Beyond the Highland Mist by Karen Marie Moning

“He was known throughout the kingdom as Hawk, legendary predator of the battlefield and the boudoir.  No woman could refuse his touch, but no woman ever stirred his heart – until a vengeful fairy tumbled Adrienne di Simone out of modern-day Seattle and into medieval Scotland.  Captive in a century not her own, entirely too bold, too outspoken, she was an irresistible challenge to the sixteenth-century rogue.  Coerced into a marriage with Hawk, Adrienne vowed to keep him at arm’s length – but his sweet seduction played havoc with her resolve.  Despite her uncertainty about following the promptings of her passionate heart, Adrienne’s reservations were no match for Hawk’s determination . . .”  Book description.

Ack.  While I like romance in my stories, I rarely like romance novels – as much as I love men in kilts, this novel was no exception.  While I liked the fairy element of the story, I didn’t like much else.  I hate the stereotypical romantic hero:  gorgeous, unfazed by all women until he meets “the one”, hung like a horse, and superb in bed.  Misunderstood, as well – his reputation always hides his heart of gold.  I also hate the stereotypical leading lady: gorgeous but unaware of her beauty, a virgin but surprisingly skilled in lovemaking, and completely naive.  More than the stereotypes, I really hate it when the leading man forces himself upon the leading lady and it’s written as a romantic encounter.  Moning makes this mistake.  Adrienne has repeatedly told Hawk that she does not want a physical relationship with him -she’s lying and that’s another gripe of mine – but he believes her.  So, how does binding her hands, putting a hood over her head, and caressing her count as anything but rape?  If the leading lady does want the leading man, just have her be honest about it – and if they’re both into bondage, fine – but if it’s not clearly consensual, it’s not romantic.  Period.

Onto something else . . .

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3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    anneelliot said,

    Yeah, wow, I hate typical romance novels too. I refused to read them until a few years ago when the need for positive endings outweighed my repugnance. I still hate the sort you describe here, but have found others that I can handle and do not follow most of your (our) gripes. That said, the blurb clearly indicated romance novel, why’d you pick it up? Scotland?

    • 2

      lightheartedlibrarian said,

      Every once in awhile I feel the need to give Romance a try and every once in awhile I find one I actually like. I thought that the combination of fairies, time travel and romance held promise . . . I should have stopped reading when I started rolling my eyes.

      • 3

        anneelliot said,

        At least you try! A least you can say you went to the end and are sure it was not redeemable. Ah well.


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