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To Tame a Highland Warrior by Karen Marie…
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To Tame a Highland Warrior (1999)

by Karen Marie Moning

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hooked.. ( )
  Tara.Ross | Mar 14, 2014 |
The first book in Karen Marie Moning's Highlander series was just kind of okay, so I wasn't expecting much from the sequel. But I actually rather enjoyed it (I say "rather" when in reality I read the whole book in one afternoon).

I actually liked the hero and the heroine. Grimm, while still the self-pitying hero that plagues romance novels, is a very interesting character with an actually interesting oddity about him. Jillian's not the stereotypical firey heroine either, though she's certainly not some damsel in distress. Both characters find a nice balance between clichés.

The plot is actually pretty nice too. It's not so complicated that it gets lost in the romance, but it's not so simple that it leaves the book a plotless series of shmexy scenes. The only major fault I would care to mention is that the ending explanation is a little too hasty. I think it could've been expanded a little to properly match the expansive mystery of the rest of the book. It's like wrapping up an enthralling mystery by just saying, "Oh, the butler did it."

But overall, To Tame A Highland Warrior is a surprisingly good historical/fantasy romance. ( )
  BrynDahlquis | Dec 31, 2013 |
"I wake up wanting you. I fall asleep wanting you. I watch a magnificent sunrise and can think only of sharing it with you. I glimpse a piece of amber and see your eyes. Jillian, I've caught a disease, and the fever abates only when I'm near you." - Grimm Roderick

Wow! Talk about a whiplash TO THE EXTREME! I guess God really does reward you if you're patient and manage to avoid strangling (fictional) people. (Yes, Adrienne and Hawk, I'm talking about you two!)

So... second book was... interesting. I didn't get my wish to never see the dreaded main couple of the first book on paper EVER AGAIN, but at least their page-time was kept to the minimum. The second book focuses on Hawk's best friend, Grimm Roderick. Our "unlucky" lad, happens to be a Berserker, which means once he enters a state of bloodlust, it's nearly impossible to stop and/or to tell friend from foe. Having witnessed his father kill his mother in his blood-induced rage, Grimm abandons his home, his position of wealth, and his original name. Hiding from his heritage - and the McKanes that are after his kind - he is found in the woods by Jillian St. Clair and her father, who take him in. But his enemies draw close after a while, so he leaves the St. Clairs in order to protect them. Years later, we find him living in Dalkeith, as Hawk's best friend, as seen in the first book. And now, some time after his friend finally found the woman of his dreams and married her, Grimm receives a mysterious letter by Gibraltar St. Clair, telling him that Jillian needs him. He instanly rushes to Caithness, only to realize that the cunning old man has brought two more men in his home, with one thing in mind - marry his daughter off to the one who will manage to make her fall in love with him. Grimm wants nothing more than to flee as far away from this place as possible - no matter what his Berserker side wants to do with the only woman who ever held his heart. But Jillian, clever woman that she is, has other plans in store for her first childhood love...

To Tame A Highland Warrior was a definite improvement fromBeyond the Highland Mist - but it still lacked something which I can't name yet. In any case, I loved the main couple. I have already expressed how much I appreciate Grimm as a character - in the first book's review - and I don't mind repeating myself here: the man is wonderful! He's honorable - sometimes to the point of driving the readers and Jillian mad - , sweet, funny, protective, and reliable - all the things a true Alpha male should be. He denies himself his one true love because he fears he'll hurt her, and, since Berserkers can't really enjoy lovemaking unless it's with their destined mate, he had to keep his distance from erotic acts in general, which makes his case even more adorable.

Buried beneath a mound of rubble-the debris from a past she was beginning to suspect had been more brutal than she could comprehend there was a very real, vulnerable man.
She'd seen in his stark gaze that he desired her, but more significantly, that he had feelings so deep he couldn't express them, and subsequently did everything in his power to deny them.

Jillian was one of the most intelligent young women I've read about, and the most understanding - no wonder she was able to instantly pick up his quirks and decipher his attitude and manners. And seeing as she's my age, this gave her even more of a boost in my list - girls at that age simply don't think reasonably and they certainly don't show any sign of understanding and open-mindedness, of acceptance. She knows what she wants, and she's not afraid to go after it - in fact, she refuses anything but what she desires, leaving no room for compromises. She's not a "hot'n'cold" gal, which is another plus, as this shows maturity and a steady character with depth. And her mind really works, catching all the signs and later on working them out to find the truth.

