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Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Title:  Spell of the Highlander
Author:  Karen Marie Moning 
Publisher:  Dell
ISBN: 0440240972

4 Stars


Powerful. Sensual. Seductive. He is all that is shamelessly erotic in a man. In her sexiest Highlander novel yet, New York Times bestselling author Karen Moning stirs up a sizzling brew of ancient mystery and modern passion as she brings together a devilishly handsome Celtic warrior trapped in time . . . and the woman who’s about to pay the ultimate price for freeing him. Age-old secrets haunt them. Deadly danger and irresistible desire shadow their every move. It’s a relationship for the ages. And all that separates them is a mere thirteen hundred years. . . .

Karen Marie Moning may be better known for her Fever series, but her rich and occasionally rather purple, prose has been catering to romance readers’ long before Mac and Barrons came into the spotlight. She was responsible for a good seven and half books of pure Highlander deliciousness, a series that ended with a bang, or should I say, multiple bangs.. Well a heck of a lot of banging, as featured in the last novel of the lot, Spell of the Highlander.

Now I generally suck at synopses, (what do you know, I got that word well spelled in the first try), so forgive me for merely relaying the gist. And what is it comprised of? Brainiac heroine, Jessica St. James, assistant to a university professor and virgin de rigueur, whose life is forever altered after reluctantly accepting a mysterious crate in said professor’s name. And what does the crate contain, pray tell? Nothing but a man-sized looking glass with whole lotta ensorcelled Highlander inside. Why the hell do I only get junk mail and fast food coupons?

Needless to say, things get dangerous real quickly, as the baddie of the book, the powerful sorcerer responsible for Cian MacKeltar’s sordid entrapment in the mirror wants him desperately back. His immortality is at stake if he doesn’t get his hands back on his most prized possession and he’s got a little over twenty days to do so. Of course he’s willing to kill everyone and everything in sight to do so, including poor unfortunate Jessi.

Well, unfortunate might not be the best descriptor after all, not when Jessi decides to aid Cian in his struggle to get free from his enemy. The greedy arse mofo has kept him imprisoned within the glass for over 1000 years. Yes, Jessi’s life is in jeopardy, but Cian agrees to protect her in return, and boy is he one formidable protector. He’s sexy, he’s huge (oh yeah… aren’t they all), he’s from the ninth century and his speech is peppered with the doonas and cannas any Highlander worth his salt is supposed to use. His ways may be slightly (or very) archaic, he might occasionally treat Jessi in a me-tarzan-you-jane way (and this is actually a line in the book) but who cares. Cian Mackeltar stays true to the tradition of the blindingly sensual MacKeltar men Moning already introduced us to in Kiss of the Highlander and The Dark Highlander, Books 4 and 5 respectively. True fans will be delighted to know Drustan and Dageus and their oh so lucky wives actually make an appearance in this installment.

Spell of the Highlander contains a heaping dose of all those things Karen Marie Moning enthusiast appreciate about her, an undercurrent of humor, and a larger than life alpha hero that scorches the pages with his kilted self, a slightly whiny but ultimately compelling heroine and an intricate, well thought out plot. The stakes are high in this last installment, and the battle between good and evil achieves apocalyptic proportions. And I just have to add, no one does sexual tension like this author, or at least very few excel the way she does. This may not be my favorite book in the series, as that title belongs to Kiss of the Highlander, but it’s a solid four out of five read for me. Why did it loose a point? Perhaps because it just didn’t affect me emotionally the same way as the aforementioned book, or Immortal Highlander (Adam Black’s book) did. Nevertheless, there’s still a rich, thick decadent serving of romance and action in this one. Yes, Jessi and Cian’s inability to keep their hands off each other and their constant humping like energizer bunnies on any surface they could find was just a tad over the top, but hey, give me Cian and I might just turn into a Jessi myself. Like with any of Moning’s Highlander books, it’s made to enjoy, not to analyze. And it’s quite a light, enjoyable page turner in fact.


Karen Marie Moning's sites:
Highlander Webpage

1 comment:

Laurie (BittenbyParanormalRomance) said...

Great review. I agree while good this one didn't hit my favroite in the series.

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