Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace
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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Historical Romance Review: Moonstruck Madness, by Laurie McBain

I recently finished reading Laurie McBain's book, Moonstruck Madness, re-issued this month with Sourcebooks (originally pubbed in 1977).  The book takes place in both Scotland and England, during and a few years after the Battle of Culloden.

I like the new book cover.  The one of I have on the ARC I received pictures a much older heroine, which I found disturbing since Sabrina is only about 17 in the book, and the woman on the original cover looked to be in her mid-thirties.  So kudos for updating the cover!

Book Info...

She’s one thing by day, something else altogether by night…After escaping the slaughter of her clan at a young age, Scottish noblewoman Sabrina Verrick provides for her siblings by living a double life, until the night she encounters the Duke, and her secret and all she holds dear is threatened…

He’s so disillusioned, he’s completely vulnerable…
With his inheritance at stake, Lucien, Duke of Camareigh, sets a trap for the Scottish beauty with the piercing violet eyes, never imagining what will happen when the trap is sprung…

As their lives become irreversibly entangled, Lucien and Sabrina become each other’s biggest threat, as well as their only salvation…

ISBN: 9781402242434

Pubbed in February 2011
Available now from Sourcebooks in Trade paperback

My Review...  **there are spoilers in this review, so don't read any further if you plan on buying this book**

This book was a quick read, with a lot of sensory and scenery detail. I was able to completely immerse myself in the story and visualize everything that was happening. The historical details were mostly good, except, I don't see how the Dowager Duchess could prevent the Duke from inheriting his seat, as that would be the pervious Duke's ability--but I could be wrong.

That being said, I wasn't exactly blown away by the heroine or hero, and this may be in part by what Ms. McBain played on as their faults, but they were just too darn arrogant and prideful for me to really get to know them or inside their heads--and yes in the end they do get over these flaws for the most part. The heroine never seemed to learn and was willing to put a lot of people in danger not necessarily for anything other than to stroke her own ego and need for revenge. I found her at times to be immature, naive, and so stubborn it was grating on the nerves.  Likewise with the hero.  Additionally, for a man that is supposed to be intelligent, I found it odd that he didn't figure out earlier that his cousins were setting him up.

I also had a problem with the ending.  There is this huge buildup, there is so much tension between the h/h that you aren't sure if they are every going to get together--and they don't solve their problems on their own. She just mulls it over in her mind and then after he saves her, they decide to love one another again.  I really missed watching them having to play out their emotional conflicts face to face. I also found the round-up of the cousins to be too fast, and not enough punishment done to them--in other words, unrealistic.

Now, despite the issues that I had, the book was entertaining, sensual, and the actual plot was very good. There were several places I laughed, and many things I couldn't wait to read further on. So, I wouldn't say don't read it. The book was good.  You just have to look over some of the more dated character flaws that you don't necessarily see from today's more modern writers.

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