Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Review: Temptation in a Kilt by Victoria Roberts (ARC)

Rosalia has run away from her home, escaping an arranged marriage and her abusive family. She plans to seek out her grandmother who lives in the Highlands -- but Rosalia takes an unexpected detour when she is rescued by Ciaran MacGregor.

Ciaran does not want to be Rosalia's savior or protector -- he already has too many responsibilities to his clan and to his brothers. He's already busy fending off their rival clan, the Campbell's -- he does not want to have to defend Rosalia from whomever she is escaping from.

But Ciaran could not ignore Rosalia's quiet courage and determination -- and the harsh winters of Scotland. So, reluctantly, he brings her back to his home, troubles and all.

This is a wonderful tribute to the Highlands -- Roberts highlights the charms of the place and the people -- it is a place of healing for Rosalia -- not only of her body but also her spirit.

Rosalia suffered terribly in the care of her parents -- neglected and let down -- she does not have a sense of self worth ... Or a good body image.

And it is Ciaran and his family who teaches her that she is lovable as she is. Aisling welcomed her as a sister and she shared in the worry for Declan, the youngest MacGregor.

The story has a good mix of intrigue and danger -- the bloody Campbells pose a constant threat to the MacGregors, there is also Beathag, Ciaran's spurned mistress -- and there is Rosalia's family and the question of her ties to the Highlands.

There is comfort in the very domestic worries of Ciaran as laird. Ciaran and Rosalia are wonderful together -- there is a sense of support and companionship -- and an equal partnership between the two.

I am very interested in Declan's story -- bits of it are already hinted about towards the end of the book. It promises to be even more exciting than Ciaran and Rosalia's adventure.

I have two complaints about this novel. The first is the multiple use of the word "beautiful" -- it is used a total of 52 times.

They approached a clearing and she stopped. Never had she seen anything so beautiful. A flowing river with rushing water cascaded through jagged rocks. The smell of pine overwhelmed her senses.
- loc 960

(The next page)
"Tis just a beautiful sight. Truly, it takes my breath." She sighed, glancing from side to side.
- loc 964

A story set in the Highlands already has a heightened sense of romanticism but, to keep saying how beautiful everything is, is a bit too much.

The second is the use of the word "howbeit" -- it should mean however or nevertheless but it seems to also be used as "slang" for "how about" --

"Be thankful I havenae yet taken my sword to ye." He smirked, tapping her playfully on the arm. "Howbeit the fates have tempted me so."
- loc 125-138 --- used to mean "however" (?)

She handed him the wine sack and he took a healthy drink. "Howbeit we make a compromise?" he asked, handing it back. "I will answer what ye ask, and in return, ye have to answer what I ask."
- loc 532 --- used to mean "how about" (?)

I'm not knowledgeable with the language so I did have to stop every time it was used to decode it.

Which leads me to a question: do you prefer your stories written in "authentic" language? Or in a more neutral one?

*Temptation in a Kilt will be released this September 2012 in paperback and ebook.

Disclosure: I received the ARC through Netgalley. (Thank you to Sourcebooks for accepting my request.)


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