Honest Synopsis: A physically-abused-by-father woman is known as feisty throughout the Scottish lands, and she is made to marry a MacKenzie when her sister’s hopeful MacKenzie betrothal decides to marry another. She is resigned to her fate and promises to be the good wife she is meant to be, refuting her strong-will and feisty behavior. The MacKenzie clan is considered honorable, but Kade also seems to be a brute, without mercy, and a scoundrel. He refuses to consummate their marriage when she is so afraid of him, but then it turns out to be a BDSM book halfway through and then nothing will make sense. Seriously.

Let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time, I decided to go skydiving on a whim with a few friends. Now, while I knew I wanted to jump, I am a very meticulous person when it comes to what people tell me they are going to do. I listen to details, and I assume people are not only telling me the truth, but that they will be following through with what they are promising. This, of course, isn’t with total strangers, but with friends and people who are giving directions on how to not die while hurtling towards Earth from 13,000 feet at 120 miles per hour.

I say this because when I was told by my partner that was going on the tandem with me that we would be practicing how to jump out of the plane before taking off, and I was nervous as fuck, I had complete faith that we would be following the agenda placed.

We got dressed into our suits. We had harnesses wrapped properly around us. We were quickly taught how we would be crouching, holding our straps, the feel of the tap when it was okay to feel as if we were flying in the air, and bending our knees during free-fall. We went out toward the plane. We decided how we would file into the plane to see who would jump out first and last. We then got into the plane.

Anyone who knows me knows that I ask questions. A lot. I like to make sure I am not only clear, but that I clearly understand someone else. Throughout the entire time we were getting ready, I had been asking questions, and I had already asked about when we would practice jumping from the plane. All of the other people had instructors going over their exit plan, but mine was so nonchalant that he had said we would eventually get to it. I didn’t want to make it seem as if I didn’t trust him. I had to trust him. With my life. Literally.

We filed into the plane. I thought, ‘We must jump out of this plane together to practice.’

The plane started. I thought, ‘We must be jumping while we move to make it more realistic.’

The plane caught off ground. I thought, ‘We must get a few feet off of the ground before practice jumping.’

We caught flight and we kept going up. I was getting more nervous than my original nervous state. I thought, ‘How high do we have to be before we practice this jump? It isn’t worth this much effort.’

You have to understand. I don’t like roller coasters or the feeling of being pulled down faster than gravity allows. It is unnatural, and my organs aren’t the biggest fans of being jostled around in their cavity. Despite researching skydiving so I would know exactly what I was getting into, I was on edge, worried it was all wrong. And I had been told we would be practicing. I clung to that like a lost child in a jungle with a compass engraved with the words Just Go North.

At about 5,000 feet, the door opened and I panicked because I didn’t even have my goggles on — my tandem partner had said we’d get them adjusted just before we jumped, and he had lied! Two people jumped out and the door closed. I thought, ‘Okay. Maybe we go down and practice, pick them up again, then climb back up to actually jump from the 10 mile mark.’ I really wasn’t getting it.

I turned to my tandem partner and said, “What were they doing?”

“Oh, an emergency jump practice. They’re in the military, so they are practicing in case they have to jump from a plane early, learning how quick to pull their parachutes from the plane and such.”

“Ah.”

The plane kept climbing.

I finally turned to my partner again and said, “What about my goggles?”

“Oh, don’t worry,” he said. “We’ll get those on soon. We’ve got just a couple minutes more.”

“So… we’re jumping.” I don’t think I gulped because I didn’t have any saliva to do so.

“Yep! Second in!”

He adjusted my goggles a minute later, moments after I accepted my fate of never getting to practice falling out of a plane. Thirty seconds after that, my friend had a controlled fall from the plane, and I watched as he disappeared from sight like loose papers zipping out of your open window while going 75mph down the highway.

I shook slightly as we moved into position to go next. We had someone who was diving with us for fun, so he climbed out first. He smiled at me, giving me a head nod. I looked down and felt a sense of calm come over me. I later saw a picture of me that showed that I had been smiling.

