Tag: Lavinia Kent

Guest Review: Christmas in Kilts by Terri Brisbin, Lecia Cornwall, Bronwen Evans, Lavinia Kent & May McGoldrick

Posted October 12, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Christmas in Kilts by Terri Brisbin, Lecia Cornwall, Bronwen Evans, Lavinia Kent & May McGoldrickReviewer: Tracy
Christmas in Kilts by Bronwen Evans, Terri Brisbin, Lecia Cornwall, Lavinia Kent, May McGoldrick
Published by Swerve
Publication Date: October 3rd 2017
Genres: Anthologies (multiple authors), Historical Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

A HIGHLANDER'S HOPE by Terri BrisbinA village harlot who would never dream she could have a different life meets a Highlander visitor for the holidays who brings with him an offer and hope!

LEFTOVER MISTLETOE by Lavinia KentWhat happens when a highlander finds himself stranded, maybe kidnapped, with an English lady around Christmas... maybe the mistletoe will help answer that question.

A SCOT FOR CHRISTMAS by Bronwen EvansShe's ready to embrace her life and future as a spinster, he's trying to have one last hurrah before he gives into his family's wishes and proposes marriage to his neighbor, but fate has other ideas when the lady and the Scot meet at a holiday house party in the wilds of Scotland.

SWEET HOME HIGHLAND CHRISTMAS by May McGoldrickA chance encounter between a ship's captain and a desperate aunt trying to keep custody of her young niece leads to a little magic during the holidays.

A HIGHLAND CHRISTMAS WAGER by Lecia CornwallWhen a snowstorm forces a charming lass hiding a broken heart to take shelter in a castle with three fine Highland lairds just days before Christmas, there’s a game afoot—who will be the first to win a kiss and maybe her heart.

A Highlander’s Hope by Terri Brisbin

Iain McKillop is a widower who, by my calculations, is in his mid-40’s.  He’s ready to marry again and his nephew thinks he can use him for some sort of clan alliance.  Iain knows that there’s really only one woman for him, and that’s Robena of the MacKendimen clan.

Robena is the village harlot.  While she doesn’t love what she does she has protection from people in the clan and they care about her.  The only person who ostracizes her is the Laird of the Clan – who’s not a nice man anyway.  Robena is excited when she hears that Iain is coming to visit for Christmas because she loves spending time with him.  He puts a genuine smile on her face and of course she loves that he pays for her exclusive services while he’s there.

Robena can tell right away that there’s something different with Iain but is shocked when he asks for her hand in marriage.  He wants a wife and a mother to his children.  She doesn’t think she’s good enough for him and besides, she can’t have children – how can she be the person that Iain needs in his life?

I have to say that I wasn’t a huge fan of this story when it started but Iain and Robena soon won me over.  Iain was such a giving man and he truly loved Robena – despite her profession.  He dealt with her past men in his own way but certainly wasn’t willing for her to be with anyone else ever again.  It was a sweet story in the end and I liked how Brisbin worked out the details of their future life together.

 

A Highland Christmas Wager by Lecia Cornwall

Meggie MacLeod is traveling home with her grandmother.  She is excited to be going home for Christmas after being gone for three months taking care of her grandmother after she’d broken her leg.  Unfortunately the weather is against them and they can’t make their halfway point before the blizzard begins.  Their travelling group takes refuge at the closest keep and that happens to be the home of the man who’d taken Meggie’s virginity eight years earlier. She’s definitely not happy about being there.

Magnus McVane is the Laird that had seduced and left Meggie all those years ago.  She’d thought herself in love with him after only 3 days but after he finally had sex with her, he left to go get married.  She was devastated.  Magnus isn’t home alone, however.  He has his dead wife’s brother, Charlie McKay – yet another Laird – there with him.  Magnus is hoping to get Charlie to marry his sister, Catriona, who they all think is a shrew.  Also visiting is Laird Hugh MacAuley who is there under unknown circumstances.  When Magnus sees Meggie he’s positive he can seduce her again and then he could probably marry her as she’s an heiress.  Charlie’s got his eye on her as well though, and they end up making a wager, dragging Hugh into their game.  Whoever gets Meggie to willingly kiss them first – a long kiss, not just a peck – gets a few prized possessions from each man, but also the right to talk to her father about her hand in marriage.

