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In Bed with a Highlander (McCabe Trilogy, #1)
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Jan 2013: Outlander > In Bed with a Highlander Discussion Thread *Spoilers*

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message 1: by Felicia, Grand Duchess (new)

Felicia (feliciaday) | 740 comments Mod
This is the official discussion thread for "In Bed with a Highlander" by Maya Banks!


Monique (nique87) I'm curious how this compares to other highlander-themed romance I've read. So far, highlander = alpha male ad nauseam as far as I can tell, but you can never judge a book by its genre. ;)

If nothing else, hey, at least we know there are sexytimes to look forward to!


Nita (gillnit) I've read all the books in this series and enjoyed them all (the third book was my favorite). I thought they were fun, sexy reads. The sex was a bit more heated than I was expecting. Though, I don't know why I was so surprised, Banks also writes contemporary erotica.

Ewan was a bit controlling in this one. But I liked how his personality played against Mairin's strengths. These two together were just a lot of fun.


message 4: by Kamil (new) - added it

Kamil | 938 comments I was reading the blurr to check if this was worth reading and this part captured my attention.
"Ewan McCabe, the eldest, is a warrior determined to vanquish his enemy. Now, with the time ripe for battle, his men are ready and Ewan is poised to take back what is his—until a blue-eyed, raven-haired temptress is thrust upon him"

I know blue-eyed, raven-haired temptress are hot (second only to pale gingers) yet it seemed like a cliche' description.


Lisa Marsh | 22 comments While this book was ok, I think it would have stood better without Outlander as the main. I felt like I was just reading a fluffy version of Outlander and I think that made the book more boring than it really is.


message 6: by Shana (new)

Shana | 2 comments I am not feeling this one at all. All this alpha male bs is soooo not appealing to me. The male character's sexism is not a good look. And certainly not very sexy. Also, the word 'chit' is irksome. This is precisely why I don't read romance novels in the first place.


message 7: by Marrion (new)

Marrion (emarrion) I read all three of these books a while back & I absolutely love them. It may be because I'm such a sucker for romance but I, on the other hand, enjoy the alpha male persona. They are strong, hard headed & demanding men but also quite sweet and heavy hearted when it comes to their women.


Julia (ollie03) Just got my copy from the library, looking forward to it! I was really bummed because I got a Kindle FIRE for christmas and while I have yet to name it... I also have yet to read a book on it... I'm sure my husband will have plenty to say about the cover :)


message 9: by Leah (new) - rated it 1 star

Leah | 100 comments So, the abusive scene in Outlander is pretty bad... But forcing yourself onto a virgin that doesn't understand what's going on seems much worse to me. I am HATING this book so far. The only character that I like is an eight-year-old. Isn't this supposed to be a romance novel? I sure hope things get better soon, or I may just not finish this one. (Which will be a first for me.)


message 10: by Marrion (new)

Marrion (emarrion) Leah wrote: "So, the abusive scene in Outlander is pretty bad... But forcing yourself onto a virgin that doesn't understand what's going on seems much worse to me. I am HATING this book so far. The only charact..."

I agree it really is horrible. But dont worry he's the villain in the story & you'll understand why he's so forceful with her. But the "real" hero is the eight year old's father Ewan Mcgabe. It will get better, I promise.


Shadowspawn | 1 comments Well, I finished the book. I wasn't impressed.

The sex scenes were pretty good, but I had other significant issues with the book. First of all, I've not read historical romance in years, so I could be harsh in my criticisms just because I don't know what is the common, understood tropes in fashion. However, this book pushed a few of my buttons, notwithstanding the pretty good sex descriptions if I were reading this mainly as mild erotica.

Looking at the book from the standpoint of the fantasy romance genre and not historical romance, I have fewer complaints. From that standpoint, I could give the book 3 stars, not horrible, about average. However, as an historical romance, I found the language too modern, as well as the attitudes of many of the characters.

Still even from the standpoint of fantasy romance, the characters were cardboard cutouts--the spunky, mouthy,clumsy heroine who does stupid things from which her protector male must rescue her, tend her following injury, giving the male an acceptable opportunity in which to emote. Oh and she is a wonderful surrogate mother. (That she would protect a child was good and acceptable, but the child acted younger than he would have acted if he were his age in the historical context. The child's actions and behavior felt off as well.)

