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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Book Review and ARC Giveaway: Moonstruck Madness by Laurie McBain

Some seemingly usual plotlines but with lots of twists.
Moonstruck MadnessMoonstruck Madness by Laurie McBain

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402242433
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402242434
      Genre: Historical Romance
      My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0
Product Description
"The plot has imaginative twists and turns, and the backgrounds are lush and evocative. It's good, satisfying fun."
-Publishers Weekly
She's one thing by day, something else altogether by night...
After escaping the slaughter of her clan at a young age, Scottish noblewoman Sabrina Verrick provides for her siblings by living a double life, until the night she encounters the Duke, and her secret and all she holds dear is threatened...
He's so disillusioned, he's completely vulnerable...
With his inheritance at stake, Lucien, Duke of Camareigh, sets a trap for the Scottish beauty with the piercing violet eyes, never imagining what will happen when the trap is sprung...
As their lives become irreversibly entangled, Lucien and Sabrina become each other's biggest threat, as well as their only salvation...

Review: Just as you think the story would be ending there is another twist to the plot.
Sabrina, as a child of twelve, along with her older sister, Mary, younger brother, Richard, and their Aunt, escaped from battle torn Scotland to return to the neglected family country home in England.  Sabrina begins a life as a highwayman known as Bonnie Charlie to support their family.

Now Sabrina is a feisty seventeen year old thinking that she cannot be caught.  She arrogantly walks into a trap set by the Duke of Camareigh, one of her victims. The Duke, Lucien, is rakishly handsome and is even more arrogant than Sabrina.  He wants revenge even if he is surprised to discover the bold highwayman is really just a slip of a girl. Sabrina escapes setting off a battle of revenge against each other. There is great passion between them but instead of expressing itself as love it is served up in defiance, anger and hate.

Sabrina and Mary unexpectedly meet their father who decides that he can get some handsome settlements by marrying his two beautiful daughters to wealthy husbands.  Sabrina is set to defy him but finally determines she will marry a rich nobleman to save her sister and brother.  Just as she sets up to catch a mate, Lucien steps in to foil her plans.  Her latest humiliation by Lucien sets her even more determinedly against him.

Lucien is supposed to marry a woman chosen by his Grandmother within a few weeks or his inheritance will go to his cousin, Percy.  When his fiancĂ© disappears he sets his sights on wedding Sabrina even if she is unwilling.

There are lots of extra subplots going on while Sabrina and Lucien are wrangling.  Lucien’s cousins are plotting to kill him so they will inherit. Meanwhile, Sabrina’s sister, Mary, begins a friendship with the English soldier who is leading the search for Bonnie Charlie. It just so happens he is a soldier who Sabrina met back in Scotland and he suspects her nefarious activities.

Everything is crashing out of control for Sabrina. Sabrina and Lucien continually knock heads with their stubbornness but the top, exceedingly frustrating, stubbornness honors go to Sabrina. As Lucien says at one point... she needs to grow-up. The conflict is sort of fun but borders on becoming annoying.  It is saved by all the little twists.

The descriptions of the countryside and the homes are rich with detail which adds a fullness to the story.  I enjoyed the twisting surprises that kept popping up even to the end.  I was glad that this book did not have the same disjointedness I noted in Devil's Desire. The author did a fine job of taking some plotlines that may seem old but adding enough twists and turns to keep them interesting. I recommend this to readers who like a story with lots of emotional conflict to get through and lots of little subplots to liven up the main romance.
Thank you to Sourcebooks for this book to read and review.
1. Tell me a favorite (even if "old") plotline that you don't mind reading many times in historical romances. [The review mentions a couple if you need help thinking of some. :-)]
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* This contest will close 10 PM (Central) on March 11, 2011.
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