Genre: Medieval

Guest Review: When a Laird Finds a Lass by Lecia Cornwall

Posted November 15, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: When a Laird Finds a Lass by Lecia CornwallReviewer: Tracy
When a Laird Finds a Lass by Lecia Cornwall
Series: A Highland Fairy Tale #2
Also in this series: Beauty and the Highland Beast
Published by Swerve
Publication Date: November 1st 2016
Genres: Medieval, Historical, Romance
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four-stars

She is his greatest enemy and his only salvation.

Malcolm MacDonald, a lawyer in Edinburgh, unexpectedly inherits his father’s title of Laird of Dunbronach, forcing him to return to a place he hasn’t seen since he was a small child. To gain the trust of a wary clan, Malcolm must act upon their insistence that he cast aside his English betrothed and marry a Highlander.

However, they have one condition—no lasses of the barbaric clan MacLeod.

When he finds an unconscious woman in the sea, he brings her back to his clan but not before doing the one thing that could save her life—hiding her all too telling MacLeod plaid. When she wakes with no memory of who she is, Malcolm vows to keep the little he knows about her identity a secret. As new dangers threaten his clan, the mysterious lass teaches Malcolm some very important lessons about how to be a Highlander and a laird.

But secrets never stay secret for long, and when she finds her plaid, her memory returns and she flees. Malcolm is forced to make a difficult choice to win her back, facing his darkest fears and his worst enemy for a chance at true love.

Malcolm McDonald is a lawyer and living his life when he finds men from the MacDonald clan in his rooms.  They tell him that his father has died and that on his deathbed he named Malcolm as the next Laird.  Malcolm and his mother left his home and father when he was just a young boy and he’s certainly not about to change his whole life now.  He appeases the men by agreeing to go to Dunbronach and he plans on making some changes, getting a steward and then returning to Edinburgh where he can live his life in peace.  He has NO desire to be the Laird of a clan.

When he’s at Dunbronach he gets away one morning to think on things and finds a woman unconscious on the beach and wrapped in a MacLeod plaid.  He’s been told that the MacLeod’s and the MacDonald’s have been enemies for four centuries – but of course nobody remembers what the original argument was about.  So when Malcolm finds this woman with the MacLeod plaid he hides the plaid and takes her to the healer.  When she awakens she doesn’t know who she is or why she was on the beach.  She stays at Dunbronach and soon she’s falling in love with Malcolm and he’s falling in love with her and everyone else is falling in love with her as well – too bad they have no idea she’s a MacLeod!  So what happens when the truth comes out?

I always love a good amnesia story and this one was definitely good.  I loved Ronat (the girl that couldn’t remember her name) so much.  (She was named Ronat because it means “seal” and one of the girls in the clan is just sure that she’s a selkie.)  Ronat steals your heart and that of Malcolm as well.  The story was fun and interesting and I loved reading about the pair falling in love.  Malcolm had horrible guilt because he knew she was a MacLeod but he was busy trying to save his place as Laird.  Yes, he had finally decided that that was where he was supposed to be but one of his clan members had called in a distant cousin to take over who was a right bastard.   Between trying to keep the women from his cousin, Maccus, from the women cuz he’s know for raping them when he gets drunk and trying to woo Ronat without letting her know that he knows, vaguely, who she is, Malcolm is kept very busy indeed.  Of course all secrets get found out and when Ronat finds out Malcolm’s secret she’s not sure she wants anything to do with him anymore…but maybe?  Lol

It was a good story and I liked all the ins and outs of it.  It was never a dull book by any means and one that I thoroughly enjoyed.

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
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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: Highland Deception by Lori Ann Bailey

Posted August 30, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Highland Deception by Lori Ann BaileyReviewer: Tracy
Highland Deception by Lori Ann Bailey
Series: Highland Pride #1
Published by Entangled: Select Historical
Publication Date: August 22nd 2016
Genres: Historical, Medieval
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four-stars

Scotland, August 1642

Maggie and Lachlan must fight their growing attraction, battling suspicion and intrigue as religious and political turmoil threaten to tear their clans apart.

He has sworn he will never marry.

Lachlan Cameron is honor bound to see a wounded lass to safety, although he has well learned women are deceivers, and this lovely maid harbors a wealth of secrets. But Maggie's free spirit and charms enthrall him while he works to discover if she is innocent…or a spy scheming with his enemies to destroy his clan.

She has sworn she will never fall in love.

Maggie Murray fled her home to avoid a political marriage to an abusive man. Salvation comes when the Cameron laird, unaware of her identity, protects her as she escapes. His kindness slowly warms her, and she’s tempted to confess her real name. But his strong sense of honor would force him to return her to her father…and torment at the hands of her scorned betrothed.

