Monday, September 3

Blogging Bound to a Warrior: Part 4

Okay guys, I’m sorry I’ve been away for so long. My mum keeps harassing me to blog some more of Bound to a Warrior but I had lent it to a friend so couldn’t write anything. Also, my brother is now has a blog where he blogs and writes terrible romance – it runs in the family, but he does it so much better than me. Check it out:
So, I believe we’re up to chapter four, yes?
We start with more walking. They walk for an hour or so before the sit down and hoe into a little of the bread Bailey-from-the-last-chapter gave them. Mercy wants to ask Duncan lots and lots of questions like “why’s the king after you?”, “who are you, really?”, how the hell did we mistake a pregnant lady for an old woman?”, “why do the soldiers know, or at least think, we’re still alive when they seemed so sure we’d die after jumping off that cliff?”, “why’d they capture us just to kill us? And if they just wanted to kill us why are they looking for us now and why didn’t they do a better job of it? Did they just want to get me wet?”, “why are we even handcuffed together? What is this supposed to accomplish? Did you arrange this to set up some kind of kinky sex situation?”, and “why is your kilt black and red one minute and then an “undistinguishable” colour the next?” but she’s too hungry to talk.
You were walking together for an hour. You weren’t hungry when you started walking. Why didn’t you ask him your questions while you walked? It’s not like you’ve walked in silence before so why start now? Why start to walk in silence now that you have something to talk about that’s important and not playful banter? WHY?
Screw you, Mercy.
Although they’re still hungry, they put the rest of the bread aside for later. And then they playfully joke about it. Too hungry to ask the questions we all want to know but not too hungry to engage in poor dialogue and tell Duncan “You’re a humorous one.” and “a poetic philosopher as well.” That’s how she speaks to him. Because every eighteen year old I know tells someone that they’re funny by saying “You’re a humorous one.” Sure, this is the 11th century or something but I’m sure that even then people only said “You’re a humorous one” when being patronising.
But Duncan asks Mercy what she knows of poetic philosophers and we learn a little bit about her, however only enough to intrigue us, not enough to tell us anything. “Only in a family of means would you find an educated daughter”. Mercy claims she’s not from a family of means, her mother just wanted the best for her. Yeah, but if a peasant woman wants the best for her daughter it doesn’t mean her daughter is going to be educated. Her mother must have had some kind of means or influence.
Next we see a plot hole partially explained. Remember how I asked why they tried to kill both Mercy and Duncan if they actually wanted Mercy alive? Well, I can now answer that. Apparently Mercy’s mother had done something very foolish which had condemned them both to death. Apparently everyone suspects Mercy knows of her mother’s devious plans. They want to kill her so the plans don’t come into fruition, although, I’m not sure anyone, not ever Mercy, is aware of what these devious plans are.
At least the kings orders have gone somewhere along the lines of “just kill her to make sure she doesn’t do anything bad” as opposed to the usually super villain tactic of “keep her alive and bring her to me so I may learn what her plan is” which usually leads to the villain’s downfall.
Mercy quickly get distracted by Duncan’s face and she reaches up to touch a scar on his lip. When she asks him about it he gets pissed and Mercy finds Angry Duncan scary. They walk off in grouchy silence until just before night fall. Mercy collapses into Duncan’s arms and rests her head against his chest, having completely forgotten how she was scared by him earlier in the day, even though it was only on the previous page. I suppose this is the way romance novels work? It most certainly is with Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey. The man is scary and violent; the woman loves him even more for it. Even when it’s directed at her. Mercy, don’t get involved in a relationship like that. IT’S BAD.
They’ve stopped by a stream and Mercy goes to dip her feet in it but it hurts when she tries to take her boots off. Duncan helps take her boots off and then surveys the damage. Skin is peeling and blistered and it sounds really gross, but this is ignored in favour of kinky ankle action. Mercy finds it quite improper until she remembers that they got naked together the night before. Duncan clean up her wounded feet, sprouting more of his poetic wisdom, and then carries her away from the creek to where ever it is that they plan to set up camp.
Mercy echoes my thoughts by pointing out to Duncan that he can’t set up for camp while she stays off her feet, because they’re freaking handcuffed together. The chain may be ridiculously long at times, but it’s still not long enough for him to hunt and gather firewood, or whatever, while she sits still. No matter what has happened previously.
So they get everything done, nice and quick, and settle in for the night. She falls asleep with her head resting against his chest. And I end this chapter convinced that I know Mercy’s big secret.
She’s got to be illegitimate, right?