I am not a fan of the ultra alpha male trend I've found in many recent books with a strong underlying romance thread. Just not to my taste, especially not in anything other than books set in medieval historical or fantasy periods. In a book whose historicity is so muddled with modern attitudes, I found it particularly annoying, despite Ewan having a bit more emotional depth than the typical stereotypical alpha male. I would have been more understanding if he had been in a more realistic historical setting.

I've seen all this done before but with more depth and textured world building.


Melissa (drunkandreading) Just finished it and it didn't leave me wanting to read further with the series or read another book by Maya Banks.

While the smut was plentiful, I didn't find it particularly exciting. For the most part her writing was kind of boring, things that should have been exciting (like escapes from the bad guys) read like a recounting of events instead of a story.

I was unbelievably annoyed by the continual use of the term loving for sex, I'm not sure why, but, this cemented my dislike of this book even further.


message 13: by Leah (new) - rated it 1 star

Leah | 100 comments Marrion wrote: "Leah wrote: "So, the abusive scene in Outlander is pretty bad... But forcing yourself onto a virgin that doesn't understand what's going on seems much worse to me. I am HATING this book so far. The..."

Marrion, my problem is WITH Ewan. He took her upstairs and pounded her out like she was nothing on the night of their wedding. I had to stop reading at that point because I was so disgusted. I understand the need to consummate a marriage, but even in a hurry he could have been more gentle. This story just seems like one written about a girl with really bad luck who's fallen on some pretty rough times. I haven't read anything romantic so far at all. I'm going to pick it back up this weekend and finish, hopefully.


message 14: by Marrion (new)

Marrion (emarrion) Leah wrote: "Marrion wrote: "Leah wrote: "So, the abusive scene in Outlander is pretty bad... But forcing yourself onto a virgin that doesn't understand what's going on seems much worse to me. I am HATING this ..."

oh man! i completely forgot about him at the beginning. oops. it felt like years since i read this. i really do agree, abuse in the books are the parts that make me cringe the most. BUT im pretty sure he (out of the 3 brothers) was the only one with that problem. the third one, which i remember more clearly than the first 2, was one of the sweetest. its a little rough in the beginning but the ending is quite sweet. goodluck!


message 15: by Shana (new)

Shana | 2 comments Another thing, the way he treated marrian (sp?)
when she returned his son was just beyond belief. I don't have any kids of my own but if a stranger protected my child with her life, the least I would do for her would be going up a horse. There's no way I can finish his book. There is nothin sexy about a big, stupid bastard.


message 16: by Kamil (last edited Jan 04, 2013 05:03AM) (new) - added it

Kamil | 938 comments Leah wrote: "Marrion wrote: "Leah wrote: "So, the abusive scene in Outlander is pretty bad... But forcing yourself onto a virgin that doesn't understand what's going on seems much worse to me. I am HATING this ..."

I'm sick of all the hymen pounding in fiction. Is there a book whith an arranged marriage that has a willing heroine? Am I asking too much?

Let me elaborate on my rant. The husband had absolute property over the wife's body - that was the historical and legal reality of the past times- and the marriage had to be consumed to be valid ( where's the time to savour every spice, scent and flavour of this delicious dish?) but once he was done he was stuck whith a spouse that would (openly or secretly) hate him.
I know the authors are trying to be historically accurate, yet they could embelish the world the story unfolds, by adding some gentlessness to it.


message 17: by Marrion (new)

Marrion (emarrion) Kamil wrote: "Leah wrote: "Marrion wrote: "Leah wrote: "So, the abusive scene in Outlander is pretty bad... But forcing yourself onto a virgin that doesn't understand what's going on seems much worse to me. I am..."

Actually, have you read the second book to this? Its exactly what you're looking for. The middle brother must marry the princess from the other land because she was suppose to marry Ewan (the oldest) but since he wedded Marian, the "job" goes to the next oldest (Graeme). The princess Aveline is willing in the arranged marriage because she knows its her duty, but she's closed off in the beginning & its basically the story of how a tomboyish princess opens her self up to loving the highlander.


message 18: by Kamil (new) - added it

Kamil | 938 comments Marrion wrote: "Kamil wrote: "Leah wrote: "Marrion wrote: "Leah wrote: "So, the abusive scene in Outlander is pretty bad... But forcing yourself onto a virgin that doesn't understand what's going on seems much wor..."

