Brianna Campbell, the sister of the hero in Isle of Lies, is on a trip to do good works. Her villainous husband is presumed dead freeing her from an unhappy marriage. Her sister-in-law has helped restore Brianna’s self-esteem (a most advanced concept given the 1513 Scotland setting) as well as come to terms with her marriage.
The carriage overturns, and Brianna is injured-badly bruised and knocked unconscious. Royce, a warrior with grievous injuries of his own from a recent battle, finds her and carries her to his secluded cottage. Brianna awakens.
His multiple injuries had swollen his face grotesquely out of shape so much so that he resembled a demon from the depths of hell.
This is not an inappropriate metaphor for this book: a long scream into unconsciousness.
Her response was natural.
She screamed herself into unconsciousness.
Over several weeks as the winter weather isolates them from the rest of the world, Royce will devotedly care for her bruised body. Brianna will come to learn that a caring soul does not necessarily mean a handsome face.
And they’ll talk and talk and talk. Which wouldn’t be so bad except they don’t talk about anything vital or interesting (such as Royce’s last name or clan), and every topic gets talked about from every possible direction. Here’s a small sample:
“Are you asking me if I love you?
There could be no better demonstration that Royce and Brianna are meant for each other than the fact that not once is one character talking and the other’s eyes glaze over which would be the normal consequence for anyone else. Well, several times Brianna says she’s tired, but I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt and put it down to her injuries.
“Have you asked yourself if you love me or if you feel as you do because I am here when no other woman is?”
“What you as asking is if it is love or a need that I feel.”
“I ask the same of myself. Do I love you or do I need you?”
Inevitably, they will fall in love and make love, but as everyone knows, ‘the course of true love never did run smooth.’
This is a synopsis of the first third of the book, and I haven’t skipped over the good stuff. This is a tediously boring story. I am not exaggerating when I say that I starting dozing over the book several times. As the story plods along, complications ensue, Brianna shows her TSTL (too-stupid-to-live) side, and the conversation remains stultifying.
I cannot recommend this book to anyone - not even to those readers who were introduced to the characters in the previous book. A special advisory to readers who are experiencing cabin fever due to this long, cold winter in the northeast and are looking for a good escapist tale: this is a poor choice. The natural reaction to a story that features winter weather, isolation, and mind-numbing dialogue is: “Let me outa here!”