Plot holes.
- Why are they handcuffed together?
- Why weren't they killed on the spot?
-  Why do the soldiers know, or at least think, they’re still alive when they seemed so sure they’d die after jumping off that cliff?
- Why is Duncan’s kilt black and red one minute and then an “undistinguishable” colour the next?

Wednesday, May 23

Blogging Bound to a Warrior: Part Three

"Dampness remained at the ends of Duncan's plaid and at the hem of his shirt, but mostly his garments were dry. And glad of it he was, since he slipped into them as soon as his eyes cleared of sleep.
Mercy was too tempting a morsel to remain beside her naked and not want to do more than just keep her warm. He had fought his carnal urges like a stoic warrior throughout the night. It wasn't an easy battle, especially when she had tucked her free hand in places that provided the most warmth.
It hadn't been bad when she had tucked it between their stomachs, but when her hand had begun to drift to a more heated, sensitive area, he knew he was in trouble."

I just didn't feel it was fair to kept the incredible amusingness that is the first page of chapter three all to myself. Such amazing stuff. I may have fallen off the bed laughing while reading this and the following few paragraphs. Sadly though, chapter three deteriorates quickly.
As Duncan dresses in his wool plaid it is described as having no distinguishable colours. Unfortunately on page 15 it was described as black and red and I lose all hope for the chance of continuity in this story. I notice these things. Please, keep them constant. Minute discrepancies give me cold shivers and make me throw books. I didn't want to hurt you, Bound to a Warrior, but you brought it on yourself (its when I say things like this that I worry my boyfriend may be the victim of an abusive relationship, but frankly, if he's going to tickle me he should expect wild limb flailing and it's not my fault if a foot occasionally connects with a sensitive area like the one Mercy's hand was drifting to)..
Sorry. Of topic. Anyway...
Duncan spends a great deal of time perving on Mercy; "accidentally" while she dresses and more when they discuss their next move - keep walking then dinner before bed. Duncan is pretty hungry, but not for food. He desires Mercy's luscious lips. So far Duncan has come of ridiculously lecherous and not at all as chivalrous as Mercy thinks he is.
The do, however share a sweet moment in the forest when Mercy (stupidly) stops to pick heather (for some reason). Mercy drops a sprig which Duncan picks up and tucks behind her ear. He then caresses the tip of her ear and they end up holding hands. It would be a lovely moment if we weren't subject to Duncan's lusty thoughts.
They eventually come across a little house that is occupied by an old couple. Now remember that. It's say the house is occupied by an old couple.
Mercy and Duncan decide to sneak in and look for some kind of tool to break the chain that's cuffed them together. However it turns out that the kings soldiers have been through here earlier and confiscated all the tools. They fond this out because they're sprung by the farmer who owns the place, who spotted them aged ago because apparently a farmer is much better at finding fugitives then the people actually looking for them. but it's okay because a good guy. He invites them inside when his pregnant wife makes them something to eat. That's right. They mistook a pregnant lady for an old woman. Because we all know pregnant women look just like old ladies.
However, we do have a bit more plot development when they discuss a seers prophecy announcing the return of the true king of Scotland who will undo all the bad deeds of the current king.
The chapter end with Mercy and Duncan being given supplies and they leave with something the man had said ringing in their ears.
"One of you must be mighty important for the king to be searching so hard for you."
And I think we're supposed to be left wondering which one. I think it's both of them but for different reasons. Duncan is one of the four from the prophecy, maybe the true king, maybe not. And Mercy is either the bastard daughter of someone important or her mother was the concubine of someone important and then something happened and now she's on the run. I'm not sure what yet. But that's my guess.
I found this chapter boring and inconsistent but it was important in that it tied in the prophecy and gave us a plot greater than "handcuffs make for kinky sex".