The first five seconds of your first dive places your body into a panic mode. What the fuck did you just do? Did you just voluntarily jump from a plane 13,000 feet above ground into where only clouds can judge you? How can you not feel the wind but know that it is there? Your lungs are begging you to do something, but you can’t figure out what — your lungs are demanding to be used, but you are too conscious of  every single detail right now to determine how to do what your body naturally does.

Then you remember that you’ve been looking down this entire time and you look up.

Nothing else mattered when I looked up. I saw the clouds around me, the skyline, the sun, and I didn’t even feel like I was falling. Gravity is actually the most pleasant mistress in all the land. I had never felt so at home, so in tune with the world, so at peace. There weren’t any thoughts, just awe.

The other jumper came into my view, and I looked at him in wonder. He smiled and came close, holding out his hand. I took it and we spun around. I am pretty sure I giggled like a little girl in delight. When I released his hand, he showed me how to play with the wind, moving his legs and arms in certain ways that would cause him to drop below or above us. He went to our side, and I gazed out at the horizon again, warmth spreading in my chest.

It was so gods damn it all beautiful.

Those sixty seconds of free-fall are burned into my brain. And the silence from pulling the parachute to descend was a blissful time to contemplate the surge of emotions ranging from disappointment at it ending to complete gratitude that it happened at all.

I’ve recently gone on this endeavor again. And I would do it again. And again. Because there is nothing compared to that feeling of freedom, the feeling as if being embraced by the world.

You may be wondering why I am bringing this up.

It was my turn to pick our book. And it took forever. I really wanted a strong female, someone who took her fate into her own hands and wouldn’t be a wuss when it came to tough matters. And I found the photo art for any Scottish romance novel to be hilarious as it focused on abs. Couldn’t I get both?

I searched high and low until I found Highlander: Taken by Juliette Miller, which got more decent and well thought out reviews over the many other series. It spoke of how there was finally a strong female lead, as well as how wonderfully different the book was written.

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There can only be ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooone!

I also really, really, really wanted to make that very obvious joke.

So, we start off the story with our lady Stella at a large party with all of her sisters and two cousins. They are hoping to be celebrating a marriage between Stella’s sister, Maisie, and Wilkie MacKenzie, a union that would not only bind their clans but also bring about a better life at their manor as their father has been slowly dying.

Stella is unimpressed with the whole party, wishing to leave to the confines of her room rather than deal with all of the men leering in their direction. She notices the MacKenzie brothers when they enter, and her eyes drift to the seemingly restless Kade. However, it was her love for her sister that keeps her where she stands, not the men.

Why is she so distant during a time when most young ladies would be happy to mingle and flirt with eligible bachelors? Stella had once already been in love with a kind and soft soul, Caleb. It was an innocent love, but after being a part of the brutal affairs of her father and his guards for being disobedient, he was a welcoming warmth that she had hoped to one day marry. Her father, however, would not allow the marriage and banished Caleb from their lands to never return under penalty of death. When Stella attempted to run away with Caleb, her father had her beaten, as many times before, to teach her a lesson of never defying the spoken law. Wild with anger, she tried to fight back against the lashings, landing a few hits with a stolen knife, but ultimately paying a larger price for the defiance.

This has left Stella empty, heartbroken at first; it quickly turned into a hard heart, one that would never trust or feel again.

That is until she met the shadow man in the garden.

Despite clear orders to never be without a companion when not in her father’s presence, she slips out the door into the candlelit garden down a narrow path to clear her head. She feels elated at having left without her father’s guards knowing because this ultimately means she won’t be getting beaten. That thin line is so fun to play with, right? Totes worth the moments alone she could have gotten by simply going to her room for the same peace of mind.

I’m sorry, this is our strong female lead character. Of course she would continue to go against her father’s wishes despite years and years of physical abuse from any male but one she came into contact with. My bad.

A gust of wind swirls through, dousing the candles, placing her into total darkness. She realizes she had better get back to the party as her eyesight adjusts or else she will be discovered and beaten. As she makes her way up the path, stumbling, she realizes that someone else is within the shadows. Before she can hit the ground, firm hands grasp her, pulling her against him. He whispers that he won’t hurt her, she believes him, and then he starts to make out with her.

So much for Caleb from two weeks ago.

But the kiss is so much that Stella wants him anywhere and everywhere at once. She can’t tell who he is in this darkness, but he is an escape from everything she has dealt with, and, well, he was a really good kisser.

