Monday, March 31, 2014

REVIEW: "Never Seduce a Scot" by Maya Banks


Never Seduce a Scot (The Montgomerys and Armstrongs, #1)
Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks
(Montgomerys and Armstrongs #1)

Goodreads -- Amazon -- Book Depository
Author Website

For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality, Violence)
Historical Romance -- Medieval Scotland

Ballantine Books -- September 25, 2012
Mass Market Paperback, 372 pages
Purchased from Book Depository

THEMES
Highlands, Unique Heroine, Tearjerker

SUMMARY
Eveline Armstrong is fiercely loved and protected by her powerful clan, but outsiders consider her “touched.” Beautiful, fey, with a level, intent gaze, she doesn’t speak. No one, not even her family, knows that she cannot hear. Content with her life of seclusion, Eveline has taught herself to read lips and allows the outside world to view her as daft. But when an arranged marriage into a rival clan makes Graeme Montgomery her husband, Eveline accepts her duty—unprepared for the delights to come. Graeme is a rugged warrior with a voice so deep and powerful that his new bride can hear it, and hands and kisses so tender and skilled that he stirs her deepest passions.

Graeme is intrigued by the mysterious Eveline, whose silent lips are ripe with temptation and whose bright, intelligent eyes can see into his soul. As intimacy deepens, he learns her secret. But when clan rivalries and dark deeds threaten the wife he has only begun to cherish, the Scottish warrior will move heaven and earth to save the woman who has awakened his heart to the beautiful song of a rare and magical love.



FIRST LINE
"Peace had come to the highlands."

MY THOUGHTS
Highland romances are some of my favorites and Maya Banks is definitely establishing herself as one of my favorites in the genre along with the queen, Hannah Howell.  I adored Banks's McCabe trilogy and was really excited to read more with the Montgomerys and Armstrongs series.  And I was not disappointed with Graeme and Eveline's story which is powerful, romantic, and full of drama.

In this series, the Montgomery clan and the Armstrong clan are fierce rivals who have a long, violent history and it doesn't seem like they will ever be able to resolve their differences without external help.  The king is obviously sick of this rivalry and decides to decree a marriage between an Armstrong lady and the Montgomery lord to speed up the process.  Obviously, neither clan is happy about the request especially since it is a known fact that Eveline Armstrong's mind was damaged in an accident years before and it is thought that she will never recover.

I adored both Eveline and Graeme's characters and found myself heavily invested in their journey.  Eveline was very admirable with the way that she adjusted to her deafness and how determined she was to be a good wife to Graeme despite her family's hesitation.  There is a very good reason why she has hidden the fact that she is not daft, but only deaf and I applaud her for being so resourceful.  Graeme was a sensitive and loyal hero who was such a teddy bear when it came to his feelings for Eveline.  I loved every moment that these two spent together and how they were both determined to do anything to make the other person happy.

Readers also get to know members of both the Montgomery and Armstrong clans.  There is more time spent with the Montgomerys, but I still came away intrigued by Eveline's brothers who were so protective of her after her accident.  In terms of the Montgomery clan, I am definitely excited to read more about Graeme's brothers, and his little sister.

The plot of Never Seduce a Scot primarily deals with the adjustments that Eveline and Graeme have to make after their marriage.  Graeme spends his time questioning how 'touched' his new bride is and, once he learns her secret, tries to figure out a way to keep her safe.  Eveline's journey is sometimes hard to read as she faces a lot of difficulties when she arrives at the Montgomery keep.  The rest of the clan (besides Graeme and his siblings) have deep hatred for the Armstrongs and do everything in their power to make her feel unwelcome.  There were definitely moments that made me tear up as I watched Eveline try to prove her loyalty only to have it constantly thrown back at her face.

Besides the main story line, there is also a subplot that focuses on a mysterious danger that is lurking in the background.  This mystery relates back to Eveline's deception after her accident and provides decent external drama to balance with the romance.  While I enjoyed the suspense story line, I found myself wishing that there had been more to it.  I found the whole premise intriguing and wanted it to be incorporated more into the overall story since it seemed a little tacked on in the later third of the book.

Never Seduce a Scot is not a perfect book, but it kept my attention from beginning to end and gave me to admirable characters to care about.  I love Banks's writing style when it comes to her historicals and I am excited to read more.


4 STARS


STEAM LEVEL
Flush -- Detailed descriptions of lovemaking though nothing overly graphic.


 FAVORITE QUOTE
"I love you, Eveline," he whispered, though he knew she could not hear him. "Somehow, I'll make you hear me and you'll know that I love you as fiercely as it's possible for a man to love a woman."


BOOKS IN THE SERIES
1. Never Seduce a Scot
2. Highlander Most Wanted
3. Highland Ever After (Coming 2015)

CHALLENGES READ FOR

  

1 comment:

  1. I really need to give her historicals a try. I love her Rom-Sus books and have these just never got around to them. I like the inclusion of a deaf heroine. I don't remember reading about one before. Glad to hear you enjoyed it. Always love when you find one that even if not perfect really has you invested in the characters.

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