I'm not judging "In Bed with a Highlander" yet, since i haven't read it myself. I only brought up something that really irritates me in historical and fantasy romance


message 19: by Emmi (new) - rated it 1 star

Emmi (lethania) | 41 comments I haven't finished it yet, but I just got past their 2nd "Love" scene where they actually make love, not just some abusive shit. But honestly, I lost all respect for Mairin. First off I really dislike this whole "oh no I don't want too but omg he kisses me and I can't think" kind of thing many romance authors have going on, I can't relate to these women at all. I feel like she should have been more afraid of him and fought him harder after that first night whan she did, she just kinda accepts him again afterwards with not that much effort on his part. I can't for the life of me understand how someone basically gets raped and then quite happily without much qualms about it enter his bed again. Sure she did try to prevent it with Crispen in their bed, but I just can't see why she doesn't fight him harder, but just yields.

I don't really like this genre much this far, not because of the violence and rape scenes in itself, bad things happen. (Just look at the Jamie/Randall scenes in the end of Outlander). I didn't mind reading about that. But I do mind how the protagonists react to the whole thing. And I can't find myself really liking these men who the protagonists are supposed to fall in love with. I honestly liked his brother, Alec a lot better. I will finish the book, but I honestly had higher hopes for this genre.


message 20: by Laura (new)

Laura Leah wrote: "Marrion wrote: "Leah wrote: "So, the abusive scene in Outlander is pretty bad... But forcing yourself onto a virgin that doesn't understand what's going on seems much worse to me. I am HATING this ..."
Leah wrote:"He took her upstairs and pounded her out like she was nothing on the night of their wedding."

Oh my, thanks for writing this, it seems like a big trigger warning. I'm avoiding this.


message 21: by Nita (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nita (gillnit) I didn't read it as abusive or rape like at all. They had to consummate their marriage and the enemy was pretty much pounding on the door. It wasn't a great first time for Marian, but I don't see why she would have to fear Ewan after that. She was reluctant to have sex again, which I can understand, but Ewan showed her that sex with him wasn't always going to be that quick and painful. It was actually nice, for me, to read a romance where the heroine's first time wasn't absolutely wonderful. The heroine seems to always have a bit of pain and then it feels awesome and she orgasms. Not very realistic to me.

Yes, Ewan could have been gentler, but under the circumstances, I don't completely blame him.


Julia (ollie03) aw come on ladies, he apologized and everything... give him another chance


message 23: by Leah (new) - rated it 1 star

Leah | 100 comments Laura wrote: "Leah wrote: "Marrion wrote: "Leah wrote: "So, the abusive scene in Outlander is pretty bad... But forcing yourself onto a virgin that doesn't understand what's going on seems much worse to me. I am..."

You're welcome, Laura.

@Nita - I understand that the circumstances were less than desirable, but that doesn't make it okay. There were plenty of things he could have done differently. And to me, all he was thinking about was "Oh no, they're coming to take away my money, I have to make sure they can't... To the bed chamber!" How can you NOT be afraid of him after that? I don't understand how she could have given in so easily the second time. It would have taken a LOT more persuasion than "It won't be that way this time" to get me to open my legs again.


message 24: by Emmi (new) - rated it 1 star

Emmi (lethania) | 41 comments Julia wrote: "aw come on ladies, he apologized and everything... give him another chance"

I can't really buy this. It's like a man (or a woman for that matter) who hits their SO should always be forgiven their first time? No way, if my SO even ones hit me (as in no funny pokes or pushed because I'm silly in a joking way as I do with him) I would haul his ass out of here and take him for all he is worth. And I hope he would do the same for me if I ever Beat him in any way.


message 25: by Kamil (new) - added it

Kamil | 938 comments Leah wrote: "Marrion wrote: "Leah wrote: "This story just seems like one written about a girl with really bad luck who's fallen on some pretty rough times. I haven't read anything romantic so far at all..."

