Tag: Highlanders

Guest Review: Sadie’s Highlander by Maeve Greyson

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

Guest Review: Sadie’s Highlander by Maeve GreysonReviewer: Tracy
Sadie's Highlander by Maeve Greyson
Series: Highland Protector #1
Published by Loveswept
Publication Date: September 12th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Time Travel
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three-stars

Highland warrior Alec MacDara and his brothers traveled forward in time to protect the sacred Heartsone. Their cover? Owners and operators of a theme park called Highland Life and Legends. As the chairman, Alec has been fending off requests to film at the breathtaking property. It’s only because of the charming correspondence from an enterprising production assistant that he agrees to a meeting at all. That’s when Alec meets a woman whose lush curves make him forget, for the first time, all about tenth-century Scotland.

A lowly assistant for her sister’s motion picture company, wannabe screenwriter Sadie Williams is shocked when Alec agrees to let them film at the park upon one condition: that she report to him daily. Sadie’s sister always told her that their parents only adopted her because they felt sorry for the ugly little stray. But Alec looks at Sadie like she’s the most tempting creature in the world. And with his gleaming, musclebound body stripped down to nothing but a hip-hugging kilt and boots, Alec clearly knows a little something about temptation.

Alec MacDara and his family are druids in charge of the Heartstone.  The Heartstone is the item that brings hope, love and creativity to the world.  The MacDara family were brought forward in time by goddesses from the 10th century to modern day North Carolina to protect the Heartstone, and the family.  They began and have run Highland Life and Legends theme park for many years.

Sadie Williams’ sister owns a film company and wants to film at Highland Life and Legends.  Sadie emails Alec thinking that an assistant of some sort would be reading the emails.  Alec actually reads them and is so enthralled with the sender that he agrees to an interview.  The film company gets the right to film at HL&L but Alec has the stipulation that Sadie must stay at his home with his family the full six weeks for filming.

While Sadie is at the MacDara household she gets closer with Alec and soon they fall in love.  Unfortunately Sadie’s sister, the evil beast that she is, ruins everything and soon Sadie is on her own once again.

Right after I received an eARC from NetGalley I opened this book up as I was pretty excited to read it.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t very far into it when I put it back down.  Alec seemed creepy and I wasn’t sure about him at all.  When the book title came up in my schedule again I wasn’t sure I wanted to finish it but I actually started from the beginning once again and gave it a fair shot.  I think it might have been my state of mind that had previously made him seem creepy – he wasn’t.  That said he was completely smitten by Sadie even before he met her and once they’d met he was like a puppy with a bone he couldn’t put down.  They fell in love extremely quickly – like in a couple of days and that didn’t feel right to me.  Sadie kept vacillating back and forth and that drove me nuts.  They got engaged within days and yeah…that just doesn’t happen. (OK, I’m sure it does but extremely rarely IRL.)

The part that had to do with Sadie’s sister was ridiculous, imho.  I guess Sadie had been conditioned by her sister to accept blame for everything the sister did, but I think Sadie took it to the nth degree and that was just too far.  She put her relationship with Alec on the line because of something her sister did and it just didn’t ring true.

I’d love to say that what Alec did to win Sadie back to wonderfully romantic but I just didn’t think so.  I wanted him to just talk to her instead of coming up with this incredible ruse – like that’s what he needed to convince her to be with him.  IDK, seemed far-fetched to me.

Overall the story was decent but there was enough in there that bothered me that I’m not sure I can recommend this one.

Rating: 3 out of 5

three-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
Also in this series: The Highlander Takes a Bride
Published by Avon
Publication Date: January 31st 2017
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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: Taming the Highlander by May McGoldrick

Posted September 12, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Taming the Highlander by May McGoldrickReviewer: Tracy
Taming the Highlander by May McGoldrick
Series: The Scottish Relic Trilogy #2
Also in this series: Much Ado About Highlanders, Tempest in the Highlands
Published by Swerve, St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: September 6th 2016
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four-stars

Innes Munro has the ability to "read" a person’s past simply by touching them, but her gift comes with a heavy price: her freedom. Forced to stay at desolate Castle Girnigoe, Innes never expects to be drawn to the wounded warrior who haunts its dark passages and challenges her at every turn.

Conall Sinclair, the earl of Caithness, carries the scars of battles with the English and the lash marks of their dungeons, but the wounds that fester within give him even greater pain. Isolating himself from his clan and the rest of the world in a tower perched on the wild Scottish coast, Conall is reluctant to let the spirited Innes close to him, however neither can deny the growing passion that ignites with every look, every touch.

But can Conall ever love a woman who can read his darkest secrets and feel the pain he hides... and can love really tame all fears? As dangerous forces close in, Conall and Innes must take the ultimate leap of faith and forge a bond of trust that will save them both...or lose each other forever.

Innes Munro is at Castle Girnigoe for her sister Ailein’s wedding to Bryce Sinclair.  When she arrives she meets Bryce’s brother, Conall who is a bit of a recluse at the castle, and is almost immediately smitten with the gruff man.  Innes has possession of one piece of an ancient relic that gives her the gift of seeing people’s pasts when she touches them with her hands.  When she runs into Conall she accidentally touches him and sees the pain and anguish he’s suffered.  She wants nothing more than to ease his pain but Conall’s a bit standoffish.

