Series: Highlanders Series

Guest Review: Surrender to the Highlander by Lynsay Sands

Posted March 9, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Surrender to the Highlander by Lynsay SandsReviewer: Tracy
Surrender to the Highlander by Lynsay Sands
Series: Highlander Series #5
Published by Avon
Publication Date: January 30th 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
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Goodreads
four-stars

Edith Drummond owes her life to Niels Buchanan and his brothers. Waking after an illness to a castle overrun by rugged Highlanders is disconcerting, but so is learning that she’s slowly being poisoned. Niels insists on staying by her side, and Edith soon discovers that even more dangerous is her wild attraction to the fierce warrior.

Niels has never met a more courageous—or enticing—woman than Lady Edith. The idea of such a bonny lass being forced to enter a nunnery is more than any red-blooded Scotsman could bear. He’ll gladly marry her himself. But while sweeping her off her feet is easy, it’ll take all his skill to defeat her family’s relentless enemies, and convince her to surrender to his sweet embrace.

Neils Buchanan and his brothers are sent to check on Edith Drummond.  Their sister Saidh had sent several messages to her good friend Edith and hasn’t received word in return, which is not like Edith.  When the brothers arrive, they have a tough time gaining entry into the estate but when they hear that Edith is on her deathbed they manage to get in.  It appears that Edith’s father and two brothers have already died and Edith has been sick for weeks, just hanging on by a thread.  Rory Buchanan, a healer, diagnoses poison and treats accordingly. Soon Edith takes a turn for the better.

The brothers and Edith come to realize that her family has been targeted and they set about trying to figure out who the murderer is, which isn’t easy.  While they investigate, Neils protects Edith.  She believes her brother Brody, who is now Laird, and his wife will send her to a nunnery as soon as he gets back (he thought the castle had a catching illness so he left to avoid it) but after almost acting on their lust for each other, Neils asks Edith to marry him.  They liked each other but never thought they’d fall in love, especially when their fighting for Edith’s life.

This was another great book in the Highlanders series by Sands.  I’ve really enjoyed all of the books so far and this was no different.  I loved both Edith and Neils and thought they were perfect together.

Edith was an amazing woman.  She had been through hell with the deaths in her family and had almost died herself but in the end was looking out for everyone else, not herself.  She was kind, giving, thoughtful, smart.  I just loved her!  Neils was a good man as well and I loved how up front he was with Edith when he proposed.  He told her what he admired about her but admitted he didn’t love her.  That sounds harsh but I was happy to hear that he didn’t try to trick her in any way.  He was just as thoughtful as Edith and I loved watching these two fall in love.

The mystery part of the series was a good one.  I didn’t figure out “who-dun-it” until right before the characters started figuring things out.  Sands did a great job of making us think it was others and I loved that.

Overall a great book and I’m looking forward to reading the next in the series, which will be Neils’ brother Auley’s book.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: An English Bride in Scotland by Lynsay Sands

Posted January 17, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: An English Bride in Scotland by Lynsay SandsReviewer: Rowena
An English Bride In Scotland (Highlanders, #1) by Lynsay Sands
Series: Highlanders Series #1
Published by Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: June 25th 2013
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

The first in a new historical series set in the Highlands of Scotland, from Lynsay Sands, the New York Times bestselling author of the Argeneau vampire series and countless historical romances.

Annabel was about to take the veil to become a nun when her mother suddenly arrives at the Abbey to take her home… so that she can marry the Scottish laird who is betrothed to her runaway sister! She knows nothing about being a wife, nothing about how to run a household, and definitely nothing about the marriage bed!

But from the moment Ross MacKay sets eyes on Annabel, he is taken with his shy sweet bride… and the fact that she's blessed with lush curves only makes him utter his own prayers of thanks. But when an enemy endangers her life, he'll move the Highlands themselves to save her. For though Annabel's not the bride he planned for, she's the only woman he desires…

An English Bride in Scotland is my first book by Lynsay Sands and I’m happy to report that it was an enjoyable romance with charming characters and a sweet romance between the hero and heroine. This book has an old school Julie Garwood feel to it and that was enough for me to enjoy the heck out of it.

