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Good, but not the best in the series.
on 7 August 2010
Third in Karen Marie Moning's Highlander series, The Highlander's Touch is the most complex of the three I've read. Each of the book in the series has a very different feel to them, with different strengths and weaknesses, and this one is particularly infused with extra twists. Funny enough, all of them are connected - for instance The Highlander's Touch, which occurs a century prior, is connected to the first two by its characters.
Let me begin with the characteristics that it shared with its predecessors: it's hilariously funny, it has a drop dead gorgeous hero and the chemistry between the protagonists sizzles (swoon!). It has very loveable secondary characters - and as always, there are some seriously drool-worthy male foils.
I adored (or more like drooled over) Sidheach 'Hawk' Douglas from Beyond the Highland Mist, and Circenn Brodie is much like Hawk in this book. Devastatingly sexy and domineering, Circenn is a man of honour, a natural born leader who lived by his rules. (Un)fortunately for him, his curse on a religious relic misfires and transports the twenty-first century lass Lisa Stone into his lap - literally. She turns his world upside down; makes him break his oaths, lie and deceive. I had a good laugh at this, which saved what would have been a boring characterisation. Circenn, despite his allure, is a slightly inadequate character and much overshadowed by a foil, Duncan Douglas.
However, Lisa is a wonderful character. Strong, vivacious and determined, she works not for herself, but for her mother dying of cancer. She is understandably devastated when she finds herself in a war-torn country in the fourteenth century, her life threatened by the very person who can tempt her into staying. Again, while I like her character, she doesn't seem to have adequate focus, and less-developed characters are a boon in novels, really. Not good.
What makes this stand out in the series are these: several sub plots never fulfilled, a twist that is hard to foresee in the end, and an ending too polished for its own good. The first is annoying, because one of it involved Duncan Douglas, which is the superior character I found in this book. The twist is satisfying as I never could have seen it coming! Finally, the ending is such a classic. I thought it took happily ever after to the extreme, but I can't deny that I didn't like it. My inner child is forever screaming for a happy ever after in all of the books I read and was extremely satisfied with The Highlander's Touch.
Not the best in the series (or at least the three I have read so far), but pick this one up if you're looking for a sexy warlord to drool over, a happy-go-lucky protector to admire and to enjoy the company of the Knights of the Templar.