Maggie is terrified of marrying Conall Erskine, the monster that her father has betrothed her to. She’s been able to put off the wedding until her 21st birthday but the wedding is upon her now and she’s not about to go through with it. She dresses as a boy and leaves her father’s keep, luckily finding a horse not too far away, and taking it to get away. She plans to head for northern Scotland to join a convent. In a roundabout way she ends up with a party from the Cameron Clan and ends up falling for their Laird, Lachlan Cameron. She doesn’t want to because she had seen her mother constantly giving her love to her father with no reciprocation and she never wanted to be like her.

Lachlan Cameron was on his way to Edinburgh to deliver his cousin when he came across a Robbie who had been living with a priest. That priest had been killed and the church burned. Robbie heads off with the Cameron’s to Edinburgh but when he sees Conall Erskine he points his finger at him as the murderer of the priest. After that one of the Cameron men intercept a letter Conall has written stating his intentions of killing his own father for political gain.

Lachlan needs to get back to his land in order to notify the other Laird’s of the letter, and to keep Robbie safe from Conall. He has no idea who Maggie is as she won’t tell him but he also has no idea that she even knows Conall. Lachlan had been betrayed in the past by a woman and swore he would never marry and certainly never give his heart to a woman ever again. When he meets Maggie, however, he starts to change his mind. The problem is that he has no clue of her identity and doesn’t trust her. He might let his past guide his future and it may be the worst thing he’d ever done.

This was a good story of love, trust, betrayal and faith. I really enjoyed seeing Lachlan and Maggie come together and work out their differences. Yes, it took a while and yes, Lachlan had major trust issues (which were frustrating, I must admit) but it all worked out in the end. It finally came down to trusting each other and having faith that the one they loved would never turn on them. I really liked that part of it all.

Maggie was a really strong heroine. She had put up with a lot during her short lifetime and while it could have broken her in so many ways it actually ended up making her a much stronger person. She knew what she wanted, and what she didn’t want, and didn’t let anyone stand in her way. Her mother had done a number on her before she had killed herself. Constantly telling Maggie how much she loved and hated her father as he cheated on her all the time. It truly had given Maggie a extremely skewed view of men overall so yeah, Maggie certainly had her own trust issues when it came to Lachlan.

Lachlan was a great guy. You could really tell what kind of man he was by the love and loyalty he was shown by his clan. Except for one person he was admired and respected. That told me a lot about him. The fact that he was trying to do the right thing with the information he had about Conall showed that he did things the right way rather than to take matters into his own hands. Yes, as I said, he had some major trust issues that got a bit old by the end but as he loved Maggie so much he was easily swayed back towards her in the end.

Overall a good highlander love story that was definitely worth reading.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars

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Guest Review: Much Ado About Highlanders by May McGoldrick

Posted May 13, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Much Ado About Highlanders by May McGoldrickReviewer: Tracy
Much Ado About Highlanders by May McGoldrick
Series: The Scottish Relic Trilogy #1
Also in this series: Taming the Highlander, Tempest in the Highlands
Published by St. Martin's Press, Swerve
Publication Date: May 3rd 2016
Genres: Medieval, Historical
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three-half-stars

In the heart of Scotland, this Highlander is about to meet his match in a brand new romance from bestseller May McGoldrick.

Highland warrior Alexander Macpherson has lost his wife. When he agreed to take Kenna Mackay as his bride to advance his clan’s power in the north, he expected a bit of an adjustment. He didn't expect the sharp-tongued beauty to run away on their wedding night. Still, Alexander wants his runaway bride…and he has the sneaking suspicion that she wants him, too.

Kenna Mackay thought she was safe in a priory full of nuns learning the craft of healing, but when she is kidnapped by her own husband, the battle of wits begins anew. But even as passions ignite, a deadly secret from Kenna's past rises to the surface and put their new love in jeopardy. As a heartless villain closes in, two headstrong lovers find themselves locked in a struggle between evil and the power of undying love. And this time, Alexander is determined he will not lose his wife again.

Six months ago Kenna Mackay and Alexander Macpherson were married.  That night Kenna ran off to a priory and has been there ever since.  Their fathers and Alexander’s brother work up a plot to get the two together permanently.  They figure once they’re together they can work out their issues and all will be well.  Little did the plotters know that there was an Englishman razing villages and murdering people to try and find four magical runes – one of which belongs to Kenna.

The runes each have their own power.  One allows the person to talk to the dead, one the power or healing, one allows the person to see someone’s past and the other allows someone to see the future.  The Englishman will stop at nothing to get the runes so Alexander must keep his hot-headed wife safe – especially when he figures out that he loves her and can’t live without her.

