Book 3 in the Daughters of Erin Series
Caroline Blacknall is the youngest sister in our trio from the Daughters of Erin series, and she’s the adorable bookish bluestocking. Marriage to her first husband at seventeen was for totally practical reasons (a.k.a. the use of his extensive library), but he died two years later leaving her a lovely young widow. Now, at age twenty, Caroline is ready to take on the world of history (her preferred subject) by writing her own book on the history of Ireland – but the source she seeks to complete her work is in the hands of a half-enemy/half-love from the past who lives on a remote island – Sir Grant Dunmore.
When we first meet Grant in book two of the series, Duchess of Sin, he comes across as a rakish, obstinate villain. It was interesting to see how McKee changed him – and how Caroline forgives him for past atrocities as they save one another’s lives again and again. Grant was everything a good romance hero should be – though he does have scars on the side of his face and chest from a fire that occurred at the end of book two. He is still devilishly handsome to Caro, which I think is cute. I found it a little unbelievable how Irish Grant was in this book, given how ‘snobby, glittering English aristocrat’-like he was in book two. But he was brave and caring and loyal, once he got past his bitterness.
Unfortunately, I expected more out of both Caroline and the plot. Caroline was brave and cute at times, but her bookishness got shoved out of the way in this story and I felt she was no longer the bluestocking girl I was hoping to read of. While brave, she has occasional idiotic moments where I just shook my head in disbelief. Her thoughts and actions often contradicted one another and I felt that McKee didn’t take enough time getting to know her – which was unfortunate because she had a lot of potential.
The plot was confusing. There were events, people, and places that I didn’t understand and were never fully explained. What Grant was doing/involved in I never understood. There were so many unanswered questions and unnecessary details included and there were never any main climaxes or resolutions. It was a mess – everything was all over the place like a series of vignettes thrown together before a deadline. Also, some of the questions I’d been hoping to see answered from the previous books never were, so that was disappointing. It seems McKee has issues keeping all of her story in her mind at once so that she can answer all of the foreshadowings and questions she strewn about so haphazardly. It was annoying the way I kept searching for answers and found none. Also, what was the significance of The Chronicle’s secret? There’s some big secret revealed that, to me, didn’t seem all that important. Overall, the plot was a flop.
The romantic plot was a little… underdeveloped. I was hoping there would be a little more ‘lets-get-to-know-each-other’ and less ‘love-at-first-sight’ from the practical bookworm, but they got together about a quarter of the way through the book. I felt they never had any really meaningful conversations – they were just in love and that was that. It didn’t bother me immensely, but the romantic plot definitely could’ve used more build-up. As for the Gaelic endearments, they felt false from Grant’s lips. In book two, Conlan was the Irish one and Grant was as English as could be. I was expecting change in Grant – but maybe not that much change.
“I take care of myself.”
He smiled at her. “Not doing a very good job of it, are you?”
“I doubt I would be able to teach children anything at all. I can’t embroider worth a damn, either.” (Grant)
“With lye soap and hot water? I may be only a quiet scholar, but I’m sure I could come up with a more efficient way to kill you than this.” (Caroline)
“Sexy”ness rating: So… so hot
Overall Rating: C+
Bottom Line: A great hero, a shaky heroine, a confusing plot, and a rushed romance. Hmmmm… well…
Published: May 31, 2011
Genre: Historical (