Bryce lost a hand in a battle with the English and then was captured and tortured before he was ransomed to his brother.  He doesn’t want to be taken with Innes but he can’t seem to make himself stay away from her.  He leaves the castle after his brother’s wedding so he won’t be tempted by her but when he returns he finds Innes still in residence by request of her sister.

Though Innes and Conall try to stay away from each other they find themselves falling in love.  Of course, when Innes tells Conall of her “gift” he may not want her any longer.

Another great book in the Scottish Relic trilogy.  I really enjoyed Innes and Conall’s story and their rocky road to love.  Conall was a man who carried pounds of guilt on his shoulders.  He had taken men into battle and lost hundreds and hundreds of them to death as they were outnumbered.  He felt responsible for all of the men that were lost and tried to live with the guilt every day.  When he met Innes he felt happy but didn’t want to.  He felt he needed to stay separated so that he could live with his guilt.  I loved the way that Innes made him finally see that the deaths of those men weren’t his fault. When he finally let her into his heart it was a beautiful thing. Of course I have to mention Conall’s dog/wolf Thunder.  He was just a puppy but was the size of a full grown wolf, and I loved him.  He was such a great part of the book and I was happy McGoldrick added him to the story.

Innes had always kept herself separated from the world.  Her sister and father knew of her “gift” as it had been passed down from her mother.  She didn’t plan on ever marrying and at age 27 few would have her.  When she met Conall he was more than demanding of what she should and shouldn’t do with her time. Though Innes wanted to dislike him I loved how she saw him as more than just his outer shell and gave him time to show her his true self.  Their story was a slow burn that led up to a wonderful romance.

Of course we have a villain in the story as there’s a man who is trying to collect all 4 relics so that he can have ultimate power.  He’s after Innes as he needs to take her relic and kill her in order to have the power the relic possesses.  It was a small part of the story but still good.  The first book in the series concentrated on the villain quite a bit so I was happy that this was mostly romance and that the villain got less page time.  I’m still not sure why the author chooses to put some of the parts, which are in current time, in italics.  It’s a bit frustrating as it throws me out of the book whenever it occurs – but maybe that’s just me, IDK.

Anyway, overall it was a good story and a great romance.  I’m looking forward to the final book in this trilogy to see what happens.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: So I Married a Highlander by Kate McKinley

Posted November 24, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: So I Married a Highlander by Kate McKinleyReviewer: Tracy
So I Married a Highlander by Kate McKinley
Series: What Happens in Scotland #2
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: October 30, 2015
Genres: Historical Romance
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three-half-stars

A Lady’s Rules of Etiquette When Eloping:

1. A lady should never leave a note behind explaining her intentions.

2. If by chance a note has been left behind, a lady must prepare to be hunted down and the ceremony thwarted.

3. In such a case, seeking consolation with a night of excessive drinking will be tempting, but ill advised.

4. And lastly, a lady must never, under any
circumstances, wake up manacled to a deliciously handsome Highlander.

Lady Evelyn Alexander has managed to break all four rules in the space of an evening—and the tall, virile Highlander she accidentally married is only the beginning. Her fiancé has also mysteriously gone missing and the threat of scandal is hot on their heels…

Alec McAllister has no use for a wife, but when he wakes up entwined with the lovely and spirited Evelyn, he’s willing to reconsider. He’ll help her find her fiancé, but when the passions ignite between them, it’s only a matter of time before the Highlander claims what’s his…

 

Evelyn and her fiance Stephen have eloped to Gretna Green. She’s anxious to get the wedding over with before her brother, a very powerful duke, comes and stops it. The regular balcksmith that does the marriages is quite busy and so Evelyn asks if there’s another blacksmith in town. She’s told yes but she doesn’t find a man willing to marry her – she finds a surly shirtless guy who’s will only perform the ceremony for a kiss. Evelyn complies and when Stephen shows up the blacksmith, Alec McAllister, starts to marry them. They are thwarted by Evelyn’s best friend and her brother’s best friend and end up NOT getting married.

Back at the inn that evening Evelyn is pissed that the wedding didn’t happen so has decided to drown her sorrows in whiskey. Is it the done thing in London for a lady to get drunk? Not at all but here in Scotland Evelyn feels like anything goes. She confronts Alec, who’s also in the pub, for staring at her and he ends up taking her up to her room before something bad can happen to her. One thing leads to another and the pair wake up naked in her room – and married.

Alec was attracted to Evelyn when he first saw her so isn’t having that hard of a time imagining himself married to her. Evelyn finds out that her betrothed, Stephen, was shot and then taken to a hospital in Glasgow so wants to make sure he’s ok. She heads off with Alec to see to Stephen and the couple find their share of troubles along the way. They also find that their compatability is much higher than either of them thought. When Evelyn’s brother shows up, however, he immediately rushes her back to London and away from Alec.

This was a very cute story if a little unlikely. Yes, things tend to happen quickly in a romance (there are only so many pages in a book) but this one happened rather quickly.