When they hear her name being called, the stranger breaks away and begins to lead her to the manor safely. By the time she can find her way on her own, he leans down and whispers, “I will taste more of you, Stella. I have not had nearly enough. I want you as my own.”

Question: You have been beaten by almost every male you’ve come into contact with, the one person you want as a fiance has been banished, and you’ve practically become a husk of a person until you have a stranger kiss you in the dark without your permission. He then threatens to treat you just as every other male has, except that one kind soul, with making you a female object in his life. Does this not ring any alarm bells for you, or was the kiss really that good.

This apparently doesn’t matter as she reunites with her sisters. She realizes that, indeed, the inception with the stranger has caused Caleb to fade from her memory a tad. Things with Caleb had always been tender, pure. This kiss with the phantom was so passionate and thrilling, much more to her tastes she didn’t realize she had.

During her internal misgivings on her emotions, Maisie comes over with Wilkie and Kade in tow. When Kade speaks to her, she feels as if his voice is somewhat familiar, but she compared his shape and figure to that of the phantom and decided he was too tall and quick for such behaviors. Plus, she reasoned, he hadn’t even used her proper name, nor did he smell the same.

Spoiler alert! Kade is the masked Tuxedo Kamen.

tuxedomask2-1

Captain Obvious’ lesser cousin Admiral Perhaps even smelled this a mile away.

She has a rather frank discussion with Kade, answering his questions honestly and without remorse. He says he finds her insolent, but enjoys that aspect about her. Actually, he says this, to be exact: “On the contrary, I find insolence in women very intriguing–it happens to be a affliction that I’m able to cure almost entirely under the right circumstances.”

Um, what? Excuse me? Do what now?

He makes her nervous and finds that he also makes her afraid with his brute strength. He continues to flirt with her unabashedly, which she is confused by as he is brash with his words, crude and arrogant.

She finally concludes: “He was too intense, too fiery, too confident, too masculine, too everything.

However, she is saved from herself being rude to get him off her case by the commotion of his brother, Wilkie, holding a woman (not her sister) closely from the grasp of another, who had obviously been trying to manhandle her. He quickly leaves with the blonde before questions could be asked, but it is quite clear that Maisie won’t be too happy with the marriage arrangements she suddenly won’t be a part of.

The next day holds the fighting events for the clansmen who have made their way to the MacKenzie’s.

Which brings me to one of many confusing points. The clan that Stella is a part of, they were hoping to have Wilkie marry into the Morrison clan so he would not only take over, but so they would have connections with the other important clans in case someone were to take over their almost penniless manor. However, despite their weakened state, they left their manor quite defenseless by taking their best warriors, all of the ladies, and the laird (Stella’s Father). Campbell, whom is a constant threat for war, could easily have just taken over the estate before they had even come home. Especially since there seem to be a good few weeks during this whole affair before they even come home.

But, who cares about war? Let’s place our best warriors against each other so we won’t have anyone to defend the clans!

While Wilkie’s missing presence is noted, Kade takes the floor to defend himself against not only two Morrison soldiers and wins, but goes against a first officer of their clan as well, Aleck, a man whom had a childhood crush on Stella when they were but fourteen. Stella had turned him down then, and when Aleck tried to make her his wife by asking her father for his hand, her father even turned him away due to his lowly status.

You know, for someone who seems to hate his daughter so much that he has to beat out her spirit, he certainly seems to care a great deal about making sure she has only the best of the best for her husband.

And as if that weren’t enough, while he told Aleck that he couldn’t have his daughter as his wife, he did give him the rights to beat her when she wasn’t doing what he wanted, so…there’s that.

This is the most fucked up community I have read about yet.

Needless to say, Kade quickly puts Aleck in his place. And before Stella realizes fully what is happening, she is being summoned to speak with her father to discuss something important immediately after the match.

The important information is that Stella is now to be married to Kade since the relations with Wilkie were dissipated after he said that he was willing to leave the MacKenzie clan to marry the fair maiden that he had taken back with him the night prior. The new pact would be with Kade, who said that he wanted Stella and no other. Stella refuses and is promptly slapped for trying to go against her father’s wishes.

