Sunday, April 28, 2013

So Bad, It's Terrible

Valiant One by Jay Hughes

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Summary: Ragnar, a hardened Scottish soldier, is indifferent to English rule of his homeland until he falls in love with Gylis McIvoy, a fellow Scotsman. They have a brief and passionate affair, but circumstances tear them apart permanently. Ragnar swears vengeance, and soon becomes a freedom fighter modeled on the recently captured and executed William Wallace. Ragnar manages to raise a ragtag army that rains terror down on Longshanks' occupying forces, but in the process, he has a chance meeting with the king's son, Prince Edward of Wales. Sparks fly between them despite the impossibility of an English prince taking a Scottish enemy soldier as his lover-giving new meaning to "the love that dare not speak its name." These two star-crossed lovers may cross swords on the battlefield by day, but they still manage to heat up the night. 

Review: A “romance” told with characters who love to repeat themselves, unbelievable situations, and terrible sex.

I know sometimes people say that something is so bad that it’s good. Valiant One is not one of those somethings. While the plot sounded a little unbelievable, I enjoy m-m stories, historical fiction, and Scottish romances so I decided to give this book a shot. It was bad, so bad. I am not sure how this managed to get published. I have looked at the author’s other two books and they seem just as bad. I do think this could have been an interesting story if it wasn’t told so poorly.

The first thing that irked me was how often the characters repeated themselves. I get that Edward I was tall so he was called Longshanks. I get that Prince Edward liked men. Second, I didn’t like how quickly Ragnar fell in love with another man. It was much too quick and unbelievable, especially for one who had never been involved with another man before. I know that Ragnar is set up for a relationship with a man due to the recounting of how he dealt with women, but at least let it take more time. Third, the sex was so bad and there was too much sex with absolutely no lubrication or preparation. Ouch!! Finally, there was the situation with Isabella and Edward I. This whole book was quite unpleasant.


Recommendation: I honestly can't recommend this book. It's just that bad.

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