b7d2e7bcfa02273749355ad09089beffA nice thing about a book is if you don’t like it you can stop reading it.  Certainly, if the leading male character is not your type, if you are offended by his mannerisms, the reader can “dump” him.  But it is not so easy to cut ties with characters you have grown to love, especially male leading characters. We, as women, tend to become emotionally attached to  the leading male figures in our imaginary world, at least I know I do, and hence the difficulty in abandoning them.  You follow them and continue to read, even though they are stubborn, arrogant, and completely infuriating.  But in the end, their redeeming qualities captures your heart, and you are obligated to read the next book in the series, knowing that this will only lead to many sleepless nights.  The in between stage of waiting for the next book is quite dismal if not downright depressing. Seriously people, there were times I wanted to just throw the book because it was the end. I never did though. I have difficulty dog earring my books, let alone throwing them against the wall. But I’m sure you folks can understand my frustration.

I was thrilled to write this post.  But in retrospect, I was reluctant. The subject of book boyfriends is a bit touchy (Really, they are more like book husbands to me, and yes my husband is aware of my issues, and I am quite relieved that he still loves me despite them).  You see, it’s been awhile since I read the series, and my apprehension stems from falling in love with the series, and this unbelievable character, all over again. There are seven book total in The Outlander series by the world famous and awe-inspiring author Diana Gabaldon, with the eighth book to be released Fall of 2013.  The Outlander, first published in 1998,  is an intricate and mesmerizing tale woven through two different time periods.  There are 650 pages in that book and just as many if not more in the books there after. Readers, however, should not be alarmed at the quantity of pages, because it is in fact a fast paced read. Nonetheless, reader’s should be warned that James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser, the leading male character, is an extraordinarily strong and appealing figure in this series, a force that will no doubt captivate those fans who love historical fiction and time travelling to boot. Hence, the insomnia after-effects.

If you haven’t read the series, here is an excerpt from Diana Gabaldon’s website.

In 1946, after WWII, a young Englishwoman named Claire Beauchamp Randall goes to the Scottish Highlands with her husband, Frank.   She’s an ex-combat nurse, he’s been in the army as well, they’ve been separated for the last six years, and this is a second honeymoon; they’re getting re-acquainted with each other, thinking of starting a family.  But one day Claire goes out walking by herself, and comes across a circle of standing stones—such circles are in fact common all over northern Britain.  She walks through a cleft stone in the circle….and disappears.  Back into 1743, where the first person she meets is a gentleman in an 18th-century army officer’s uniform.  This gentleman, Jack Randall, looks just like her husband Frank—and proves to be Frank’s six-times-great-grandfather.  Unfortunately, he also proves to be a sadistic bisexual pervert, and while trying to escape from him, Claire falls into the hands of a gang of Highland Scots, who are also trying to get away from Black Jack Randall—though for other reasons.

In order to avoid being handed over to Captain Randall, Claire is obliged to marry one of the young clansmen.  So she finds herself trying to escape from Castle Leoch and her Scottish captors, trying to get back to her husband Frank, trying to avoid being recaptured by Captain Randall—and falling in love with Jamie Fraser, the young man she’s been forced to marry.

They are equals, Jamie and Claire. One does not dominate the other and there is a mutual trust and understanding that grows between the two, and of course, eventually there is their steadfast love that transcends two different centuries. Jamie is chivalrous and compassionate, and accepting of Claire despite the oddities of her compelling and independent nature. They are balanced partners throughout the series, solving problematic and often life-threatening issues that ferries them to many different locations, battles and adventures.  He has a soldier’s strength and bravery. He is highly intelligent and also good-humored.  Jamie has no doubts of Claire’s capabilities and many times encourages it. They are, I believe, two formidable characters that will stand the test of time.  So if you fear the high divorce rates in the latest demographics,  become Claire for a little while and marry Jamie Fraser. I guarantee, you’ll never need a lawyer.

