Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace


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Monday, January 9, 2012

Historical Romance Review: Tempting the Highlander by Michele Sinclair

I have wanted for some to read Michele Sinclair's books, and so when TEMPTING THE HIGHLANDER, arrived on my doorstep I was thrilled. This was the first book I read in the McTiernays series, but I didn't feel lost. If anything I want to go back and get the rest so I can read them all. TEMPTING THE HIGHLANDER was a fun-filled adventure of a book! I loved the way Ms. Sinclair had each character playing off of how they thought the other character's felt or what they thought the other characters' desired. With so many characters messing with each other, it was hard to see how the ones who loved each other would get together, and I enjoyed watching the story unfold right up to the very end.

It Begins As A Ploy

When Raelynd Schellden and her sister are caught in the stables with the notorious McTiernay twins, her father sees not scandal, but opportunity. The future of his clan is uncertain, and a double engagement—even under false pretenses— will lend security to his people and protect his beloved daughters from power-mad fools.

And Becomes A Pleasure

But Raelynd's designated intended interests her far less than his quietly powerful brother Crevan, a man born to lead. Though bound by honor and committed to his sworn duty, Crevan cannot resist a taste of Raelynd's crimson lips when offered—and then another and another—until the unlikely couple is entangled in both a public deception and each other's hearts.
Released in September, 2011 w/Kensington Zebra Books
ISBN-10: 1420108565
ISBN-13: 978-1420108569  (available in print and ebook)


I knew of Ms. Sinclair, and respected her, long before I read any of her books. The reason being, she has a fantastic list of research links and resources on her website (www.michelesinclair.com).

With so many characters (and we get to see inside their heads), I was concerned that TEMPTING THE HIGHLANDER was going to get confusing for me. I don't mind multiple POVs or even the use of secondary character POV. But this book had nearly a dozen. Never fear! It was done well, so I was never confused. Ultimately, I think what made it so easy for Ms. Sinclair to transition us from one character to the next was how indivual and unique each character was. They were truly fleshed out with prominent GMCs, prominent and different personalities and traits, as well as varying faults (some of which were used humorously in the plot, and which brought some characters with similar faults closer together!) With this story, despite so many POVs, it is obvious that Crevan and Raelynd are the main H/H. When they are together--even when they are arguing--the sparks nearly fly off the page. Their connection is intense, highly sensual, and deep rooted.

Also of note, I really enjoyed that Cyric was not as bad as they thought he would be. That made this Scottish romance, even better. Readers love to see lots of people get their happy ending. I only wish Craig and Meriel could have gotten together. They got along so well. Perhaps Meriel will end up being in another story? We watched her weaknesses become revealed, and I thought she might take more of an appreciation for her sister and how hard she worked, but in the end, I didn't feel like she did. She was glad to go back to her old ways and have her sister do the work for her.

I have not read a book in awhile that so deeply explored the human condition and our need to protect others with what we think is best for them, instead of really knowing for sure. Great job!

One thing I would have liked to see was more light shone on the fact that Crevan did not sutter when speaking to Raelynd and even in the case when he spoke to her in front of others. Stuttering is often overcome when a person feels very at ease, comfortable and in control. I would have liked to see this explored more.

I enjoyed this book so much, that I am disappointed I didn't read her work sooner! I highly recommend TEMPTING THE HIGHLANDER, and Michele Sinclair as an author. She knows how to weave in romance, history, and truly how to play with a character's head. Her characters are real, vibrant and with faults. They are incredible faults too, which we have to watch them grow and struggle with--but in the end she redeems them, and an HEA is attained. And! I'm hoping Conan's story is coming up next, because I have GOT to see how that turns out!


Renee said...

Her books are fabulous. I have read every one I can get my hands on.

Eliza Knight said...

I can't wait to read more! I really enjoyed it!!