Sunday, February 2, 2014

Book Review for Highlander's Embrace Misty Highlands Book # 1 by Amy Isan

Highlander's Embrace
Misty Highlands Book # 1
by Amy Isan 

Reviewed by:Angels
Published: Amy Isan 
Source:ARC  Gene: Medieval Romance 


1540, Scotland

A storm is brewing on the Highlands…

When headstrong and stubborn Gavin MacKenzie is driven to seek vengeance after the murder of his father, he seeks help from the King of Scotland. But things are amiss as he begins his journey across the fierce and unforgiving Highlands. And when he crosses paths with a crimson-haired young woman just as tempered as the Scottish Highlands, passions are quickly set ablaze. He fears she has already stolen his heart.

A secret two decades old could unravel everything...

Elyn Douglas doesn't feel like she belongs in the small village of Dornie, lingering right outside the walls of Eilean Donan Castle. After the assassination of Laird Angus MacKenzie, she’s thrust into a world of violence and highlanders, but when she meets the rugged and powerful Gavin, she doesn't know what to expect. All she knows is that when he looks at her, her heart melts a little bit of the frost that has plagued her whole life...

As chilling rain and howling wind pelt the Highlands, Elyn fights the racing of her heart that 
begs for her Highlander's Embrace...

Our Review

Spoiler Alert 

This is a new author to me.I was given this book to read in exchange for an honest review.I love medieval romance along with reading about all these wonderful protective hunky Highlanders.I have read thousands of them and never seem to get enough of them.

As a reader who loves to read everything and almost any gene she can get her hands on I find I am the type of person easy to please.If the books keeps me interested in its plot,makes me laugh on an off,cry at all the sad scenes, and its a believable plot or plausible one working toward a happy ending I am pleased.I do not nit pick at every little thing I find wrong as its a work of fiction.Why am I telling you all this you ask ?Its because there is nothing that I liked about this read.I hate to say it but its true and I feel really bad for saying it.

Why did I not like it ?This story had an interesting plot when I started reading it but ,soon went south almost for the very beginning for me once I started getting into the story.This story was just to unbelievable for me to believe it credible.

The plot starts out with a kidnapping of a small child right after her birth.A feud between clans for decades over the kidnapping of this child. Know one ever proved that the clan blamed for the deed ever committed the crime.Yet hatred survived for decades because of it.Then the story progresses to the point that the Laird of the Clan MacKenzie now wants his son Gavin to marry the daughter of there arch enemy because he fears of a war between the clans still over the matter of the child's disappearance and all hope rests on Gavin's marriage to divert this war.Gavin wants no part of this marriage or even be remotely related to the offending clan he refuses to enter into the vipers nest as he doesn't trust them one bit.

Here is where the story becomes so unbelievable for me.First off Laird MacKenzie was a hardened warrior and a abusive man.He was feared by many held his lands for over fifty years without anyone laying claim to what is his and now he fears war? Why all of a sudden is he afraid of war he has proven that he is not a man easily defeated? Why is the opposing clan forging war now after almost 20 years gone by  to right a wrong done to them over the kidnapping of there newborn daughter? They had 20 years to bring forth a war and did not.But, now all of a sudden its time?To me that makes no sense.If my daughter was kidnapped from the very beginning I would have tried to find out who did the kidnapping  and why , then I would find the ones responsible and then would proceed with what must be done.The family would not go to war unless they had proof of the crime committed and who was responsible they would never risk innocents.So that meant they were never able to find the ones responsible.

Gavin is trying to convince his Laird and father that he will not agree to a betrothal in the mean time they are attacked and many lives lost and the Laird dead.They believe that the clan finally sought retribution for the kidnapping of there newborn daughter.Gavin now the new Laird flee's his castle and clan to go for aid of there King and left his army to defend his castle and his people.Stop right there that would never happen !Gavin now is the clans Laird .Who with a conscious would flee for help ? No, he would stand and defend his castle and his people.Men like him are groomed from birth to take over the position of Laird .Take away that its just so unbelievable that he would flee without caring what happened to his people.The person in charge would send someone from his trusted most warriors.That  to me is plausible scenario .

