22 August 2009

Ode to Karen Moning; The Immortal Highlander


~click on cover to buy copy~

Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Dell (July 26, 2005)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0440237564
ISBN-13: 978-0440237563

Summary:

Enter a world of timeless seduction, of ancient intrigue and modern-day passion. Enter the dazzling world of Karen Marie Moning whose acclaimed Highlander novels have captivated readers, spanning the continents and the centuries, bringing ancient Scotland vividly to life. In a new novel brimming with time-travel adventure and sensual heat, the nationally bestselling author of The Dark Highlander delivers a love story that will hold you in thrall and a hero you will most certainly never forget...

BEWARE: lethally seductive alpha male of immense strength and dark eroticism, do not look at him. Do not touch him. Do not be tempted. Do not be seduced...

With his long, black hair and dark, mesmerizing eyes, Adam Black is Trouble with a capital T. Immortal, arrogant, and intensely sensual, he is the consummate seducer, free to roam across time and continents in pursuit of his insatiable desires. That is, until a curse strips him of his immortality and makes him invisible, a cruel fate for so irresistible a man. With his very life at stake, Adam's only hope for survival is in the hands of the one woman who can actually see him.

Enter law student Gabrielle O'Callaghan, who is cursed with the ability to see both worlds: Mortal and Faery. From the moment she lays eyes on this stunning male, Gabby is certain of one thing: He could be her undoing. Thus begins a long, dangerous seduction. Because despite his powerful strength and unquenchable hungers, Adam refuses to take a woman by force. Instead he will tease his way into Gabby's bed and make her want him just as he wants her.

Now, no matter how hard Gabby tries to avoid him, Adam is everywhere, invisible to all but her—perched atop her office cubicle in too-tight jeans, whispering softly from behind the stacks of the law library, stealing her breath away with his knowing smile...all the while tempting her with the promise of unimaginable pleasure in his arms. But soon danger will intrude on this sensual dance. For as Adam's quest to regain his immortality plunges them into a world of timeless magic and the deadly politics of the Faery queen's court, the price of surrender could be their very lives. Unless they can thwart the conspiracy that threatens both mortal and Faery realms...and give them a shot at a destiny few mortals ever know: glorious, wondrous, endless love...



Adam Black, the blackest Fae of them all, introduced himself in Beyond The Highland Mist as a to-die-for black smith clad in only a kilt. Then I got another taste of him in The Highlander’s Touch and witnessed him from a different side. In Dageus story he played a small but very important roll and the repercussions set him up for his own story in The Immortal Highlander. Wicked, meddlesome, seductive, sinful and arrogant Adam Black. He caught my eye so very quickly in this series and he conquered a very special place in my heart. I can already hear him say that this would be his rightful place, his ego can be larger than life at times.

Adam Black finds himself in human form, on earth, with the féth fiade curse on his person, a curse that makes him invisible for all humans. For a Fae who used to time travel, have untold powers and female adoration at his leisure there is nothing as diminutive as being human. How Adam is going to be taught a very valuable lesson…at the hand of Gabrielle O’Gallaghan. Now Gabby has trouble all of her own at the hands of the fairies and a crappy day turns for the worse when she sees Adam on a bench, whereupon Adam notices that she can actually see him.

With an introduction to both Gabrielle and Adam’s current situation they collide at a certain point and I got instant chemistry erupting from the pages. The first hundred pages of the story are very one on one between the main protagonists with witty, salt and vinegar dialogues, and a plot of a Fae who goes rogue. Adam and Gabby are both thrown out of their comfort zone as Adam deals with his mortality and Gabby finds out the “its” are not what her Grams once taught her. Though the first part of the story is very dialogue focused I was never bored, Adam and Gabby are such spirited personalities that their interaction is lively with emotions and gestures. Adam shows up on Gabby’s front door, one look, one punch and her feelings to his arrival are crystal clear. This invites Adam to respond in his own way. Via Karen Moning’s signature writing I witnessed it all and I had a blast.

Adam Black is complex as he is fascinating in his complexity. Throughout the series Moning set up his character formidably. He never does what I expect him to do, he is always game to tantalize, provoke his kindred spirits, scheme away and have sparse moments where I get a taste of another kind of Adam. He can drive a woman mad and at the same time make her fall completely for him. His acerbic side alternates with his flirtatious one and are a second nature for him, still, if you pay attention he shows another side on rare moments too. It shows something that runs deeper and is more intricate at the core. A man of extremes and a carefully hidden core, therein lies a challenge for any woman and who would refuse to answer it.

Gabrielle was raised by her gram and it was instilled in to her that the Tuathe Dé were bad to their kind, Sidhe-Seers, history proved it. Still Gabby is mesmerized by the Fae and it wars inside her. Now that Adam, a fantasy come to life, is in her life she shows backbone, perseverance and common sense. At least she tries too because there is a stubborn inner voice tempting her to take a trip on the wild side, be in to the moment for a change and be adventurous. And adventure she got, perhaps even more then she bargained for. Yet she is the kind of heroine I could root for every step of the way. If there is one thing in all Karen Moning’s heroines is that they are so recognizable and have a somewhat dry, self-reflecting humor I can appreciate as it reflects resilience of character.

