Genre: Magic

Guest Review: Tempest in the Highlands by May McGoldrick

Posted December 12, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Tempest in the Highlands by May McGoldrickReviewer: Tracy
Tempest in the Highlands by May McGoldrick
Series: The Scottish Relic Trilogy #3
Also in this series: Much Ado About Highlanders, Taming the Highlander
Published by Swerve
Publication Date: December 6th 2016
Genres: Historical, Romance, Scottish, Magic
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Miranda MacDonnell is on the run. When she inherited a mysterious relic from her mother, she had no idea the dangers it would bring. Now hunted by a relentless foe who will stop at nothing to find her, she has one choice: stow away on the ship of the notorious privateer, Black Hawk.

Rob Hawkins, the half-English privateer known as Black Hawk, has a mission from the Tudor king to find and kill the rogue commander, Sir Ralph Evers. To complete his quest, Hawk must find Miranda, a young woman Evers is pursuing. Caught in a tempest, he is shipwrecked with a "boy" who demonstrates an uncanny ability for saving him. Cast away on the mysterious Isle of the Dead, Hawk realizes that the "boy" traveling with him is actually Miranda MacDonnell and having her means that Evers will come to him. What begins as a ploy —using her as bait—soon changes, however, as he falls in love with her.

Ancient forces are at work, drawing the four possessors of the relic’s power to the Isle of the Dead in the Outer Hebrides for a final battle where good must overcome the forces of evil in this spectacular finale to the Scottish Relic Trilogy.

Miranda MacDonnell is on the run. When she inherited a mysterious relic from her mother, she had no idea the dangers it would bring. Now hunted by a relentless foe who will stop at nothing to find her, she has one choice: stow away on the ship of the notorious privateer, Black Hawk.

Rob Hawkins, the half-English privateer known as Black Hawk, has a mission from the Tudor king to find and kill the rogue commander, Sir Ralph Evers. To complete his quest, Hawk must find Miranda, a young woman Evers is pursuing. Caught in a tempest, he is shipwrecked with a “boy” who demonstrates an uncanny ability for saving him. Cast away on the mysterious Isle of the Dead, Hawk realizes that the “boy” traveling with him is actually Miranda MacDonnell and having her means that Evers will come to him. What begins as a ploy —using her as bait—soon changes, however, as he falls in love with her.

Ancient forces are at work, drawing the four possessors of the relic’s power to the Isle of the Dead in the Outer Hebrides for a final battle where good must overcome the forces of evil in this spectacular finale to the Scottish Relic Trilogy.

Miranda has the gift of sight.  She inherited this from her mother via an ancient relic that gives her this power.  She’s on the run from a man who wants her dead so that he can have the power of the stone.  She knows from a vision that her mother had before she died that Rob Hawkins – knowns a Black Hawk, is entwined with her future.  She stows away on his ship but when a storm sends him overboard Miranda jumps in to save his life.

The pair end up on an island and for a time Rob still believes that Miranda is a boy named Gavin.  When he figures out she’s a woman he’s stunned but it doesn’t change the fact that he admires her greatly for her strength and perseverance.  They are plagued on the island by one disaster after another which causes the two to become closer and eventually fall in love.  Unfortunately the man who wants the power of all four stones has found them on the island and will stop at nothing to get the stone from Miranda as well as two other women who hold stones of their own.

This was a much more exciting story than I expected.  I knew it was the culmination of everything that had gone on in the two previous stories but it was more fraught with danger than I anticipated.  Miranda, thankfully, saved Rob’s life a time or two and he saved hers as well – without the help of sight.  I loved that their shared circumstances brought them together.  They were perfect for each other and I loved seeing their feelings for each other grow by the day.

The parts of the story that involved the power of the stone and Sir Ralph Evers who wanted it all for himself was blended so well into the story.  I didn’t feel like there was any disconnect between the romance and the stones.  It was very fantastical and magical but done very well.  A great end to a wonderful trilogy.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars

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Guest Review: Immortal Defender by Lisa Hendrix

Posted October 27, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Immortal Defender by Lisa HendrixReviewer: Tracy
Immortal Defender by Lisa Hendrix
Series: Immortal Brotherhood #4
Published by Berkley, InterMix
Publication Date: October 18th 2016
Genres: Medieval, Magic, Paranormal
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Return to the realm of the Immortal Brotherhood with a new paranormal romantic adventure featuring a crew of Viking warriors condemned to live out eternity as were-creatures...

In her Defender's strong arms, she has no defense...

Part of a band of Viking warriors cursed by an evil sorceress, Torvald has searched for years for a magic that can free him from his fate—to live forever as a were-creature, a man by night, a stallion by day. While studying with the alchemist to Queen Elizabeth, Torvald meets the lovely widow Josian Delamere and hopes she might be the one woman who can save him.

Unwilling to give up the independence of her widowhood, Josian expects to become merely lovers, but Torvald's tender seductions make her yearn for more. Just as she’s poised to surrender her heart, a hidden enemy reveals Torvald’s secret to her—and she flees the dark magic that surrounds him, in fear for her very soul.

The proud warrior can win any battle, but he cannot surmount the pain of losing Josian. Yet when her life is threatened, he will risk it all to come to the defense of the one woman who means more to him than his own salvation...

Torvald is a Viking warrior who was cursed long ago, alone with many others, to live a life of half man, half stallion.  By day he is man but when the sun sets he turns into a white stallion.

He is in London staying with a friend when he meets Josian Delamere.  They find a mutual desire in each other and some months later he heads to her home and they begin a tryst.  Unfortunately, not long after they begin Josian comes across Torvald and his friend Ari at sunset and sees Torvald turn into a stallion and Ari turn from a raven to a man.  She leaves her home and runs to her family’s estate.