My other complaint .Gavin love interest with Elyn Douglas.Gavin meets Elyn on the way to the king.The couple meet and he finds out that she was there for the attack and she escaped for help.I applaud her for her courage.She is driven to save her family .But, seriously how long would a lone women survive traveling a week last with no protection or any real skills of protecting herself never mind the horrors the she could encounter from her enemies along the way.After they meet they decide to search for the king together. Along the way the seem to form a bond with one another maybe even something a little more.But,the whole time they traveled Elyn did nothing but blame Gavin for this attack because he just wouldn't marry when his father told him to.She belittled him,made nothing but disparaging remarks to him and constantly put him down.Now what man let alone a Laird would take that from a women even if some of it might be true no man with some pride at least would let that happen he would defend himself right? Not Gavin...he took it.During this time period no man would take that kind of treatment from a women or his women even if he respected her.Just not believable and then you actually start to fall in love with someone like that? Really Gavin ?The author I think was trying to paint Elyn as a heroine but it did not work.It just turned me off as reader.I love strong women even prideful ones and those with backbone a spine which Elyn had but all her other unlikeable traits over shadowed the good ones.

 Along there travels Gavin finds out that Elyn is actually the lost daughter.She has a distinctive birth mark from he parents and there is no denying who she is.Once reaching the King they brand him a traitor throw him in the dungeons not believing any of the story of what happened.Elyn then is returned to her family.What happens to Gavin's people now?Elyn figures who is behind the attack and takes off to save Gavin.She is now in the arms of her lost family.Her parents just got her back.They really don't know much about her or the people she called mother and father.Yet her father a Laird and warrior just lets his daughter take off to go rescue the man she is suppose to love.He doesn't send men of his own to rescue him he lets his daughter go instead ? Really ?I would think that after missing his daughter finally having her back after 20 years a father would not let her out of his sight.He would be overprotective and do everything he could to protect her for any harm ever again.Right ?

The conclusion of the story is that Elyn real parents lend there aid to battle the clan who really is responsible for declaring war on Gavin's clan.Once Gavin is home he declares that his wife to be will be joining him in the up and coming battle .She has a right to be involved since they were the ones who stole her at birth.Really Gavin ?Would you let the women you loved with all your heart go into battle with you ?The danger of losing her should be overwhelming right? Where is your protective instincts?I could understand letting her go to war if she were a trained warrior but, she was nothing but a poor farm girl.What did she learn about protecting herself ? How could Gavin be in the thick of battle and constantly worry about her safety the whole time while trying and stay alive himself ?The whole scenario just to unbelievable for me yet again.

Last but not least the story ended with so many unanswered questions surrounding the kidnapping. Why did they do it ? Granted they hinted they wanted another clan to take the blame not the ones who were really responsible.That I could understand them wanting the clans to have a riff between them.But, why wait so long to act ?Why did they chose to make a move now? How did she end up being brought up a Douglas ? Did her adoptive parents take part in the plot ?How did she come to be with them ? Not only these things the author used curse words or so called English slang words which would never have be uttered during the time period. Normally something like this I would over look but with a plot such as this it was impossible for me to do so. 

My final thoughts .After reading thousands of medieval novels learning the history surrounding that time period and the men and women in that time period you get to know what it was like for them, what was expected of them.I just could not see someone like Gavin truly survive in brutal times like this let alone become Laird the way this author portrayed him.Would I accept Elyn as the true heroine of this story ? Yes ,if there had been something to support her capabilities.But,there was not.She wasn't a trained warrior she didn't train for years to learn to protect herself or her loved ones she lived in a peace loving clan. How could someone like that be a savior ? This chick had no common sense at all.I am sorry to say that this story wasn't my cup of tea and leave it at that.

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