Saturday, October 27, 2012

Week-End's Minis XXX: Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks

Good morning everyone!

I'm so glad to have this mini-review up! Just in time, since I have to run to the curling club again LOL. Today is the new members in-house tournament, a chance for new members to meet everyone :) All details coming in tomorrow's post!

Before I run though, I want to say this... I've had a bit of difficulty writing my reviews lately, just that they don't come as easy lately and sometimes, I have difficulty formulating my thoughts. As a result, I'll sit in front of my computer and type away and as soon as the review is ready, I post it up. I just wanted to ask, am I making sense? Are my reviews jag-y lately? Please be honest with me, because it'll help me adjusting :) Thanks a bunch!!

Enjoy the mini-review!


Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks
published by Random House publishing (Ballantine Books) in September 2012
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.
Genre: Historical romance, medieval
Series: The Montgomerys and Armstrongs, Book #1

What do you need to know? So our heroine was engaged at a young age to marry Ian McHugh for an alliance. In front of everyone, Ian treated her well, but behind the scenes, he scared her. When she shared her worries with her father, he brushed it aside thinking she was just nervous. As a result, Eveline decided to run away and ended up falling from her horse. That probably led to an infection and left her deaf and the shock of the accident, mute. Everyone thought she was "touched" and she never corrected them because the end result was that the McHugh broke the engagement; however, she was always afraid that if anyone found out she was simply deaf and not daft, that the McHugh would be knocking at the door again.

Enters Graeme Montgomery. His clan and Eveline's, the Armstrongs, have been at odds for decades... and to bring peace, the king has ordered a marriage between Graeme and Eveline. Graeme cannot disobey, but he's definitively not thrilled to have a daft woman as the wife of the chieftain! However, once he meets Eveline, he feels a kind of connection... Perhaps everything will turn out fine. As for Eveline, she also feels the connection, but more importantly, Graeme makes her feel safe.

Can these two overcome years of rivalry and hatred?

Why this book? I've never read Ms Banks' historical romance books, but have been meaning to. What made me pick up this book though is the fact that Eveline is deaf. I have a weakness for deaf characters :) I think they are interesting and am always interested to read how they cope with their handicap.

What did I like? Overall, Never Seduce a Scot was a very enjoyable book. It was quick and sweet read, with likable main and secondary characters and good premises. I liked the family dynamics of both clans, there was genuine affection and it was nice to read about it. I especially liked how Graeme's brothers were so supportive of him and quickly adjusted their opinion of Eveline - not only because Eveline was not as bad as they thought, but to back up Graeme and also, for his happiness. I thought Eveline was a great heroine too, not being passive, taking the steps to insure her happiness. I loved the scene where Graeme put her in a room at their arrival and she convinced Graeme's sister, Rorie, to show her which was Graeme's room and then to move all her trunks to it LOL. She wanted a marriage between Graeme, she wanted love and that's what she got. As for Graeme, I liked him also because he was fair, open-minded and a good leader... something you don't always expect in medieval settings. So you had two interesting characters and the best is that they had great chemistry together, making for a sweet romance :) All in all, Never Seduce a Scot was about two people getting to know each other and that's what Ms Banks delivered :)

What didn't work? As much as I liked Never Seduce a Scot, I thought everything in Graeme and Eveline's romance went a bit too smoothly. I was expecting more conflicts, more difficulties in their relationships. Oh there was some from external sources such as the other women of the Montgomery clan, not liking Eveline because she was an Armstrong and also for swooping in and marrying Graeme, which results in some bullying. By the way, regarding that part, Eveline did great for the most part, but at the end, her giving up and wanting to go home... I thought that was weak and not in character with Eveline's personality. Eveline is strong and I expected her to keep going until she got their respect, just like she did with Graeme's siblings. But, I digress. So there was some conflicts, but from the first moment Graeme and Eveline met, the connection between the two was there and their relationship was smooth-sailing and it wasn't about them anymore, but convincing everyone around them. Eveline wanted to please Graeme and Graeme would protect Eveline. I know that Graeme was fair and all, but still, for two persons from rivaling clans, I expected a bit more grudge. Also, it feels to me Graeme that as soon as he found out Eveline was simply deaf, nothing mattered anymore. Like Eveline being "touched" is the only thing going against her and as soon as he had an explanation, poof, everything was all right. But even beforehand, I thought Graeme didn't make too many efforts to get to know Eveline or to communicate with her, because the two had this connection, they just were good together.

My Grade? B. As I said, I thought the romance and Eveline's integration to the Montgomery clan went a bit too smoothly. A bit more conflict between the two would not have hurt and would have results in a higher grade from me :) Nevertheless, Never Seduce a Scot was still a good, solid book :)

9 comments:

  1. Where the hell have I been? I love deaf/mute characters in romance novels. Something about their strength calls to me, I must say. I'm going to have to scoop this one up now that I know. Thanks for the review!

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  2. I think I'm gonna give this book a chance, I like characters that have to deal with some type of handy-cap, I think it usually makes for very sweet romance. I do get you about the whole rival clans thing, one would expect that it would be addressed and that there would be grudges.

    thanks for the review : d

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  3. Tracy - LOL, I don't know! But yeah, if you enjoy deaf/mute characters, I think you'll like this one Tracy :) It's not only that Eveline has to deal with her handicap, but also the belief of everyone else that she is "touched." Makes for an interesting story :) And I think you usually enjoy Maya Banks's writing, so that's perfect for you :)

    Alex - My pleasure, Alex! I hope you enjoy the book! Overall, it was very sweet, I think you'll enjoy it :)

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  4. I really liked this one. I'm glad you did too. :P

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  5. Ames - I'm glad too :) It was just such a sweet book :)

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  6. Wait! A historical romance medieval by Maya Banks? Sigh... I don't read Maya Banks because I don't enjoy her erotic romances, so I don't pay attention to her releases at all, lol! But... I didn't know she wrote historicals?

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  7. Hilcia - Actually, this is not her historical debut. She has another trilogy prior to this one, also medieval historical. It's with another publisher, Random House instead of Berkley. I know Ames enjoy them, so you should give them a try Hils! This was my first historical by her because I was curious about the heroine.

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  8. I am a sucker for medieval romances and like everyone else, I like that the heroine is deaf. Thanks for the review, nath!

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  9. Christine - Another book that you probably would enjoy a lot Christine :)

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