Genre: Medieval

Guest Review: How to Lose a Highlander by Michelle McLean

Posted May 17, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: How to Lose a Highlander by Michelle McLeanReviewer: Tracy
How to Lose a Highlander by Michelle McLean
Series: The MacGregor Lairds #1
Published by Entangled Publishing
Publication Date: May 15th 2017
Genres: Medieval, Historical
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Forced into marriage by their king in order to stop years of inter-clan feuding, Sorcha Campbell and Malcolm MacGregor are each determined to drive the other away. Malcolm knows he can never trust his new shrewish wife, despite the fact that everything he observes seems to prove that she’s not only trustworthy, but utterly perfect for him. Sorcha knows she can never let her guard down around the man she believes betrayed her father, yet the longer she’s with him, the more she discovers he is nothing like she was led to believe. They’ll have to fight their way through past prejudices and their own determination to destroy their union in order to gain their perfect HEA in this Taming of the Shrew meets How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days tale.

Sorcha Campbell’s father may be a highlander but and she obviously part Scottish but she’s been brought up by her English mother in England.  She’s lived at court most of her life and she doesn’t want that to change. She’s been proposed to many times but her father has turned them all down as no one has been good enough for her.

The Campbell’s and the MacGregor’s won’t stop raiding each other’s lands and the king decides that it must come to an end.  The king decides that Sorcha will marry Malcolm MacGregor and make the two families kin.  No one is happy with the decree but they can’t go against the king.  Sorcha decides to do everything she can to make him get an annulment and strangely enough, Malcolm has the same idea.  After the marriage the pair just frustrate the hell out of each other to no avail.  Sorcha gets to know the people of the MacGregor clan and she starts to doubt that all of the horrible things her father had told her about them were true.  She starts to find a home and decides that she needs to try to make hers a real marriage with Malcolm.  Unfortunately Malcolm finds it hard to trust – especially a Campbell.

This was a great little story.  I really liked Malcolm and Sorcha and their plans to irritate each other to death in order to get an annulment.  It didn’t work with either of them but it was funny.  I admit that did get old rather quickly and was happy when the author moved on to getting the pair together.  It was done slowly but very well and I thought it was nice that Sorcha didn’t go from hating Malcolm to loving him.  It took a while and that was a good thing.

Overall I thought it was a cute story. I’m interested to see who the next Laird in the series is so I’m sure I’ll be reading the next book when it comes out. 🙂

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Guest Review: Ever My Love by Lynn Kurland

Posted April 3, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Ever My Love by Lynn KurlandReviewer: Tracy
Ever My Love by Lynn Kurland
Series: MacLeod series #10
Also in this series: Till There Was You
Published by Jove
Publication Date: April 4th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Medieval, Time Travel
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three-half-stars

Two people are caught up in love—and in time—in the latest novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Stars in Your Eyes.

In search of a fresh start, Emma Barton has traveled to Scotland to try to forget her rocky love life. Luckily, the gorgeous Highlander who owns the house up the path from her rental cottage might be exactly the kind of distraction she needs. But there’s more to his intriguing qualities than she can explain—and she certainly isn’t buying into the local legends of Highland magic.

Nathaniel MacLeod is a man adrift, all thanks to the unwanted gift that forces him to continually jump between centuries. He never knows if he’ll wind up in the present day or the fourteenth century, but when Emma follows him back through time, he suddenly has more to worry about than keeping his separate lives straight…

Someone has started to notice Nathaniel’s travels and now, no time period is safe, for him or for Emma.

Nathaniel MacLeod has been traveling back in time off and on for the past 5 years.  When he hears or sees a certain date he feels the time portal open and he knows that he must get back to medieval Scotland as soon as possible.  He doesn’t know why it’s him that has to go or what the purpose is of him being there but he’s determined to figure it out.

Emma Baxter is in England to get away from her life in England.  She’s pretty much hiding from her ex-boyfriend an trying to figure out what she needs to do next in her life.  She meets Nathaniel because his is a neighboring home to the cottage she’s staying in.  They are instantly attracted to each other but Nathaniel seems to have so many secrets.

When Emma ends up stepping through a time gate and ends up in a dungeon it’s Nathaniel that has to save her.  When she does it again and the exact same events occur Nathaniel knows that he needs to figure out what part Emma plays in his time traveling but he’s not sure he can fix it and keep her with him at the same time.

This was another good book by Kurland.  I’ve only read a few books in the MacLeod series but I think after reading this one that I might have to go back and take care of that lack as meeting Nathaniel’s relatives, Patrick, Ian and Jamie was awesome. They helped both Emma and Nathaniel in many ways and seemed to be very good men.

