Saturday, November 1, 2014

New Review: Laurie McBain’s MOONSTRUCK MADNESS – A Classic Keeper with a Scottish Heroine Masquerading as a Highwayman and a Scarred English Duke!

November is Romance Trilogies month on my blog and I’m beginning with a truly great one! This is a classic many authors say influenced them. Written in 1977, it sold a million copies. I see why. McBain is a terrific author and this is a worthy read—and the first in a great trilogy!

Set in 1746 in Scotland (prologue), and 1751 in England, this is the story of Sabrina Verrick, the Scottish noblewoman, who along with her sister and brother survive after their grandfather, Laird of the MacElden clan, is brutally slain by the English at Culloden Moor. They escape to England where they live in the country at the rundown estate of their father, an English marquis who abandoned them as children. To feed her family, Sabrina becomes the highwayman “Bonnie Charlie,” robbing the rich to feed the poor, including her family.

One man she robs, Lucien, Duke of Camareigh, a gambler and a rogue, is no English fop as are most of Sabrina’s victims. A self-made man, he decides to trap the wily bandit and have his revenge. Once he captures “Charlie,” the duke realizes the highwayman who has been plaguing him and his friends is a beautiful young woman. When she won’t reveal who she is, he decides to try seduction.

Original cover
Superbly written, you’ll find this one hard to put down. I love the logic of McBain’s intricate plot…no improbable moments here. No contrived black moments. Just great storytelling and suspenseful action. The dialog is clever and the characters wonderfully developed. Sabrina is courageous, good hearted and rebellious to the end and Camareigh is a tough alpha male, just the kind we like to see fall to love’s power.

McBain paints vivid pictures of Culloden (to start with) and then the English countryside thereafter, putting you right in the scene. It is so well done. Reading this just reminded me that a 5-star classic never goes out of style.

This is the first in McBain’s Dominick trilogy:

Moonstruck Madness
Chance The Winds Of Fortune
Dark Before The Rising Sun

I highly recommend all of them!

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