Aleck isn’t too please by this, either. Trying to take advantage of her state, he tries to use her father’s words of “take any means necessary to ensure my daughter’s obedience”  as “You can go ahead and rape my daughter.” while taking her back to her chambers. Easy mistake. Totally understandable.

Luckily, she runs away into Kade’s arms while running away from Aleck instead, and he takes her to her chambers with only her fears of ever being alone with Aleck again to soothe her.

Two weeks later, Stella is marrying Kade, stoic and emotionless. She has begun to hear rumors of her husband from her sisters, ones that claim he does “unspeakable things” in the private chambers. The exact words from a distant cousin were, “spent the whole night in a state of terrified ecstasy”. That it was so good that the cousin begged him to do it again, even wrote a letter before his wedding telling him to spend just one more night. After a discussion with her closest relative ladies, she has determined herself to a doomed marriage with a hellion.

Buffy and Angel had their problems, too — demon, brute love is complicated.

When the moment comes where they are to consummate the marriage, Stella is all nerves and clenched fists. Their ceremony had been sealed chastely, but she knew it wouldn’t be as such in the bedroom, not with the rumors.

But when he tells her to spread her legs (or he’d force her to — charming), he simply cuts his arm and uses his blood to rub along her thighs and intimate areas to fool anyone who would be looking to make sure their marriage wasn’t a sham. He makes her promise to never speak of anything that does or does not happen within their chambers to be kept private, and then they go to bed.

This is, of course, after he arrogantly tells her that she isn’t as adverse to his touch as she thinks she is. Because despite him saying he would clinically distribute his blood, he did a little action to make her want his touch a bit more in her area, if you know what I mean.

Blood = Fantastic Lubricant

We’re going to learn a lot here, people.

This is how their relationship continues:

  1. Stella doesn’t want anything of a sexual nature to happen
  2. Kade doesn’t care and pushes her toward what she doesn’t want, making statements that border an oddly abusive nature — because that is how you get a woman to be in your good graces
  3. Stella finally gives in to a small fraction of enjoyment after it has been forced upon her
  4. Kade smiles in smug satisfaction that he is indeed manly, ego stroked, and goes along his way
  5. Stella feels ashamed of her actions but slowly wants Kade more feverishly as he tells her she will want him anyway
  6. I pull my own hair and grind my teeth in frustration at such assholery

***WARNING! WARNING! KADE IS A MANIPULATIVE DICKFACE!***

I’m not kidding you. People keep throwing the words “The MacKenzies are honorable!” and then Kade keeps disputing it with lines like curing women of their insolence, binding them to their beds, telling her that he will take what is his eventually, and saying that the consummation will happen with Stella’s participation, giving him whatever he asks of her.

He literally says, “I would prefer  not to force you.” So, what, that means you would if she never actually gave in? His compromise is that they will wait a month to have her get used to being married to him, so she will eventually trust him and come to terms “with all that being a wife requires.” Even though his “want” is “threatening to overtake” his “well developed practices of both discipline and control.”

I’m so glad you’re manly enough to keep your monster self at bay for her benefit.

Good fucking gods.

But I had such faith. The story is about a physically abused woman, supposedly made strong, making it in her world. I swore that it would be just fine because the story wouldn’t lie to me. I missed all of these red flags, just assuming this was some odd way men in Scotland flirted with women, (by going against their wishes of being touched and assuming the bodily reactions was her actually wanting what she kept saying she didn’t want — you know, sexual assault shit she was probably just “asking for” anyway) and that I was only angry at his egotistical lines due to this being placed so far in the past. Of course this is how they would treat a woman. I blamed myself for deciding to read about the past, as anything else would historically be inaccurate.

I was given my last shred of hope when the couple are forced to pack quickly to go to Laird Morrison due to a threat from Laird Campbell. In Kade’s anger, Stella believes that Kade is going to hit her and throws up her hands.

It is in this moment that Kade finds out the years of physical abuse Stella has been through. He coaxes her sternly to tell him who has done it, then swears on his life that she will never come to harm as long as he is alive — she is protected by his body and his sword. With that devotion said, she goes to him and kisses him, bringing about emotions she hadn’t felt since about one hundred pages ago.