While I really liked Both Emma and Nathaniel in this book and liked watching their relationship develop, there was a certain disconnection I felt with the book.  I’m not sure if the term is “disjointed” but I felt like the story was all over the place.  It may have been the lack of information we received about Emma and her situation back home as well as the secrets that Nathaniel was keeping about his work and family.  This issue definitely got better as the book went on and we got more info on them.  The latter part of the book was what saved this one for me.

I also was a little disappointed in the physical contact between Emma and Nathaniel.  Yes, I know that Kurland’s books are clean – no sex – but this one had them kiss once.  Once!  And that was a peck if I remember correctly.  I don’t mind clean books but I definitely think the H/h need to have a bit more contact throughout the book – at least more than a peck. But that’s just me. 🙂

While definitely not my favorite book in the series it was a good one that I found entertaining.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars

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Guest Review: No Other Highlander by Adrienne Basso

Posted March 2, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: No Other Highlander by Adrienne BassoReviewer: Tracy
No Other Highlander by Adrienne Basso
Series: The McKennas #2
Published by Zebra
Publication Date: February 28th 2017
Genres: Historical, Medieval, Scottish
Pages: 368
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three-half-stars

Scottish Highlands, 1334: The McKenna clan flourishes under a family of warriors, fierce and righteous, faithful to their own until the last. But to produce an heir, the widowed eldest son must risk his heart again . . .

Lady Joan Armstrong Fraser was once the indulged and pampered daughter of a laird. But marriage to a brute changed her. When he sets her aside, she has only her wits and her beauty to protect herself and her child from the chaos of her former home. She will have to find another husband—a man whose strength is more than a weapon against the weak. A man she can trust . . . if such a man even breathes.

Sir Malcolm McKenna has known Lady Joan since her childhood, a spoiled princess as dangerous as she is lovely. But when she steps forward to protect him against a false accusation, he discovers a character stronger than he guessed—and an attraction he yearns to explore . . .

Malcolm McKenna has been accused of devirginizing a woman, promising her marriage and then disappearing.  The woman is the daughter of the McPhearson laird and he’s so mad now that his daughter has given birth that he’s put a price on Malcolm’s head. When Malcolm hears about this he’s shocked! Though he was drunk during the fete that this liaison supposedly took place, he thinks he’d remember deflowering a woman!  Malcolm’s father, Laird McKenna, decides to meet with the McPhearson to work out the issue.  They decide to meet on Armstrong territory as it’s neutral territory.

Joan Armstrong is a woman who married a monster. He was brutal and abused her both verbally and physically.  He finally put her aside and got an annulment stating that she was insane.  She doesn’t like the stigma of insanity but she’s certainly happy to be out from under his thumb.  Unfortunately coming home with her two-year-old son isn’t a happy reunion.  Her father doesn’t want her there because of the embarrassment Joan has brought to him and the family/clan.  She tries to do all she can to help but it’s never enough for her father.  She knows she’ll never remarry so what will she do if her father does remarry – she’ll no longer be needed.  When the McPhearson’s and the McKenna’s show up Joan is happy to look after them but being on the outside of the discussion she sees what no one else does – that Malcolm’s truly wrongly accused.  When the truth comes out the McPhearson wants Malcolm to marry his daughter anyway but in a stroke of inspiration Malcolm states he’s already engaged to Joan.

To say that Joan’s not happy about Malcolm’s declaration is an understatement but Malcolm is attracted to her and knows that he can care for her and her son.  He finally talks her into agreeing and they head off to McKenna lands.  Joan has agreed to marry Malcolm but will she ever be able to trust a man again and open her heart.

This was a great story.  I loved Joan and the love she had for her son.  She’d had such a bad marriage and she truly deserved happiness but she never thought it would come to her in yet another marriage.  I loved how Malcolm slowly brought her out of her shell and was so patient with her.  He knew that she’d had a rough go of it with her previous husband and though he wanted to bed her he took things slow and easy with her.  He was a good man through and through and he made a great hero.  Once Joan opened up a bit we got to see that she was a good woman as well.  I thought that the pair were perfect together and was so happy when everything worked out.

Besides Joan’s husband and his dastardly deeds during one portion of the book there really wasn’t a villain involved in No Other Highlander.  I really enjoyed the story being relationship driven and not having to worry about a whodunit as well.  The book was fun and funny as well as touching and emotional which to me was a good mix.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars

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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, The Lady and the Highlander
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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