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Heidi Hart

By day, I'm a domestic violence prosecutor. By night, I read romance to restore my faith in love, relationships, and humanity in general. 

One-Woman-Did-Me-Wrong-So-Clearly-All-Women-are-Faithless-Harlots: My Least Favorite Romance Trope

Never Love a Highlander - Maya Banks

I enjoyed the McCabe trilogy, but this last book was, in my opinion, the weakest of the three. It is as well plotted and as sexy as the prior books (and as historically inaccurate), and it's worth reading to see how the series-arching plots resolve, but I wasn't as swept away by the story as I had been in the prior books. 


My biggest problem was the trope. This is one of those hero-was-betrayed-by-a-prior-lover-and-now-hates-all-women books, and that is easily my least favorite trope in all Romancelandia. Eight years ago, Caelen McCabe's lover betrayed his clan to their sworn enemy, Duncan Cameron (the villain of all three of the McCabe books), resulting in the murder of Caelen's father and the decimation of Clan McCabe. Caelen and his brothers have managed to claw their way back to prosperity, but Caelen never thought to marry, and certainly not to fall in love, because his lover's misdeeds convinced him that all women are foul and untrustworthy harlots. 


Unfortunately for Caelen, circumstances have forced him to marry Rionna McDonald, and take over the leadership of the McDonald clan. Caelen is attracted to Rionna and develops feelings for her even though he doesn't want to, which leads him to behave like a schizophrenic boar. He treats Rionna with tenderness and compassion sometimes (mostly when they are alone or in bed), and then with little warning becomes angry, moody, and lashes out at her with words or actions meant to humiliate or wound her (mostly when they are in front of her clan, of which she is more a leader than he is). Rionna wasn't a doormat, but she tolerates his mercurial mood swings with far more patience than I would have liked. 


The ending to the series-wide dispute with Duncan Cameron is satisfying, but the reason for the feud between Cameron and the McCabes is not as well-developed as it could have been.