Dark Highlander (Highlander Series #5)

The Dark Highlander - Karen Marie Moning OK, I have to say it: This is NOT my favorite of the Highlander books. There's a lot about the story and the characters that I like. I was excited to learn more about the mysterious Daegus, especially after we learned that he'd gone "dark" to help his twin brother, Drustan, get back to his beloved, Gwen.But... as dark and as sexy as Daegus is... there were just too many things that bothered me - that kept me from enjoying the fantasy and suspending disbelief.1. SEX is the only way that Daegus can hold back the 13 evil Druids that inhabited his body and want his soul when he broke the Compact between the Druids and the Fairy Folk (sorry, can't write the T de over and over again - you know who I mean). How convenient that Daegus has to have sex multiple times a day to hold back his "dark side". REALLY? And for all his "honor" of only having sex with women who want it (wanton or married and wanton), Daegus provides mind-blowing sex - not just a la Drustan, but with the aid of his 13 tormentors. Huh? I thought that was how he held them back?2. Chloe. As adorable as she can be (practicing her "I Love You" in the shield was priceless), she's very annoying. Gwen talked non-stop, but Chloe... she wants Daegus so badly, but all she can do is TALK? I suppose it's supposed to be endearing... it's not. And oh, yes, she's smart, plucky, adventurous, and totally in love with all things Celtic, especially relics. And I forgot to mention, virginal. Of course! Can't any of these heroines have a past? A broken heart from a past love? Not that I object in the least, but it's tough to believe that in ALL THESE TALES the heroine is over 18 and has "saved herself". Would a medieval man/hero be unable to accept less than a virgin?3. Height. This is KMM's fault, not the fault of the characters.WHY is it that every Highlander in any Highlander romance has to be over 6'3"? In his time period, a man at 6' would be considered head-and-shoulders over most men, since "tall" was generally over 5'7". I get that these guys are supposed to be Viking stock. I get that they're supposed to be a fantasy. But, put this together with Chloe's height at 5'3".... and it just doesn't sit right.Why, do you ask? It worked for Drustan and Gwen. And maybe that's what irks me. I was able to suspend disbelief on their behalf, because the story was so charming. And while Gwen's determined to lose her virginity on her Scotland trip, Drustan's not being an icky, sexual predator. You could argue that, as twins, the brothers would have similar taste in women. And I can buy that, too, up to a point. It's just that so much is made over the differences in their height and stature (him He-man huge, her tiny-petite), it bugged me the whole story. I'm not against short, petite gals by any means. I, myself, am 5'3" and petite. And I've dated men 6'3" -- I felt like a sideshow at the circus walking next to him sometimes. My head didn't even come up to his shoulders - more like the middle of his chest or lower. Not necessarily a problem, but... awkward at times. Yes, I felt protected, but I almost felt like a child or a doll. And while it's possible to have long legs for a 5'3" woman, I find it difficult for a man so tall to see long legs looking at a short woman. He might be attracted to her, yes. Obviously, it's happened to me. But mostly, guys that tall are looking for tall women - 5'6" or taller. Why? Because they want long legs (among other things).But the kicker for me is that Daegus is 6'6", ripped, and "hung". His "hungness" is made overly and abundantly clear to us time and time again, from virtually the first page of the book. Much is made over Chloe not being able to closer her fist around his... er... manhood... when the time comes. Because of his reported girth and length, I find it especially difficult to believe that he'd be physically/logistically compatible with someone that petite. Their first encounter isn't even slow and easy - it's wild, hot sex. Sorry, but he'd have split her in two or caused some major damage during their first sexual encounters. Not to mention the awkwardness of her trying to get any part of her anatomy (arms, legs) around him fully. The ickiness of Daegus' sexual needs + the constant description of his manhood + Chloe's petite stature + the sex or visions of it on almost every page... Just can't suspend disbelief here. Didn't even want to read/picture the encounters, because, frankly, all I could do was cringe.3. The death. Romance readers acknowledge that there is a formula to virtually every romance story. We know it, and when the story is good, we tend to forget it or forgive it. But the hero having to die to save the world, and then marvelously coming back to life... seemed over-done. Oh, I knew the minute Adam became champion for Daegus (which is completely out of character), that the Fairy Queen would have something to do with restoring everything and creating the happy ending. But it was just so predictable.Hey, I wanted to love this story. There is much to admire about Daegus - his ability to keep the 13 evil monsters at bay and his treatment of Chloe. But too many other things got in the way for me to really enjoy this story. So while I probably should give it a 2-star rating, I'm going to give it a 3-star rating - because of Daegus.