Series: The Pennington Family

Guest Review: It Happened in the Highlands by May McGoldrick

Posted April 27, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: It Happened in the Highlands by May McGoldrickReviewer: Tracy
It Happened in the Highlands by May McGoldrick
Series: The Pennington Family #2
Also in this series: Romancing the Scot
Publisher: Swerve
Publication Date: March 27th 2018
Format: eARC
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 300
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Lady Josephine Pennington was jilted by her fiancé once rumors spread about her questionable origins. Her adoptive parents have always provided her with the love and protection she’s needed to feel secure, and over the last sixteen years she’s molded herself to meet the expectations of others. When she receives a package containing sketches where the subject is eerily familiar, Jo believes she might have found a clue to the identity of her birth mother.

When Captain Wynne Melfort ended his engagement to Jo Pennington sixteen years ago, he never imagined he would see her again. But after he uncovers information that could reveal the truth about Jo’s parentage, Wynne feels bound by duty to right an old wrong and inform her of his find. He didn’t expect for feelings long thought dead to resurface, for in his mind a love departed was gone forever.

As they strive to unravel the mystery of her birth, Jo must learn how to trust the man who’d once rejected her, and Wynne must reconcile his head with his heart. But as secrets of the past begin to surface, evil forces will stop at nothing to keep Jo from uncovering the truth and reclaiming her legacy. Together, Jo and Wynne must fight the deadly menace lurking deep in the Highland mists.

Josephine was raised by the Pennington’s, a prominent family in Scotland, but her mother was unknown.  Just a woman who Lady Pennington had helped give birth on the side of the road named Jo. Raised as one of the Pennington children, Josephine never felt any different until she went to London for a season.  There she met the love of her life, Captain Wynne Melfort, but everyone else whispered and publicly ridiculed her.  She figured she could endure it because of Wynne, but when he breaks their engagement, Jo is devastated.

Now it’s sixteen years later and Josephine is quite happy with her life. She takes take of her family and loves her nieces and nephews.  When she gets a note from a mental institution she’s intrigued enough to stop by on her way to her brother’s house.

Wynne didn’t want to break off his engagement to Josephine but he was shipping out and he felt since he couldn’t be there to protect her from the ton it was better for everyone.  He never stopped loving Jo, however.  He is now back in Scotland helping to run a mental institution with her best friend and he has taken custody of his 10 year old son who had previously been living in Jamaica.  When one of the non-verbal patients sketches out picture after picture of a woman that looks like Josephine he’s not sure what to make of it.

When she arrives neither are ready for their feelings to bubble back to the surface but they are ready to find out if the non-verbal man has a connection to Josephine and if so, what it is.

McGoldrick has once again written a lovely romance that had me completely invested.  In book one I was curious about Josephine and what exactly her story was so I was quite happy when I found out that I wasn’t going to have to wait to find out.

Josephine was a wonderful person inside and out.  She was just a gem and while she had her faults, there weren’t many.  I was intrigued by the hunt for her true history and to find out where she came from, although I knew no matter what the Pennington’s wouldn’t let her feel like she wasn’t always part of the family.  That family was perfect for Jo to grow up in and I loved them to death.

Wynne was a little harder for me to get to like.  He had been on the high seas and though he had a son in Jamaica he left the child’s grandmother to raise him until she feared for his life because of the country’s upset.  I hated that he had left his son, Cuffe, for so long and this was also a point of contention with Cuffe and Wynne.  Cuffe wanted to be back taking care of his grandmother and resented his father for taking him away.  It was a great part of the book, Cuffe and Wynne coming together.  I was happy that McGoldrick decided to add this element to the story.

I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t more romance between Wynne and Josephine. Since neither had ever stopped loving the other, once they confessed their continued feelings…they were kind of together. I liked that they got their HEA but A) I wanted a little bit more romance and B) I wanted Wynne to have to work for it a little harder. Lol

In the end it was a good story and I really enjoyed reading it.

