Tag: Adrienne Basso

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
Pages: 368
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

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


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Guest Review: The Highlander Who Loved Me by Adrienne Basso

Posted December 22, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Highlander Who Loved Me by Adrienne BassoReviewer: Tracy
The Highlander Who Loved Me by Adrienne Basso
Published by Zebra
Publication Date: December 29, 2015
Genres: Historical Romance
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

Scottish Highlands, 1329. Sir James McKenna, second son of the powerful McKenna Chief, knows he has found his destiny when he falls in love with sweet Lady Davina Armstrong, niece of the Armstrong Chief. Orphaned in childhood, Davina has always felt like an outsider, and with James finally feels that she belongs. But their plans for a happy future are shattered after a brutal attack by a band of rogues. Horrified, Davina’s overprotective family quickly shelters her from everyone—including James…

Five years later, James is a changed man. His fighting skills sharpened to perfection, he is hardened by the war and destruction he’s endured as a Scottish knight—and by the loss of Davina. Weary, he returns home—and is shocked to find Davina there. Is it too late for them to start anew, or will the past dare to lay claim to their future once more?

James McKenna is completely smitten with Davina Armstrong in the first days that he meets her.  He stays at her father’s keep for a while and they end up falling in love.  He proposes and she accepts but before they can even blink they’re attacked by brigands and Davina is assaulted.  She tells James that not only can’t she marry him now but she can’t marry any man (as she has no idea if she was raped or not).  Just looking at James brings it all back to her and she sends him away.

Five years later Davina is corresponding with James’s mother and is invited to McKenna lands for Christmas.  She has pretty much made herself a prisoner for the past five years and hasn’t even been out of the castle gates in all that time.  She can hardly stand the sound of loud male voices and she certainly can’t take being touched by one.  She is determined, however, to be a stronger woman and ends up going traveling against her aunt and uncle’s wishes.

The first night she’s there they family is eating dinner when James, who hasn’t been home in five years because of being the Crusades, returns.  He’s not necessarily happy to see Davina as he’s worked hard the past years to try and forget her.  He wasn’t successful and seeing her again brings back all of the old feelings.

When the McKenna finds out that Davina’s traveling party was attacked while en route to the castle he feels that it would be safer for her to be married and have the McKenna protection so strongly encourages her to pick either James or his brother as a husband.  Davina refuses but that doesn’t stop James’s brother Malcolm from giving it his best shot.  Davina is still in love with James and as much as James tries to stay away from her he find he just can’t.  Getting married, however, doesn’t keep Davina safe and together the pair has to find out who is behind all of the trouble.

The first part of this book, with James and Davina getting attacked was pretty heart wrenching.  I felt so horrible for Davina that she had no idea if she’d been raped or not and certainly didn’t blame her for her self-imposed seclusion.  She truly wanted to be “normal” again but her aunt and uncle (who she’d lived with since her parents died) encouraged her hermit-like behavior. I wanted her to break out of her shell because I knew that she could do it.

When she got to the McKenna keep and Malcolm started paying attention to her I wasn’t thrilled. He had no idea that she had been romantically involved with James or how deep that relationship had been.  I don’t feel she purposely tried to make Jame jealous but I was a bit miffed that she felt so comfortable with Malcolm.  He wasn’t a bad guy but he need to grow up a bit, that’s for sure.

I was happy that James finally broke out of his gruff I-don’t-give-a-shit attitude he became a really nice guy.  He was so determined to not let Davina effect him again that he was a bit of a bastard but he finally became the loving man he had been before – just able to protect her better.

Overall I liked the story.  It was a decent romance and the suspense portion of the story was enough that it kept me interested.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5


