Genre: MF Historical Romance, explicit
Title: Never Seduce a Scot
Author: Maya Banks
Release Date: September 2012
Eveline Armstrong is fiercely loved and protected by her powerful clan, but outsiders consider her “touched.” Beautiful, fey, with a level, intent gaze, she doesn’t speak. No one, not even her family, knows that she cannot hear. Content with her life of seclusion, Eveline has taught herself to read lips and allows the outside world to view her as daft. But when an arranged marriage into a rival clan makes Graeme Montgomery her husband, Eveline accepts her duty—unprepared for the delights to come. Graeme is a rugged warrior with a voice so deep and powerful that his new bride can hear it, and hands and kisses so tender and skilled that he stirs her deepest passions.
Graeme is intrigued by the mysterious Eveline, whose silent lips are ripe with temptation and whose bright, intelligent eyes can see into his soul. As intimacy deepens, he learns her secret. But when clan rivalries and dark deeds threaten the wife he has only begun to cherish, the Scottish warrior will move heaven and earth to save the woman who has awakened his heart to the beautiful song of a rare and magical love.
What I Liked:
I read this book because it’s a historical romance in which one of the leads has a disability, something that I rarely come across. Eveline became deaf in an accident several years ago. She was a bit muddled at first from the fall, fever, and sudden loss of hearing, but eventually she learns to cope and can read lips very well. Her family, however, don’t realize this and thinks that she is “not all there” now. This works to her advantage, though, as she was engaged to a horrible man who she now doesn’t have to marry because of his ‘daftness.’
I liked how clever Eveline was. She was strong and independent, even though her family thought of her as weak and touched. She was great at coping with her disability, especially in a time when any kind of mental or physical difference was looked down upon. I also liked how strong-willed she was. She was stubborn and brave, even though this did lead to trouble, at times.
I also liked the hero, Graeme. He starts of as a bit of a obstinate prick, but once he starts to pay attention to Eveline, he becomes much more likeable. He is the only one to realize how smart she is. And he’s smart too, since he is the first person (after years!) to figure out that she is deaf. Their road to romance is a bit bumpy with clashes in personality added to being from rival clans, but eventually the characters work very well together and have a very sweet and loving relationship.
What I Didn’t:
There really is no set time period for this novel beyond “Scotland when it had it’s own king and clans had big rivalries.” Not that I really know anything about Scottish history, but I would still like to have a date to pinpoint the “when” part of the setting.
Also, there is a big plot point involving humiliation, which I don’t like. It didn’t involve Graeme or any type of sexual humiliation, but I still…I get really bad secondhand embarrassment. I’m a pretty empathetic person, so that type of stuff hits me hard, and I hate it.
The end also kind of gets crazy over-the-top, and rivalries are a little to conveniently fixed. But really, I should stop complaining about those type of things since they’re par for the course in romance novels.
Overall, I did enjoy this book. The heroine was strong and smart, and made all the more so by her ability to cope with her disability. The leads have good chemistry and a sweet romance, and I enjoyed their conversations and interactions. The lack of a time setting was a bit odd (just give me a year something!) and that plot point involving Eveline being humiliated (not by Graeme, thank goodness!) was awful for me to read. I understood it’s purpose, and I even saw it coming from a mile away, but I still cried when Eveline discovered her humiliation. That didn’t ruin the book for me, though, since I enjoyed everything else enough to (mostly) forget about that bit.
My Rating: 3.5/4 (Liked it. Maybe I’ll read it again someday, but I don’t think I’ll read any more in the series)