Series: Fraser Brothers #3
Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Soul Mate Publishing on December 13, 2013
Source: Author, Tour Host
Purchase Links: Amazon
Book Links: Goodreads
The last thing Alasdair Fraser expects to find on an isolated beach along the coast of northern Scotland is a beautiful, unconscious lass. Unable to turn his back on someone in need, he delays his journey and tend so her injuries–an act that has him questioning his plans to rejoin Robert the Bruce and the fight for Scotland’s independence.
Will he drop the shield that guards his heart or will the secrets she fails to reveal, a king-sanctioned marriage to another man, and his own stubbornness keep them apart forever?
“Mayhap a Selkie had washed up from the ocean’s depths,” he muttered and nudged her foot with the toe of his boot.
… I’m going to be honest with you all, this book made me a little frustrated and angry. This review may become a rant. You’ve been warned.
With the above quote, and the setting of Scotland, I was really prepared to like this book — and for quite a bit of it, I did. But there were just too many small issues that I found which eventually piled up enough to make me dislike the book — and I really hate disliking books. Around 87% of the way through the book, I wrote up a list of things that bothered me. I’m going to share a few of these things with you now:
First off, I don’t have curly hair, but I’m fairly certain that if a woman is “soaking wet”, her hair does not still maintain perfect, beautiful curls. Especially if she’s washed up on shore after being thrown into the sea during a storm. You’d have more of a huge, tangled mess, and water usually weighs down the curls, flattening them just a little.
When Alasdair comes across the mystery woman on the beach, it takes him a page or two to even give her a blanket for warmth — yes, she’s unconscious, but I actually wrote a note in my Kindle saying, “For God’s sake, man! The woman’s lips are blue! Give her your tartan and stop staring at her breasts through her night rail!”
One of my biggest issues with this book stems from the fact that the woman’s family thought her to be dead, as she was thrown into the sea during a storm. (Small spoiler warning!) — What happened was that she was trying to defend herself against a man trying to rape her, and she ran out onto the deck of their ship during the storm and was tossed overboard. Later in the book, the would-be-rapist escapes from her father’s dungeon and seemingly plunges to his death when he falls off the cliff into that same body of water, and they all assume he’s dead. Now, normally I’d be ok with this as a huge fall into icy depths of ocean and rock would be cause to think someone was dead… But they JUST GOT HER BACK AFTER THINKING THE SAME THING!!! Why not be more on guard? Why act so incredibly surprised when he shows up again to finish the job?! Come on, people! I think it was the absolute surprise on everyone’s behalf of this guy showing back up that made me toss my hands in the air.
Finally, Alasdair continually mentions going back to fight the war with Robert, the Bruce. Over and over and over again… Then, towards the end, there is a battle. Just one that seems to only last for a few hours…. and is oddly only a few hours ride from where he was…. This makes no sense to me. From everything that had been said previously in the book about where this battle was to take place, it certainly seemed that it would take them more than a few hours on horseback to get there. The battle almost seems like it was just tossed into the mix of this book to make it count as “historical” and to tie up some loose ends (I won’t say what, because I dislike spoiling more). It just seemed too convenient and not well thought-out.
I really wanted to like this book, and I really dislike giving out bad reviews, but I was so exasperated with this one that I just couldn’t say it was any better than a 2.5 out of 5. It makes me sad, really. The characters were flip-floppy.. The female character I wanted to just shake and tell her to grow a pair… though upon her killing her would-be-rapist (sorry, spoiler) — THAT I cheered for. So there ARE some redeeming qualities here. It’s just difficult having to force yourself to finish a book.