "zero life experience having been raised by her old fashioned Aunt (presumably in a cave)

LOL!!

I'm planning on reading my first Linda Howard book in the next few days. Not sure which one yet,..."


Try Cry No More...


message 17: by DarienMoya (new)

DarienMoya I love the Donovan's series by Lowell I wanted to be in that family when I read it.

I agree LH books aren't as wicked as they use to be, she needs to bring back her true romance and enough with all that plot and suspence shit.


Jacqueline I read this twice and while it's a nice enough book, I don't quite get the fervor that people have for it. I did wonder about the prejudice myself. I asked my dad whether there really was so much prejudice against Native Americans. He grew up just south of the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. He said yes there was quite a bit but that like all humans, there is prejudice on both sides. My favorite LH's are the ones with a bit more suspense. Love Cry No More, Death Angel and Up Close and Dangerous.


message 19: by Zeek (last edited Sep 10, 2010 03:41AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Zeek I certainly didnt mean to offend with my comments either Buggy (:P) Hope you know that. I was just totally shocked which made me wonder how out of touch I was! haha!

But I do want to say I agree that the townespeople and WOlf's enemies were totally racist, disgusting and offensive- I just dont think calling the book offensive because it touches on it is necessarily accurate.


message 20: by Zeek (new) - rated it 5 stars

Zeek btw, I thot Cry No more was ok- but nothing special. Perhaps you WILL like this one better since we were so far apart on MM!


MelissaB Buggy,

I have no problem with your review, every book can't work for everyone. A lot of older LH books are controversial between readers, After the Night and Sarah's Child have created many long discussions here with people on both sides of the issue. I was surprised to see this book was one that you didn't like since most people do.

Always feel free to share your opinion. Even if I don't agree with you, I like seeing your well-written thoughts about the book. So great review!


message 22: by Zeek (new) - rated it 5 stars

Zeek Yes what MelissaB said! ;)

I'm thinking because LH's old books come off so controversial that that's the reason her more recent ones are so boring- she's trying to avoid just this!


UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish Buggy, you should always feel free to write your thoughts or feelings about a book. You weren't rude or condescending, you stated your problems with this book in a mature manner - I didn't have a problem with your review at all, or the fact that this book didn't do it for you.

We're not all going to like the same books. There are some I love that others hated, and vice versa. When I first started writing reviews, I got some grief from people who disagreed with me, who didn't like a term I used or one thing or another. I got so frustrated I deleted all of my reviews and now I wish I hadn't.

Keep writing your reviews whether you liked a book or not. Your honesty is much appreciated.


UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish Zosia, at the time, I didn't keep them in a document like I do now. I'm kicking myself for being so worried about what others thought. I was never rude, never hurtful, and I should have just let their comments roll off my back - hindsight is 20/20, right?

I get frustrated with authors, too, but I always find something good to write in my reviews. I've not yet read a book that was so horrible I couldn't have at least some positive things to say about it, and I always try to be honest. Still, I know not everyone will agree with me, but at least I'm being true to myself.

I take that back - The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty... that's one of the reviews I deleted due to the horrible comments I had gotten, then months later put a small blurb back up. Very small, but it's there.


message 25: by MelissaB (last edited Sep 10, 2010 08:42AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

MelissaB I'ver never had a problem here but my reviews have been voted down on Amazon whenever someone didn't like a book that I rated 5 stars (Lion's Heat by Lora Leigh was the last one)

As long as you give your opinion and a reason why you feel that way, then you should be able to write whatever you want.

UM - oh my I wish you would have kept your reviews! Hopefully you have found more open minded friends (like us).

Buggy - older LH books are hit and miss with readers. I hate Sarah's Child with a passion but others absolutely love it. Someone else actually recently asked when Mackenzie's Mountain was set because they thought it was in the 50's based on Mary's old fashioned point of view.


message 26: by Zeek (new) - rated it 5 stars

Zeek I wonder if LH started MM as a historical than switched midstream or after talking to the editor??


UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish MelissaB, I'm not familiar with Amazon and reviews. How does it work?