and probably that's the reason why some men don't even want to open a romance novel.


message 26: by Leah (new) - rated it 1 star

Leah | 100 comments Kam, this books gives romance novels a bad name. I couldn't bring myself to finish it. I read the sex scene after the rapey one, and all I could think was "How are you able to move past this so fast!? It didn't happen to me and I'm disgusted by him still!!!!!!!" So nothing was sexy after that... Which meant there was no reason to continue the story.


message 27: by Devi (new) - rated it 2 stars

Devi (audleigh) I just finished the book today. I haven't read Outlander yet as I'm still waiting for it to arrive in the mail. However, I really had a hard time with this book. As has been mentioned before, the whole rapey thing made me want to quit the book but I did press on. And when I pressed on I was further disgusted by the secondary female characters making excuses for how bad Mairim's first time was. They claimed there wasn't much he could have done to make it better but that's utter bollocks!

Beyond the overly expected character types, the actual writing was just bad. I completely don't understand why the King's guard helped McCabe and company escape from the palace. I know it was mentioned that one of the clansmen threatened a guard but the clansman was unarmed and about to be thrown in the dungeon so I don't buy that anyone felt threatened by him. That particular scene really exemplifies how lazy the writing was but there are plenty of times when I had the feeling the author didn't want to bother making sure things progressed in a reasonably logical manner.


Anita (anitanight) | 14 comments I both liked and didn't like this book.

There were a lot of "smutty" bits in it, which is one of the reasons why I started reading it
The sex was quite detailed, but not to the point where I felt it was too much information. The main character Mairin was entertaining, but I couldn't relate to her as a real person. She just didn't seem to be properly traumatized by any of the horrible things going on around her, and apprently if you kiss her she loses all notion of personal principles. There were some good bits and pieces here and there, but the overall story was easy to predict.

I felt like parts of the book were very lack-luster. I wanted more detailing of the era, the environment and the characters populating it. Beyond the main characters I wasn't able to form much of an opinion about any of them. I didn't react too strongly to the abuse, because historically that was how life was for a lot of women, and I kind of expected it to happen.

Towards the end there is a build up of tension, and bad stuff happens. Something heroic needed to be done. I kept waiting for things to properly explode, for some real excitement, but it just got glossed over like the author was in a hurry or had to keep a word count or something (one more chapter wouldn't have killed me). The whole thing just ended up feeling anticlimactic, like I got riled up over nothing. Oh yes, and be prepared to read the word "lass" a lot..That word really pissed me of by the end of this book.

I personally prefer a nice blend of a well made plot and a bit of smut, but I would recommend the book to any reader who likes a bit of Fantasy and romance and isn't looking for something serious or historically correct. It did entertain me and it was a quick read, so it wasn't all bad, but I don't think I'll be reading the rest of the series.


message 29: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Hildebrand (phonetic) | 1 comments Made it a quarter of the way through, and came here to see if it gets "better" in terms of the ridiculous Alpha Male dominance. Obviously it doesn't, so I am done!


message 30: by Ender (new) - rated it 1 star

Ender Wiggin (enderwigginout) | 137 comments I gave up on this one, too, very shortly after the marriage consummation scene. And I don't think I'll ever read another "Highland Book" again. I have zero interest in reading a book where the main male character is rapey. But I suppose it's okay because she finds him somewhat attractive? It's okay because she eventually learns to like/love him? It's okay because he's really a gee-whiz great man after all since he asks the maid to sew up the dress he tore off of her?

These sorts of books are creepy and unsettling as hell.


message 31: by Ender (new) - rated it 1 star

Ender Wiggin (enderwigginout) | 137 comments Leah wrote: "And to me, all he was thinking about was "Oh no, they're coming to take away my money, I have to make sure they can't... To the bed chamber!"

Yep. There was really no logic in it at all. At first I thought he had done it to prevent a battle between the clans and spare his people from unnecessary death and tragedy. But he doesn't even stop to speak to Laird Arsehole at all, as soon as he sees the guy, he just orders his men to charge into battle. So...if he planned on just attacking them anyway, why abuse his wife like that? He knows it's wrong when he does it, but he has no good reason for it.