We're still at the same two plot holes.
- Why are they handcuffed together?
- Why weren't they killed on the spot?

Sunday, May 6

Blogging Bound to a Warrior: Chapter Two

I'm not sure if I furiously enjoyed this chapter or was bitterly disappointed. A little of both, I guess. When a chapter starts with someone suggesting they both get naked, you sort of expect a little sex. Especially when Duncan immediately reaches for Mercy's clothes and starts pulling them off as if that's all he's been thinking off all day (which he has).
So yeah, no sex. But I've so far read up to chapter eleven and this does remain my favourite chapter, even if things get as hot and dirty as they could have. But why is it my favourite chapter, you may ask? Well, dear reader, it's chocked full with awkward sexual tension.
As I said, Duncan immediately starts to undress Mercy, while Mercy just stands there staring at him. No, staring isn't the right word. She's checking him out. While he's there undressing her she spends two seconds thinking "this isn't very proper or lady-like" then she goes on to spend two pages describing how hot he's looking.
Duncan struggles to untie her shirt and tells her "I'll have you free of these stubborn ties soon, I promise" and Mercy realises just how concerned he is for her wellbeing. Sure. That's why he's undressing you. Not because you're a busty beautiful woman who just said "let's strip!" (that may be paraphrasing).
Duncan finally whips the blouse over her head and exposes Mercy's bare bosoms. Rather than cover them with her arms or hands Mercy, not wanting to appear vulnerable or a cowards decides to show them off. Because it's better to be slutty than a coward or, you know, modest.
They strip of the rest of the clothes. Because of the handcuffs they can't take their shirts off properly and they just hang of the chain with it through the armholes. By this point they have used the word garment at least five times and not a single other synonym for the word. Not clothes, not anything. Sure, I get the author's trying to get the historical lingo going, but just using "garment" instead of "clothes" isn't going to cut it.
Mercy visibly shivers and Duncan embraces her in a hug and massages warmth back into her body she snuggles against him and massages him back. It all gets rather sexual without anything actually occurring. They finally realise that they need to make a proper camp to keep warm and spread out their "garments" to dry so they make an agreement that they're not going to look at each other where they shouldn't be looking and they get to work. Of course, it doesn't take long for Mercy to be telling us that Duncan is a generously endowed man.
They make themselves a bed out of leave and branches and quickly snuggle up to get warm. Mercy feels Duncan "grow large against her" but he promises to leave her alone. This was obviously going to occur at some point in this chapter but it took a lot longer than I expected. One thing I'm learning about romance novels while reading this book is that the authors draw it out as long as possible, piling on the sexual tension without anything actually happening. The book is 35 chapters long, I'm not expecting sex until chapter 26.
The author's main reason here for giving Duncan an erection wasn't just to show that he desired Mercy, we already know that, but to show that he is chivalrous and won't do anything to Mercy without her consent. I can't say that Donna Fletcher is a good writer but she certainly knows how to play the game. I haven't read many romance novels (this is my first aimed at an adult audience) but I think she's pretty good at her craft.
Duncan makes a joke about how they should do it there and then, to generate heat, of course, but only receives a peck on the cheek for his efforts. This leads to what is probably one of the greatest motivators in the book: Duncan says he needs to teach her how to kiss properly and Mercy replies "When we are safe, our chains gone, I promise I will reward you with a kiss."
The chapter ends with them both dreaming of the kiss and how much they both want it. Thus the desire for each other has become a much more motivational factor for getting rid of the handcuffs than, you know, freedom.

