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“How do you think I felt watching him hold a gun to your head?” he yelled, unable to keep the anguish out of his voice.
She studied him for a moment then lifted her hands to cup his face. “I love you too, Callum.”

Who doesn’t like Scotsmen? With their sexy accent, the buff bodies, the whole air around them that freaking screams “male”? Scotsmen are one of the delicacies for female readers – and Melissa Schroeder used that to its full potential!

Callum Lennon knows that, as the eldest, as the Laird, of what is left of the McLennan clan, it is his duty to keep his cousins safe. Be it from physical or emotional threats. He sure as hell doesn’t want to lead them on and make them hope that the curse of their family can be broken if he doesn’t have any real proof. But there’s not much to do when said cousins insist on hiring famous archaeologist Dr. Phoebe Chilton to help them decode a journal that may as well hold the key to their freedom. Callum doubts the journal will be of any help at all. And the fact he doesn’t trust the frumpy, refreshing archaeologist makes things even worse, as feelings that he hasn’t felt before threaten to make him lose his legendary control and just bed her already. Phoebe knows it’s wrong to lie to the Lennons and use their family’s journal to get that grant – but it’s the only way she can think of to finally be free of her parents and do what she really wants. She feels there’s more to Callum than his “Lord of the Dead” persona, but her dream is something she doesn’t wish to risk – even if the grumpy, broody man with the scorching glare makes her want to throw it all out of the window just so they can be together forever. With Phoebe and Callum struggling to keep their feelings in check, and their battles for the position of control, will they be able to trust in each other when a mutual enemy threatens not only Phoebe’s life, but also the Lennons’ freedom? Or will her lies and his secrets keep them apart long enough for said enemy to strike?

Callum is the first book of the Cursed Clan series – and what an impression it left! A curse that needs to be broken – though we’ve seen that particulal kind of curse way too many times, it never ceases to sound threatening. Five cousins that make a kickass, hilarious, pretty awesome team. Loyal servants – ooh, I just love those, especially when they stop being so rude to the other party, their masters’ lovers, and show how cool and adorable they are (Belvidore, I’m talking about you, old man! I love you!). Lots of legends and jokes and suspicion, too! Also, a Scotsman who wears cowboy boots in Edinburgh – man, Fletcher, you rock!

 

Ahem! But enough of that! Let’s talk business!

The story was something else. Even though it was predictable – I’m sorry, but it’s true – the reactions you got out of the characters were not. I mean, yes, I knew Phoebe would not be able to tell Callum about the grant and he would eventually hear it from his enemy himself, but his reaction – and his cousins’ reaction – was not what I was used to. The dialogues were also pretty amazing. The Lennons were truly a wonderful family. All of them different from each other – broody Callum, genius Angus, artistic Logan, flirty Fletcher, and youthful Anice – they looked like people who would never be able to play nice, if they were all put in the same room. Except, they did. They fought, and joked, and I’m pretty sure the sarcasm was in their genes, but they were a team, and they knew how to work as one, despite never agreeing on one damn thing.

Now, concerning the main hero: Callum was my typical kind of guy. All bark and… wait, yeah, there was bite in there, too. Oops, my bad!

Even so, I think the fact he would bite, too, and not just bark – except when it came to Phoebe – made him more unique. That and his gray hair – finally a main hero that shows some gray hair on his big, thick, great, black head! I admired his self-control – even if the tired trick of sleeping with other women to avoid doing it with Phoebe pissed me off somewhat – and when he let loose… Ooh la la! Talk about heat between the sheets! Or his office’s couch. Ok, I’m shutting up now…
While I didn’t appreciate his extremely suspicious nature towards Phoebe, or how he kept trying to stop Angus from spending time with her, I can see where he’s coming from. He was tired and weary from trying so hard to protect his family and his heart, it was natural for him to think that Phoebe was really a godsend and that she could really help – and love him in return.

Phoebe, on the other hand, was marvellous! So full of spunk, and ready to fight for the respect she knew she deserved. She was scared alright, but she knew the Lennons needed her, and she was done being pushed around by people the way she had been by her parents and husband. The fact she immediately cut all contact with McWalton showed how high her morals truly were. And while she was hurt by Callum’s attitude, she understood that if she let her pride take first seat in her reactions, the cousins would have it bad. It’s remarkable what a good heart can put up with because the owner has so low self-esteem when it comes to physical appearances and because they see the bigger picture.

The actual surprise, though, came in the form of Angus. Like I said, I usually go for the guys with the darkest mood in the group, the loners. Guys like Callum. But I zeroed in on Angus from the very first page. Check this out:

-jade green eyes
-glasses
-sandy blond hair falling into his eyes
-forgetful genius

I don’t know about you, but I’m damn glad his book is next. It’s like this guy was cut out for me! Physically and mentally! I was like “can I touch it? oh, pretty please, mommy, can I keep it?!”

I seriously loved the whole riddle-thing, and the danger that stalked Phoebe even if she didn’t know it. The love scenes heated my screen, and the final “battle” had me swooning! With the Lennons ready to start the adventure towards breaking the clan’s curse, I can’t wait to read Angus’s story! It’s bound to be breathtaking!

RATING:

5cupcakes

***I was given an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinion stated in this review is solely mine, and no compensation was given or taken to alter it.***

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