Review: Redeeming Vows by Catherine Bybee

Format read: ebook
Formats available: ebook, paperback
Genre: Time travel romance
Series: MacCoinnich Time Travels #3
Length: 299 pages
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press (first edition); Self-published (second edition)
Date Released: December 17, 2010 (first edition); January 12, 2013 (second edition)
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

For her own safety, modern day, single mom, Lizzy McAllister is forced to bow to the medieval men who surround her when she’s thrust back in time to the sixteenth century against her will. When Lizzy finds herself trapped in time with Fin, the one man she finds both irresistible and maddening, she agrees to combine forces with him to rid Scotland of the evil witch, Grainna.

Finlay MacCoinnich’s attraction to Lizzy sizzles the very air they breathe. Tearing down the solid walls the woman has built around her won’t be easy, but he’s willing to do anything to keep her by his side. When a spell cast by their deadliest foe throws them forward in time, will they manage to find their way back in time to save their family from peril? And will Lizzy willingly stay in his time, or abandon him altogether?

I’m starting to think that Catherine Bybee’s time travel romances are a form of biblioholic crack–endlessly addictive. I’m having a difficult time resisting the urge to dive into Highland Shifter. It’s book four(!) in the MacCoinnich Time Travel Trilogy (problem of the first part right there) and I highly suspect that there’s yet another trilogy in the offing. Or at least that this is the start of the next generation’s stories. And there were three, so I’m going to try to resist until they’re all done.

Write faster Catherine!

Redeeming Vows is the story I was pining for in the last third or so of Silent Vows (reviewed here) — it’s Fin and Lizzy’s story. This makes it the opposites attract vow. Or maybe the “meet in the middle” vow.

Lizzy is definitely a woman of the 21st century. She’s a single mother and proud of it. She has every reason to be. The only male in her life who has not abandoned her is her son, Simon. She’s had to learn to stand up for herself.

But like Tara, Lizzy has damn difficult time bending to 16th century realities when it comes to the relationships between the sexes. It’s harder for Lizzy, because she doesn’t arrive more than half in love with someone, and because she has no intention of staying.

Fate has other plans.

So does Fin MacCoinnich. And Fin also sees what Lizzy doesn’t. That her son Simon needs to be a boy with other boys. That it’s time for Simon to grow away from Lizzy’s protectiveness, no matter how well intentioned that protectiveness might be.

They strike sparks from each other from the first minute.

Fin has a lot to learn from Lizzy, too. When she becomes stuck in the 16th century, Lizzy is the first one to realize that the evil witch Grainna will not be overcome with swords and spears alone. Grainna is a witch, and it is with Druid power that they need to beat her. Women’s power, working together.

But it’s not until one of Grainna’s spells throws Fin and Lizzy together back/forward into the 21st century that Fin discovers just how strong Lizzy truly is. Or just how much he wants to keep her in his life.

The question is whether he can convince her of that, now that he knows just what she’s giving up.

Escape Rating B: While Redeeming Vows doesn’t quite hold the magic of Binding Vows (see review here) it still reads like a rollicking good time. And I loved that there were happy endings all around. But I’ll get back to that in a minute.

Lizzy and Fin’s on again/off again/on again romance was hotter than any Druid fire. They can’t stand each other, nor can they see each other’s point of view half the time, but they can’t resist arguing. Fin’s never been in a committed relationship, and Lizzy doesn’t trust men. but they can’t keep their hands off each other. Their romance is scorching hot.

One factor that keeps them from giving in is the question of time. Lizzy doesn’t want to stay in the 16th century, and Fin is a man of his time. Lizzy’s son, Simon, belongs in the past. His power makes him yearn to stay with the only family that has ever accepted him. Lizzy is scared of losing him. She pushes Fin away because she’s pushing away a decision about where/when to be.

About that happy ending. On the one hand, it was terrific that everyone lived happily ever after. On the other hand, and this bothered me a bit, Grainna was a terribly great evil. It shouldn’t have been that easy. Much as it would have saddened me for someone to have been lost in order to defeat her, there should have been a cost.

One character was created just for Redeeming Vows to be a love interest for Fin’s youngest brother, Cian. Her purpose was to sacrifice herself to betray the witch, and give Cian someone to mourn. Her sacrifice helps bring the ending, but she wasn’t important enough to represent the high cost of defeating a great evil. My 2 cents.

I still loved the whole series and wish the next set was done. Highland Shifter is Simon’s story. I have the feeling that Amber’s story and Cian’s are yet to come. Bring ’em on!

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4 thoughts on “Review: Redeeming Vows by Catherine Bybee

  1. Wow, once again… a great review. And if you hate cliff hangers… or shake your fist at books in a series that are linked because you can’t wait for the next one.

    Hold off on Highland Shifter. Cuz I’m bound to make you a little mad. *wink*

    Again, thanks for the great reviews. xoxo

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