The Taming of Shaw MacCade
In all honesty, I was never able to lose myself in this book. Why that was, I just don’t know. Perhaps it began with the cover – a slick looking guy with a poufy perm. Perhaps there were simply too many characters in the story (brothers and cousins and sons, oh my!). Perhaps the premise bothered me (a 600 year long feud that began in Scotland and ended up in Missouri). Or, perhaps it was the completely unrealistic, first time, no pain, glorious orgasm love scene.
The Taming of Shaw MacCade is another spin on the Hatfield and McCoy feud of legend. In it, Shaw MacCade and Rebecca Raeburn are the two lovers who try to find happiness together amidst the hate and distrust their families have felt towards each other for, well, centuries. Shaw and Becca began as childhood friends, meeting secretly in spite of their families’ warnings to stay away. Eventually, each realizes the feelings they have for each other have turned from friendship to love. But when Becca catches a drunken Shaw kissing her sister Eve, she breaks with him. In anger and disgust, Shaw leaves Angel Crossing to go into the world to pursue his fortune. He returns four years later, hoping Becca has forgiven him and hoping to make her his own.
But what Shaw discovers upon his return, is that he has been thought dead all these years – his family even gave him a funeral, complete with headstone. He also finds out that his favorite brother, Laird, has been murdered, shot in the back by Becca’s father. In addition, Eve has borne a child out of wedlock and has fled to St. Louis in shame. The problem for Shaw is, she told everyone in town that it was Shaw who fathered her child. Needless to say, Becca is not happy to see the man she once loved show up again, denying his involvement with Eve and taking no responsibility for his illegitimate son.
Even though Becca’s father was tried and exonerated, Shaw is still suspicious and vows to find Laird’s killer. He also denies any involvement with Eve. The only way to prove he’s telling the truth is to ask Eve herself, so Shaw and Becca head out to St. Louis together.
A lot more happens in the story, but none of it got me, if you know what I mean. I think this is one of those instances where you’re just going to have to read the book yourself and then decide. Even though the pace is fast, there are lots of characters doing lots of things, there’s a mystery or two to solve and a love scene here and there, I was never drawn in to the story and never fell in love with the characters.
I was rather looking forward to a good love scene, but there again, I was disappointed. Not by the build-up, that was sexy and just fine. But when they finally got to it, it was rather brief, and unintentionally funny. “Vaguely, from far off, she was aware of a wall against her back, of a tiny prick of discomfort, soon drowned in a dazzling rush of glory.” Tiny prick? Poor Shaw. Poor Becca! And yet again, tiny prick? I know romance novels are highly fantasized, but would a realistic first-time be so much to ask? If the reader is to be drawn into the story, such silliness should be avoided. Tiny prick, indeed.
Another thing that I just didn’t get was the feud itself. It has been going on for 600 years. It began in Scotland, then moved to America where it went through several states and finally ended up in Missouri. Lots of people over the centuries died and there was hate and animosity aplenty for the survivors. So, excuse me, but, why did both families always move together? I mean, didn’t it ever occur to either of them to not live near each other? America’s a big country, yet they all emigrated and set up shop right next to each other so the feuding could continue? This didn’t make any sense at all.
All’s well that ends well, so eventually, all the threads are wrapped up and Shaw and Becca get their happily ever after. As I said, this book never took off for me and I had problems with it throughout, but you might want to give it a try; I’m hoping it works better for you.