At that point, you might as well shut the book, you know? Ok. In case you were wondering, here's what did me in: The old making out with a sick person trope.
To try and stop Galen from marrying Kyla right away, her nurse tells Galen that Kyla is crazy, a condition passed onto the women but not the men. Despite the warning (male heirs won't become crazy and girls are wel...?) Galen has the wedding right away with the entire clan as witnesses. But she has no idea that she's married or to whom, (doesn't even know her husband's first name), or that people think she's crazy even though she is the Lady of the clan.
Actually, I do know what that says, it says that Galen has some messed up views on sexual consent by the mentally disabled and he also has a complete lack of concern for the life of any female heirs that would be destined to be mentally ill, as long as he got his nice normal male heir.
I didn't really find any likable characters in this book. I found Galen to be sweet sometimes but he is a bit on the dumb side. This wasn't really an issue anymore after her supposed madness was straightened out. They spend half of the book and more just travelling to the keep or staying at the keep. It wasn't until very later that they actually straightened out her supposed betrayal. What really grates is the amount of devotion she shows towards her brother, who thought she was the one who attempted his murder. I would have chalked it up to her personality but the way she acted around Galen's men spoke otherwise. I don't really buy into her affections towards Galen. I think the only redeeming part of this book was the misunderstanding over her madness. It was a bit funny how it worked out but the characters' personality could not support it. Galen attacked her travelling party and kidnapped her. Kyla visits her brother and shows her scar. Galen and his men saves the day just in time. Kyla comes home and demands to go to Scotland immediately Once her brother comes by and apologizes, she wants to have an extended stay.
It was just so formulaic that I found it kind of boring.
Morag figures out Galens intent right away and is all set to pimp Kyla out to him but wants to give Kyla a chance to get to know and choose him before shes forced into marriage. She thinks this will make Galen not want to marry Kyla but shes wrong. He doesnt care what kind of mental and physical anguish thisll put Kyla through as she, too crazy to understand whats happening to her body, will feel things moving in her belly, be throwing up and exhausted, and then get ripped apart with the pain of delivery, which she might not even survive because this is medieval times. The whole plan is just dumb because its not like this other guy and Kyla were in love or anything. Galen jostles Kyla around until she opens her eyes and then lies to her by saying that if she just says Aye to the priests question and signs her name on this piece of paper, shell be totally safe. Morag chooses not to explain to Kyla that shes married to Galen or that Morag told everyone shes a lunatic. Meanwhile, the entire keep thinks shes crazy, and they pointedly stare at her and take any stumble or confusion on Kylas part as further proof of her addled mind. And through all of this, Morag says nothing because she didnt feel it was her place to clue Kyla in. Galen, meanwhile, isnt talking to Kyla at all. So Kyla chafes under the restrictions and Galens high-handed manner of issuing them when, as far as she knows, he has no claim over her and therefore no right to give her orders. Kyla, not knowing that SHE'S the crazy new wife, assumes that the reason Galen has been putting her under guard is to protect her from this stab-happy psychopath. So when Galen finds her and FINALLY makes a halfhearted attempt to tell her that theyre married, we go through the incredibly clichéd I have something to tell you. Galen, coward that he is, doesnt bother to question Kylas strange talk about how it must be hard for him to have a crazy wife, and instead accepts that she must indeed be talking about herself. He knows that the word will spread like wildfire that shes not only nuts but also threatening violence and hes totally okay with that. When she finally catches a clue, she somehow mistakenly thinks that hes announcing his INTENT to marry her and she says that itll never happen. Morag finally takes her upstairs and explains things to her, including the fact that everyone thinks shes nuts. Kyla decides its a great idea to reinforce the notion that shes crazy and to take it a step further by behaving even more bizarrely than before. She starts talking to imaginary people and mimicking the behavior of the only crazy person shes ever known, a tavern wench back home, which involves singing a bawdy song about spreading her legs for all comers. When Kyla finally comes straight out and asks him to annul the marriage (a question I would think hed find incongruously sane coming from her) he sadly shakes his head and says that he cant do that. That if he annuls the marriage, shell be unprotected from being married off to the brute she was contracted to and that guy wouldnt treat crazy Kyla nearly as well. So hell stay married to her and impregnate her to gain sons and who knows how many crazy daughters because its the right thing to do. She totally ignores all the heinous stuff hes done and planned to do to a mentally incapacitated woman, and instead focuses on how kind and wonderful he really is to be willing to stay married to a crazy person in order to protect her. Nothing raises a mans spirits like shagging the childlike virgin simpleton he forced into marriage!) Kyla wakes up intending to clear the air but, once again, LS has utilized lazy plot contrivance to keep that from happening. But, now that the marriage is officially consummated and all, Kyla decides to go downstairs and start acting like lady of the manor so she can be that great partner Galen talked about wanting. Except she doesnt even think to try to explain to the household staff that shes not crazy. The servants say that Galen has always run the household and since he never got around to introducing himself to Kyla, she doesnt know who Galen is. She feels like Galen was horrible for marrying Kyla without her knowledge and keeping that from her all this time only to spring it on her in front of everyone. She also realizes that Kyla isnt crazy and vows to try to help her figure a way out of this mess. Morag confesses why she lied about it in the first place, Kyla explains that her odd behavior was triggered by everyone staring at her and treating her weird. Galens the only one who knows about her talking to imaginary people and she can explain that she was (stupidly) trying to get him to annul the marriage. Then Kyla again behaves in stupid and crazy ways because of plot contrivance. Then Galen leaves without talking to her, again because of plot contrivance. Normal people would go speak to her but he doesnt because we have to prolong the moment where Kyla finally explains that shes not crazy. And based on the other reviews, the rest of the book involves more plot contrivance and stupid behavior on Kyla's part so I'm tapping out on this one.
The names of these seem familiar from her newer Highlander series but perhaps I just listen to too many books and Im getting confused.
Sweet Revenge by Lynsay Sands is a hilarious romp, and I really did enjoy it, although it isn't particularly memorable. I really did like both Galen and Kyla, and I was rooting for them to make everything work out. Even so, if you're looking for a fun, Highland Romance, Sweet Revenge by Lynsay Sands might be for you.This review was originally posted on Quinn's Book Nook
With her witty and charming personality, Sands describes books as, Waking dreams or stories, tales to amuse, entertain and distract us from everyday life.