Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Monica McCarty - MacLeods of Skye Trilogy

Comment: I had decided, when planning the books I'd read in May, to finally get to Highlander Untamed, the first book in this MacLeods of Skye Trilogy by Monica McCarty.
I read the book and it was so-so to me but thinking about the books yet remaining in my plans, I thought "why not completing the trilogy?" since I had the books anyway and the time too.
I checked my personal notes and these three books have been in the shelf since 2008... well, better late than never!

I'll just leave a small comment on each title in order and a final grade of the set but I must say the salvation was the 3rd story, which I felt was more entertaining for me.
This trilogy is based on real events and people (as one can investigate on the author's website) and it focuses on the McLeods in Scotland in the beginning of the 17th century. 
There is a following trilogy but I don't have plans to read it.

Highlander Untamed - book #1
I liked this story featuring Rory and Isabel. The plot is very simple: Isabel agrees to her uncle's plans of a handfast with Rory McLeod, despite the obvious enmity between their families for she plans to spy on him and help her clan. As they get to know one another, though, of course they fall in love.
I think this story was too set on the usual cliches, like how easily they discover they like one another and sexual attraction is the road to it. There's plans of betrayal and the expected sense of disappointment when they discover each other's secrets but redemption happens by the end. I liked this one but their relationship could have been solved much quicker with honesty, especially right after they admit their feelings. I understand why it was like this but I still feel as if the story could have been told differently and would have achieved the same result.

Highlander Unmasked - book #2
This was my least favorite about Alex, Rory's younger brother, who is on a secret mission to help his brother and Meg McKinnon, a young woman who needs to find a husband with certain skills and whom she can trust if not love.
The story is very predictable, moments and climax included. However, I didn't enjoy this one as much because I couldn't go past my irritation with the way the heroine seemed to always interrupt or ruin the hero's mission somehow. I didn't like this couple that much, Meg because she was annoying and Alex because he was quite different from how he acted the first book, and the explanations didn't convince me. I had the feeling this story wasn't well planned, even following historical notes.

Highlander Unchained - book #3
I liked this one better because the story was much more appealing. Lachlan needs to marry Flora because her cousin would help him not only rescue his brother but also be in favor with the king. The problem is that she can't know they made an agreement because one of her brothers would not help if she marries coerced. Lachlan then decides to woo her and they clash but there's a sincere attraction between them which means there's hope for their relationship.
I liked this one the best because the romance was more interesting, there were many more appealing scenes to read, even though some behaviors didn't always match the character's words. I had more fun reading this one and not even the already expected plot clichés made me think this wasn't entertaining.

As a whole, this series has the good aspect of being based on real characters and it's always fun to imagine how their personal lives might have been outside of the known facts. 
The plots could be developed better and I feel it's a pity how the execution didn't shine as much as it could, there are too many clichés, all stories are predictable - and not just because of the way things were back then - the romances didn't always have that special something we want to see in fictional stories. Despite this, I'm glad I read the books, not just because the trilogy is finally done but I liked to learn a few things too.
Combining the three stories, this was average but in a positive way.
Grade: 6/10

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