18 August 2009

Ode to Karen Moning; To Tame A Highland Warrior

~click on copy to buy a copy~

Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Dell (June 23, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0440245559
ISBN-13: 978-0440245551



He was born to a clan of warriors of supernatural strength, but Gavrael McIllioch abandoned his name and his Highland castle, determined to escape the dark fate of his ancestors. Hiding his identity from the relentless rival clan that hunted him, he called himself Grimm to protect the people he cared for, vowing never to acknowledge his love for ravishing Jillian St. Clair. Yet even from afar he watched over her, and when her father sent an urgent summons, "Come for Jillian" he raced to her side—into a competition to win her hand in marriage.


Why had he run from her so many years before? And why return now to see her offered as a prize in her father's manipulative game? Furious, Jillian vowed never to wed. But Grimm was the man she loved, the one who urged her to marry another. He tried to pretend indifference as she tempted him, but he could not deny the fierce desires that compelled him to abduct her from the altar. She was the only woman who could tame the beast that raged within him—even as deadly enemies plotted to destroy them both...

{ summary can contain spoilers!!} Click ~here~ for my own written summary.

When you've been raised with a legend....

When your father kills your mother....

When the McKane clan bring death to your village....

When a powerless boy sees the blood flow of 14 innocent villagers....

When the boy hears words of long ago in the wind....

Telling him to invoke and accept the powers of the Berserker....

What would you do in order to protect??

The legend claims that ones the Berserker finds his soul mate he is bound to her forever, and ones they've made love he could never love another woman. When two men dance in courtship, the heart of the woman goes to the third and her mind is going into battle with her heart. A legendary fight is born for the ultimate soul mate, a quest for the truth what happened so many years ago has commenced, so old wounds may heal and an ancient family reunited.

Paranormal Historical romance will never be quite the same again for me after reading a Karen Moning Highlander story. I felt this way the first time upon reading To Tame A Highland Warrior and upon re-reading it I still feel the same. Karen Moning again takes a somewhat traditional historical story, of a marriage scheme between a warrior and a maiden who together have a undeniable push-pull attraction going on, and takes it to greater heights. In To Tame A Highland Warrior Karen Moning not only showcases her knack for romance but also her love for her characters and the myths/legends out there.

When I met Grimm in Beyond The Highland Mist I thought him to be a fierce warrior but also an easy going man with a humorous side to him. Behind those piercing blue eyes there is a world of hurt and an entirely different man altogether to get to know. Grimm struck a chord with me from the moment he evoked the Berserker and I knew right there and then he was going to be a hero who I was going to devour like a forbidden tiramisu after dinner. The story begins and Dalkeith-upon-the-sea where Grimm receives a note that says: Come for Jillian. and that is all. From that moment I knew there was more between them, just with those three simple words.

If there was one character who stole the spotlight in this story then it was Grimm. It was with the emotionally gripping prologue that I got to witness the events through the eyes of a fourteen year old Grimm and it was already heart breaking and defined him in the man he would become. With every chapter I got deeper into his psyche and I fell completely for the man I found. He is so in control over himself but the Berserker is coiling inside him, warning him he is not all that cool and collected. He loses time, he loses himself in these Berserker rages and it scares him to death because if there’s one thing he does not want to do is hurt those who care for him and he cares for in return.

This is the core of what is reverberates between Jillian and Grimm. Grimm just doesn’t want to hurt Jillian, he puts an emotional distance between the two of them and at the same time he feels this, almost overwhelming, love for her. Now I can fall for a hero but if he has the wrong kind of heroine opposite him the romance is worth nothing. Jillian is an independent woman and very much likes to do things her own way. She has an inquisitive mind and provokes Grimm to no end. On every level Jillian is well-matched to Grimm and it is this energy they both created that reverberated so with me.

Now that the parents of Jillian Gibraltar want her to be wed they have three men in waiting for her to chose from; Quinn de Montcreiffe, Ramsey Logan and Grimm Roderick. The instant Jillian and Grimm meet again it is female indignity and pride that collides with a rigid man bound not to feel anything. The synergy they create is one of the best kind you can have in a historical romance. They both want each other but they also have reasons not to give in to their feelings. It makes for fiery and clashing dialogues, passion that leaps of the pages and an astounding romance that defies logics or reason. From both POV’s you get to see how they experienced certain events and I both sympathized for them, it made me want them to find all that they wanted, needed and longed for and more.