That’s right, she finally realizes that her savage of a brute husband is the gentle and insistent phantom from the garden.

This suddenly opens all of the floodgates for Stella. Now, she wants him, month be damned. But he sticks to his promise. Because honor and all that.

Yep. Honor. Let’s get back to that later.

Coming back home is a bit embarrassing for Stella, however. Kade sees how lazy their clan is, from rotting gardens to using the limited amount of food storage that is left rather than hunting for fresh meat. Basically, the clan is not only on the verge of being the stomping grounds for a war, but also on almost killing themselves in winter anyway.

And her father is worse for wear, steadily succumbing to what we now know as Alzheimer’s…or cancer? Why not both?! Either way, he is being easily persuaded to dislike the original arrangement with Kade taking over as laird 0f the clan due to his inability to properly think straight, and his condition which causes him to cough blood everywhere in an unceremonious-like behavior.

A good couple of weeks living in the new manor, things are tense but are getting better, at least with the people. At first disliked, Kade has been earning respect, and the house actually has fresh food rather than whatever they can find on their own. And things are going okay with Stella and Kade as well. Despite a quick misunderstanding of Kade cheating on Stella with her sister (one that was laid to rest with dry humping), Stella is almost convincing enough to get Kade into a real marriage bed.

And she finally gets what she wants. Sort of.

Particularly lonely, Stella wakes in the night to see that her husband has still not come to bed. Instead, he has fallen asleep at his desk over a written letter to his brother. She reads it carefully so as not to disturb him — she doesn’t want to anger him into thinking she was delving into his private matters. It turns out, he was writing about the state of not only the manor, but also his wife. She reads about his hopes that she will one day trust him.

Awe, he’s been trying so hard, she thinks! So she rouses him and takes him to bed. And after some playful banter on her part, they are both roused.

BUT HIS HONOR!!!!! you say.

No, it’s super cool! His honor is only when they actually consummate — oral sex doesn’t count. Just wait until she finds out about The Loophole!

So, while enjoying the luxuries of not actually doing it, and trying her best to make him do it anyway, they come to the conclusion that Kade can keep his damn honor and they’ll wait. Even despite his acknowledgement about himself: “I’m exceedingly indecent. Depraved, even. Debauched, too, upon occasion … Now lie back this instant, or I’ll be forced to restrain you.”

Basking in their glow, what better way to commemorate the blissfulness of this step in their marriage than with a knife Kade made for Stella to strap to her leg underneath her clothes in case of emergencies. He quickly shows her how to use it and where to strike, then leaves for the day, both satisfied that things are going along quite nicely.

Wrong.

Caleb strolls back into town, his banishment lifted now that Stella is married. And when Kade sees them together for the first time in months, Caleb touching her fingers and face lighting in concern, he is none too happy. After the threat of killing him, and laughing in his face at the scrawny man who doesn’t even hold a sword, he drags his wife to their chambers in a huff.

Turns out, Stella speaks Caleb’s name in her sleep, and Kade is well aware of what happened before he became the husband she didn’t want. And despite Stella’s protests, Kade has decided that she will be punished properly, so she could ever only think of Kade.

Let’s go over the details of this next interaction, shall we?

  • Kade rips off Stella’s clothes after a rather adult discussion of his jealousy of Caleb and that Stella is a piece of property, his property
  • Kade circles Stella with scrutiny, as if buying a horse
  • Kade tells Stella to surrender to him, as it is her only option
  • Kade blindfolds Stella and binds her to the bed
  • Stella is asked to call him the names she wishes to call him in her anger
  • Kade promises to be those things in this moment
  • Kade promises Stella he won’t hurt her, and that she’ll enjoy the punishment
  • Kade then takes leather straps, feathers, and different whips
  • Stella is beaten in pleasure and there are absolutely no flashbacks to her being beaten her whole life before meeting him — makes sense
  • Stella tries to convince Kade to consummate their marriage because euphoria this good must be even better if it is both of them
  • Kade refuses because he has taken vows and he’ll abide by them — this is how he will prove himself, by…BDSM…?
  • Stella enters a state of physical transcendent enlightenment because of the “exquisite torture and unimagined bliss”
  • They wake up together and promise their hearts to the other

You know. Because honor!

