Monday, February 22, 2010

Feature Review: "The Hellion And The Highlander," By Lynsay Sands

By Michelle Buonfiglio

This may surprise you. But inside the body of this natural blonde quivers the soul of a fiery redhead aching to burst forth and make her sensual mark on the world.

OK, spoilsports, so my moonlite-and-caramel angel-kissed highlights may be nurtured an itty bit by my girl, Miss Clairol. But, yeah, my total romance fantasy is to be one of those titian-tressed heroines who brings the lusty rake to his knees as she makes a grand entrance at a ton ball, her “unfashionable” auburn-threaded-with-sunset curls ready to tumble about her creamy shoulders, set off by a daring gown in a shocking scarlet hue.

To some, ginger locks also suggest a hot-tempered or sexually seductive nature. This leaves many a redhead feeling annoyed, misunderstood and, in the case of even an anthropomorphized cartoon character, uttering the lament, “I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way.”

The flame-haired heroine of Lynsay Sands’ amusing and suspensefulThe Hellion and the Highlander” perhaps leans a bit toward the fiery version of the stereotype. Not that Lady Averill Mortagne would allow anyone to see the passion she’s painstakingly subdued. Regardless of whether she’s chatelaine of her father’s home and a respected healer, her lot in life is to become some preening English lord’s wife, and eventually her father hopes one will overlook the nuisance of her red locks.

Highlander Kade Stewart thinks Averill’s hair is astoundingly lovely, and can’t seem to get enough of her as she tends his wounds. Averill’s brother brought Kade to their home for Averill to heal after they and fellow Crusaders escaped enemy prison. Kade can’t understand what’s wrong with the foppish Englishmen who won’t have Averill. He thinks she’d be a bright, supportive woman to take to wife – and the honeymoon’d be no chore -- except for the fact that she’s just too biddable to be the spouse of a Highland laird.

Yet when Kade decides he can’t not marry Averill – smart, lusty young knight that he is – he finds Averill’s not exactly got some ‘splainin’ to do about her apparent feistiness, but rather is exactly the kind of woman who can help him as he seeks to restore honor to the role of laird within his clan.

But danger seems to hide in wait for Kade around every turn and turret, not just suspiciously linked to surprising suspects who may want him dead, but sometimes in the sweetly funny form of a red-haired hellion who might do him in first with her just-a-tad-too-enthusiastic approach to pleasuring her new husband.

Lynsay Sands’ Medievals always are reads to look forward to, because Sands creates in them a special brand of adventure-packed, yet lighthearted storytelling wrapped in period flavor. You’ll be treated to the addition of the always-appreciated braw Highlander – and the hopes for the love story of another awesome hero from “Hellion” in a book to come – when you --

Buy the Book.

What kind of heroine do you have lurking inside you, just dying to be let loose? What’s your alter-ego fantasy hair color?
___

28 comments:

jedisakora said...

Great Review!

My inner heroine has long, full, curly golden hair. Something quite different from my short, straight, dirty blond hair. lol

Melissa

Lucy Monroe said...

Sounds like a wonderful book - maybe visiting here isn't the best idea for my reading schedule. LOL

Hmm...I think my alter-ego heroine would have long black straight hair, pale, pale skin and really sharp eye-teeth. I don't write vampires, but I love reading them and the whole power dynamic of a female vampire really resonates with my imagination. :)

Monica Burns said...

Luce is right, every time I pop in here, Michelle, you've given me one more book to add to my TBR pile. *sigh*

As for alter-ego, hands down I want to be Elizabeth Taylor. Beautiful silky, midnight blue tresses and violet eyes that can spark angry fire or sultry invitation. Yep, ET would be ideal for me.

amy kennedy said...

I'm thinkin' you stole my fantasy Michelle...The first historical I read with (an unfashionably)red-headed heroine escaping from her ne'er-do-well uncle had me convinced, first, that I too was a red-head, and second, I mustn't cut my fiery locks, and third, I should like to steal away, in the dead of the night to an inn where I might find a hero...

Then I looked in the mirror. Dammit.

Princess Bumblebee said...

Well, I always thought there was one of Kresley Cole's kick-@$$ Valkyries lurking inside me, waiting to be released. If only I knew how to use a sword, hehe. Although I do know, thanks to my black-belt-toting dad, a few self-defense moves, hehe.
As for fantasy locks, mother nature and a mix of some pretty great jeans gave me my strawberry-blond curls and I wouldn't have it any other way, hehe.