 “I will find you,” he whispered in my ear. “I promise. If I must endure two hundred years of purgatory, two hundred years without you – then that is my punishment, which I have earned for my crimes. For I have lied, and killed, and stolen; betrayed and broken trust. But there is the one thing that shall lie in the balance. When I shall stand before God, I shall have one thing to say, to weigh against the rest.”

His voice dropped, nearly to a whisper, and his arms tightened around me.

Lord, ye gave me a rare woman, and God! I loved her well.”

Ugh, that line kills me! Now I’m going to have to reread them all over again. Sleepless night, here I come.

Commenting area

  1. We share a book husband! I suspect there are tens if not hundreds of thousands of varying versions of the Jamie Fraser book husband :)

    I love this series. These books are what led me down the path to the romance genre. I came into them relatively late, discovering them about 2 years ago and what a mind blowing discovery it was! I’m waiting patiently for fall 2013 and contemplating when to start my series re-read in preparation!

    I’m glad you posted this. Of all the book blogs I follow, you are the first to mention the Outlander series. I feel as though those who love these books are in a sort of secret, quiet group. I know the following is huge so I’ve been surprised to hear little of it in the book blogosphere. I will admit though that I kind of like it being secret or maybe exclusive like the men’s clubs that Lord John Grey belongs to!!!

    Thank you for the great post.

    • Thanks Cathy for the really sweet comment and you are most welcome. It’s unfortunate that the romance blogs do not mention these books. I have seen these in the Literature/Fiction section in the books stores I go to (as opposed to the Romance sections), so I suspect that may be one of the reasons. But really, if you ask several people what genre it falls under, you will likely get several different answers. For myself I classify them as Historical Romance with Fantasy features.

      Have you tried Sara Donati? Her Wilderness series is just incredible. The story begins where Last of the Mohicans ends. I know some may be offended that a series was made after this classic novel. I’m not one of them, however. I absolutely loved her writing. Sara Donati is the penname of Rosina Lippi. And here is her website. http://rosinalippi.com/weblog/?page_id=1252
      I have read all of her novels as well.

      Enjoy and thanks again :-)

      • I agree, Outlander somehow isn’t really classified as romance. Possibly because of the time travel but there are a few romances with time travel that are classified as romance. It’s also somewhat erotic at times! Good lord that woman writes the best loves scenes I have ever read. Her writing in general is top notch.

        I have read Sara Donati’s entire Wilderness series and very much enjoyed them. I think she got some flak for riding on Diana Gabaldon’s coat tails but I didn’t think that at all. I thought it was well done and original. Some of the Outlander fans are a bit elitist and fanatical! (shhh, don’t tell them I said that, I don’t want to be on the wrong end of a witch hunt and end up in an oubliette!)

        Have you read Paullina Simons’ “The Bronze Horseman” (Tatianna and Alexander series?) It starts during the 2nd World War. It’s far different from Outlander and the Wilderness series but the epic journey has the same feel. It’s very angsty and emotional but powerfully written. I was admittedly an emotion wreck while reading it! A kleenex advisory of 10/10!

  2. LOL, elitist. Yes I can see that. :-) Thanks for the recommendation. I shall have to muster some courage for the series, for I so hate to cry.

    Let me know if you come across anymore reads that are similar and I shall do the same!

  3. I like to say that Jamie and I have grown old together. No other fictional boyfriend has made me melt the way he does. I think it’s his love for Claire and the way he presents it that makes him so special.

    • So very true robbielea, I agree completely. Sometimes I like to reread the great parts, like when Claire returned!

  4. Lauren Cockerell June 4, 2013 at 7:23 pm · · Reply

    Just wondering if you know the name of the guy in the photo you have as “Jamie”? Is he just some good looking random guy you found?

    • I’m not sure who he is, but his worn expression coupled with a hint of mischief in his eyes,reminded me of the character. Not to mention he’s downright sexy! Kudos to the photographer, the lighting, and setting was brilliant. I’ve seen him a lot in Pintrest. If you find out his name, please let me know :-)

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