Ross MacKay is in England to collect his bride, an engagement that his father brought about after his intended’s father saved his father’s life. He’s there to honor the promise that his father made, no matter how he feels about it.

Annabel was raised in an abbey and was just about to take her vows to become a nun when her mother rushes to the abbey to whisk Annabel away to keep a promise for her father. She’s to marry a Scotsman in her sister’s place since her sister ran away with the stableman’s son. To say that everything happened so fast, is putting it mildly since Annabel damn near got whiplash from the whirlwind that became her life once her mother came back into it.

It took only one look at Annabel for Ross to be certain that he wanted Annabel for a wife and I really loved seeing him fall head over heels in love with her. Annabel was such a sweet heroine, easy to love that it didn’t take me long at all to fall in love with her myself.

The story follows Ross as he tries to figure out who is trying to harm his wife. On their journey from England back to his home in Scotland, they have been set upon by a mysterious man who seems hellbent on something but nobody knows what. Ross and Annabel are newlyweds and they’re learning each other and Annabel is learning to live in a new place and there’s a lot here to keep the reader interested and I thought Lynsay Sands did a great job of bringing the story together.

I can’t say that this was my absolute favorite book ever but it was a sweet story that I enjoyed and I enjoyed it enough that I want to continue this series in 2018 so I just might do that. Annabel’s sister was awful and she just kept right on being awful with each passing page so that was a bummer because every time she called Annabel “Belly”, I wanted to punch her in the face. I thought the mystery surrounding the stranger that kept popping up around Annabel was pretty weak since I figured it out not very long into the story but even still, the book was fun and the romance was sweet so I didn’t mind much.

Grade: 3.75 out of 5

Highlanders Series

four-stars


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Guest Review: Falling for the Highlander by Lynsay Sands

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

Guest Review: Falling for the Highlander by Lynsay SandsReviewer: Tracy
Falling for the Highlander by Lynsay Sands
Series: Highlander Series #4
Published by Avon
Publication Date: January 31st 2017
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Goodreads
three-half-stars

Lady Murine Carmichael has known her share of bad luck. But when her debt-ridden half-brother tries to sell her off in exchange for a few Scottish horses, it’s the final straw. If keeping her freedom means escaping through harsh countryside alone, so be it. She has barely begun her journey when she lands an unlikely escort—the brawny Highlander who just refused to buy her virtue.

Dougall Buchanan was disgusted by Lord Danvries’ shameful offer, but Murine herself tempts him beyond measure. Even bedraggled and dusty, the lass glows with beauty and bravery. Dougall wants to do more than just help her flee. He wants to protect her—with his life and his heart—if she’ll only let him. For Murine may be pursued by a powerful foe, but nothing compares to the fiery courage of a Highlander in love.

Murine Carmichael has seen a lot of death in the past few years.  Her brothers and her betrothed were killed then her mother died not long after that.  Her father then was ill and but had died just when she thought he was getting better.  Her half-brother, Montrose, picked her up and told her that he was now her guardian.  While Murine wasn’t thrilled with the idea she dealt with it.  She even managed to deal with it when Montrose gambled away her dower.  When Dougall Buchanan and his brothers show Montrose fine horses and he can’t pay for them he tries to bargain with them.  Dougall’s not interested.  Then Montrose gets desperate and offers his sister as payment – to use until he gets tired of her.  Dougall, his brothers and Murine are all shocked and disgusted at this suggestion.  Obviously Dougall refuses and leaves.

After hearing another suggestion by Montrose about offering her up to one of his neighbors for coin, Murine decides it’s time to get the hell out of dodge.  She knows that traveling alone is extremely dangerous but figures facing death is better than what Montrose has planned for her. She heads off on her pet bull, Henry, to try to reach one of her friends.  Not far from her brother’s house she runs into the Buchanan brothers.  They are nice enough to hide her from his brothers and agree to take her to her friend, their sister, Saidh. Along the road there are many perils and accidents that beset the group and mostly directed at Murine. During the course of the travel Dougall and Murine get close and lust ensues that soon turns to more.  Unfortunately with Montrose trailing the Buchanan’s and Murine will they be able to stay together?