The romantic progress was even more interesting to follow with two other suitors; the charming Quinn de Montcreiffe and the dark Ramsey Logan. Without a doubt Quinn and Ramsey added an testosterone-rich edge to the story, Quinn with his gentleman demeanor yet also a highlander to the core and not to be underestimated. As opposed to Ramsey who was all aggression and male dominance from the beginning. Though I never really was uncertain about who Jillian would end up with, Quinn and Ramsey brought a bit of male camaraderie and provocation for Grimm in their wooing games.

There are more secondary characters in this book like Kaley Twillow who is the housekeeper at Caithness. Zeke, a small boy with a taste for fables who was very endearing. Also Ronin McIllioch and his brother Balder gave the ending such an emotional impact. Each character had meaning and purpose, each character was an exquisite part of the whole story and Karen Moning at her best. Her writing style is lush, sultry and rich in imagination that it encompasses me completely and doesn’t let me go until I finished her novel. I sometimes speak of one-sitting-reads but with a Highlander story that is all to true, I started To Tame A Highlander only to leave the couch again upon finishing it. It absorbed me and I couldn’t let go of Jillian and Grimm until they had their happily ever after.

De legend of the Berserker thrives in this tale of two star-crossed lovers. The story starts and ends with an emotional high and comes full circle with pain, loss, love gained, friendship and passion. I inhaled it all like there was no tomorrow!

Quote Grimm:
The kiss spun out and deepened. It was fueled by years of denied emotion, years of disavowed passion that swiftly clawed to the surface of Grimm’s resolve.

Quote Grimm:
“Thank you for these days and nights, lass. Thank you for giving me the best memories of my life. But say goodbye, Jillian. Let me go. Take the splendor and wonder we’ve shared and let me go.”

Question of the day: When was the last time you went in to a fit of Berserker rage?

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  1. To answer my own question, I had a fit of berserker this morning. I opened my e-mail box and received a note from amazone.de that my copy of Dreamfever was delayed. Now I know amazon can help it that the publisher is perhaps belated with shipping. And I have tons of good reads on my shelves, that ain't the problem. It's just that those releases I can hardly wait for, which I wait on panting, sighing and clamoring for, those hardly come on release day.

    I can't walk in to a B&N or Broders so I rely on online stores and to receive such a: Unfortunate we cannot ship at the stated day e-mail makes me lose it for a moment.

    So this morning I had fiery eyes and could spank amazon/publisher for not fixing me up with my yearly dose of Mac, Barrons and V'Lane.

  2. Spell of the Highlander was my absolute fav of this series, but Drustan & Daegus' stories run a close second! :P

  3. Sorry to hear Leontine :( I hope it gets there soon.

    Berseker rage, yes I am not really like that. But when I was little I did use to scream, kick doors, hm spit on my brothers door. I blame it on the Viking blood here, lol

  4. Me? Berserker rage? No!! Not me!! I am always cool and under control :)!


    I don't know. Well, I guess it was when I stormed down the stairs early Sunday morning to find that my 10 year old was still up at 1 am! I didn't say much, but my stomping said enough :P! LOL

  5. Hi Zeek, Cian is like the blue print of all the MacKeltars coming thereafter. Trying to savor his story slowly.

    Hi Blodeuedd, I'm hoping with you. I'll give a whoop whopp of joy when I see shipping confirmation. And viking bloog, girl that can be very fierce indeed.

    Hi Amy, I can so see you stomping down the stairs. I personally can be a bear in wintersleep at night and don't like to be woken up by something. Especially when I have a scare and then wake up. I tend to...roar a bit :D

  6. The last time I had a fit was probably yesterday when I went and checked the library to see if they had this series.They didn't..well they had 2-the 2nd and the last. I was pissed..why get books from a series when you don't have the rest..they do that all the time here..Stupid small town libraries..even the librarian was ticked..she tries to get them to order the rest of the series but they never do..on a positive not they had all the Fever series books..even have the new one on order..baffling.

    Can the Highlander series be read as stand alones..or is there an ongoing storyline throughout?

    Leontine..chapters here even has delays on popular books that are pre-ordered.It happened to me 2 weeks ago..but i always call and b*tch..nicely ;) which usually gets me a $10 credit because the book should have been shipped out.


  7. There is only one person on Earth that can set off my inner berserker and that's my husband. We don't fight all too often but when we do I advise people to pull up a chair and watch the fireworks. lol!

    Great review Leontine. I have this book but I've been hesitant to pick it up but you've brought a whole new light to it that has me completely intrigued. Hmmm....