Evelyn is sick of being under her brothers thumb and is anxious to start her own family. Her brother married and she feels like it’s her turn. Her brother refused Stephen’s suit so they took it upong themselves to elope. Actually Evelyn talked Stephen into it. She really just wants to get married but when she finds herself married to Alec it’s not something she’s happy about. I found that strange. She really didn’t know a whole lot more about Stephen than she did Alec. She was a sweet girl though and I could see how Alec would fall for her. Alec fell hard and fast for Evelyn and I was surprised at how fast it happened. He was more than willing to stay married – especially after spending time with her and falling in love.

I felt the wrap up at the end of the book happened way too quickly and easily and that bothered me a bit. I wanted to see Evelyn stand up to her brother but she didn’t – or if she was planning on it they never showed it. I would have liked to have seen a few more pages devoted to the HEA in the end as it would have made it all the more believable.

Overall a fun book, an easy read, that’s not too deep or angsty.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: The Stolen Mackenzie Bride by Jennifer Ashley

Posted October 14, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 3 Comments

Guest Review: The Stolen Mackenzie Bride by Jennifer AshleyReviewer: Tracy
The Stolen Mackenzie Bride by Jennifer Ashley
Published by Berkley, Penguin
Publication Date: September 29, 2015
Genres: Historical Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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four-half-stars

 

1745, Scotland: The youngest son of the scandalous Mackenzie family, Malcolm is considered too wild to tame…until he meets a woman who is too unattainable to resist.

Lady Mary Lennox is English, her father highly loyal to the king, and promised to another Englishman. But despite it being forbidden to speak to Malcolm, Lady Mary is fascinated by the Scotsman, and stolen moments together lead to a passion greater than she’d ever dreamed of finding.

When fighting breaks out between the Highlanders and the King’s army, their plans to elope are thwarted, and it will take all of Malcolm’s daring as a Scottish warrior to survive the battle and steal a wife out from under the noses of the English.

Tracy’s review of The Stolen Mackenzie Bride (Mackenzies & MacBrides #8) by Jennifer Ashley

Malcolm Mackenzie first sees Lady Mary Lennox at a ball and is smitten from the first look. Once he talks to her he knows that this is the woman for him and nothing will change his mind. He finds out that Mary’s sister, Audrey, is in love with a man that her father doesn’t approve of. It’s not a wealthy or political enough match so he rejects it. Malcolm uses Jeremy to get closer to Mary and in the meantime he makes plans to help Audrey and Jeremy get married and be together. The problem is that while all of this is happening Charles Stuart (sometimes knows as Bonnie Prince Charlie) heads into Edinburgh to take over and become king as he believes is his right. The English king kind of has an issue with that and understandably fights back.

Malcolm is a man who loves his family. He doesn’t necessarily understand them all the time but he loves them nonetheless. His oldest brother Duncan is riding with the Jacobites in support of Charles Stuart and trying to get anyone and everyone behind the cause. Malcolm is neutral but he doesn’t want Duncan involved or hurt in any way. Easier said than done. Then there’s his brother Will who’s a spy, his brother Alec who is an artist, and Alec’s twin Angus who we don’t know too much about but is supposedly his father’s favorite. Malcolm, while trying to help Audrey and Jeremy and woo Mary must try to take care of all his brothers when the shit hits the fan.

The whole family ends up at the family seat in the highlands, Kilmorgan, along with Mary and her father. Her father softens towards the family and Mary and Mal fall deeper in love. Unfortunately life has the knack of getting in the way of happiness and the Jacobite rising and ensuing battle tries to tear not only Mal’s family apart but tear him from Mary as well.

This was a really great book, I must say. I loved the interweaving of the romance, the family element and the events that no one in the Highlands could ignore in 1745 and 1746.

The romance was so very sweet. Was it all tea and crumpets? No, definitely not. Mary and Mal were a pair that were perfect for each other. Mal knew how to make trouble for people and he taught Mary well. He loved her so much though and he never hesitated to show her how he felt in thought, word and deed. Mary was wonderful as well and such a strong female. She was just the right woman for Mal and was as in love with him as he was with her. The story, at times, broke my heart but was so good I couldn’t stop reading.

The Mackenzie family was a tough one that had 5 strong bullheaded men in it. Make that 6 when you include the Duke – he was almost more bullheaded than all the others put together. Despite all of their differences though I could tell how much they cared for each other. Ashley did a great job of getting that across to the reader and I never doubted that they would protect and die for each other if needed.

The events of the times were sad. The Jacobite rising in 1745 ended with a battle in 1746 and the total number of men, mostly highlanders, that died at the Battle of Culloden is seriously heartbreaking. Ashley put us right in the face of the battle and did an excellent job of making it seem oh so real. I’m happy I wasn’t there, but I was pleased with the end of the book and how things turned out in the end for the Mackenzie family.

This story can be read before any of the other Mackenzie books as it’s set almost 130 years prior to those books. It’s a great book and definitely worth reading. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Rating; 4/4.5 out of 5

This title is available from Berkley. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

four-half-stars


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