Princess Bumblebee said...

As for the rest of me, besides my freckles, I wouldn't really change anything. Sorry, hehe! Pettite, red-headed, tiny, pretty, with an interesting eye-color somewhere between gray, green, and blue, there's not a whole lot I would change. Don't hate me cause I'm beautiful!

Becke Davis said...

Third try - the page keeps crashing. Is it my computer? Great post! I'll post a longer reply when it isn't going to get deleted AGAIN!

PJ said...

How can I resist a book with both Highlander and Hellion in the title? I love medievals, especially those set in Scotland. Toss in a braw Highland lad with a feisty lass and I'm in romance fiction nirvana. *g*

From the first time I saw her in a movie, I wanted to be a feisty redhead like Maureen O'Hara. Now, thanks to my hair stylist, I am! The redhead, that is. I'm still working on feisty. ;-)

Gannon Carr said...

I love Lynsay's books! If there's a braw handsome Highlander, I'm there!

I share your fantasy, Michelle, about having long, wavy read locks! A red-haired spitfire...of course!

Another would be to have raven hair and cerulean blue eyes. It's a good thing we can live vicariously through romance heroines. :-)

Monica Burns said...

Oh PJ!!! What about that wonderfully romantic scene In The Quiet Man, where John Wayne has hold of her hand and tugs her into his arms and kisses her while the wind is blowing in through the doorway of the cottage. *sigh*

Rosie Murphy w/a Gabriella Edwards said...

Seems like another one for the TBR pile. Thanks, Michelle!

My inner heroine is Mae West. Loved her femme fetale, in-your-face sensuality.

Big buxom and peroxided.*g* Not a huge stretch, huh?

LisaK said...

Aaaaaah, finally, there's another Highland book! I just love those boys!

Well, I am a redhead and actually never wanted to be anything else. If anyone ever wanted to dye my hair, they'd lose their lives! (Okay, now that utterance totally makes me fit into that cliché thingy, righ? *g*)
My mum said even when I was still a baby I already was a typical redhead. So I reckon I still am but only haven't found the right man to ignite my inner passion yet! Any volunteers? *looks around with an evil grin*

Oh, Michelle, sorry for not contacting you sooner but the book I won arrived here almost a week ago (even before POADP by KC, who'd have thought that?!) - congrats, on the list of books mailed to me from the US, you're in the lead! :)

Lucy Monroe said...

Monica!!! TQM is one of my all time fave movies. My youngest sister and I have it practically memorized for dialogue, we've seen it so many times. LOL

I often use my daughters for inspiration for my heroines and tell them that - you know so they won't wish they were someone else. Motherhood, the meeting of creativity and motivational speaking. :)

Becke Davis said...

I'm going to try again. Every time I posted yesterday I got an error message and lost the post!

This does sound like a really good book. I'm frustrated that I didn't appreciate the red hair when I had it, although it was never that sizzling flame color. More of a strawberry blonde. My brother, sister and son all have the red hair, although my siblings are also fading to white. Red hair doesn't last, sadly! At least, not without help.

Monica Burns said...

We were separated at birth, bella Lucy. *grin*

debbie haupt said...

What a great question Michelle, oh and BTW Good morning Bellas,
I'm right there with you that I've got a fiery red-headed heroine hidden not too deep inside my psyche. In fact when I first started getting gray hairs I tried a haircolor with some red in it. I loved it until the roots started showing then it really brought out the difference between the box color and my own. Yuck.
Of course in reference to all heroines, we don't have to be red-heads to be hellions now do we girls.
Thanks Michelle now I have to order another book and pretty soon my TBR pile is going to look like Beckes.

Deb

Vanessa Kelly said...

This book is getting such amazing buzz. Great review, Michelle.

I think I'd go with the tall, black-haired vamp. Powerful and sexy!

Sewicked said...

I was born a redhead & gradually went blond. Inside, I'm this feisty temperamental chick & on the outside I'm this sweet blond thing. I've got the best of two worlds.

I've sometimes wondered about going Celt black, w/ my grey-blue eyes & red-hair pale skin, it might work, but I remember my 'summer of henna' and decide to stay blond. I dyed my, at the time, short hair red with henna, just for the summer, in June. I was still a redhead in September.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Buongiorno, Bellas! Kind of took the day off yesterday to do some family stuff. Thanks to PJ Ausdenmore who recognized that in my desperation not to add a 'd' to Sands' first name, I managed initially to spell it w/ an "i"throughout this post, overlooking the 'y'.

