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Born in Sin by Kinley MacGregor

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Born in Sin
Brotherhood/MacAllisters #3

Kinley MacGregor
Medieval/Highlander Romance
Published in 2003

H/h - Sin MacAllister/Caledonia MacNeely
Setting: England and Scotland, in the time of King Henry II.

Read in May, 2011.
My rating:

                                                               [spoiler alert]

Ah, Sin you're great! I'm a very simple person, so I'd like to talk about you in simple paragraphs. But, I assure you there's nothing simple about you babe and never you feel down because of how people treat you! They're just cowards, you know? And your mother (though I have hesitations calling her that)? She's a shallow, self-centered, pitiful thing; just don't let her get to you dear. Trust me, I'm here for you, so is Callie. I believe that girl is the one for you and you both are made for each-other. I'm waiting for you to realize it darling.

I had to write something personally to Sin. I love this man. He has to be my most favorite KM hero so far (though there is Draven and Jack ... Also, can't wait to read about Ewan). I feel so much for him and his bad, messy life that I don't even know if I'll be able to express myself adequately. His life as a Saracen slave and before that (I had no idea about it), as a squire to Harold of Ravenswood (Master of Desire hero Draven's father) was just sad. In MoD, there was no hint about Sin; I didn't know Sin, Draven and Simon grew up together, at least before Harold sold him to some Saracen trader. I'm not going to talk about that life since it's all in the book and too sad for me to discuss. I'd rather talk about him and Caledonia and how fate brought them together.

Well, whatever it was that brought them together, I don't care but I really really like Callie. She's brave and smart, kind, generous and so far I've seen nothing TSTL about her. Not a single thing! And, I adore it! As king Henry's captive, she was scared for her and her little brother's life so she made several attempts to flee, all of which were really commendable. Meantime, Henry threatened, wheedled and manipulated Sin to marry her so that he can command her clan. Callie still didn't know this is her man when she met Sin while fleeing for the first time (yah, there were more attempts). The whole process was such fun to read! I loved how Sin was acting besotted and then, was disgusted about it.

Sin fascinates Callie. Even after knowing many things about him, she cares for him. And, I applaud that. She doesn't judge him, condemn him on spot. I wish she flayed the woman, that is his mother, after that incident when they married. I kept on seeing parts of her and liked her more and more for it. The way she cares for her half-brothers, her step-mother (who deserves praise too), her clan and most of all Sin; she is simply great! Now, she wants to know this man better who's trying everything to ignore her.

But, Sin's confused and thinks he isn't deserving of a life full of care, love and acceptance and I don't blame the poor babe one bit! You just have to read to know how people treat him and how his parents blamed and cast him away for their own sins. I was speechless! Even his step-mother, Braden-Lochlan-Ewan's mother Aisleen, I was disgusted by her words/actions. She won't get any respect from me in any other book for sure! Don't even wanna talk about his dad! Callie is so different, so adorable and beautiful all over, Sin wants her with all his being but just can't make himself vulnerable anymore. He tried in the past and was spurned. But, he wants her and there's no denying it.

Now, they're in highlands where Sin is supposed to take Callie's clan the MacNeely in hands. Trouble's brewing there that needs to be taken care of. Callie still doesn't know that Sin is half-Scot so she's afraid of his well-being. There's every chance of seeing the other MacAllisters again. I loved the reappearance of Simon. I liked him from MoD, even though I didn't approve of his dalliance with Emily's lady's maid. Here, when they visit Ravenswood, these two seen together (though if someone hadn't read MoD before, won't know about their past). Simon is, again, helping Sin and Callie to bond. I loved visiting Draven and Emily, since they're my other favorite KM couple. Callie's brother Jamie was an adorable kid. There are funny scene aplenty in this book and no matter what some say, this book is great!

PS: I've read in some reviews that Sin is supposed to be a virgin! Really? So far, whatever I've read, gave me this impression that he has this almost inhuman ability to supress his physical desires. If so, then it'll be my first novel where the h/h loses their virginity to one another. Interesting!

PPS: They haven't consummated the marriage yet, that wedding night scene was hot yet kinda funny but eitherway, it wasn't done. Again, Callie doesn't know ... why? Read the book! :p I like that Callie isn't a squeamish miss when it comes to sex. She's bold and knows what she wants and she wants Sin bad! ;)

Och Sin, lad, ye're killin' me! That's right. I love you, trust me. So, even when Callie thought things like:

Och, she could strangle him.
Och, but the man was insufferable.
Och, the man was exasperating.
Och, the stubborn oaf.

... I can't but love you more. You Are Adorable!

Again, great minds think alike, see?

Och, but the man was handsome.
Och, but he was the finest-looking man she'd ever beheld...

... I absolutely agree with Callie and trust her judgement! ;) Then again, she was worthy of my praise. But, Sin dear, you were more worthy of my kisses. I adored you throughout the book; I was saddened, overwhelmed, a bit exasperated at times but mostly, I was amazed by your capability of compassion, caring for the ones you love, your yearning for Callie and of course, the love you felt for her. Your past and the way you suffered in the hands of the others, the way they used you ... I'm in awe that you still had these inside you. And, that's what made you the man I simply admired.

I enjoyed this book so much, I gulped it down faster than I thought I would. Sin, I've already mentioned, stole my heart completely. Callie, an incredible heroine, I adored too. This book had much angst, specially concerning Sin's life and the way he was just was resigned that his life's always be like this; all sufferings and pain, being the scapegoat. He'll never be worthy of a better life, be a better man whom a woman like Callie could love. I cried a lot for the man because it seemed so unfair. His sufferings in life was just so. Already mentioned, I'm amazed that he was able to feel love and give it in such abandon that in the end, he decided to sacrific himself to save Callie's clan.

It was a pleasure to read how their relationship grew and Callie's perseverance on seeing that this man is well-loved and never hunger for the soft touch was exquisite! The trouble with Henry and her clan, created by someone very close to her, was a bit unexpected but not entirely unusual. In the end, it was heartbreaking to see how Sin decided that he would sacrifice himself instead of that person, so that Callie wouldn't have to choose and ultimately, her clan has the peace she always dreamed of. He even donned the MacNeely plaid to show Henry he belonged to the clan, but mostly, to Callie. For a proud man who always made sure he's never owned by anyone (not even Henry), never belongs to anyone [ref: his past with his father], it was a huge step! It was also  incredible. But, these are just a few examples of the man I couldn't but love. Some might find his 'ordeals' a bit too much and I did too at some points but there wasn't any real moment of frustration for me.

The way Callie rescued Sin from Henry's forces was marvelous to read. I was so happy, can't explain. Loved reading the MacAllister brothers and the way they all came together with men from both the clans to help Callie. Then, the epilogue. It was Christmas and the poor babe never knew a real Christmas in his life. I believe if Sin can, I'll forgive Lochlan's mother Aisleen, too. I think I understood the reasons behind her cruelty, though nothing excuses the way she treated him. Loved that she gave Sin a fitting Christmas gift; the MacAllister clan banner, which had four golden swords stitched in it before (one blackened after Kieran's death), now had five. It was beautiful. I was teary-eyed and had this big idiotic grin on my face, just knowing that Sin knew he's loved and admired by people around him and he was accepted just as he is. Finally, he was at peace.

A great big 5 star! :D

PS: My words on Sin being a virgin were correct and I believed the reasons behind it. Pretty compelling but admirable nonetheless. Love scenes were sweet. It was great to read Callie telling him how mad she is for him and showing him not only by making love but in other ways too. And, of course, Sin returning the feeling in his own way only made it all sweeter. :)


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