Two possible outcomes could exist from the impending battle:

1) Ewan wins and drives Laird Arsehole off his lands, either by killing him outright or crippling his army. Either way the new wifey is safe enough to be wooed on her own wedding night (or, in a perfect world, whenever she actually decides to consent).

2) Ewan gets his ass handed to him by Laird Arsehole, who kills Ewan and takes wifey for his own. I mean...why not? He already killed Ewan's first wife and got away scott-free, thus far. Consummation isn't an issue when the first husband is dead.

So...it didn't make any sense to me.

Plus, Ewan is a character that had been set up as blindingly arrogant. He boasts about his men being the best warriors, he's been planning to go up against Laird Arsehole's army, and he doesn't balk at the idea. So...if he felt like he was going to win the battle (as he seems to do when they ride up and top the hill), why did he need to waste time consummating the marriage so quickly? It makes no sense.


message 32: by Leah (new) - rated it 1 star

Leah | 100 comments Ender wrote: "Leah wrote: "And to me, all he was thinking about was "Oh no, they're coming to take away my money, I have to make sure they can't... To the bed chamber!"

Yep. There was really no logic in it at ..."


Ewan, like most people, panicked under pressure. He didn't think, so he did what he thought was best, which was obliterate his virgin wife's hymen as fast as his penis would let him.
To be fair, most people don't think rationally when they panic, but I don't think a ton of them go for the rapey approach.

I can even understand, to an extent, that we are looking at a different country and time period... But this is not a story that I can consider romantic. It's not romantic to rip clothes off your lover and drive into her likes she was an unfeeling sex doll. It's not romantic to give her THREE days to get over it and expect her to willingly open her legs again. And lastly, and this one is important, it's definitely not romantic to use the word "loving" in place of sex!


Julia (ollie03) sometimes I wish I could remember that sarcasm doesn't come through all that well in the world of the interwebs...


message 34: by Kamil (new) - added it

Kamil | 938 comments Ender wrote: "Leah wrote: "And to me, all he was thinking about was "Oh no, they're coming to take away my money, I have to make sure they can't... To the bed chamber!"

Yep. There was really no logic in it at ..."


outcome 1 ment he had time to do everyting whith ease later.
option 2 ment those were his last days on earth, so he should've enjoy every moment as if it was the last. Rushed slamming appears ridiculous in this light


message 35: by Lee (new) - added it

Lee (luneray) | 47 comments I had to give up reading this after the marriage consummation scene. Yes, I know that this is a different historical period and women were property and Laird Arsehole (love it!) knew he couldn't abduct the woman again if the marriage had been consummated.

However, what disturbed me about the consummation scene was not that it was rushed and not romantic but how cold and business like it was. I would have felt a bit more sympathy for Ewan if he had been caught up in the throes of passion. But instead, he's clinical about it. "But I can't stop. We must finish this." He's not overcome with sexual passion and unable to stop. He comes across as a sociopath.

He needs everyone to think that the marriage has been consummated? Okay, carry the bride up to the bedchamber, loudly proclaiming that the marriage must be consummated. Tell the bride that you going to deceive Laird Arsehole and that the marriage would be properly consummated later. Then he could prepare the stained sheets by making a small cut on his arm and bleeding on the sheets and then jack off on the stain (or not, depending on how closely he thinks Laird Arsehole is going to examine the sheet). He's rushing off to battle afterwards, so he's probably going to get a few wounds anyway. One small cut on his arm is not going to draw attention. (I admit I read a similar scene in a different book and thought it was an elegant solution to the "consummation under duress" issue.)

Considering how anachronistic the story and the characters are, using the "well, this is how the men acted in that time" excuse is really flimsy. (I don't think anachronism is a bad thing, btw. I read these books for entertainment, not historical accuracy. If there hadn't been a reference to the King's name, would we even know what part of the Pre-Union era the story takes place?)

But just as bad is what the author has done to Mairin. A young, sheltered girl who has the courage to go with the abductors to save her sisters, and defy Laird Arsehole and then escape is turned into a gushy thing who is undone by kiss.


message 36: by Lee (new) - added it

Lee (luneray) | 47 comments But at least the romantic leads bathe frequently. Apparently, 21st century readers can accept that the male romantic lead acts like a rapist, and that the woman is fickle, but heaven forbid if we think they actually have body odor.


message 37: by Kamil (new) - added it

Kamil | 938 comments Lee wrote: "I had to give up reading this after the marriage consummation scene. Yes, I know that this is a different historical period and women were property and Laird Arsehole (love it!) knew he couldn't ab..."

