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I’ve had a so-so weekend. We didn’t do anything really noteworthy apart from The Tall Guy taking me out for a meal, at our favourite restaurant on Friday evening.

On Saturday it was my brother’s birthday, but I’d organised for him and his other half to spend the weekend in the West End of London, so I didn’t actually see him. I’ve still got his birthday card, which he probably wont get now.

I’m really crap at making sure celebratory cards get to their final destination in time. I’ve still got Christmas cards that I forgot to send from over ten years ago. Sigh.

Oh I forgot, I got my first official freebie book on Saturday. Kate Rothwell sent me a copy of her book, Somebody Wonderful, as well as it’s sequel, Somebody To Love.

I was happy as a pig in shit when the postman dropped the package off, even if it did take 30 minutes just to remove the friggin wrapping!

I’m currently reading Somebody To Love (yes I know I should read Somebody Wonderful first ) which so far I’m enjoying, although Kate, I’m desperately hoping that Araminta grows a backbone soon.

In other news, I finally managed to finish Bertrice Small’s Skye O’Malley.

I’d been trying to read this book for over three weeks, and for some reason, I just couldn’t get into it. I got to page 40, and I was very close to ripping the pages up in temper, but taking into consideration that I had a further two of her books in my TBR pile, I knew I’d have to persevere.

Well, I persevered.

Here’s the blurb:

Skye O’Malley is the beautiful fiery daughter of … Ooops, sorry there goes our doorbell, BRB!

Five minutes later…

Bloody Trick or Treaters! I refuse to answer the door for the rest of tonight. Bah Humbug!

Anyway where was I?

Oh yeah, I was in the middle of the blurb…

Skye is the beautiful fiery daughter of Dubhdara O’Malley, chief of Clan O’Malley, born to him in 1540.

From birth, Skye is promised to the odious Dom O’Flaherty (are you still awake?) who is basically an absolute c*nting twat. (erm… that’s my view but Skye didn’t like him either).

Days before her marriage to Dom the Twat, she meets Niall “Hubba Hubba” Burke, with whom she falls instantly in love with.

She begs and pleads with her father to stop the marriage, but The O’Malley (as he’s fondly known in Ireland) refuses to renege on a promise made years before.

Niall obviously falls in love with Skye, and is frustrated by her upcoming nuptials to another man.

Anyway, the wedding takes place, and just as Dom The Twat is about to take Beautiful Skye to bed, Niall claims the droit du seigneur, which basically means that he can have sex with her before her new husband (yeah, that was a WTF moment for me too) so he does, to the displeasure of Dom The Twat.

Anyway, after their assignation, Niall is kidnapped (how rude?) from Skye’s bed whilst she’s still sleeping, and when Skye wakens, she finds that her Daddy Dearest has organised for her to stay at a convent whilst she waits to see if her and Niall’s union has resulted in a child being conceived.

Luckily (or unluckily) for Skye, she’s not pregnant, and so her torturous married life to Dom The Twat begins.

She is immediately installed in Dom’s house, where his sister Claire The Fucking Bitch lives also.

During their marriage, Dom treats her like shit, and forces his sick perversions on her whenever he can.

Things come to a head when Skye comes across her husband and his sister shagging.

Jesus. Mary. And Fucking Joseph.

WTF? Incest? Urgggghhhhhhhhhhhh!!

I pretty much skipped over the description of what they were doing, but I was then plunged into a scene where the two animals proceeded to rape Skye and debase her in the most inhumane ways.

At this point, I threw the book at the wall, and picked up L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables.

I went back to the book two weeks later, and totally skipped the whole Dom O’Flaherty period.

Anyway, Skye goes back home, and finds that her father is dying. Dubhdara O’Malley leaves the majority of his holdings (including his ships) to Skye, who was eager to follow in her father’s sea-faring footseps.

Niall and Skye re-unite, but just before their marriage, Skye’s ship is attacked, and she ends up being sold into slavery, and she eventually ends up in an Algerian harem, owned by a flesh-peddler called Khalid El Bey.

From this point, Skye experiences one adventure after the other, culminating in her returning to England, and being involved in a good old dog fight with Elizabeth Tudor, the young Queen of England at that time.

The Verdict

I’m going to ignore the first 100 pages of this book, because quite frankly, it was dross, and having started the sequel to this book already, I suspect that Small doesn’t do gripping first, second, third or fourth chapters well.

Skye O’Malley was a well-written book, and apart from the over-use of the term ‘Manroot’, I didn’t have that many complaints about her way with words.

What I liked most about the book, was Skye herself. Small made her a strong and daring female, who took no prisoners, yet at the same time, she had a soft, caring and passionate side.

She was a wonderfully developed character who didn’t piss me off at any point in the book (I said we’d ignore the first 100 pages) although I did think she must have been the unluckiest person in the Tudor era.

I also enjoyed the accuracy of the historical details in the book. It was interesting to get a glimpse of how things might have been between Elizabeth Tudor and Robert Dudley. (If you don’t know your history, I’m not going to explain).

The story flowed nicely, and it was a treat to read a historical romance that wasn’t so predictable.

With people dying every ten pages, I was never allowed to get attached to any of Skye’s heroes. By the time I’d got to the end of the book, Skye had buried three husbands, and had more money than God. My kinda gal.

All in all I thoroughly enjoyed reading Skye O’Malley, and I’m quite looking forward to reading the sequel.

Would I recommend it? Absolutely, if you don’t mind rape scenes, infidelity, the over-use of the words, manroot, codpiece, and rod, and random murders.

Anybody read anything else of interest?