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Danger's Kiss (Medieval Outlaws Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Let me start by saying, if you have any preconceived ideas of historicals, romance novels, predictable titles, you are dead wrong with this book.
Ms McKerrigan does a brilliant job with the characters in this book. More than equally matched, Nicholas and Desiree are a wonderful complement to each other. One thing that I loved is that the characters were thinkers. The author doesn't resort to standard solutions to solve their problems. Very refreshing. I never knew what was going to happen next.
There were believability issues with a few details toward the end, but it wasn't enough to spoil my feeling for the book.
I loved the point of view approach Ms McKerrigan used in this book. By using this method, I felt like I knew each character's thoughts and emotion without feeling the de-je-vue of a repeated scene. And it was all done without head hopping.
The pace of this book...my my my. Top dead center! Whenever a story slows down, I skim to the dialogue until the action picks back up. Not here. I read all of it. Although there is action throughout the book, during the quieter scenes, they were so well done, I wanted them to continue forever.
This was an excellent read and an author to look for.
What I like most about these books is that they all feature strong and sassy weapon-wielding heroines. Desiree is no exception. She's a thief by trade, with a quick tongue and light fingers. Nicholas is the local law man everyone fears. But he tries to be a just and swift lawman and on the eve of a hanging promises to take care of the victims granddaughter -- totally unaware of what he's just agreed to. Instead of an orphaned waif, he has just inherited a fiery, passionate thief. Quickly and in a humorous manner Desiree wins over his cat and takes over his house. Instantly the two clash but slowly they both find that they understand each other, since they are both misunderstood by others. Desiree is also on a quest to discover who really committed the murder that got her mentor/ "grandfather" hung and makes a powerful enemy. In the end the two of them have to work together to pull of the ruse of their lives if they are going to save theirs.
This Medieval historic is like nothing I've ever read. It's as much as mystery as a romance which makes it twice as entertaining. It has substance, it's compelling, and it captures the era in detail that leaps off the page. Their journey from enemies to friends and lovers is grounded and realistic but amusing. Their relationship has problems from the start, but they're not formulaic. The story flows well and is enjoyable, entertaining, and fresh. Desiree and Nicholas are very rich, very passionate, very real characters with strengths and flaws. These are characters you fall in love with, ones you cheer for. But I do have to say that cat steals the show.
As a young teen, Desiree was sold by her desperately poor parents to a grifter. He was rough but kind to her, and she took to thievery as a normal way of life. Now her protector has been hung and she is out for revenge. She's good with a dagger and not at all afraid to use it. Nicholas Grimshaw is the shire-reeve who was forced to do the hanging, but he had doubts about the old man's guilt. Now he's saddled with his promise to watch out for the woman, at least for a little while.
What follows is simply wonderful. Desiree is intelligent. She's witty. And she's wise. So many times in stories the heroines do completely idiotic things for plot reasons. And that's not to say that Desiree is perfect - she makes human mistakes. But when a threat appears, she realizes it, considers her options, and goes for the wise one most of the time. I could only wish most authors created heroines like this. It's so much more satisfying than screaming at a book "no you stupid fool, why are you doing that???"
And in the same way, Nicholas is strong, honorable, focused - and he's also burdened by issues that are quite realistic. You can see exactly why he is the way he is, exactly why he makes his decisions, and you can feel for him. Everything makes sense. It is a joy to read.
The many little touches are brilliant. Clearly the author did her research, weaving in food choices, cooking techniques, clothing, and much more. You get a rich sense of the medieval world without it turning into a dry tome.
There were minor issuese with the point of view sliding at times, but that seems to happen in most books. Also, my one complaint would be that in one section Nicholas scoffs because men are in love with a woman who is "a bit plump and pox-scarred". OK, she's a bit plump, so therefore she's hideous? In fact, he thinks "he supposed there was naught more attractive to lads of that age than a lass who would tell them aye, and that was likely her charm". OK so a woman who is a bit plump, and has a few dents on her face, has to put out in order to be liked. I resist statements like that :). Aren't women much more than that? And does that mean if Desiree puts on a little weight and recovers from the pox that he'll dump her, unless she continues to put out for him? :).
Still, that was my only gripe in a book which is rich in warmth, detail, and emotion. Highly recommended!