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Seduction of a Highland Warrior
by Sue-Ellen Welfonder
(Grand Central, $7.99, PG-13)  ISBN 978-0-446-56179-2
Meet the Romeo and Juliet of Medieval Scotland, Alasdair MacDonald and Lady Marjory Mackintosh, in Sue-Ellen Welfonder's third Highland historical, Seduction of a Highland Warrior. Having been in lust for much of their lives, the pair, whose families have been openly hostile since the beginning of time, are doomed to hard times from the get-go and Welfonder provides with a very ... um ... odd set of circumstances for them to battle.

Seduction of a Highland Warrior starts out normally enough, with a rugged barbarian (Alasdair) returning after some chest beating and flirting with the forbidden fruit (Marjory, whose brother has been offering her to the highest Nordic bidder for some time). Needless to say, there's the usual back-and-forth between two; not enough, however, for Marjory, who decides it's time to seduce her caveman - not that he needs it. And so on, ad nauseum--except for the occasional break for off-the-wall plotlines like trance-like dreams, ghosts of mythological figures, and the pending doom of a "Black Viking" invasion.

Characters from the previous novels in the series do put in the requisite appearances, but unless you've read those books, don't bother with Seduction of a Highland Warrior. The characters down to the lowest clansman and up to Kendrew, Marjorie's powerful brother, are all shallow and boring, their creator relying on things like otherworldly romance to give the story some depth. Likely Shakespeare is rolling over in his grave at my earlier comparison: in no way would his writing resemble the stilted dialogue and disappointing prose of this novel.

--Sarrah Knight

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