Tag: Highland Series

Guest Review: The Highlander’s Promise by Lynsay Sands

Posted July 3, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 3 Comments

Guest Review: The Highlander’s Promise by Lynsay SandsReviewer: Tracy
The Highlander's Promise (Highlanders Series #6) by Lynsay Sands
Series: Highlanders Series #6
Also in this series: An English Bride In Scotland, An English Bride In Scotland (Highlanders, #1), The Highlander Takes a Bride, Falling for the Highlander, An English Bride In Scotland (Highlanders, #1), Surrender to the Highlander, Spell of the Highlander (Highlanders #7)
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: June 26, 2018
Format: eARC
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
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four-stars

Aulay Buchanan has retreated to his clan’s hunting lodge for a few days of relaxation. But the raven-haired beauty he pulls from the ocean puts an end to any chance of rest. Though he christens her Jetta, she knows nothing of her real identity, save that someone is trying to kill her. As she recovers, it will not be easy for Aulay to protect her and keep her honor intact when she mistakenly believes they are man and wife.

Jetta sees beyond Aulay’s scars to the brave, loyal warrior she’s proud to call her own. But as the attempts on her life grow more brazen, Jetta realizes that not all is as she believes. And if Aulay is not her husband, can she trust the desire flaring in his eyes, or his promise to defend her with his life?

Aulay Buchanan was wounded in battle and his face severely scarred – the same battle that killed his twin brother.  Aulay’s betrothed at the time screamed in horror after looking at him and his facial scar and refused to marry him.  It’s been years since then, but Aulay is still effected by the thought of his ex-betrothed and the averted eyes he sees in his own keep from the female servants.

Aulay goes away for a couple of weeks each year to his hunting lodge because his mood gets black around the time his brother died.  This year his brother Alick goes with him, despite his wishes, and they go out fishing in the ocean.  They quickly come across a mast from a ship and there’s actually a woman tied to it!  She’s alive and they take her back and try to heal her with help from others.  She’s out for about three weeks but when she awakens she doesn’t know who she is.  She sees Aulay beside her bed and when she asks if he’s her brother, he tells her no.  She surmises that the only other people who would be in her room would be a father and a husband and since he was too young to be her father, he was her husband!  Aulay’s brother, Rory tells Aulay that it’s better for him to let her think that she’s married to him as it will ease her mind.

When Jetta (the name they give the mysterious woman because she has jet black hair) had awoken when first found she mentioned that someone was trying to kill her.  Because of this Aulay makes it his duty to protect her, but when she doesn’t cringe from him and tells him how handsome he is, Aulay starts falling hard and fast for the unknown woman.

We read about Aulay in the previous books with the Buchanan’s and my heart always went out to him because of his scar and his feelings about the way he looked.  It had to be hard on him, but the scar had improved over the years and by the time Jetta “meets” him, it’s much improved. She looks beyond the scar to the man inside and she likes what she sees.  I loved that Sands paired Aulay with a woman who didn’t just put up with his scar but found the beauty in him as well.  I had no doubt that’s what she’d do, but she did it in a really great way and I found myself liking Jetta’s a lot.

The romance was good and the small suspense plot had me guessing, which was good.  I enjoyed getting to meet all the Buchanans again and seeing what they were up to.

Overall this was a great book and one I really enjoyed reading.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Highlanders

four-stars


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Rivals for the Crown by Kathleen Givens

Posted January 24, 2008 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Book description:

1290: Turmoil erupts when the seven-year-old queen of Scotland perishes en route to claim the crown. Two bitter foes — John Balliol and Robert Bruce — emerge as possible successors, but England’s Edward I has his own designs on Scotland.

In London, Edward has expelled all Jews from his kingdom. Rachel de Anjou is heartbroken to leave behind her best friend, Isabel de Burke, and travel with her family to the Scottish border town of Berwick. Danger is everywhere, but the tall, dark Highlander Kieran MacDonald presents a risk of a different sort.

Isabel, appointed as lady-in-waiting to Edward’s queen, Eleanor, is soon immersed in a world of privilege and peril where she attracts the notice of two men — Henry de Boyer, an English knight, and Rory MacGannon, a Highland warrior and outlaw. Isabel and Rachel are soon reunited in Berwick, but as the enmity between Scotland and England reaches its violent peak, each woman must decide where her loyalty — and her destiny — lies.

