It’s always tough writing a review for a book I don’t enjoy. I don’t want to disrespect the author and their work, and I don’t want to completely ruin the experience for someone willing to give the book a try. But I have to be honest. So I’ll just get right to it; like pulling a bandage off as quickly as possible. I just finished Highlander Most Wanted by Maya Banks, and from start to finish, found it not to my taste.
In Highlander Most Wanted, a reclusive woman content to live in the shadows shows a Highland warrior the true meaning of love.
Genevieve McInnes is locked behind the fortified walls of McHugh Keep, captive of a cruel laird who takes great pleasure in ruining her for any other man. Yet when Bowen Montgomery storms the gates on a mission of clan warfare, Genevieve finds that her spirit is bent but not broken. Still, her path toward freedom remains uncertain. Unable to bear the shame of returning to a family that believes her dead or to abandon others at the keep to an imposing new laird, Genevieve opts for the peaceful life of an abbess. But Bowen’s rugged sensuality stirs something deep inside her that longs to be awakened by his patient, gentle caress—something warm, wicked, and tempting.
Bowen seizes his enemy’s keep, unprepared for the brooding and reclusive woman who captures his heart. He’s enchanted by her fierce determination, her unusual beauty, and her quiet, unfailing strength. But wooing her will take more than a seasoned seducer’s skill. For loving Genevieve, he discovers, means giving her back the freedom that was stolen from her—even if it means losing her forever.
The plot itself isn’t a new one; girl gets kidnapped by a crazed lunatic, girl gets rescued by a hero, girl falls for hero, and they get their happily ever after. I think the only thing about Highlander Most Wanted that sets this novel apart from others is what the girl, Genevieve McInnes endures. Most romance novels of this type, the heroine is treated badly but not terrible, or at least all those that I have read. Genevieve is tortured, raped and horribly disfigured. Not only that, but you have two other characters who have ‘deformities’ which you don’t typically see. These characters aren’t shunned or hidden, as would have been the case in real life. They are treated no differently and help their clansmen in every day life. That part was nice, Banks showing that not being perfect doesn’t make the person less desirable or capable. Other than that, everything about the plot plays out as expected; I guessed the entire book easily enough. As far as the pacing goes, it wasn’t terrible. There could have been more action and tension but there was enough to keep things moving steadily enough.
I didn’t enjoy the writing style in this novel at all. I skipped paragraphs, sometimes skimmed pages, at a time because things were redundant and overly worded. Even the dialogue was just as over the top and overly descriptive. There was far too much telling and not enough showing, in my opinion. This made the book a tad boring at times.
As far as the characters go, I wasn’t that into any of them because none of them were consistent. Genevieve has been tortured, she’s shunned and tormented by the clan members of her captor, leaving her super timid. Yet she can stand up and dictate orders like no one’s business to strangers and enemies alike in the midst of chaos? That part had me scratching my head in confusion. She also falls into Bowens arms rather easily, and quickly, for someone who has been an abused prisoner for a year. I know for reading purposes, it had to be a short time frame, but Genevieve didn’t put up a fight in my opinion. As far as Bowen goes, while he does do his hero duties of championing for her and being an all around good guy, he turned out about a bit weak in the end. Without giving away the exact details, this is going to be tough explaining but I’m going to try. Basically, he does something to protect/help Genevieve, but instead of being honest with her about what he had to do, he doesn’t tell her until he has to. He’s too scared to tell her! That’s cowardly in my opinion. Nothing ruins my view of a hero more than that. The other characters were much the same, inconsistent and not that interesting.
Would I recommend Highlander Most Wanted? Well that’s a tough one. It’s no different from a lot of romance novels out there. It isn’t the worst I’ve ever read, but it’s not the best either. If you are ok with a novel that doesn’t make you think or doesn’t leave you in suspense, then give it a shot. Who knows, you may like it? As always, I have much respect for Ms. Banks; writing a novel is no easy feat and deserves a high five no matter that I didn’t like her work.