Here is my thing: I won’t say that I fully understand certain parts of the BDSM realm. I do understand that it takes a shit load of trust, that it is to be completely in consent to all parties involved, and that, after some research, it is actually quite healthy in many respects (in fact, this article came out two days after Tamu and I read that portion of the book).

Yes, I did research. I really had to understand fully what the hell was going on here because it didn’t make any sense.

Think about it. This woman has been beaten since her mother died when she was four years old. She is frightened of practically all men, which Kade has fully realized and decides, “You know what would make you feel better? ME beating you! Into pleasure!”

Say whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

And I read that I was 99.99% right. People who are physically abused are rarely into what would trigger such a memory.

However, our “strong” woman doesn’t seem to have any problems with her past (despite it being a huge problem as to why she even liked many men, and that she was god-awful afraid of Kade due to this in the beginning — but, hey! Sex is the cure for everything! Woo!), and they continue to count down toward the end of Kade’s vow.

But Campbell has some other plans.

Aleck has begun to have suspicions of whether Kade and Stella have consummated their marriage due to some off-handed comments. And when it is heard that Campbell’s men are on the move to take the keep, Aleck grabs her and forces a healer to check on the state of her hymen. Once it is confirmed that she has indeed not been taken properly, he passes out — the healer had been a MacKenzie, and she’d used a sleeping potion on him. She should have an hour to gather her wits.

Wait — why didn’t she just use a poison? If the healer was on Stella’s side all along, it’d make sense to do as such because it was a threat to the keep.

But that isn’t the only thing that doesn’t make sense.

Stella can’t find Kade, so she goes to their chambers to see if she can find him there, all the while hearing scuffles and sounds of people invading the manor. He is asleep in his chair, writing again.

Pop Quiz!

Your manor is being taken by an evil overlord, and you, yourself, have almost been raped by someone who found out your marriage hasn’t been consummated yet. You:

A) Run to your husband and warn him of the danger. You then proceed to help your sisters out of the manor, as well as any loyal servants, then pray for backup from your alliances.
B) Run to your husband and warn him of the danger. You then proceed to suit yourself up with knives and armor, then kick some ass, yo.
C) Run away. This isn’t your fight, and it is obviously too scary for you to handle. Maybe you can get to the alliances to your clan to bring help, though!
D) Run to your husband, see him sleeping, then tie him to the chair. While he gets increasingly angry at you and your behavior, you try to have sex with him to consummate the marriage, never giving away that an evil overlord is on his way to take over everything you both have worked so hard to make home.

If you chose A or B, you have selected perfectly decent answers that any sane person would have chosen. If you chose C, that’s okay, too — not everyone is a fighter, and it is possible you could find some help. If you chose D, you’re Stella, and you’re stupid.

Not only did Stella decide that an uprising was the perfect time to make love, but she decided to tie the man who could stop it down to a chair.

This is where things get interesting, too. Kade isn’t pleased about his honor and vows being thrown into wind, and he is completely against every single moment of her trying to seduce him into taking her a few days before the month is over. He is trying to rip himself from the bonds, angrier than Satan himself, every breath within him telling her to stop and that he doesn’t agree with her, but she does exactly as he’d done to her — touching him without his at first consent until he finally concedes to her will, forcing him to promise to her everything before untying him.

TABLES TURNED, YO!

Without any surprise, Aleck and Campbell find them in a rather compromising position. Turns out, that sleeping potion wasn’t very strong. After killing Stella’s father in front of her to claim the clan for his own, Campbell then takes Kade for torture under Stella’s duress that he could be used as a bargaining chip when the alliances are to come.

After he is dragged away, Aleck then tries to marry Stella with an immediate consummation. Taking this calmly, she allows him to get all hot and heavy before taking her thigh knife out to stab him in the side below his ribs and dragging down. This isn’t enough, so she then slits his throat like a pro. She is covered with blood and gore, all down her front, smell and everything. Without second thoughts, she trots through the hallways to find her sisters.

You know, for someone who has never seen a killing, never killed anyone, never even seeing any violence except for her own… she took that a little lightly. Like…psychopath lightly.

I’m not talking about not being able to kill. People are not only capable of doing anything, but this was a situation of Stella protecting herself. Completely understandable.