This was a cute story.  I really liked a lot of the book and was pulling for Dougall and Murine throughout.  The camaraderie between the Buchanan brothers was another plus to this book as they were close but still had scuffles like most brothers do.

I really liked Dougall in this book.  He was stubborn and strong-willed but protective and kind as well.  He had morals and was a decent guy whose parents had raised him right.  Murine took a bit of getting used to.  She was kind of oblivious a lot of the time which annoyed me.  She didn’t seem the type to be oblivious so when it happened it was frustrating. Examples…she was running from her brother but when she was traveling and saw people in the woods, she never said anything? She thought she heard someone in the house she was in by herself but never mentions it to Dougall when he comes in right after?  There were so many things that she questioned to herself but never once said anything to Dougall or his brothers.  What the hell?  Why not? She was trying to get away from her brother but she sees random people or hears random things and shrugs it off? Uh, no, don’t believe it for a minute. In most Sands historicals the heroine always ends up doing some crazy things but this just takes the cake. Now, that being said she was strong when she needed to be.  She saved lives when there was a fire as she had saved Saidh’s life in a previous book.  She kept getting hit in the head and kept getting up.  She got shot by an arrow but took it like a trooper.  She was a good person for the most part, really.

Overall it was a good story that I had some issues with.  It certainly won’t stop me from reading more of Sands’ historical novels as their more on the fun/slapstick fun side and I like that about them.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: The Highlander Takes a Bride by Lynsay Sands

Posted August 14, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: The Highlander Takes a Bride by Lynsay SandsReviewer: Tracy
The Highlander Takes a Bride by Lynsay Sands
Series: Highlander Series #3

Publication Date: July 28, 2015
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four-stars

Sword fighting, swearing, and riding astride come naturally to Saidh Buchanan. Simpering and holding her tongue—definitely not. Raised alongside seven boisterous brothers, Saidh has little interest in saddling herself with a husband... until she glimpses the new Laird MacDonnell bathing naked in the loch. Though she's far from a proper lady, the brawny Highlander makes Saidh feel every inch a woman.

She has an angel's looks, a warrior's temper, and seeks out his kisses with wanton eagerness. Little wonder that Greer is intrigued by his comely guest. When reckless desire overtakes them, he's more than willing to make an honest woman of her. But Saidh is the target of a hidden enemy, and Greer faces the battle of his life to safeguard the woman he wants above all others.

Tracy’s review of The Highlander Takes a Bride (Highlander #3) by Lynsay Sands.

Saidh was raised with her seven brothers and her mother pretty much gave up on her being a lady. She is who she is and she enjoys it. She knows she probably won’t ever get married because of her rough ways but she’s ok with that.

Four years earlier Saidh had been at her cousin Fenella’s wedding. The groom ended up getting killed, by Fenella, and Saidh helped her with a cover and made it look like bandits killed him. Saidh’s at a friends house when she hears that Fenella’s fourth husband, in four years, has drowned. Saidh hadn’t seen Fenella since her first marriage and hadn’t been aware that she’d gotten remarried – four times! She’s suspicious about the deaths because of the Fenella’s first marriage and decides to visit her cousin to see if she can figure it all out.

When Saidh arrives she meets the new Laird, Greer. They are almost instantly taken with each other. They can’t seem to take their hands off each other but Greer wants to do things right. That doesn’t make her brothers happy when they show up for the wedding that Saidh knows nothing about.

On top of that there’s someone out there who is trying to kill Saidh and no one can figure out who it is or why they would want to kill her in the first place.

This was another fun historical by Sands. I really like her historical novels as they have so much humor in them and while some of the scenarios are unlikely they seem to work for me. In this book there wasn’t too much angst between the hero and heroine and I appreciated that so much. The author let the mystery of who the killer was be the big issue, besides Fenella’s possible involvement, and it was nice to have a simple romance come out of it all.

I really liked both Saidh and Greer a lot in this story. Greer didn’t think he would ever, or could ever, love a woman but he soon finds himself swayed by Saidh. She is just herself and doesn’t put on airs and he loves that about her. The fact that he fell for her hard and fast warmed my heart. Saidh was kind of thrilled to actually be married as she never thought she would be. She was wonderful with Greer and of course her many brothers. I loved the family dynamic and enjoyed seeing Greer fit right in.