Rating: 3.5/4 out of 5

The Pennington Family Series

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: Romancing the Scot by May McGoldrick

Posted November 20, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Romancing the Scot by May McGoldrickReviewer: Tracy
Romancing the Scot by May McGoldrick
Series: The Pennington Family #1
Also in this series: It Happened in the Highlands
Publisher: Swerve
Publication Date: November 14th 2017
Format: eARC
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 300
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Hugh Pennington—Viscount Greysteil, Lord Justice of the Scottish Courts, hero of the Napoleonic wars—is a grieving widower with a death wish. When he receives an expected crate from the continent, he is shocked to find a nearly dead woman inside. Her identity is unknown, and the handful of American coins and the precious diamond sown into her dress only deepen the mystery.

Grace Ware is an enemy to the English crown. Her father, an Irish military commander of Napoleon’s defeated army. Her mother, an exiled Scottish Jacobite. When Grace took shelter in a warehouse, running from her father’s murderers through the harbor alleyways of Antwerp, she never anticipated bad luck to deposit her at the home of an aristocrat in the Scottish Borders. Baronsford is the last place she could expect to find safety, and Grace feigns a loss of memory to buy herself time while she recovers.

Hugh is taken by her beauty, passion, and courage to challenge his beliefs and open his mind. Grace finds in him a wounded man of honor, proud but compassionate. When their duel of wits quickly turns to passion and romance, Grace’s fears begin to dissolve…until danger follows her to the very doors of Baronsford. For, unknown to either of them, Grace has in her possession a secret that will wreak havoc within the British government. Friend and foe are indistinguishable as lethal forces converge to tear the two lovers apart or destroy them both.

Grace and her father are in Antwerp having just gotten off of a ship from the colonies.  When their baggage carriage turns up at their inn without their trunks Grace goes down to see what happened.  When she returns to her room she finds her father dead and people searching her room. She runs and street urchins help to hide her.  After a long run they manage to hide her in a crate with a plan to come back to get her.  Unfortunately the crate is then nailed shut and put on a ship to Scotland. No amount of yelling attracts anyone’s attention.  Grace doesn’t see the light of day for another five days.

Hugh Pennington has taken up ballooning and is anxious to open his new gondola.  When he opens it he is shocked to find a woman who is almost dead inside.  He and his sister take her to their home and nurse her back to health.  Despite being half dead Hugh can’t deny that he’s intrigued by how this woman came to be in his gondola.

When Grace awakens she doesn’t know where she is or who has been taking care of her.  The people seem nice but she’s the daughter of an Irish man who was a colonel in Napoleon’s army – he fought against her hosts!  She pretends to have amnesia and tries to figure out how to leave.  She spends time with Hugh and his sister Jo and the more time Grace and Hugh spend together the more she comes to care for him.  She knows that nothing can come of it, however, as she can never tell him who she is.

I have to say that the more that I read May McGoldrick’s book, the more I like this author.  The premise of this book is very different from what I’ve read in the past.  With Grace being the daughter of someone who fought for the French in the French wars.  It was pretty interesting and I have to say that I found it enthralling.  Throw in the almost-dying-by-being-locked-in-a-crate scenario and this book had my whole attention.

Hugh and Grace’s romance was sweet.  While it seemed to happen pretty quickly there was definitely a bit of time in between Grace waking up and the end of the book, McGoldrick just didn’t show us every minute of it.  I appreciated that as I could still feel the time moving and didn’t feel like the romance was rushed in any way.

Jo, Hugh’s sister, was a lovely woman.  She was a spinster and was supposedly happy with that but I could tell she wanted a family of her own.  I certainly hope that she gets her own book.

I definitely recommend reading this book as it was a good one.  Then be sure to read about Hugh’s brother, Gregory, in the Christmas in Kilts anthology – that was a good one too.

Rating; 4 out of 5

four-stars


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