March 21, 2012

Charming the Shrew By Laurin Wittig

Charming the Shrew

Catriona MacLeod is a woman with a reputation labeling her as a withered old crone with a tongue that can flay the skin off of any man.

Tayg of Culrain has the reputation of a fierce, brave, and handsome warrior.

In truth, Catriona is beautiful. But she has locked up her heart, for she has been verbally abused and ridiculed by her older brothers her whole life. She can't run the risk of giving anyone the key for fear of being exploited and deceived.

And Tayg. Yes, he is a fierce and handsome warrior, but his whole life, he has followed in the steps if his older brother Robbie, trying to do as he would, and trying to make his mother as proud of him as she was for her eldest son. Do not get me wrong. Robbie was a great man. That is, until he was slain in war.

Now Tayg is the eldest son of his clan. And he knows what comes next. His mother wishes him to be married.

Now many of you think you know where this is going. Let me help you:

1. Catriona and Tayg meet
2. Tayg breaks the lock on her heart and they fall in love
3. They get married
4. They live happily ever after

Sorry to disappoint, but it's not that easy. Not in the least.

Sure, they meet. But Tayg is disguised as a Bard. He does not wish for people to know his true identity because he wants to feel like he once did. Like a normal man with only the pressure of everyday life riding on his shoulders.

To put it simply, Cat is a firecracker. She speaks her mind whenever she pleases and is not afraid to speak the truth, however unfortunate or untimely the information.

But as they get to know each other, Cat starts to relax, starts to open up. She tells Tayg stories about her childhood that have no one's ears have ever heard save her father's. And both cannot deny the growing attraction they feel for each other. But this attraction is only physical, mind you. They constantly speak how they detest each other.

Yes. Okay. You win. They get together. And they are to be married. But there's only one problem.

Cat doesn't know who Tayg really is.

She still thinks him a Bard. Uh-oh.
Pardon my crudity, but Tayg is gonna get his butt kicked. Big time.

For me, this story melded three of Shakespeare's most famous plays. It has a Romeo and Juliet-esque vibe at some points, while at others, it rings true to Benedict and Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing. And of course, The Taming of the Shrew. (:

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