I always wonder about this, because apart from the actions of the placeholder heroine, there have to be other things that make us want to 'be' her. Other than the obvious getting to to enjoy hers and the hero's partnership, mating bites, etc. :)

And as I was writing, I definitely was thinking of our our RBTB redhead, Becke. Sorry you had such a rough time checking in!

My father was a redhead, and I never got lucky enough to take after him completely. Though there certainly were the 'various shades of red' years which were, well, mostly misguided at best.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

jedisakora, totally! long, curly fantasy hair rocks! we share that one. I have total power dreams in which I have long, curly hair. I think they must be akin to other folks' 'flying' dreams. I always feel awesome in them and remember the feeling when i wake up. do you ever dream about having the hair? Or is that my freakish bent.

anybody else dream about having fantasy hair? not losing hair, I know that means something else entirely. i actually lost my hair after my transplant. it grew out really wavy, and it's the reason I started wearing short hair and never went back. so it really worked out. new life; new hair. :)

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Hi, Lucy! Wow. I so remember, like, 5 years ago when we e-met. Ready/Willing/Able. hawt. Who knew you had this vamp desire, though I think we're more clear with your new novel themes, which are not vamp at all, but very power-para in a cool setting... Ilike when the vamp chick gains her power, to see her learn to embrace and wield it. And you're right, the fangs are cool... And they always seem to have great clothes...

Mon, those violet eyes. She really on screen was one of those stars you just couldn't help but look at, could stare at for hours in mags, etc. even now folks still are interested. remember her on general hospital?

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

ames, there wasn't, like, a flower and a flame in that one, was there?

principessa, i definitely could see you as one of Cole's IAD valkyries! don't you love how funny they are? even when they aren't at first, they develop their own styles of humor.

PJ, I'm so w/you on the medievals. they are so fabulous, and don't you feel you can't get enough of em? I think you've got feisty in you. It's in your sense of humor. Maureen O. Perfect. And don't we also often associate the 'minxish' with the beautiful Irish redhead in fiction, too?

Great combo, too, Gannon. Always seems surprising. but so lovely. [i'm trying desperately not to say how great it is on heroes, since this is supposed only to be about heroines. d'oh! sorry.]

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Rosie/Gab you made me snort. shawkah. but she totally was powerful in her own way.

LisaK writes: If anyone ever wanted to dye my hair, they'd lose their lives! (Okay, now that utterance totally makes me fit into that cliché thingy, righ? *g*) lol. and glad you got the book. that place is so amazing, book depository.never ever worry about getting back to me, because everyone knows it takes me forever to get back on stuff. it's in my heart to be prompt, life seems to get in the way. and I've tried to ignore my kids, believe me...

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Lucy M, that's amazing, what you wrote here: often use my daughters for inspiration for my heroines and tell them that - you know so they won't wish they were someone else.

I knew there was a reason we were drawn to one another, deb. It's the red-head thing. And I like that y ou're encouraging everyone to be feisty! we need more reminders to embrace that. least i do. or maybe i don't, depending on whom you talk to...

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

vanessa, every time you mention 'sexy,' i want to make a joke about your husband, randy. it's sophomoric. it's tedious. and now it's just gotten old. but there you have it. scusi. : ) I do think you could pull off some nice over-the-knee, leather Queen of the Vampires boots...

Sewicked, the Celt black thing sounds gorgeous. Imagine the stories you could make up about your ancestors being kidnapped by Vikings... I'm still laughing re the summer of henna. henna always seems like such a good, earthy, sensual idea...

amy kennedy said...

Lucy! It's so good to see you here!

Sewicked, you reminded me of my summer of henna hair. Magenta, I believe that's the color it was -- way before it was cool to have crayon-colored hair. Every once in awhile I still try a red...my mom was a red-head green eyed beauty, she's still alive, it's just that now she's a silver-haired green-eyed beauty.

Oooh, Michelle, didn't you love the heroine's hair from The Wolf and the Dove?

Princess, we couldn't hate you.

Monica Burns said...

remember her on general hospital?

Vaguely, I only watched All My Children, and then only in the summer. My mother thought soaps were bad for me. So she sent me outdoors. I always took a book with me. That way while I was reading under a tree she couldn't say I wasn't getting any fresh air. *grin*

Princess Bumblebee said...

Thnx, QB! I know, don't you just love how hysterical they are? Love it!