Zebra, $5.99, ISBN 0-8217-7173-6
Historical Romance, 2002
This book is a sequel to Highland Lady. The heroine here, Anne, is the family friend (read: unpaid nanny for the kids) of the hero and heroine of that book, and the hero Tor Henneson is the Viking bastard son of the hero of that book. Inbreeding in 14th century Scotland is never this fun.
The plot is pretty much this: Thor and his two Viking stereotype buddies (one dumb lug, one pervert/cunning/rapist-in-the-making lug) come up to Ye Scotland Heaven and demands to see Munro, his daddy, who has no idea that he existed. See, Munro and Viking Mummy did the hustle when he was 16 and away in some medieval version of a summer holiday abroad fling, and now Thor has finally learned of his birthright. He is angry. He wants his birthright. He wants it NOW.
Thor, needless to say, is not very smart. He wonders why Anne, whom he has taking a liking to, can faint from smokes from a fire when he, a giant lug, was still awake and conscious. When Daddy immediately acknowledges him as a son and offers him some food (it’s a long ride, after all), he refuses to move because he wants it NOW. What’s “it”? I don’t know. Don’t ask.
And everything wrong in the world? Daddy’s fault. Never mind that Daddy has made everything okay and is more than ready to acknowledge him as part of the family. Never mind that stepmother, understandably wary since she has given her husband only daughters and she is afraid that husband might treat his daughters like third-rate brats from now on, treats him with cordial respect. Never mind that Anne is so nice to him. He’s angry he’s born a bastard, and it’s Everybody’s Fault, and he will make sure everybody knows it.
Give me a break. Thor is like a big overgrown baby that happens to look like Fabio, whining for attention and sulking when he doesn’t get it. Thor is supposed to be a romance hero, and I don’t like my romance heroes with the intellectual capacity of a five-year old, so no thanks.
The plot, by the way, is pretty predictable. Late in the story, after Thor knocks Anne up, he proposes marriage, she refuses because he never says the right four-letter word, et cetera yadda yadda yawn.
Highland Lord is not very interesting, I’m afraid. The writing is clean, and I like how the author dares show at least some friction in a now happily-married couple from a previous book, but Thor really needs to start growing a brain fast.