Dell, $6.99, ISBN 0-440-24097-2
Paranormal Romance, 2006 (Reissue)
Spell of the Highlander is pretty much the same book as the last two or three books by Karen Marie Moning. You probably know the routine by now: overheated oversexed Celtic quasi-barbarian Fabio impersonator meeting a virginal twentysomething braindead for plenty of sex while plenty of italicized fonts are abound to give the impression that this book may have some kind of plot – an exotic one, ooh, since there are so many italics – when in truth the plot is actually Ms Moning rushing through this book to get to her next one. And yes, somehow sex will save the day.
In this cut-and-paste story, our familiar hero’s name this time around is Cian McKeltar. This time he is trapped in a mirror for 1,300 years due to an Unseelie curse until our overly-buxom and ridiculously shrewish-stupid heroine Jessica St James ends up with the mirror and releases our hero for a deflowering of her life.
Even if this is yet another same old book by the author with same characters reprised in a plot that is only cosmetic in how different it is from the plots of previous books, the heroine in this book is disgustingly deathworthy. Jessica speaks like a horrible parody of a Valley girl and behaves throughout the book either like a shrew from hell or an animated braindead blow-up doll with no survival instincts or common sense. It doesn’t help that Jessica is described in a ridiculously exaggerated manner like her having breasts of a size comparable to watermelons. Is Ms Moning trying to turn her story into a written version of a pornographic movie complete with actresses with ridiculous boob jobs and cringe-inducingly fake hysterical orgasms?
The writing is shoddy and even lazy. Anyone foolhardy enough to play a drinking game where she takes a sip every time the word “slanted” shows up in this book deserves the alcohol poisoning that will inevitably follow. The plot… ugh. The story concludes in a ridiculous deus ex machina manner that has me muttering, “Sheesh, those two could have just called that Celtic Justice League of Eternally Throbbing Penises a little earlier, like in page 40, and spare me the excruciating torture at having to suffer through visuals of Jessica’s cantaloupe mammaries rolling in all directions as she and Cian play the game of Barbie Girl again and again!”
Karen Marie Moning has reached a good place in her career. It just befuddles me how she seems to be using this good time in her career to start churning out barely-decent rushed jobs featuring uninspired recycled characters and plots. What is going on here?