If Ewand did as you suggested, it would not only decieve Larid, yet it would look as a ritual oath in Mairin's eyes, kinda like "my blood now, for your blood later, when you'll be ready".

Lee wrote: "But at least the romantic leads bathe frequently. Apparently, 21st century readers can accept that the male romantic lead acts like a rapist, and that the woman is fickle, but heaven forbid if we t..."

In the past in many countries people were forcibly bathed if they refused to bathe at least once per year, and the french folks invented perfume and wigs to cover the stench and the fleas. Would you really want the authors to be so accurate?


message 38: by Jute (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jute | 238 comments The book wasn't my favorite, for a variety of reasons, for instance I felt the repeated beatings, poisoning, and getting hit with an arrow were kind of over the top and not very realistic. The marriage bedding scene was unrealistic for a couple of reasons, but it doesn't bother me like it seems to have hit it for a lot of people here. He apologized a lot while he was doing it and he took his earliest opportunity to make things better.

The author didn't write this scene as a romantic love scene because I'm pretty sure she wanted some tension between the characters. And although there's a lot of different ways to write something, that's what she chose.

I'm actually amazed that so many people who don't like romance novels continue to read picks that are obviously things they are going to dislike. Romance novels are full of 'alpha' males.

We read more than just Romance here, but many of the picks are from that genre and maybe if you don't like the genre, you might want to skip the pick?


Anita (anitanight) | 14 comments Jute wrote: The marriage bedding scene was unrealistic for a couple of reasons, but it doesn't bother me like it seems to have hit it for a lot of people here. He apologized a lot while he was doing it and he took his earliest opportunity to make things better.

I totally agree that the marriage bedding wasn't that bad. He apologized a lot as you said, and tension was needed to keep the story semi-interesting. The world of romance is full of alpha males. I started reading this book fully expecting that. Especially since this book was shooting towards being historical fantasy romance, so I was neither disgusted or surprised even if I personally don't like that type of man. It's fiction after all, and different perspectives and personalities have to be present, since it would be totally boring if everything was flowers, unicorns and happiness :P


message 40: by Kamil (last edited Jan 08, 2013 07:50AM) (new) - added it

Kamil | 938 comments Jute wrote: "The book wasn't my favorite, for a variety of reasons, for instance I felt the repeated beatings, poisoning, and getting hit with an arrow were kind of over the top and not very realistic. The mar..."

I was actually looking to read this book (I even booked it at my local library) yet after lerning what irritated many people I'm not so interested. But it's just because I had enough for a while of that kind of drama at least for this winter..


message 41: by Lee (last edited Jan 08, 2013 11:35AM) (new) - added it

Lee (luneray) | 47 comments "If Ewand did as you suggested, it would not only decieve Larid, yet it would look as a ritual oath in Mairin's eyes, kinda like "my blood now, for your blood later, when you'll be ready".

Is that really such a bad thing?

And "alpha male" doesn't necessarily mean "rapey" male.


message 42: by Leah (new) - rated it 1 star

Leah | 100 comments @Lee, I think Kam was trying to say that would have been better than pile-driving her vagina into oblivion. In fact, I think that would have been much MUCH better.

@Anita, I understand that tension was needed to keep the story interesting, but it could have gone a totally different route. Such as, her not feeling loved and him not knowing if he could give it. That's a LOT of tension for a newly married couple. I didn't finish the book, so I don't really know how that part turned out, but I feel that would have been the better way to go. And as for "alpha males" being in the world of romance, there is a HUGE difference in having a dominating personality and basically raping your virgin wife on her wedding day. It wasn't even like he had the excuse of "I don't know what I'm doing, duuuuuhhhhhhh" Because he's been married before!!! He was just being an inconsiderate prick, while using it.


message 43: by Kamil (new) - added it

Kamil | 938 comments @ Leah, thank you for understanding.


message 44: by Leah (new) - rated it 1 star

Leah | 100 comments Kamil wrote: "@ Leah, thank you for understanding."

