marginalia || Devil of the Highlands, by Lynsay Sands

I have a fondness for Highlanders–I got hooked on Karen Marie Moning’s stoic marshmallow Scotsmen. Highlander warriors are just so goddamned adorable most of the time, whether they like it or not. Oh well.

Of that Twitter giveaway from Avon Books about a month back, among the loot I got was Devil of the Highlands by Lynsay Sands. Given my preference for them Scotsmen, this was the first book I grabbed to read. I’d heard of Lynsay Sands before, but I hadn’t read her–there’s too much vampires running around, in my opinion. I found Devil of the Highlands to be a light read at first, and when I really got into it, it was just ridiculously funny. And Awwww. And, occasionally, slow. And not funny. It’s a strange little book, I tell you.

DEVILOFTHEHIGHLANDSThey call him the Devil . . . He is the most notorious laird of Scotland: fierce, cold, deadly . . . and maybe even worse. Yet Evelinde has just agreed to wed him. Anything, she thinks, is better than her cruel stepmother. Though Evelinde should be wary of the rumors, she can’t help but be drawn to this warrior . . . for the Devil of the Highlands inspires a heat within her that is unlike anything she has ever known. They may call him whatever they wish, but Cullen, Laird of Donnachaidh, cares only for the future of his clan. He must find a wife, a woman to bear him sons and heed his commands. He has no need for beauty or grace, but one taste of his lovely bride’s sweet lips and the sultry feel of her skin arouse an untamed passion. Perhaps there’s more to marriage than he thought. . .

First of all, I would like to thank Miss Sands for handing the name Cullen back its dignity. For the longest time, the name’s been blacklisted as skeevy and creepily virgin-ic, and glittery, and just a wee bit smarmy, in possession of history’s squick-est ever dialogues (“…and the lion fell in love with the lamb…” Susmaryosep.) If only for this, read the book.

*

[1] Did I get all giddy and tingly and went all out Awwww? Cullen is your quintessential less-talk-more-action, which I’m not really a fan of. But it was cute. It got annoying a couple of times, though–I mean, dude the entire plot could’ve been avoided if you’d just TALKED. But there were a couple of times where he was stumbling over how to “deal” with Evelinde, and what she needed from him, i.e., words.

[2] Did I find it funny? Occasionally. It’s actually a very lighthearted story, with so much foibles and scrapes, and laugh-out-loud and then face-palm scenes, especially concerning the things Evelinde goes through. (Best wedding ever, is when the bride’s head simply flops as an I do.) Sometimes Evelinde’s a dumb-ass. I get that you can be clumsy, I get that you can be terribly unlucky. But Evelinde takes the cake. It gets tedious, all her foibles. Bah.

[3] Did I appreciate that piece of beefcake on the cover holding an appropriately positioned broadsword? (He grows on you, he does.)

[4] Cullen really doesn’t seem like a freaking devil. See, Cullen got that reputation from a boatload of gossip he has never tried to quell. Dude’s a believer in Let them think what they want. The reputation’s useful in protecting his clan–after all, this is a person everyone believes killed his uncle, his father, and his first wife–although it causes a rift between his own people. Thing is, I would have hoped for some legitimacy, even a teensy shred of devil-ness to him, some widdle ruthlessness.

[5] Do these two people really like each other? I mean, are they really in love? Because they’re companionable, even fun, occasionally sexed up. But are they in love?

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