Isabel de Burke and Rachel de Anjou have defied convention by remaining close friends from childhood through adulthood. When Rachel and her family were expelled from London, Isabel was heartbroken for Rachel and her family. Though she soon begins her new position as a lady-in-waiting for the Queen, Rachel is never far from her mind.

After leaving in the middle of the night, Rachel and her family relocate to a town just north of the England border. Though they lost almost everything they had, her family is optimistic that they can survive whatever is thrown their way. When the “child” Queen of Scotland dies on the way to claim her throne, Scotland and England are both thrown into turmoil. With King Edward of England claiming he has a distant connection to Scotland and therefore should be the interim ruler, Rachel’s family wonders if it will effect the new life they have worked so very hard to create.

Cousins Rory MacGannon and Kieran MacDonald are as close as brothers. Both Rory and Kieran, along with their respective families, will do anything to keep Scotland out of Edward’s hands–even if it means being outlawed. Rory is outlawed, though the reason for it is unjust. Rory soon finds himself trying to distant himself from his family to avoid bringing danger to their door, but they will not allow it.

I would not call this book a historical romance. Historical Fiction would be more apt. Though there were elements of romance, it seemed almost thrown in as an afterthought. When I read On a Highland Shore, the romance was intense. Though there was very little sex, the romance was there. In Rivals for the Crown, it really wasn’t.

This book was rich in history. I actually could feel the despair of all the different characters introduced. The plight of Rachel and her family was especially poignant. No matter what happened to this family, they persevered. Rachel’s mom was a rock. She continually told her family that if Edward came to Berwick, they would leave just as they left London. They would survive again.

I really did enjoy this book when I put my expectations aside. I probably wouldn’t have read it if I knew it was technically Historical Fiction, but I’m glad I did.

4 out of 5.


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On a Highland Shore by Kathleen Givens

Posted January 3, 2008 by Casee in Reviews | 6 Comments

Book description:

1263: On Scotland’s western shore, the village of Somerstrath prepares for the joyous wedding of Margaret MacDonald, the laird’s daughter. But a dark storm of bloodshed and betrayal is closing in, as a merciless band of Vikings roams the seas. Margaret is determined to hold her clan together and to locate her abducted younger brother. Can she trust the noblemen from King Alexander’s court, who insist that only by adhering to a betrothal conceived for political gain will she find safety? Or should she trust an imposing half-Irish, half-Norse warrior? Gannon MacMagnus alone offers her hope of reuniting her family and vanquishing the barbarous Norsemen. In whom should Margaret entrust the fate of the rugged, magnificent land she calls home?

Because of my recent obsession with historicals (thank you, Jo Goodman), it didn’t take much for me to buy this book after reading this post by the lovely Pamela Clare. I am so glad I did b/c this is one of the best books that I read this year.

Lady Margaret MacDonald has grown up knowing that she was to one day marry her childhood friend, Lachlan Ross. Believing that she’s going to have a wonderful marriage, to say she was shocked after finding him in bed with another woman is somewhat of an understatement. Furious at the betrayal, Margaret beseeches her father to break the betrothal contract. She is heartbroken when he tells her that she will either marry Lachlan or join the order. Giving her a few weeks to think it over, Margaret’s father sends her and two of her siblings off to check on some of their tenants.

What happened next was absolutely horrific. What made it even worse is that Givens did such a fantastic (or not, depending on how you look at it) job of giving the reader a sense of Margaret’s family. She had several younger siblings who were quite adorable, a mother that was pregnant, a father who loved her yet was firm in his duty to Scotland. When Margaret, her older brother, and younger sister return home, they find carnage. There’s no other way to really describe it. Everyone was dead. No one was spared in what they learn was a vicious Viking attack. Women and children alike were slain. Some children were actually taken by the Vikings, including Margaret’s eight year old brother. Men were unable to protect their families. It was chilling.

With the assistance of Gannon MacGannon and his powerful uncle, the Laird of Ulster, Margaret and her remaining siblings are taken to safety. It is there that Margaret and Gannon give into their powerful attraction. Knowing that it’s forbidden, they find themselves unable to stay away from each other. Knowing that Margaret still must marry Lachlan, Gannon still can’t stay away from her.

The romance really added to the story rather than the other way around. This book is about a woman who lost everything in the worst way imaginable. This book is about good defeating evil and that love can really help heal anything. The love story of Gannon and Margaret is not one I will soon forget. The way they got there is something that makes it even more powerful.

I have another author whose backlist I must hunt down.

5 out of 5.


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