In the end it was a pretty fast read with not too much angst, a little mystery, and a lot of lovin’. Good stuff.

Rating: 4 out of 5

This title is available from Avon. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

four-stars


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Review: An English Bride in Scotland by Lynsay Sands

Posted June 21, 2013 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: An English Bride in Scotland by Lynsay SandsReviewer: Tracy
An English Bride In Scotland by Lynsay Sands
Series: Highlander Series #1
Published by Avon
Publication Date: June 25th 2013
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

Annabel was about to take the veil to become a nun when her mother suddenly arrives at the Abbey to take her home… so that she can marry the Scottish laird who is betrothed to her runaway sister! She knows nothing about being a wife, nothing about how to run a household, and definitely nothing about the marriage bed!

But from the moment Ross MacKay sets eyes on Annabel, he is taken with his shy sweet bride… and the fact that she's blessed with lush curves only makes him utter his own prayers of thanks. But when an enemy endangers her life, he'll move the Highlands themselves to save her. For though Annabel's not the bride he planned for, she's the only woman he desires…

When Annabel was seven years old her parents took her to an abbey and left her there. She was not cut out to be a nun but eventually became an oblate and was looking forward to becoming a nun. When her mother suddenly shows up unannounced Annabel is shocked as she hasn’t seen or heard from anyone in her family for 14 years. Her mother rushes her off to their family estate and prepares her to marry. You’re thinking WTF, right? Yeah, I was too.

The father saved the life of a Scottish Laird at one point and they became friends. Eventually they decided that the Laird’s eldest son and the English Earl’s eldest daughter would be contracted to be married when the time was right. Unfortunately things didn’t work out the way either family had planned.

The Laird MacKay died and his eldest son, Ross, was challenged by his cousin for the position of Laird. Then family members became mixed up in the challenge and four years passed before Ross felt it was safe to leave his clan temporarily and go get his bride.

The Withram family had had their own share of troubles. The eldest daughter, Kate, had fallen in love with the stable masters son and had run off with him not two days before Ross was to arrive at their home. Kate had been disowned so that made Annabel the eldest and the families last hope to save them.

Annabel doesn’t have a clue what’s going on and when she does figure it out she’s freaked out, to say the least. Ross is about to leave as it’s taking so long for the bride to be to see him but then Annabel comes down the stairs and Ross is smitten almost from first sight. They marry and as Ross doesn’t like Annabel’s parents they leave the next day for Ross’s castle.

Annabel isn’t anything like Ross thought she would be – little does he know she’s REALLY not what he thinks – but she soon wins over even the grumpiest of clan members. Annabel has a hard time at first and she’s not sure she can be what she’s supposed to be as she was never raised to take care of a home but she does her best. During this time Annabel is hurt, so is Ross, by an attacker that is very persistent; they get a visit from Annabel’s sister that is completely unexpected – an unwanted after they get to know her; and they fall in love.

I have to say I love reading Sands’s historical novels. She always writes such great characters and puts them in situations that are completely believable and could have actually happened but that are almost ridiculous in nature…and pulls it all off. She’s got such a great sense of humor and it really shows in her historicals.

In this one I loved Annabel’s innocence. She made some bad decisions, sure, but she did it with such a good heart that it was hard for me to dislike her for some of them. It turned out that her family had done her a huge favor by sending her to the abbey – even though it was sometimes torturous (literally) – as we see when we meet the very, very, very spoiled sister, Kate. My God that woman was a piece of work. Even I wanted to climb into the book and throttle her! Annabel had the patience of a saint but even she could only take so much of Kate. lol

Ross was a great hero. He was kind and grumpy and possessive and lusty and he loved Annabel to bits. His patience with her was a testament to his upbringing and I loved seeing the strong, capable man treat his wife with care and not lose any of his masculinity.

In the end it was a very good story and I can’t wait to see what the next book in the series brings.

Rating: 4 out of 5

 

four-stars


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