I noticed in The Immortal Highlander that Adam and Gabby bring a sensual physical interaction to the story but the carnality in and on itself is very limited. Adam brings enough heat to this story and as an immortal has a very languid, thorough and sultry way to woe a woman. This collides with the mortal passionate frenzy Gabby is feeling. There is amorous and emotional conflict with the plot that picks up in speed in the second half of the story and like many a book in this series it could not let me go. The easy flow of the story, the seamless blend of outstanding romance and plot, it makes me consume every page in rapid succession of each other until the story is finished, the epilogue told and I am bawling my eyes out for the ending that this spectacular romance pair received from this author.

With every entry in this series the Tuathe Dé Danaan and Druid world becomes more layered, distinct and rich which makes it so easy to immerse myself again in the vibrant world of Karen Moning. The queen Aoibheal is one of those secondary characters who makes me feel the ancient Fae race, in all her vast knowledge and magic she gives credibility to it. But also the recurrence of the MacKeltar twin; Drustan and Dageus with their wives Gwen and Chloe make the familiarity with the world in this series all the more palpable for me to feel. The Fae Hunters and Darroc in their scheming ways end up with what goes around comes around and emphasizes on the power of the queen of the Fae.

I still have one more thing to say before I let you go; I adored Adam Black as the antihero, I cheered for Gabby as a high-spirited heroine, the MacKeltars will forever hold a place in my heart but The Immortal Highlander claimed a spot among my all time favorites due to the epilogue. Can an epilogue make a story better? No, I don’t believe so but, BUT, it can add a sense of such romantic conclusion that puts stars in my eyes, a dreamy smile on my face and turn my knees in to jell-o. The epilogue ending in The Immortal Highlander soared and echoed in my heart with the emotions as true love is met and answered.

Adam and Gabby aimed for an immortality that will resonate with every romance reader!

Quote from the O’Gallaghan Books of the Fae:

Adam Black:
Tuathe Dé Danaan, a rogue even among his own kind. His favored glamour is that of an intensely sexual Highland blacksmith with a powerful rippling body, golden skin, long black hair, and dark, mesmerizing eyes. Highly intelligent, lethally seductive. Alleged to have nearly broken The Compact on not one, but two occasions. He is, by far, the most dangerous and unpredictable of his race.

Warning: Exercise extreme caution if sighted.
Avoid contact at all cost.

Quote Adam to Gabby:

“The Tuathe Dé do not speak of Tuathe Dé matters to” – he gave her an icy sneer – “mere mortals.”
“Well, mister-mere-mortal-yourself,” she bristled right back at him, “maybe you’d better get used to it, because whether or not you like it, you need at least one of us ‘mere mortals’ to help you become a pompous-asshole-fairy-thing again.”

Quote describing Adam:

He was, quite simply, a living, breathing fantasy, exuding an irresistible come-hither that held an intrinsic, unspoken caveat of danger. He had a come-and-get-me-baby-I’m-pure-trouble-and-you’re-gonna-love-it kind of attitude that provoked a woman’s most primitive sexual drives.

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8 comments:

  1. I loved their chemistry, another one of Karen's books currently on my favorite's shelf.

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  2. Adam Black is one of those unforgettable characters! Loved this book :D.

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  3. I totally agree......Adam Black if unforgettable and so very yummy! :)

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  4. Sigh....I'll get to this one, I promise!

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  5. Oh you kill me with all these hunky highlanders *faints* Don't know how many more I can take.

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  6. I like the dark brooding side of Adam Black. But I don't think the "sidhe court joker" image fits him though. But Ms. Moning tells the tale so well that the story flows through very nicely, "joker" Adam Black, and all. Leontine says it well:

    ”The easy flow of the story, the seamless blend of outstanding romance and plot, it makes me consume every page in rapid succession...”

    Brilliant review Leontine!

    I also liked it that the sidhe seers idea was introduced more fully and explored in this book. I wonder if they are going to do anything to the www.sidhe-seersinc.com...(?). It's just an empty page right now. Or maybe it's just my computer which couldn't see its content... I gave this book a 4 out of 5. I liked the whole Highland series. It's the Fever series which I stopped reading. I did not like the non-romance angle it took and the cliffhanger endings.

    Cherry

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  7. Hi Cherry,
    I haven't been to sidhe-seer.com in a long time. Should reacquaint myself with Moning's sites again. The Fever series takes the Seelie and Unseelie world a huge step further and while I at one hand regret the loss of romance there is plenty of chemistry between Mac/Barrons and V 'Lane. There will be a HEA only it takes five books, five years to wait for it. Talk about learning the lesson of pateince as a reader ;-)

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