When writing a review, I usually have a method to my madness. I start with some kind of hook to get the reader interested. Then I move into a brief synopsis of the plot. I then move on to some personal anecdotes outlining why I loved the book. Finally, I wrap it all up with some sweet thought that leaves the reader contemplating the values of humankind. Voila, my review! However, this time, I am doing things a little different. I'm just going to tell it like it is....I'm going to lay it on the line and just say WHY I liked this book. Somehow, I need to let you know what made me say, "Sorry, son, I can't make dinner right now. Mommy's reading. Go ask Daddy." or even "I can't help with your homework right now, can't you see I'm trying to finish this book? Go ask your dad." Wow....it's shameful, but it's the truth. Now why???
Reason 1: The setting. I've said this before and I'm sure I'll say it again, there is something about the Scottish Highlands that sweeps me away. I don't want to leave that magical, romantic place. Yes, it's cold and blustery, but it is also serene and epically beautiful with rolling mountains and heather-covered fields. Simply breath-taking.
Reason 2: The humour. I couldn't help but laugh out loud many times in this tale. The banter between the lovers had me giggling and I especially enjoyed the "talking to" that Brodick and Ramsey had to endure from dear old Uncle Morgan. Gillian's dear uncle was old and crotchety and very dear to Gillian. He had to endure the hysterics of both Gillian and Bridgid when the two women believed their men were not going to pledge their forever love. Uncle Morgan took his frustrations out on the two warriors, letting them know that they better be good to these women because he couldn't take their whining any more!
Reason 3: Hunky men. God....this book is filled with them! Iain Maitland is back. I fell in love with him in book 1 (The Secret). His dark, imposing figure sent me swooning then and now. And then there's the breathtakingly beautiful Ramsey Sinclair, described even by other men in the book as an "Adonis". Women flock to him in hordes, and I am sure that I would have been one of those fair maiden's chasing after this beautiful beast. And of course, our main hunk, Brodick Buchanan. His sheer size blocks out the sun and his long, flaxen hair and tanned skin take your breathe away. What more could a women want....beautiful, strong men and all of them wearing kilts, riding on horseback and carrying dirks!
Reason 4: Great female leads. I loved Gillian. She was a formidable woman, with a will to survive and a genuine love for others. She protected the young Alec Maitland from the evil Baron Alford with nothing other than courage and strength. She's my kind of gal....tough enough, yet gentle and knowing. The second strong female character that I enjoyed was Bridgid KirkConnell. She was a fiesty young beauty who was in love with Ramsey, but of course, kept her feelings a secret, until she befriended Gillian. I loved the way she would mutter how stubborn and arrogant Ramsey was one minute, and then suck in her breathe when she looked into his eyes. She sees his flaws, and still loves him. I know where she's coming from!
Reason 5: Action and mystery. This was a fast-paced book full of action and a bit of mystery that keeps the reader thinking. Who has that jeweled box and what is in it? I enjoyed the plot and the immediate adventure one takes from the very turn of the first page.
Reason 6: Love. Yes, I am a sucker for a good love story. Gillian finds herself unwittingly falling for a brute of a man, and even questions how she could fall so quickly. Love isn't supposed to happen so suddenly. Is it? The following quote is a question I have even asked myself. Can love grab you by the throat and leave you breathless.....or is it only a feeling that is nurtured with time? What do you believe?
Love wasn't supposed to happen this suddenly. Gillian spent most of the ride to Ramsey's holding thinking about Brodick and wondering how in heaven's name he had managed to capture her heart so completely in so little time. The man had all but robbed her of her senses. She was well aware of his flaws, most of them anyway, but she still loved him all the same, and how was such a thing possible? Love was supposed to be nourished. It was a slow realization that occurred afer months and months of courting, and sometimes that awareness took years. Love certainly didn't strike like lightning.
"Ransom" is book #4 in the 2011 Highlander Reading Challenge.