You know what isn’t? Gutting someone, getting their bodily fluids on you everywhere, and you skipping out of the room as if you didn’t feel your knife stabbing into a person and ending his life. Your first kill, then dusting your hands off without even a gag reflex to see if you can find out where your husband is being held. Anyone has a reaction, even a soldier, when they kill someone for the first time ever. Unless you’ve had some sort of blood-filled life.

There is a Xena: Warrior Princess made every minute, folks.

Very quickly, Stella comes up with a plan to take the sleeping potion and seduce all of Campbell’s men into drinking laced whiskey. Because it worked so well the first time.

Again, why not poison? What the hell? If you’ve already killed someone, why not just make it the murder party of a century? You know these guys will anyway.

But, no, sense isn’t in any of the women during Scotland’s most brutal period. Instead, after the men all fall asleep, Stella runs into Caleb, who then takes her down into the dungeon where Kade is being tortured (and not for pleasure, I should add).

Soon after releasing him from his binds, Campbell has found them, who is then killed within a matter of moments. You know why? BECAUSE KADE WASN’T BOUND AND HAD A FREAKING SWORD IN HIS HANDS TO FIGHT GODS DAMN IT ALL STELLA.

But it isn’t over yet! Kade and crew all leave the dungeon, but Kade is less than pleased that Stella had “betrayed” him once she got the chance to. And, honestly, I can see where he is coming from. After a good couple hours of torture, all he could see in his mind was that she’d tied him to a chair while he was asleep, tried to seduce him until Campbell came, then left him to be tortured before getting remarried to Aleck. Despite all those heart-felt vows, these are perfectly good reasons why one’s faith would be shaken.

He leaves Caleb and his brother to bind the sleeping men, then takes Stella into some brush because THAT MAKES SO MUCH SENSE WHEN YOUR MANOR IS BEING TAKEN OVER.

Seriously! What the actual fuck! Are you even qualified to be in the army?! You killed Campbell, but the sleeping men were maybe ten people at most. You think that is all that Campbell brought? And you’ve also been suspecting that half of your clan isn’t in favor of your ruling — what about them?! YOUR WHOLE KEEP IS IN A MESS RIGHT NOW AND THERE IS A LOT OF WORK TO BE DONE.

But, nope! Taking your wife into the woods to discuss why she would, after all those trusting bondage moments, betray your love is far too important than making sure other lives are saved. This couldn’t wait until later that evening. That would make fucking sense.

And Stella was hoping for it. She shows off her bloodied body and breasts to Kade,and they both confess their love for each other now that Kade knows Stella was just lying, and they make passionate love, not once, but twice.

Fifty of your people just died, with more death on the way, but you got to make love twice. In utter filth, because Stella never washed, and Kade had been bloodied from torture himself.

 

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No one can resist these abs — not even the flames that burn down my countrymen.

When they finally decide they should probably see whether their home has been burned to the ground, they see that Kade’s MacKenzie brothers have made it to secure the base.

And that is when I realized that I have to have something of a lesson come out of this review, and I had just gone skydiving, so why not talk about that? I won’t even speak of the unneeded, rather odd, epilogue.

THE END.

trash rosesThree trashy roses. This book is frustrating in so many senses. It is written fine and the lust is there — but I just can’t imagine someone making such dumb decisions at the end, Stella’s strength feels like a lie at times, and Kade is ultimately an egotistical jerk who only does what he does to make himself not feel the dick for wanting what he wants — despite actually loving Stella. Plus, I question these epic moments of BDSM on someone who has been physically abused, and whether Stella could actually kill someone so brutally without even feeling gross about the mess (as warranted as it was). I’d only recommend it to a very specific case. Like someone who wants to be confused by whether the love interest is being an emotionally manipulative dick or not. Plus, the cover doesn’t at all warn you of the contents. Nor the excerpt. I had so much faith…

Highlander: Taken Soundtrack:

  • Defined Lines by The Law Revue Girls
  • Molgera by Theophany; featuring guitar by Alejandro Pérez Heinze; Vocals and Flute by Laura Intravia

One thought on “Mallory Believes She Is Going To Read About A Strong Female Lead But All She Gets Is A BDSM Romance Novel by Miss Mallory

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