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Friday, July 30, 2010

To Tame a Highland Warrior by Karen Marie Moning

To Tame a Highland Warrior by Karen Marie Moning
Publisher: Random House
Genre: Historical, Paranormal
Length: Full (366 pages)
Heat: Hot
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Only her love could gentle his savage soul—

He was born to a clan of warriors of supernatural strength, but Gavrael McIllioch abandoned his name and his Highland castle, determined to escape the dark fate of his ancestors. Hiding his identity from the relentless rival clan that hunted him, he called himself Grimm to protect the people he cared for, vowing never to acknowledge his love for ravishing Jillian St. Clair. Yet even from afar he watched over her, and when her father sent an urgent summons, "Come for Jillian," he raced to her side—into a competition to win her hand in marriage.

Why had he run from her so many years before? And why return now to see her offered as a prize in her father's manipulative game? Furious, Jillian vowed never to wed. But Grimm was the man she loved, the one who urged her to marry another. He tried to pretend indifference as she tempted him, but he could not deny the fierce desires that compelled him to abduct her from the altar. She was the only woman who could tame the beast that raged within him—even as deadly enemies plotted to destroy them both....

What’s not to adore about a fierce Scottish warrior with a special talent that he believes makes him unlovable? What’s not to be intrigued about a fine and feisty lass who battles and breaks down the walls the man has built around his heart? All those are answered in this wonderfully crafted tale of medieval Scottish romance with a supernatural flair.

What is great about this story is that the heroine and hero know each other and have a history. This isn’t a fly by night romance. It is based on a true knowledge of each other and yet secrets abound that seem insurmountable, at least to one of them.

Jillian is the heroine. She’s got attitude and is determined to never marry. Of course there truly is only one reason that she’s so dead set against marriage but a reader won’t know that for quite some time. It’s a good reason too. It sure kept me flipping the pages. Another reason to enjoy the book is when one of her parents turns conniving and sets a plan in motion to undermine all of Jillian’s stubborn intents. The action picks up and the fun starts. How is she going to maneuver out of this one? The odds are against her in more ways than one. Her mettle is tested. Her love is battered and stretched and yet Jillian is no retiring miss – she’ll stand up and be counted when the going gets tough. And boy, does it ever.

Grimm is a man of deep emotion. He has the manly elements of lust, rage, focus and other valuable warrior talents. He’s also burdened with honor, integrity and self-flagellation. He bases the path of his life on one incident from when he was a boy. Its ramifications have rippled through the years and only mid way or later through the book does a reader get the germ of an idea that things are completely skewed and Grimm is in for a major about face. It rocks his world and crumbles the basis of his life into ruins. He then has to face rebuilding himself. It’s bittersweet, it is very emotional and with Jillian by his side, extremely romantic and hopeful. Grimm isn’t a weak or ineffectual man. He’s a warrior through and through and his dialogue, verbal and internal, showcase that effectively.

The internal conflict is considerable but the external conflict is deadly. How can a people do despicable acts and call themselves righteous? How can they justify what they do and sleep at night? Let me put it this way. The bad elements are like a doctor who cuts off a person’s finger just because they were double jointed in that finger and feel perfectly justified in the doing. Why? Because it creeped him out. Does that sound like he’d be demented and evil? Then you have an idea what Grimm and company are up against. Big doings.

Secondary characters bring a rich and vibrant flavor to the story. They help in showcasing the hero and heroine’s personalities, their foibles and the world in which they live. There is humor, adventure, action and tender moments to flesh out the tale. If a reader enjoyed the marriage scene in the Princess Bride movie, then they’re in for a lot of fun when the time comes for Jillian to wed.

To Tame a Highland Warrior is a gripping, exciting and romantic read sure keep a reader riveted from chapter to chapter. I had a great time reading this book and it’s going on my keeper shelf because it has re-readability. It is what a perfect romance story should be, timeless.