Yes, I think people on here are more open minded. I love how we can have mature discussions about books we disagree on without worrying about being called ignorant or "unenlightened" which is one of the things I was accused of being because of my Claiming Sleeping Beauty review! LOL


message 28: by Gigi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gigi Buggy, I like Linda Howards books and I'm not a huge fan of suspense books. I really enjoyed reading your review. It was very insightful and interesting without bashing or criticizing those who enjoy her simply because you didn't. It made me think about why I liked the book, but it didn't change my liking her or the book. You're absolutely entitled to not like a book and write a review telling us why. Goodreads would be completely boring if we all agreed on everything!


message 29: by Gigi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gigi When I read her book I tried to ignore the "half-breed" references. However, I've seen it so many times now that I can't ignore it anymore. So, I may have felt differently about the book if I read it now. Another book that ruffled my feathers for the same reason was Comanche Moon and alot of people loved that book. So, everyone is different. I haven't gotten around to writing a review for that one. Maybe one day!


message 30: by MelissaB (last edited Sep 10, 2010 09:03AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

MelissaB UM - you can post reviews on Amazon on your profile then it shows up when you look up that book - the problem is you can vote for or against a review which causes problems. I also post on the romance forum there, it's the first romance forum I ever found. They can be more conservative there though.

I met Dina, Fani, Zeek and Danielle on Amazon first then helped lure them over here (along with some other people).


message 31: by MelissaB (last edited Sep 10, 2010 09:13AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

MelissaB Yeah I hate that too. I mostly post when people ask for recs or on the Weekend reading thread. I enjoy some of the threads but I get tired of answering similar questions over and over again.


UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish Oh, ok!!! Thanks, Zosia and Melissa. It's like being able to "like" reviews here.

On Goodreads, I look at the "like" button as an "appreciate" button as well. Someone might post a scathing review of a book I'm interested in reading, and so I "appreciate/like" their comments because they were helpful.

I often "like" reviews I disagree with if the reviewer states clearly what they didn't like about a book.

I think I'll avoid Amazon reviews.


UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish Melissa, not only are you a book pimp, you're a Goodreads pimp, too!


MelissaB UniquelyMoi *~*Dhestiny*~* wrote: "Melissa, not only are you a book pimp, you're a Goodreads pimp, too!"

Haha, I was for a little while as I tried to convince friends how fun it is over here. Pimpin' ain't easy.


Buggy Wow a girl goes to bed, goes to work chases a few hungry bears out of the front yard (no, really!) and look at all the comments. Thanks for the support everybody.

I haven't given up on LH by any means and have several more of her books on the TBR shelf(Mackenzie's Mission, Cry No More & Mr Perfect) and with rabid fans like I've seen here they better be good or I'm in big trouble... kidding.

Zeek wrote: "I wonder if LH started MM as a historical than switched midstream or after talking to the editor??"

That is a great theory Zeek because I honestly thought it was a historical until Joe started talking about flying jets

Gigi wrote: "When I read her book I tried to ignore the "half-breed" references. However, I've seen it so many times now that I can't ignore it anymore. So, I may have felt differently about the book if I rea..."

Gigi I think I'd better avoid Comanche Moon

-Amazon is a weird site; it seems very angry and cliquey over there with lots of bashing and I think someone else mentioned that if someone hated a book you liked they just check not helpful to all the reviews that liked the book which isn't really helpful. Its hard to get a fair opinion in the Amazon popularity contest. Its much nicer over here.

Thanks again everyone :)


message 36: by Eastofoz (new) - added it

Eastofoz Nothing speaks volumes like a "blah" shelf ;)


Buggy Ha ha thanks I think we all need a blah shelf


message 38: by Autumn (new)

Autumn  I loved this review, Buggy! specially with the emphasis on emotion effect **insert cringe here** ;)


Buggy Thanks so much Autumn, Gah I had forgotten all about this annoying and yes cringe worthy book until you commented on my review. Wow it still bothers me. I have't read any Linda Howard since this either.


