by Ana Seymour, historical (2003)
Jove (Highland Fling), $5.99, ISBN 0-515-13490-2
This story isn't bad. But it doesn't stand out or grab me either. Master Of Castle Glen is like having a bowl of simple home-made porridge. When it's done, it's done and I can't remember what I actually felt while reading the book. Am I bored? Am I thrilled? All I can remember is going through the motion of reading this book. The author fails to grab me even once and make her story stick in all two hundred seventy pages (give or take) of this book.
It's 1885. Fionna McLennan is seething angrily as she awaits the arrival of Fergus Campbell, the man that will just walk in and take over Castle Glen, whom she believes should go to her fourteen-year old stepson. Of course, she's more beautiful than he expected and he's so gorgeous that she finds it hard to keep disliking that fellow. She also plots to use a codicil to overhrow Fergus' claim. Of course there are villainous lecherous people out to steal the land. Of course the land is losing money, and of course the heroine knows nothing. Of course she's the enlightened type who treats servants like family and of course the servants are the happy matchmaking types. The story unfurls like a tableau of familiar characters and plot developments.
I think I should mention that there is a ghost in here too, and yes, the ghost behaves just like ghosts in formulaic romances tend to behave. Just like how Fionna's relationship with her pleasant much older late husband is predictable, just like how Fergus' baggages are predictable. My reaction to this book is equally predictable. Everything's predictable. How unfortunate that in this case, the author fails to infuse any memorable humor or character repartees to make her predictable book stand out from the rest.
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