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What I Read Last Week

Posted December 5, 2011 by Tracy in Features | 8 Comments

I can’t believe it’s December already! Do I say that every month? (Not that it’s December but that it’s a new month?) Where has 2011 gone? I swear I keep trying to write August on my checks because I’m still back in summer! lol.
This week was pretty quiet on the home front. Not much going on – just status quo – which personally I like. 🙂
For a good laugh watch this video with Katherine Heigl about how she hates balls – too funny!
I did get quite a bit of reading done this week and here’s what I read:
I started off the week with Again by Mary Calmes. This is the story of Noah who is devastated by his husband breaking off their relationship of 4 years and telling him he’s in love with a woman and has been for years. Noah can hardly believe it as they had talked about having a child together and Noah had proof that it was about to happen in just a few months. Six years later and Noah is in Vegas with his daughter Grace when he runs into Dante’s brother – and then his parents – and then Dante. The break up ends up being a Big Mis and Dante and Noah still love each other. Dante will try anything to get Noah and his daughter back. I really liked the story despite not really liking Dante. I mean I liked his determination but he was like a bulldozer in getting what he wanted. I wondered where that determination was when the relationship was up in the air all those years ago. Despite that I thought the story was very good. 4 out of 5
Next was Muscling Through by JL Merrow. I have to say this was not what I expected when I picked up this book but I liked it so much. The story surrounds Al who’s a big lovable lug but not all that smart…at all, and his relationship with a Cambrigdge art professor, Larry. The story is told from Al’s pov and I just thought it was charming. The differences between the two men’s intelligence was great but they made it work and I loved reading about it. There was a misunderstanding in the story that felt just wouldn’t have happened but other than that I loved it. 4.5 out of 5
Next was Desired by Nicola Cornick. This story was about a scandalous woman who wants to be rid of her reputation to get unsavory characters off her back. She proposes marriage to a man she believes to be impotent because of a war wound – little does she know that he’s just fine and more than ready to get her into the bedroom. You can read my full review here. 3.5 out of 5
Next was On The List by LA Witt. This is the 3rd book in the Changing Plans series and it was really good. We see Elliott and Derek getting ready for their wedding with all the excitement that goes along with it. But Derek gets some astounding news from his family when he goes to see them and has to sit down and think seriously if marrying Elliott is really what he wants to do. I really liked this episode in Derek and Elliott’s lives. I think it was very down to earth and showed us a bit more into Derek than we’ve had in the past – especially since it was from his point of view. If you’ve read the first two in this series you definitely need to read this one. 4 out of 5
Daybreak by Ellen Connor was my next read. This is book 3 in the Dark Age Dawning series (comes out tomorrow) and it was a great conclusion. This book puts us back in contact with Penelope and Tru who we met in book one when they were just kids. This is 12 years after that book and Tru and Pen have grown up considerably – and also come into their own as far as magic goes. Pen is on a mission to take down the evil O’Malley and his minions to make a better life for everyone. Tru wants no part of it at first but then realizes that he doesn’t want to separate from Pen. They both have to learn and grow emotionally, physically & magically and not hurt themselves in the process. As I said, a great conclusion to the series. 4.25 out of 5
Galen and the Forest Lord by Eden Winters was just a fun book. Galen is outcast from his village when they find him with another man. He is sent off into the forest along with a baby to seek the Forest Lord. He knows he’s going to be eaten rather than taken in but discovers there’s a whole community living in the forest. Erik the Forest Lord is attracted to Galen and his wolf is telling him that Galen’s his mate. He’s fighting it and eventually Galen is too. This was a fun and funny book. Neither Galen nor Erik are the brightest bulbs in the box but their not stupid either. Eden does humor so well and really brought us a great story. 4 out of 5
Once Upon a Winter’s Eve by Tessa Dare is the second story in the Spindle Cove series and it was so damned good. It was a short novella but so worth the read. The story was about Violet who is in Spindle Cove trying to forget about the man she loves who she refers to as The Disappointment. When a man shows up in the Cove who kind of looks like The Disappointment Violet’s not quite sure what to do. You can read my mini review of this awesome novella here. 5 out of 5
Brazen is the second book in a duo by Margo Maguire. This has Captain Gavin Briggs looking for the second of the lost granddaughters of a Duke but he finds more than he bargains for. He coerced into helping the woman, Christina, with a blackmail problem before she’ll agree to head to her grandfather’s house. On the way to London the pair find they like each other more than they thought. You can read my review here. 4 out of 5
A Tracy’s TBR Challenge read for the week was Highland Vampire by Hannah Howell, Deborah Raleigh and Adrienne Basso. This was an anthology of 3 medieval stories each featuring a vampire. While they were all good reads none of them stood out to me. I have to say I don’t read many medieval romances that involve the paranormal so that was a nice change. 3 out of 5
Another Tracy’s TBR Challenge read was After Dark by Luisa Prieto. The story revolves around Andrew who is supposed to be mourning the death of his brother Tyler but he’s not because he’s the one who killed the evil bastard. Tyler killed Andrew’s first love and he fears for Tyler’s family and Andrews current love, Devon. When he gets a call from his nephew that tells him that his father, the late Tyler, is in his house he heads over. Tyler doesn’t succeed in getting to Andrew completely but enough that Andrew can now see that Devon is a werewolf. When Andrew looks at Devon without his glasses on he has fur and a tail! He doesn’t know why Devon doesn’t tell him and he comes to terms with what Devon is. I liked Andrew and understood his need to try and keep Devon safe but when you’re on the phone with your dead brother don’t you think you should say something? When you’re on your way to said dead brother’s house and you’re pretty sure that bad shit is coming down the pipe – don’t you say something? I couldn’t understand why Andrew was so intent on keeping it a secret until after he was attacked by Tyler and then he couldn’t stop telling people – it was bizarre. Then the story ended, imho, in the middle of scene with no real conclusion to anything. I have to say I’m glad that my kids were asleep because I came out with a pretty loud what the fuck! lol It was a good but incomplete book. If you plan on reading book 1 be sure to have book 2 there to delve into right away and book 1 leaves you hanging.  I would like to read book 2 – which I can find to purchase…nowhere. If anyone has a clue where I can buy book 2 please let me know. 3 out of 5
My Book Binge Reviews that posted last week:
Happy Reading!

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