Monday, January 15, 2007

McClairen's Isle: The Reckless One by Connie Brockway

This was Raine's story and I admit to being disappointed. Raine is the second son of the Earl of Carr and the one that suffered the most as he grew up. His father despised him because he looked so much like his dead mother (a mother that Carr killed). Carr ignored Raine as much as possible and when Raine started rebelling in hopes of garnering any attention from his father, Carr left him to the wolves.

Raine was accused of raping a novice and the McClairen's who sought vengeance on Carr tried to murder him. He was saved by a young lass who made a death bed promise to her mother to save Raine in hopes that the King would spare her own children imprisoned as jacobite traitors. Carr arrived while the clan argued with the young girl and proceeded to slaughter the remaining clan members in a political move that would leave the McCairen lands unchallenged and his for the taking. The girl was left behind with the guilt of having caused her clan's destruction.

Raine eventually found himself in a French prison being ransomed to a father that didn't want him. After four years in prison he had lost all hope until a woman shows up and takes him away from the stench of the prison. He originally thinks that she is a seductress that takes her pleasure from the convicts but he discovers that she is not who she pretends to be. The young woman has fooled the authorities in letting her take him out of the prison but not for seduction, but for a distraction that will allow her male companion to escape the smuggler's noose while she herself escapes to Scotland. Raine thinks he is just arranging passage to Scotland for a widow and her child and finds himself betrayed again.

When they meet again it is under Lord Carr's roof where Raine is searching for a treasure in jewels his mother left behind and Favor McClairen,the girl that saved him both in his youth and in prison, is out to marry Lord Carr in an effort to set to rights the debt she feels she owes her clan.

I felt the story drag a bit and found myself not really interested in finishing the book itself. I did finish it though. The problem was that everything appeared to be too neatly wrapped. Although Raine hated his father, the character didn't really show much hatred, just indifference. Although he had been left to rot in the prison, he showed no emotional scars. I was expecting a very damaged hero and I was presented with a devil may care man who was way too honorable for his own good. It was just not believable, especially after reading how Ash held his guilt and suffering so close to the surface. Favor was TSTL. Her determination to let everyone around her walk over her because of some sense of guilt was too much to bear.

The last book in the series is Fia's story in The Ravishing One. Her hero will be Thomas Donne, Favor's brother who we met in the first book in the trilogy. Honestly I will not be picking up her book, althouh it's in my TBR pile. I didn't connect to Fia in any of the books and have no interest in seeing her find her HEA.

Grade: C-


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