May 26, 2014

Charming the Shrew by Laurin Wittig (The Legacy of MacLeod #1)

Charming the Shrew by Laurin Wittig
Genre: Historical Romance
Bottom Line: An intriguing story with action, deception, and some delicious romance.  The characters are beautifully developed and so easy to get attached to.

Rating: 9

The Legacy of MacLeod
1.   Charming the Shrew
2.   Daring the Highlander

Synopsis (Goodreads):

Returning home to the Scottish Highlands after battling the English, Tayg Munro receives a hero’s welcome—and a shocking ultimatum. In order to take his place as heir to the chiefdom of Culrain, he must choose a wife within the month or have one chosen for him. Angered by his family's decree, Tayg delays the inevitable by volunteering for a mission for the king that takes him deep into the Highlands. Preoccupied by his marital obligation, the brooding warrior sets out with no hint of the fateful encounter that awaits him...
Catriona MacLeod is known throughout the Highlands as the Shrew of Assynt, thanks to her razor-sharp tongue and her unwillingness to yield to her five brothers. When she's told that her eldest brother has promised her hand in marriage to a man she has good reason to hate, she flees into the Scottish wilderness, determined to seek the king’s intervention in her plight. When she reluctantly joins forces with a handsome traveler, she cannot anticipate the treacherous plot that will soon embroil them—nor the passion that will ignite between them.

My Thoughts:

I absolutely loved this book.  It managed to be both deeply emotional and fun for me, and it really stuck with me after I finished it (which is why I've read it twice already!)  When Tayg returns home from war a hero, he finds that both his mother and pretty much every eligible woman in Scotland have plans for him to choose a wife.  In order to escape his impending doom/marriage, he sets off on a mission for his clan.  While he travels, he pretends to be a bard to avoid the fame that seems to follow his name.  Along his journey, he meets Catriona as she is fleeing from her horrible brothers and her own impending marriage.  Cat is as infamous as Tayg is famous; she is widely known for being an intolerable shrew of a woman.

I am glad that Wittig didn't make her characters completely blameless in their reputations.  Cat was known for being obnoxious...and that's because she was.  She did piss me off a few times with her shrieking and complaining.  Similarly, Tayg was quite cocky at times, and he needlessly provoked Cat when he was bored.  The reason I enjoyed this story was that we got to see Cat and Tayg help each other change their ways.  The passion between them was wonderful, but there was a lot more to their romance.  I really felt a connection with both of them as the story developed.

The plot was really exciting and held my attention.  There was action and humor (and romance of course), and it all flowed really well together.  As Cat and Tayg traveled, they chose to hide their true identities, which made for a fun twist and added some delicious deception to the plot.  Deception always manages to make me a wee bit emotional.  While I enjoyed the romantic aspects of the story along with the political conflict, I think this would be an acceptable book for those who prefer to have a more action-driven plot as well.          

Find it on: Amazon | Goodreads | Laurin Wittig         

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