"I would live any kind of life I had to live, so long as I lived it with you, Grimm Roderick."

Almost all the other characters were as lovely as ever. If there's one thing I like about Karen Marie Moning, it's her secondary characters. They make me fall in love with them and wish they had their own HEA. Take Quinn for example. I loved Quinn. Even though the sweet, romantic prince is not my type, Quinn honestly managed to make my girly side swoon. The only thing I found negative was Kaley's obsession to have Jillian marry him - of course, it's not the guy's fault that the obnoxious woman got stuck with that idea just because she saw Mr. Prince Charming. I still ended up cursing his name by the 4th time I read about Kaley running her trap about him and Jillian... Like anyonecared about that pairing when we could actually have something much better with Jillian and Grimm united...

Same goes with Elizabeth. What is wrong with that woman?! Why can she not decide what she wants? First, she wants Quinn to be her son-in-law, then she says she wants Jillian to choose with her heart, and then, when said heart chooses Grimm, she's against that decision. Oh, but wait, she actually comes around when she sees how much her daughter loves the Berserker, only to frown again when he abducts her from her fake wedding with Quinn. What is with some of those women that follow in Adrienne's path when it comes to deciding? Oh, dear Lord, the headache...

At least Jillian was nowhere near that failure of feminity. So there's that, at least.

The world-building is as professional as ever, the accents one of the best part of Moning's writing, and of course, the humor never seems to stop. Sarcasm seems to be her strong feature, and she uses it well and to her advantage, to make the story more lively and interesting - as if it wasn't enough to have a unique plot and characters. And the love scenes were scorching hot!

He caught her questing hand and pinned it against the wall above her head. Only when he had secured both her hands did he change the tempo of the kiss, turning it into a teasing, playful flicker of his tongue, probing, then withdrawing, until she was gasping for more.

Compared to the first book, this one was by far better. But, like I said, there was something missing, something that kept me from fully enjoying it, and for the life of me, I can't find what it is that's missing. Still, even with that little detail to serve as a personal bother, Grimm's story was marvellous and with many incredible twists!

"And the daughter wed the lion king... I love you, Gavrael McIllioch." - Jillian St. Clair. ( )
  Lydia_Perversius | Dec 21, 2013 |
One of my all time favorite KMM titles. Grimm is a wonderful hero. When I read Beyond the Highland Mist I hoped he would get his own HEA. I was so happy to read this book starring him. ( )
  SephOfErebus | May 22, 2013 |
I enjoyed this book better than the first one, but overall I need more action in a romance. The audio narration was great - love Phil Gigante. ( )
  hoosgracie | Apr 24, 2013 |
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Hear me Odin, I summon the Beserker! I Gravrael Roderick Icarus McIllioch, offer my life - nay, my soul - for vengeance. I command the Berserker!
Politely inquire? You call a barely grunted and entirely put-upon-sounding 'what' a polite inquiry? A 'what' that says 'how dare you invade my space with your pitiful sounds? A 'what' that says, 'could you please go die somewhere else, peahen?
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0440234816, Mass Market Paperback)

Only her love could gentle his savage soul—

He was born to a clan of warriors of supernatural strength, but Gavrael McIllioch abandoned his name and his Highland castle, determined to escape the dark fate of his ancestors. Hiding his identity from the relentless rival clan that hunted him, he called himself Grimm to protect the people he cared for, vowing never to acknowledge his love for ravishing Jillian St. Clair. Yet even from afar he watched over her, and when her father sent an urgent summons, "Come for Jillian," he raced to her side—into a competition to win her hand in marriage.

Why had he run from her so many years before? And why return now to see her offered as a prize in her father's manipulative game? Furious, Jillian vowed never to wed. But Grimm was the man she loved, the one who urged her to marry another. He tried to pretend indifference as she tempted him, but he could not deny the fierce desires that compelled him to abduct her from the altar. She was the only woman who could tame the beast that raged within him—even as deadly enemies plotted to destroy them both....

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:17:52 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Born to a clan of warriors of supernatural strength, Gavrael McIllioch had abandoned his name and castle in an effort to escape the dark fate of his ancestors, and watches over ravishing Jillian St. Clair from afar, but when her father summons him, Gavrael races to compete for his love's hand in marriage.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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