R4. Highland Rebel by Tess Mallory

Pages: 293

Pairing: tour manager (?) and highwayman/rock star
First Sentence: Celtic music sensation Ian MacGregor flashed his now-famous smile at the thousand or more cheering fans as he took his place center stage at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.
Climax: She shattered beneath him and Ian found her mouth, possessed it, possessed her, until she gasped again and then arched into his thrust, as they both shuddered with release.

Highland Rebel had more potential than most of the other romance novels I've read so far, but I feel like all of it was wasted. Just look at the premise: it's 2009, and Celtic rock star Ian MacGregor has been living in the present for a year. He comes from 1711, and now he has to travel through time again to save Ellie Graham, his tour manager and the eventual love of his life. Throw in young genius Davey Ferguson and Ian's fiery young sister Katie Campbell, and you'd think you have a recipe for guaranteed fun times in the sexy Scottish Highlands. Did I mention that Ellie is a goth? From Texas?

Well, think again. It was actually almost 300 pages of waffling. Waffling, and Ian "dragg[ing] his hand through his hair."

The book opens at a concert of Ian's band, Outlaw, who are basically a superfamous version of The Dropkick Murphies. It's been a year since Ian and his friend Quinn travelled forward in time with Quinn's wife/Ellie's sister, Maggie (I think that must've happened in the first book, because this one is a sequel). So ya know, these guys got really famous really quickly. Outlaw are at the end of their European tour, and Ellie is in love with Ian. She's also damaged from her parents' deaths over ten years before, and a goth, and won't let anybody in, so she's quitting her job. She doesn't know that Ian is actually from the 18th century.

After the show, everyone goes to what sounds like an extremely lame afterparty at Maggie's cottage, which Ellie leaves in a huff, ending up at "the cairn," where Davey Ferguson is studying mysterious energy surges coming from the region of three spirals on the floor. Davey is 22 years old but has two PhDs, is cute except of course for his glasses, and is my favourite character (I like to imagine him as a relative of Craig Ferguson). Neither he nor Ellie knows that the spirals are magical time travel devices. So Ellie accidentally activates the spirals, and she and Davey are thrown back in time. A bystander gets Ian, who goes back in time to rescue Ellie and Davey.

Once they get into the past everything is a mess, and not as fun as it should be. Ian discovers he has a half-sister, Katie, who is 19 and betrothed to a sexagenarian (*snicker*) earl. That is until she forces Davey to marry her. There are some good bits.

I'll save you all the gory details. Blah blah blah, Ian doesn't kill the king, blah, he reconciles with his father, blah blah, Ellie gets pregnant and they go back to the present and get married. Of course Ian has taught her how to love and she's gotten over all her issues but still sometimes dyes her hair blue.

Most likely I'm just bitter because the book didn't live up to my expectations, but seriously I couldn't get into it and it lasted for-friggin'-ever. I'd like to make some kind of time joke but can't come up with anything. Also the Scottish accents and various broadening brogues majorly got on my nerves. Terry Pratchett did it much better with the Nac Mac Feegle. At least the characterization in this one improved a bit on the other romnovs.

Whatever. Hopefully the next romnov lives up to its title and cover illustration a bit better.

Davey had added his scientific approval to the idea of the spirals powering some kind of time vortex. As far as he was concerned, it was entirely logical.

As for himself, he was having a grand time. Since he'd long ago resigned himself to the fact that one day one of his wild experiments would likely kill him, he had nothing to fear, and as a scientist, everything to gain.

"Lass, ye look so cute."

Just as he would have brought a coat, if he'd known he was going to be traveling back in time.

Either Ian is still with his father, she thought, or he just doesn't want to sleep with me--I mean talk to me.


  1. This blog entry was redeemed 100% by that secret link, you sly vixen!

  2. Ahahaha. Anything I can do to keep my readers engaged. lolz