Devil Of The Highlands
by Lynsay Sands, historical (2009)
Avon, $7.99, ISBN 978-0-06-134477-0


Someone please hook me up with Michelle Buonfiglio. I really, really, desperately need to see the light at the end of the tunnel after having read Lynsay Sands' Devil Of The Highlands. There is so much heat I am feeling, I can't see the light, much less separate it from all that hate and malice that bogs down our happy world.

In this story, we have Evelinde d'Aumesbery, a Cinderella in 1273 who slaves for her bitter cartoon stepmother Edda. When the story opens, Edda has found the perfect way to be rid of her stepdaughter - she will marry Evelinde off to Cullen, Laird of Donnachaidh. The Laird isn't called the "Devil" for nothing, you know. Rumor has it, he killed his uncle, his father, and his wife. Of course, we all know that handsome men in romance novels with reputations that put OJ Simpson's to shame are only misunderstood.

"Nay, you cannot be the Devil of Donnachaidh," she assured him. "He is... well, a Devil. Everyone knows that. And you..." She peered at him helplessly. "You are handsome and sweet and have kind eyes. And you made me feel..." She paused and shook her head firmly. "You cannot be the Devil."

Not to mention, she had by that point allowed him to put his mouth on her nipple and was on her way to third base when she realized who he was.

What can I say? I've never wanted the hero to be Ted Bundy so bad until I come across that scene. Oh, the beautiful bliss I will experience from reading all about how the hero chokes the life out of this braindead egghead...

Evelinde is very stupid. I try to be patient with her since she's a very stupid backward bumpkin who has never left her home until she gets married, but I end up understanding Edda's hatred for her stepdaughter completely. Evelinde takes stupidity to a grotesque level and if I were Edda, I'd be so disgusted by this wretchedly stupid heifer that I wouldn't just tell Cullen to beat the crap out of her, I'd suggest shipping her off to Antarctica and let the penguins eat her alive.

I clutch at my heart and try not to scream when, from pages 122 to 125, she believes that her husband is in danger so she rushes headlong into the scene of danger, only to realize that she has misread the whole scene and she now requires rescuing instead. And her pattern of truly horrible non-stop stupidity continues all the way to the last page as she decides to solve the three mysteries behind her husband's tarnished image to turn him into an adorable teddy bear in everyone's eyes.

Read page 254 for a superb example of Evelinde's brilliant attempts at interrogating suspects. Let's just say that she's the charming darling who will walk up to a suspect and asks that fellow upfront questions that will make that fellow tremble with barely suppressed rage.

And the best thing is, I'm supposed to adore Evelinde. She's supposed to be cute and spunky instead of being a poster girl for the Chernobyl effect of braindead heroines on the hapless brain of the romance reader. By the time I close this book, it is all I can do not to start screaming and run headlong into busy traffic to cleanse myself of the traumatic experience of having endured some 350 pages of Lynsay Sands taking this giant red hot burning poker and shoving it up my nostril right into my brain.

Rating: 01


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