You're quite welcome, sir.


message 45: by PointyEars42 (last edited Jan 10, 2013 11:11AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

PointyEars42 | 476 comments Oh, no, he's actually referring to her skin as silk and her breasts as ripe melons. Melons! The make-up sex scene is all of the juicy cliche-ridden awfulness/goodness you should find in a book like this.


message 46: by Lee (new) - added it

Lee (luneray) | 47 comments PointyEars42 wrote: "...The make-up sex scene is all of the juicy cliche-ridden awfulness/goodness you should find in a book like..."

I think that's the crux of my issue with this book. I am not familiar with the historical romance genre (I've read only three others), and I had only a mild idea what to expect and really couldn't put in context. For all I know, marriages of conveniences and dubious consent sexual scenes are common and the "I just got married but we are being attacked but I must consummate this marriage so that my enemy won't steal my bride to get her property" is the author's unique twist. And there's nothing wrong with formula (if it ain't borke don't fix it!) But there are some themes that I think are very powerful (like dubious consent), and that authors shouldn't use lightly.

But above all, I never intended to insinuate that anyone who liked this book or this genre has poor taste, and I apologize if anyone felt that way based on my comment.


message 47: by Kamil (new) - added it

Kamil | 938 comments PointyEars42 wrote: "Oh, no, he's actually referring to her skin as silk and her breasts as ripe melons. Melons! The make-up sex scene is all of the juicy cliche-ridden awfulness/goodness you should find in a book like..."

Aren't melons those bittersweet fruits you have to get out of the hard skin?


PointyEars42 | 476 comments Lee wrote: "I think that's the crux of my issue with this book. I am not f..."

{Tongue firmly in cheek} Oh Lee, but that means you missed out on all of those hyper popular rape-and-redemption bodice rippers of the 70's & 80's. How do you expect to appreciate a good book with a high romance/sexy-times content if you don't have a secret reading history of often-offensive, frequently-mysogynistic, definitely cliche-riddled stinkers?

Seriously though: I think that for a book published in 2011, this is a pretty good primer on the tropes of the genre going back to the year... whenever. The feisty virgin heiress; the gorgeous but impoverished taciturn hunk; the adorable kiddie; the cartoon-ish evil villain; the unfeasible plot to get the couple into bed as quickly as possible... all that and "skin like silk" too! VF members with a kilt kink can probably recommend dozens of books that will feel eerily familiar after this, trope wise.

I don't deliberately pick up this sort of book anymore - instead I wait for Courtney Milan to publish something smart, well-researched, quirky, sexy, and featuring women who are sensible by any era's standards - but I find this book a fascinating contrast to Outlander. Rapey-ness in that book, dub-con in this at the start of this one... at least our reactions to each scene makes us examine the extent to which we own our own sexuality.


message 49: by Amanda (last edited Jan 11, 2013 09:31AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Amanda | 23 comments I thought the book was good. The consummation of the marriage could have the guy cut himself to fake the event but the author wanted the sex to happen early. The quickness of the taking of the cloths to the taking of the virgin could be viewed as rapey. I think Ewan tried to make the act as enjoyable time as possible but thought he was a dumbass for going so fast. He also does not tell the woman who lived in a convent what exactly was going to happen. Then he goes off to fight the enemy and just tells her he's sorry and he'll send someone up. She then thinks either she is bad in bed or he has the problem. You can not have a historical romance without the heroine going off alone. I felt she learned quickly that she was in danger if she went about without protection. Ewan earned points for not calling her a loose woman and did not rape her in the tube scene because he couldn't help himself. The McDonald's warrior daughter could or could not be historically possible for the time depends on how much historical accuracy you want in a book.


PointyEars42 | 476 comments Kamil wrote: "Aren't melons those bittersweet fruits you have to get out of the hard skin? "

Yeh, spoiler alert, early super-fake-looking silicone boob-jobs are rampant throughout the genre {snerk}.

OMG, wait... I would PAY to see a time travel romance where a heroine has to explain her implants to someone from a time where doctors washing their hands was a revolutionary medical idea. Pretty please, VF-ers, drop me some recs if there is such a thing :)


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