Her brother-in-law is losing his mind and he decides to head to London to spout his ravings about the queen and his disloyalty to her.  Of course if one of the family is disloyal that means the entire family is disloyal as well, right?  So the entire family gets hauled off to the Tower – including Josian as she was staying with them.

Torvald feels responsible for her being there but he also finds himself falling for her. He works to get her freed from the Tower but once he does Josian is determined to find the papers that will prove the rest of her family is innocent of any wrong-doing and is loyal to the crown.  Torvald, Ari and two other cursed Vikings all help Josian in her quest and while they are together Josian finds herself falling in love with Torvald.  Could she be the woman who could break his curse?

I have to say I waited a darned long time for this fourth book in the Immortal Brotherhood series.  It’s been five years since book 3 was released but I really liked the series back then so thought I’d give this one a shot.  It was hard to remember all of the characters but I soon got into the story.  The first part of the book was slow for me.  I picked it up and put it down several times until I finally got into it – so be warned.

Torvald was a great hero.  He was strong and caring, conscientious and protective.  When Josian first sees Torvald changing she thinks he’s a demon and continues with her disdain through a goodly portion of the book.  I didn’t care for that but it didn’t sway Torvald or his feelings toward her.  He just did his best to help – not matter how Josian felt about him personally.

Josian was a bit much to take at some points in the book.  It was hard for her to deal with the whole changing thing but once she saw how her cousin dealt easily with the changes she opened herself to hearing what the men really were.  Imho that took too long into the story as I would have loved to have seen Torvald and Josian together for longer but that didn’t happen.

Overall it was a good story and definitely was interesting once Josian and her family were arrested.  I will definitely be reading the next in this series as I like the concept so much.  Hopefully we won’t have to wait another five years. 😉

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars

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Guest Review: Taming the Highlander by May McGoldrick

Posted September 12, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Taming the Highlander by May McGoldrickReviewer: Tracy
Taming the Highlander by May McGoldrick
Series: The Scottish Relic Trilogy #2
Also in this series: Much Ado About Highlanders, Tempest in the Highlands
Published by Swerve, St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: September 6th 2016
Genres: Magic, Historical, Scottish
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Innes Munro has the ability to "read" a person’s past simply by touching them, but her gift comes with a heavy price: her freedom. Forced to stay at desolate Castle Girnigoe, Innes never expects to be drawn to the wounded warrior who haunts its dark passages and challenges her at every turn.

Conall Sinclair, the earl of Caithness, carries the scars of battles with the English and the lash marks of their dungeons, but the wounds that fester within give him even greater pain. Isolating himself from his clan and the rest of the world in a tower perched on the wild Scottish coast, Conall is reluctant to let the spirited Innes close to him, however neither can deny the growing passion that ignites with every look, every touch.

But can Conall ever love a woman who can read his darkest secrets and feel the pain he hides... and can love really tame all fears? As dangerous forces close in, Conall and Innes must take the ultimate leap of faith and forge a bond of trust that will save them both...or lose each other forever.

Innes Munro is at Castle Girnigoe for her sister Ailein’s wedding to Bryce Sinclair.  When she arrives she meets Bryce’s brother, Conall who is a bit of a recluse at the castle, and is almost immediately smitten with the gruff man.  Innes has possession of one piece of an ancient relic that gives her the gift of seeing people’s pasts when she touches them with her hands.  When she runs into Conall she accidentally touches him and sees the pain and anguish he’s suffered.  She wants nothing more than to ease his pain but Conall’s a bit standoffish.

Bryce lost a hand in a battle with the English and then was captured and tortured before he was ransomed to his brother.  He doesn’t want to be taken with Innes but he can’t seem to make himself stay away from her.  He leaves the castle after his brother’s wedding so he won’t be tempted by her but when he returns he finds Innes still in residence by request of her sister.

Though Innes and Conall try to stay away from each other they find themselves falling in love.  Of course, when Innes tells Conall of her “gift” he may not want her any longer.

Another great book in the Scottish Relic trilogy.  I really enjoyed Innes and Conall’s story and their rocky road to love.  Conall was a man who carried pounds of guilt on his shoulders.  He had taken men into battle and lost hundreds and hundreds of them to death as they were outnumbered.  He felt responsible for all of the men that were lost and tried to live with the guilt every day.  When he met Innes he felt happy but didn’t want to.  He felt he needed to stay separated so that he could live with his guilt.  I loved the way that Innes made him finally see that the deaths of those men weren’t his fault. When he finally let her into his heart it was a beautiful thing. Of course I have to mention Conall’s dog/wolf Thunder.  He was just a puppy but was the size of a full grown wolf, and I loved him.  He was such a great part of the book and I was happy McGoldrick added him to the story.

Innes had always kept herself separated from the world.  Her sister and father knew of her “gift” as it had been passed down from her mother.  She didn’t plan on ever marrying and at age 27 few would have her.  When she met Conall he was more than demanding of what she should and shouldn’t do with her time. Though Innes wanted to dislike him I loved how she saw him as more than just his outer shell and gave him time to show her his true self.  Their story was a slow burn that led up to a wonderful romance.

Of course we have a villain in the story as there’s a man who is trying to collect all 4 relics so that he can have ultimate power.  He’s after Innes as he needs to take her relic and kill her in order to have the power the relic possesses.  It was a small part of the story but still good.  The first book in the series concentrated on the villain quite a bit so I was happy that this was mostly romance and that the villain got less page time.  I’m still not sure why the author chooses to put some of the parts, which are in current time, in italics.  It’s a bit frustrating as it throws me out of the book whenever it occurs – but maybe that’s just me, IDK.

Anyway, overall it was a good story and a great romance.  I’m looking forward to the final book in this trilogy to see what happens.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars

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