This story was pretty fun and funny.  I really liked both Alexander and Kenna.  They were both really strong-willed and they weren’t afraid to tell anyone exactly what they were thinking.  They’ve each got vicious tongues and they’re not afraid to use them.

Kenna was raised by her father after her mother died and even though she had been his little girl up to that point he then became a man who treated her poorly and demeaned her at every turn.  After being put down so many times she knew that she wasn’t what Alexander (the next Macpherson laird) needed in a wife so that’s why she ran off after her wedding.  Once she got to know Alexander better she realized that she was good for him and soon fell in love.

Alexander was a good man.  He only wanted his wife back and couldn’t figure out why she ran off in the first place.  He knows that he should have gone after her immediately after she ran but he figured she needed time.  Once they were thrown together and were on the run from the Englishman he knew that he couldn’t ever let her go.  He took good care of her but let her be her own woman as well and I liked that about him.

There was also a secondary romance with Kenna’s cousin, Emily and Alexander’s brother, James.  They fell in love quickly but there were obstacles in their way – one being that Emily was already betrothed.  They had their issues but this too was a cute romance.

The story jumps around a bit going from Kenna and Alexander’s story to Emily and James’s story to the Englishman and his lackey’s story.  I found it annoying that the parts of the book that were about the Englishman were italicized.  Why?  If they were flashback events I could understand but they weren’t so I didn’t get the point of that at all.

In the end the story was a good one but we were left hanging a bit as to what happened with the Englishman.  I’m gonna assume that we’ll find out more about the other two women who have the stones in future books but I can’t be sure about that.  It would be cool to see how things pan out, if that’s the case.  If you like a relatively light-hearted Scottish romance, then this one would be a good one to read.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars

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Guest Review: Her Warrior King by Michelle Willingham

Posted March 16, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Her Warrior King by Michelle WillinghamReviewer: Tracy
Her Warrior King by Michelle Willingham
Series: MacEgan Brothers #2
Published by Harlequin
Publication Date: January 1st 2008
Genres: Historical, Medieval
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four-stars

He has wed her, but will not bed her!

Blackmail forced Patrick MacEgan into marriage— although he could not be forced to bed his Norman bride. But Isabel de Godred was as fair as she was determined to be a proper wife….

She wished to help her proud warrior king with the burden of his responsibilities. As queen, she could aid an alliance between their people. As wife, she longed to comfort him, for when alone, they could put aside war and be but man and woman….

Patrick MacEgan is a king in Ireland. His fortress and people are attacked by Norman forces and many of his people, including his older brother, had been killed. Lord Edwin de Godred, who conquered his tribe, wants to be in good favor with King Henry and since Henry wants to unite the two countries de Godred wants to put Norman men into the Irish fortress, forcing the people to live together. He also wants Patrick to marry his daughter Isabel as the alliance will look good to King Henry. Patrick really doesn’t have a choice if he wants to save his people but he’s certainly not happy about the marriage or having the Norman soldiers in his fortress.

Patrick shows up to marry Isabel but he doesn’t plan on consummating the marriage and there’s no chance he will ever have kids with her as he wouldn’t take the chance that his sons would have Norman blood. The problem starts when he actually starts to like Isabel. Though she’s pretty much exiled on an island near his fortress she finds ways to challenge him constantly. Patrick tries to stay away from her but he finds himself drawn to her.

Isabel wants nothing more than for her marriage to work. She didn’t want to to marry Patrick but now that it’s done she wants to make the best of it. She constantly defies Patrick but wants to help him and what she ends up doing actually works to bring the two sides, the Irish and the Norman, together. The question remains, however, will Patrick ever see her as anyone more than a burden and can she make him fall in love with her as she loves him.

Though I read this book out of order (I unknowingly read them in publishing order instead) I loved seeing how the brothers worked together to save their tribe and fortress. Patrick was one stubborn man but I understood the reasons he kept himself apart from Isabel. Once he finally let her into his heart I knew that he wouldn’t be able to resist her.

Isabel was a piece of work – in a good way. She was determined not to be ignored and to make the Normans and the Irish to work together. Her ideas were shot down by Patrick but when she went ahead and put them into play herself they turned out working. I loved her ingenuity. Yes, some of it was done selfishly so that she could be with Patrick but it ended being a benefit to everyone. She was a kind woman but strong, independent woman but still very kind and generous. I loved her character and was so happy when Patrick finally pulled his head out and saw what a treasure she was.

I haven’t read many Irish historical romances before but I have to say that I’ve really enjoyed the MacEgan series so far (I’ve read books 2-5) and I’m looking forward to reading more in the series.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars

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