The Legend
by Kathleen Givens, historical (2002)
Warner, $6.50, ISBN 0-446-61052-6


I finally finished this book in-between surfing for, uh, interesting pictures of half-naked guys. It's a drastic move on my part, because I told myself that for every 10 page I finish in Kathleen Givens' latest book The Legend, I will treat myself to another nice picture of those lovely Naked Hollywood collection. (Why no naked men, you ask? Let's just say that porn-star endowments really scare me, I'd prefer subtlety in my eye-candy to men letting all the dangly bits hanging out. Not that it's your business, can we change the subject now? Thank you.)

So there have you. I finally finished The Legend. While technically polished, the characters are dull, and while there is a lot of interesting set-up (legends and myths, that sort of thing), the pace just drags and drags my eyes until I have no choice but to feast them on the sight of Colin Farrell's naked chest. And I blame Kathleen Givens for my descend into depravity. When I actually download the Shirtless Sebastian Spence Seduction Scene in that Special Unit 2 episode while trying to finish pages 100 to 175 during the loading time, I have hit a new low in my surfing habits. I will not repeat what Hildy sarcastically remarked about dangling carrots in front of myself, only she didn't exactly use the word "carrots", only something more, uh, rude.

Obviously the first book of a series, this book sees our hero James MacCurrie taking the place of his twin brother Neil (Neil is now the clan leader) in some political meeting in Dunfallady Castle. The guys want to talk about whether to support King James the Second or William the Orange. Neil has some things to do, like getting ready for his own book, coming out soon, so James decide to take Neil's place at Dunfallady. Who will know? No one can tell them apart, after all.

Ellen Graham is on her way to Dunfallady too. She has come to know of a plot to murder her cousin John, and she and her gaggle of usual useless girls and inept men-at-arms are on their way when they are attacked. How thoughtful of the attackers to attack when James and his gaggle of more capable men are nearby. Memo to heroines: next time travel naked, will meet men faster that way.

James decide to guard Ellen because Ellen is now a key witness to a Dastardly Plot and Evil People are out to get Ellen. So there they go. Up to Scotland, down to Scotland, right of Scotland, left of Scotland, talk talk here, talk talk there, angst here, angst there, everybody talk talk, old Mrs Giggles had a farm, e-i-e-i-o!

Thank God for those nice Hugh Jackman fans that put up scans of Hugh's shirtless scenes from Swordfish. That bare butt photo from Someone Like You helped me through 80 pages of this book alone.

James is boring. Ellen is boring. They are both so boring that they can teach all about stultification at PhD level. James isn't bad, he's just your usual Scots hero - I can't really describe it, but he's just like every other Scots hero in every typical Scots romance. Ellen is the usual "feisty" (read: foolhardy) heroine, again, nothing new. And for a story where war is about to break out, the pace plods so much that I actually ran out of Hugh Jackman photos and panicked for a while, until I came across Colin Farrell's Vanity Fair shots. That beret is ridiculous, and the interview laughable, but those pictures of my favorite dark-haired shorty? Purr-fect.

Another 80 more pages to go until the bitter end. No more Colin Farrell pictures. Oh no! How can I survive this? Then I came across a website dedicated to soap opera hunks. Perfect.

And that, people, is how I survived The Legend. And long after this book has faded from my memory (an hour later, to be exact), the sight of Cameron Mathison's oh-so-glorious glory of glories still linger on, I swear I'll need to go check my blood pressure. I'm still trying to figure out if that's a good thing or not.

Rating: 54


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