Awaken the Highland Warrior - Anita Clenney

 Where to begin? This book barely squeaked by with 2 stars. There were a few 3 star moments, but a good half of the book was 1 star drivel.

I almost shoved this book on my DNF shelf. I think it was chapter 11 before I decided I might as well finish it, and at that point it felt very much like 'must-read-entire-book'.

The paranormal aspects were completely uninspired. Angels & Demons yawn and a late arrival of vampires. Couple with that a simple time travel trunk and it feels like a poor mish-mash of Sherrilyn Kenyon and Karen Marie Moning. Which would be okay if some of the authors choices didn't drive me absolutely buggy while reading. Here are a few examples.

1.) The pop-culture references were annoying. There were at least 8 (I quit counting) - ranging from Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (mild) to Lord of the Rings (felt totally cheesy). It seems like they were used in place of good writing. For example the LotR reference was about an Orc, like 'don't those demons look like Orcs'. Come on, use your imagination and write something original! Your audience will thank you for it!

2.) The sheer number of times I had to read about Bree "clothing, feeding and sheltering" Faelan. As in 'you should thank me, I fed you!". News flash lady, it's not attractive, polite or even noble to remind someone why they should be indebted to you. You help because you want to, not so that you can manipulate. All in all, the recitation of this innumerable times did not endear me to Bree. I wanted her to use some wit, heart, sass, whatever else she could to beat Faelen over the head - NOT food. BORING and, oh yeah, uninspired.

3.) Real lack of time travel concept. I couldn't get over how 'modern' Faelen had become in 24 hours. He understood things like the television, photography, pasteurization, and, my personal favorite, had this very stunning bit of dialogue "I miss my mom". Ultimate eyeroll. I am convinced that Faelen needed to wear a kilt so that we were reminded that he was supposed to be of Scottish/Irish heritage from 1860.

4.) And I'll stop here - and this is purely opinion and personal preference - the usage of 'tarnation' and 'damnation'. Sigh. They are period appropriate, but feel very contrived nonetheless. If you're going to mix modern and old speech patterns, at least do it convincingly. If felt very awkward to read every.time.

Some of the Scotland scenes dragged a bit. Overall, I did finish the book though. Despite the constant questioning and the misjudgements that bordered on silly towards the end between our Hero and Heroine, I was hooked enough to want to see their HEA.