A Highlander Never Surrenders (MacGregors, #2) - Paula Quinn
Satan's balls, err satan's rancid balls, Claire could have saved Paula Quinn a lot of time by just doing what she does best; letting Claire's overwhelming blood lust rule. Paula could have forgone the history references and "romance" and just had Claire ride thru the country offing every potential suspect in her brother's death. But, gee, without Graham, how would she be carrying a bairn at the same time?Really, if Claire wasn't plotting to run away or kill her captors, would be captors, would be husbands, would be royalists, royalists or other acquaintances, she was ogling Graham's thighs, shoulders, lips, hair, sword. Which is fine, all Graham did was ogle back. Umm...Of course she has hips Graham, she's wearing pants. Most woman have hips when you take them out of a sack dress and stuff them in pants. Voila!So that, ladies and gentlewomen, is 70% of the book. Body parts and blood lust. Don't get me wrong, I liked this book better than it's predecessor. It had more action, thankfully, and because we'd seen him in a prior book, Graham was a worthy hero to read about. And if you like uber tomboys on steroids, than Claire is your kind of heroine.It's just that, well, Paula Quinn does little work with characterization. Instead the pages are filled with flowery paragraphs about physical attributes. Truly, I would have rather read about Robert falling in love with Anne rather than the two battlezoids determined to best the other. At least he had some sense of who he was beyond the short sided view of 'who could I kill tomorrow'. Or in Graham's case, 'if I'm not killing someone tomorrow, who could I bed?'. C'mon, even 'tough' people who are dedicated to meting out justice have more going on than acting brutish or roguish. There was a very noteworthy argument in the last 4 pages of the book, which was telling and perhaps provides hope that other Paula Quinn books could contain the kind of characters I read for, the kind that make you cheer, smile, laugh, cry. He whilred his horse around to leave her, but stopped when a small rock struck him in the back. Turning slowly, he glowered at her, then dismounted and stalked toward her like a predator after it's prey. "In case ye have forgotten, I was shot.""You said you were fine." She faced his most lethal look and fisted her hands on her hips. "Do you think to leave me?""D'ye think to stop me by hurling rocks at me?" Smiles :)