Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks
Series: The Montgomerys and Armstrongs #1
Genre: Historical Romance
Dates Read: January 23-26, 2019
Synopsis:Eveline Armstrong is fiercely loved and protected by her powerful clan, but outsiders consider her “touched.” Beautiful, fey, with a level, intent gaze, she doesn’t speak. No one, not even her family, knows that she cannot hear. Content with her life of seclusion, Eveline has taught herself to read lips and allows the outside world to view her as daft. But when an arranged marriage into a rival clan makes Graeme Montgomery her husband, Eveline accepts her duty—unprepared for the delights to come. Graeme is a rugged warrior with a voice so deep and powerful that his new bride can hear it, and hands and kisses so tender and skilled that he stirs her deepest passions.
Graeme is intrigued by the mysterious Eveline, whose silent lips are ripe with temptation and whose bright, intelligent eyes can see into his soul. As intimacy deepens, he learns her secret. But when clan rivalries and dark deeds threaten the wife he has only begun to cherish, the Scottish warrior will move heaven and earth to save the woman who has awakened his heart to the beautiful song of a rare and magical love.
This book was a parabola. The beginning was good, the middle dragged, and the ending picked the story back up again. At its heart, this is a story of acceptance and overcoming fear. Eveline accepts her fate and overcomes her fear of joining Graeme and the Montgomery clan; Graeme and the Montgomerys grow to accept Eveline and join with the Armstrongs, as well.
The first thing that bothered me about the writing was that it is a bit repetitive. We know Eveline reads lips and has to make sure she’s facing a person to understand them. We know Graeme makes sure she’s looking at him so she can read his lips. We know she looks away to prevent knowing what someone says. Stop repeating it, please.
As for the romance, I think Graeme fell in love a little too quickly. Not that it isn’t possible, but it seemed a little exaggerated. They’d been married for all of a week when Graeme’s suddenly all, “Oh, I love her! How could this happen so quickly?” Yes, Graeme. How? At first he treats her gently because he thinks she’s mentally disabled, but then once he discovers that she’s simply deaf, he suddenly changes his tune. I think it was just a bit too quick. I would have liked more development between Eveline and Graeme, even just a couple of pages focused on their relationship.
When the Armstrongs said Eveline was terrified of horses, I wanted her to have to overcome her fear at some point, especially since she used to love riding. And thank goodness, she did when she needed to in order to help Graeme when he needed her to. She didn’t even hesitate when she realized that she’d need to mount the horse. That’s one thing I really liked about Eveline: she was brave. Even when she pretended she couldn’t speak for three years out of her fear of a man, she did it for protection and eventually spoke to Graeme when she realized she would be safe. She was brave in her self-preservation and in her protection of others.
I liked how Bowen and Teague, Graeme’s brothers, grew to accept Eveline, even aside from the reason that Graeme wanted them to. Bowen started off softer toward her, and Teague took a little longer to warm up to her, but I think I liked Teague’s relationship with her the best since he started off being more averse to her. My heart swelled a little when he insisted that she ride with him because he was worried about her safety, and then again when both Bowen and Teague treated her with such tenderness while Graeme was indisposed.