The 2 plot holes from last chapter remain unresolved:
- Why are they handcuffed together?
- Why weren't they killed on the spot?

And I'll leave you with my favourite quote from this chapter, a terrible pun that Duncan says to Mercy:
"Then don't fancy me with your lovely smile, or I'll be begging for mercy."

Sunday, March 18

Blogging Bound to a Warrior: Chapter One

Every now and then even the biggest literature nerds want to read something trashy- whether that be my Story Saturday's, fanfiction, or the Twilight Saga. I decided to read a trashy romance novel; Bound to a Warrior by Donna Fletcher, a USA Today best selling author (or so the cover of the book tells me). Published by Avon Historical Romance this book cost me AU$1.25. I bought it for the sole reason that the couple on the cover were handcuffed together.
I'm very sceptical about any kind of romance novel that has a couple in some stage of undress on the cover, particularly when the female lead is named after a virtue. One of the reasons for reading Bound to a Warrior was to prove to myself that they're not as bad as I think they are. However, I'm pretty sure that my blog of this book will reflect my pessimism
Anyway, without further ado, Blogging Bound to a Warrior:

The book opens with a seers prophecy:
When summer touches winter and the snow descends
the reign of the false king begins to end.
Four warriors ride together and then divide
among them the true king hides.
When he meets death on his own
that is when he reclaims his throne
I don't know about you, but to me this sounds like a fantasy plot, not so much a romance, but that's cool. This means there's depth to the story, right? It can't be all sex and sexual tension when there's a king to dethrone and replace. However a look at the inside cover showed me that Bound to a Warrior is in a series so my book mightn't even be about the true king. It might just be about one of these other warriors. Doesn't matter. I'm sure I'm in for some kind of action. Hopefully it's not all the hot and dirty kind.
Chapter one starts well, the opening line being "Duncan tumbled down hard onto the woman." We've already got physical contact and they're lying on top of each other already. This is what we expect from a romance novel with a shirtless man clutching a woman's thigh illustrating the cover.
We find out that Duncan, a Scottish Highlander and warrior, has been chained to a delicate young woman. Why they're handcuffed together, we don't know. I'm sure it will be explained. All we know for now is that they're both prisoners and handcuffs are going to make the story much kinkier.
They are marched by two soldiers to the edge of a cliff above a fast flowing river and given two options. Jump into the rapids that will almost certainly drown them, or be killed where they stand by the soldiers. Why bother handcuffing them together if you're just going to kill them? I don't know.
While constantly describing to the reader the sensual curves of the woman's body and the way she felt in his arms, Duncan grabbed hold of the woman and jumped into the river, with her consent, of course, because Duncan is a chivalrous hero. Now, despite the river being "certain death" and despite the woman turning out to be unable to swim, Duncan gets them both safely to the shore and the soldiers don't notice that they've survived. They've probably already wandered off to chain two other random things together. Maybe a squirrel and a rocking chair. It would make about as much sense as chaining these two together.
The woman introduces herself as Mercy (she's one of those female leads named after a virtue) but Duncan is too busy staring at her boobs through her soaking wet shirt. However Mercy doesn't notice this and instead we have an awkward toilet scene. I tell you, not enough handcuff stories had awkward toilet scenes. All plot holes so far are redeemed by this toilet scene alone. Who wants to bet that there isn't another one? That these two only need to use the toilet once for their entire time chained together?
Dusk comes and Duncan and Mercy are still dripping wet. The temperature is quickly dropping and, despite Duncan lighting a fire, their clothes just aren't drying fast enough to keep them warm. Chapter one ends with Mercy making a daring suggestion:
"We need to get out of these wet garments."
The sexual tension is unbelievable! Already getting naked? Could we really have a sex scene in the next chapter? You'll only find out if I remember to continue this blog.

Number of Plot Holes so far: 2
- Why are they handcuffed together?
- Why weren't they just killed on the spot?