by Amanda Scott, historical (2001)
Warner, $5.99, ISBN 0-446-61026-7
Abducted Heiress, the first book in the The Secret Clan series by veteran author Amanda Scott (she's hoping Warner will do better for her career than Zebra), is a celebration of girly love. However, the author deftly navigates the story - tired clichés and all - in a way that makes this one an enjoyable affair.
The story starts with five-year old Molly Gordan's life thrown into turmoil and she separated from her parents. Now, twelve years later in 1539, she is the usual Scots heroine: good with horses and (supposedly) weapons (although be assured she will always need a man to save her from trouble), timid, mousy, innocent, and oh yeah, as the obligatory "feminine special trait passed as character development" thing, she may or may not have an affinity to "speak" to animals. Could be worse, she could be a healer.
Seventeen-year old Molly is now the richest woman in Scotland. That is, if she can figure out where her father hid all the money. The old man croaked before he could tell anyone the location of the stash. Molly may or may not hold a clue to the whereabouts (I'm not telling, people), but one thing's for sure: she's hot commodity in the kidnap-happy atmosphere of the Highlands.
In comes Sir Finlay Mackenzie, "Wild Fin" to you, and his obligatory stereotype older, wiser good buddy and their men. Fin wants Molly, by hook or by crook, or more specifically, he wants her money. He presents her not-guardian (oh, it's a long story) with a letter that makes him the new ward and husband of Molly. Molly's not-guardian cleverly tells the men that she is somewhere else.
Molly, fresh from listening to tales of Old Glorious Scots, is actually down the inn nearby. She has never seen men and horses before. That's the only explanation I can think of as to why she just walks glazy-eyed to the Fin Posse and then gawk when Fin makes a rude come-hither at her. And like all innocent heroine, her ovaries bloom when the first handsome dude makes a rude sexist remark at her. Ah, girly girls. Someone drop a giant bottle of Ribena on their heads now!
Anyway, there comes the kisses, the gropes, the near-misses, and of course, Molly, despite almost given Fin free pass to every inch of her 17-year old body, will scream bloody murder when Fin wants to marry her. Put in the search for the missing money, the mystery of Molly's not-dead-sister (who'll get her own book next), some paranormal subplot about busybody faeries, war... it's all a pretty enjoyable, exciting read, to be honest. It's nothing earthshattering here, but it's prime entertainment.
I'm just not into the romance as much as I should, really. Fin's grand love seems to be all because of Molly's beauty. Incidentally, can I use this space to plead to authors one thing? Authors, having long luscious tresses and big breasts are not the true signs of a grown-up woman. It's the mentality. Seriously, just because this girly-mirly dingbat Molly has big breasts and thick lips and long luscious tresses, she has no excuse to act all starry-eyed and innocent almost throughout the whole story, untouched by her experiences. Please, cut down on the girly-girls, please. I can't take it anymore.
Okay, rant over. Apart from Girly Molly, Wild Fin is pretty much a stock hero. I must say this time around it is the story that keeps me reading when the characters and the romance are less than riveting.
This book at Amazon.com
This book at Amazon UK
Search for more reviews of works by this author: