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Thursday, June 8, 2006

Spell of the Higlander by Karen Marie Moning

Holly Says

I love this book. I read it for the first time in August when it was released. KMM just keeps getting better and better as time goes on.

The fourth book in her Highlander series, Karen Marie Moning tells the story of yet another MacKelter, Cian.


Jessi St. James has got to get a life. Too many hours studying ancient artifacts has given the hardworking archaeology student a bad case of sex on the brain. So she figures she must be dreaming when she spies a gorgeous half-naked man staring out at her from inside the silvery glass of an ancient mirror. But when a split-second decision saves her from a terrifying attempt on her life, Jessi suddenly finds herself confronting six and a half feet of smoldering, insatiable alpha male.

Heir to the arcane magic of his Druid ancestors, eleven centuries ago Cian MacKeltar was trapped inside the Dark Glass, one of four coveted Unseelie Hallows, objects of unspeakable power. When the Dark Glass is stolen, an ancient enemy will stop at nothing to reclaim it, destroying everything in his path-including the one woman who may just hold the key to breaking the ninth-century Highlander's dark spell. For Jessi, the muscle-bound sex god in the mirror is not only tantalizingly real, he's offering his protection-from exactly what, Jessi doesn't know. And all he wants in exchange is the exquisite pleasure of sharing her bed.

Yet even as Cian's insatiable hunger begins to work its dark magic on Jessi, his ancient enemy is about to obtain the final and most dangerous of the Unseelie Hallows-and the ninth-century Highlander must stop him from getting it. Nothing less than the very fabric of the universe and two passionately entwined lives are at stake-as Cian and Jessi fight to claim the kind of love that comes along but once in an ice age. . . .

The story is at times funny, sensual and hypnotic. KMM is a master at weaving magical, mystical worlds that draw her readers in and wrap them up in her reality.

Jessi St. James is an ordinary girl, working on getting yet another degree and reaching her life goal. When she's suddenly thrust into a very strange, very unbelievable situation - a man in a mirror? Puh-leez - she does what any sane girl would do...pretends it was all a dream and goes on about her day like nothing ever happened.

Unfortunately, she's forced to face the reality of the situation when the six and a half foot Celtic sex GOD steps out of a mirror and comands her to "Remove that woolen, woman, and show me your breasts." Suddenly, she finds herself at the mercy of a powerful Druid with no qualms about using whatever means necessary to get what he wants....revenge against the powerful black wizard who trapped him in the mirror to begin with.

I love this book. So far, this is my umpteenth re-read and I've yet to find a single flaw with it.

Cian is the perfect man. Tall, dark, handsome, very alpha and an asbolute horndog. Jessi St. James is a wonderful counterpart for him, too. She's sassy, smart and has a great sense of humor. And though she's forced to deal with a very strange situation, she definately makes the most of it. I thought she was a very believable heroine, not at all like so many others.

The book is filled with humor, steamy sex scenes and lighthearted banter. Yet, for all that, it's still very dramatic and tugs at all of your emotions. Or it sure did mine.

Seeing the other MacKeltar twins, Dageus and Drustan, again was awesome, too. I love that KMM had them play such a big part in the plot. My only regret is that Adam Black was sadly missing from this story..and from the sounds of it, any future ones as well.

KMM also set this up perfectly for her next MacKeltar book. According to the various sites I've checked, she's scheduled to release her next book, DarkFever, in October of this year. So far, I haven't been able to find much information on it, but I'm hoping against all hope that it's the next MacKeltar book.

Some of my favorite quotes:

"Look, I've been thinking, what's your plan, anyway?"
"To bed you."
"No, I mean, your plan that might actually work."
"Ah, that plan. That would be to cross this room right now and kiss you until you start rearing off your clothing and begging me to f---"

Her life or her "virtue."
It bore considering that it was a virtue she'd very nearly given him of her own acord.
Granted, she'd hardly been in her right mind at the time, but still.
She got in the damn car.

"I will rue for all eternity every moment of suffering I've caused you. The entire time I'm burning in Hell, I'll regret each tear I made you weep. But if Hell were the price for twenty days with you, I'd condemn myself again and again."

He searched her gaze a long silent moment. "You truly donna ken it, do you? Excepting with you, Jessica. You, lass, are the exception to everything," he said softly.
"You mean, you're not just stuck with me? You like me?" She wanted to kick herself the moment she blurted the stupid question. Puh-thetic, Jessi, she winced inwardly. That was worse than the "I carried a watermelon " line from Dirty Dancing.
Suddenly he smiled, and the sadness was vanquished by whisky heat. "Aye, Jessica, I like you. And I'm not just stuck with you. You fit me here, woman." He thumped his chest with his fist.
Wow. He wasn't a man of many words, but when he used them, he certainly used the right ones. You fit me here. You are the exception to everything.

Isabel Says

I'm not gonna add too much since Holly's review was just awesome.

But damn, Cian MacKeltar. He is hot. I don't know how else to describe him. My heart broke when he said he wasn't even a man since he couldn't protect his woman. I loved how he refused to show himself until Dageus found Jessie and brought her back. Although he was a jerk for not telling Jessie the whole truth about his plot to get revenge.

I loved how Jessie didn't just pout in her room after finding out the truth. I mean, she did have every right to be mad. Don't get me wrong, but I'm glad she realized she didn't have a lot of time left with Cian and sought him out.

One of my favorite quotes (aside from the ones Holly posted) is from Dageus upon learning Jessie and Cian are in the hallway doing the deed:

"I put over a hundred rooms in this castle, and they're bloody out there in the bloody corridor as if they couldn't find a door to a chamber?"

Too cute. I did enjoy this book. Kiss and To Tame are still in the number one spot though.

Grade: B+ Cian: A
This is a must read! The books that come before it are:

Beyond the Highland Mist
To Tame a Highland Warrior
The Highlander's Touch
Kiss of the highlander
The Dark Highlander
The Immortal Highlander

Spell of the Highlander

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