Jessy I agree with you for thinking it was a Historical I did too until phones and cars were mentioned then I was like I have no idea when this is placed. Not until they mentioned the Vietnam war I could guesstimate when it was!!! Lol 'tis a little confusing!!


message 41: by Buggy (last edited Mar 12, 2013 09:38AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Buggy Yay Jessy, so glad I wasn't the only one to think it was a historical. With all the positive reviews out there I was starting to think I'd read a different book. LOL

I think it was the heroine and in particular her state of mind and clothes that really threw me


Jessy I also think it was the way she described the house she was living in the first few pages it just felt and sounded like the house provided by the school in The Man from Stone Creek. I enjoyed the book once I got further along and could get my bearings but it was a bit off putting at the start.


Buggy It was almost like Linda Howard startd writing a historical and thn changd her mind. I had forgotten about the house.


♥ℳelody Great review! This is my first Linda Howard book for me. I'm reading it now. It's confusing dated writing and trite cliches remind me A LOT of Diana Palmer's work. Same exact thing. She writes 'contemporaries' but her world and character building sound like something out of a 1800s romance novel. Very strange. I'm liking Wolf but Mary's character is making me cringe just like you.


message 45: by Buggy (last edited Apr 21, 2013 02:19PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Buggy Melody wrote: "Great review! This is my first Linda Howard book for me. I'm reading it now. It's confusing dated writing and trite cliches remind me A LOT of Diana Palmer's work. Same exact thing. She writes 'con..."

Thanks Melody, it seems the longer this review is up the more people agree with me. Linda Howard is a very popular author but this is the one and only book of hers I've read. This one in particular is a real fan favorite, but for the life of me I can't figure out why?

Thanks also for the info on Diana Palmer, I will make sure to avoid her :)


♥ℳelody Yeah I didn't even know this was a fan fav. The story is nice but the writing is very distracting! Ack. I just randomly picked it up at the library. I got serious deja vu while reading it because there are A LOT of similarities between her and DP's work. Diana Palmer also likes 'half breed' heroes who also happen to be Native American. I just recently read 2 of her books so it's fresh in my mind.

I'll be honest I really like Wolf's son Joe and he has a book too. Not sure if I will read his book.

What's really confusing me is when this book was written. It says in the author's note that she started writing this story in 1998 but says the book was published in 1989. HUH?!


message 47: by Zeek (last edited Apr 22, 2013 10:25AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Zeek HEY! ::don't make me get out my angry eyes::

I just love Wolf and Mary. You guys are messed up. ;)

(btw, Read book 2. Much of the confusion is gone. Be warned: he's got some control issues. ::whew:: I think I need to do a re-read. :P)


Buggy Melody wrote: "Yeah I didn't even know this was a fan fav. The story is nice but the writing is very distracting! Ack. I just randomly picked it up at the library. I got serious deja vu while reading it because t..."

I found the story distracting because for about a hundred pages I thought it took place in about 1900 then all of a sudden Joe is talking about joining the Airforce and flying jets... what! Don't even get me started on all the racism. I agree Joe's character has potential for the next book but I just haven't been able to read his book yet. Good luck!


Buggy Zeek wrote: "HEY! ::don't make me get out my angry eyes::

I just love Wolf and Mary. You guys are messed up. ;)

(btw, Read book 2. Much of the confusion is gone. Be warned: he's got some control issues...."



ZEEK!! (Hi) I was waiting for one of you LH fans to show up and put us in our place LOL "angry eyes" Please girl do a reread I'm sure you'll see what we're talking about


message 50: by Zeek (last edited Apr 22, 2013 11:19AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Zeek I get where you're coming from but I've re-read that one hundreds of times since 1989- which btw, MANY a heroine in a romance novel had to be a virgin back then , yes even contemporaries- SO, it never really struck me as odd. And the whole racist thing- deh, it was also a common plot device to set up a you and me against the world thing without pushing readers boundries to hard - in fact I still love that plot device (Hello Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold) - but boy do we need to keep PUSHHING even more- it shouldnt even BE a boundry. (Just thinkin- why is M/M more wanted in romance then one featuring a black couple? Let's face it, the romance shelf is still pretty white. And if you think smalltowns are not out there that act the same way, you are foolin yourselves. They just dont say it in public anymore.)

Joe really changes in his book- all controlly alpha and pssst- she's a virgin too- so, maybe this just isnt for you. But then you dont get Zane, Maris and Chance and all the kids either if you quit now and that makes me sad for you. haha!

But srsly, you guys dont have to like the Mackenzie men- just more for me to love :)


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