    (((hugs))) VFG

  8. I love Grimm! But it's Adam Black for me.

  9. I loved Grimm's story. His story for me seemed to be the only one that wasn't related to the others, really. I mean, I know he was Hawk's friend and all, but unless I missed it (it's been awhile since I read it) it really didn't have much to do with the fae.

    The last time I went berserker? Ask my husband, he'll know. ;)

  10. I loved Grimm's story too!

    Last time I went berserker? Last week when the cable company was rattling my chaines by doing software updates during prime time television and parts of my recordings went *poof*

  11. ((Leontine)) That would have set me off like nothing else!! So frustrating

    The last time I went into beserker mode - when we lost power and true blood was about to start..LOL.

  12. Elaing8,The first three have very lose connections but the last four:
    4. Kiss of the Highlander (2001)
    5. The Dark Highlander (2002)
    6. The Immortal Highlander (2004)
    7. Spell of the Highlander (2005)

    Are closely connected and preferably read in order for maximum reading pleasure :D I hope you'll give Grimm a change!

    Hi VFG,
    Hhhmmm will munch on popcorn for the show *wink*

    Aymless, another Amadan Dubh fangirl, Hoot Hoot! I just love him in this series.

    Hi Patti,
    I got that too, Grimm is the story that leans towards the historical genre the most in this series IMO.

    Hey Pearl, I hear ya...Cable companies, can't live with them, can't live without them. As long as everything is ok I have no issues with them but when something doesn't work or service is down ARGH.Is everything fixed now?

    Hi Mandi - Oh I would so not want to come between you and an episode of True Blood ;-)

  13. The last time the internet went off for no reason was the last time I had a berserker!

  14. I love KMM and these books!! :)

    My last berserker moment........about 3am this morning when hubby woke me up to let me know he had a headache and he felt like throwing up! HUH? I went to bed at 1am, didn't go to sleep until almost 2am and then he wakes me up. I did go back to sleep but he had the nerve to wake me up again at 5am and asked me if I would get up and help him get all his crap together so he could get out the door to work.........I'm tired, cranky, hot and tired....said that already so there is a real danger that another "beserker" moment could happen!

  15. I really can't remember when was the last time I went in to a fit of Berserker rage. Probably never. I don't even get angry that often and in most cases I'm just faking it to get a reaction out of my man :) But he knows this so he just waits until I cannot keep a straight face any longer and I'll start smiling :)

  16. Berserker rage??? LOL TODAY!!! My husband and I took the kids to the beach. I had to make a run to the ladys room and my hubby said he'd meet me by the boardwalk. As I'm walking toward where we are supposed to me, I see he has my two year old dragging my purse through the sand behind her. That would have been fine if sand wasn't accumulating inside--the same place my e-reader was!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

    Okay, I'm over it, lol.

  17. Oh Leontine!! I am very sorry my friend for not being around more. I have missed so much. Work is going crazy right now, they have fired one of the cpa's that was in the firm and let's just say that nothing was as it seemed with him. So, we are dealing with the wrath that is left in the wake of him being fired. And then I had an all night reading binge last night... I started the book at 930 and didnt finished reading till 430 this morning... then hubby get up for work at 5... then i get up for 630... So no sleep last night... I wanted to stop by and show you my love and say hi!!!
    Then i read about going Berserker!!! Tonight... my ereader came in the mail yesterday and I am trying to register it... well, it is not going to good for me right now... I screwed up the ip address for our internet trying to register the thing... then spent almost almost 2 hours on the phone with the internet company. I almost fell asleep whiile waiting!!! And that is just one story... ask hubby about the others... isn't that funny how we all resort to say... ask hubby about our "moments"!! That made me smile!!!
    Good night for me... Good morning for you my dear!! I hope you have a wonderful day!!!

  18. When my computer modem decided to stop working last week definitely sent me over the edge. My addiction to the internet/blogs took a serious hit, but my modem was just messing with me since it started working again a few hours later.

    joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

  19. Haven't gotten really, really mad in ages. Last berserker rage (tinged with lots of fear), was when my boys were about 8 years old, playing in front of the house, when a pair of teenage boys drag raced down the street, never even noticing the group of kids. I screamed at the kids to get out of the way, which brought every neighbor out to the street to see what was going on. Lots of yelling at the drivers as they raced past, then a very enterprising Dad, who happens to be a cop, blocked the end of the street so the cars had nowhere to go. And like a little miracle, two police cars showed up just in time to impound the cars and take them off to jail. Seems like this wasn't the first incident. Nothing like the potential of harm to my kids that brings out the berserker woman in me.


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