Hugh is at the keep as he’s been instructed by the elders of his clan to ask for Catriona’s hand in marriage – something he really doesn’t want to do.  The elders don’t think the man has a brain and though he is laird he truly has no power.  When he sees Meggie he is attracted to her immediately and rethinks his possible proposal to Catriona.  He’s a shy man, however, and bumbles along with Meggie despite her attention to him.

This was a lovely, romantic story.  I loved Hugh and his quiet, calm personality.  He was a breath of fresh air compared to the obnoxious Magnus and the over-excitable Charlie.  Hugh and Meggie were perfect for each other and the ending of the story put a smile on my face.

 

A Scot for Christmas by Bronwen Evans

Dougray is thinking about getting married to beget an heir but he plans on a marriage of convenience so that he won’t get attached to a wife.  His first wife died and he doesn’t want to have to live through that once again. His plan is to marry a neighbor’s daughter, Fiona Mackenzie, so that he can help her father financially. He made a promise to his dying father that he would help the Mackenzie, but the man would not accept his funds – even as a loan.  Marrying Fiona is the only way he can get the funds to him.

Dougray and his cousin, Angus, are having a hunting party around Christmas time.  A party that includes his friends and their paramours, with a couple other women of questionable virtue coming along as well.  When Dougray’s best friend’s younger sister arrives he’s horrified and tries to get her to leave at once.  She refuses, of course, and instead asks him something.  She is in her late 20’s and has come to terms with her spinsterhood.  She asks Dougray to sleep with her.  She’s been in love with him for years and plans on having the memory of their lovemaking to last the rest of her life.  Dougray refuses at first but then finally agrees as he can’t resister her. He doesn’t realize until later that Emma is in love with him.  Despite his growing feelings for Emma he’s determined to marry Fiona Mackenzie. He refuses to have a wife he cares about.

This was a good story, not one of my least favorites.  I guess it was just too predictable in my opinion. I knew that Dougray would sleep with Emma, of course, and he would fall in love with her and live happily ever after.  It was written in an entertaining way, and I liked the characters, but I just wasn’t a huge fan of A Scot for Christmas.

 

Leftover Mistletoe by Lavinia Kent

Emma Spencer is having a bad day – really, a bad life.  Her dear father had passed on and her cousin had taken the Earl’s title.  Unfortunately her cousin wasn’t a kind man and she was being sent to Scotland to live with her uncle who she didn’t even know.  Emma had marriage prospects as she was quite pretty. She believes her cousin is sending her away so she won’t ever marry.  Her financial portion would then stay in his hands forever.

She was travelling when her maid disappeared with her bag.  Her trunks were coming later and with the maid gone she was left with the clothes on her back, her reticule, and very little money.  She buys passage on a coach and the only other passenger is a snoring man who takes up way too much room.  At one point during their travels they stop.  Emma doesn’t know why and soon all is quiet.  When the man finally wakes up and goes to investigate he finds that there’s no coachman and the team of horses have been driven off as well.  He’s familiar with the land so he takes Emma to a cabin where they try to brave the storm that has begun.

Emma finds out he’s James Barran and he’s on his way to Edinburgh so that he can stop his sister from marrying his best friend.  He loves his best friend, but doesn’t want his sister marrying him.  He’s bound and determined to stop the wedding but his friend Robbie kept throwing up roadblocks to stop him.  One being the fact that Robbie paid the coachman to take the horses and now he and Emma are stranded.  They head to the cabin and while they’re there their attraction to each other grows and they start to fall in love.

Kent always writes such charming romances.  This was no different.  Yes, the couple fell in love quickly but it fit with their lives and circumstances of their confinement.  I thought James and Emma were perfect for each other and complimented each other well.   The humor in the story is another thing I liked about this story.  The banter between Emma and James was engaging and I found myself smiling a lot while reading.

 

Sweet Home Highlands by May McGoldrick

Captain Gregory Pennington is on his way home to his family for Christmas but is tasked by his brother with escorting four adults and a child to a neighboring estate near his home.  He’s in a pub and is anxious to be on his way when a small child starts up a conversation. She’s a funny little imp and mature beyond her 5 or 6 years.  It turns out that this is the child that he is to escort along with her aunt, Freya, and couple of servants.  The fourth person was to be Freya’s almost-fiancé but he doesn’t ever show up.

Freya is a young woman who has raised her niece almost from birth.  She was only 17 when her sister died a week after giving birth and she loves little Ella like her own.  Ella’s father was killed in the war and his family never wanted anything to do with Ella until recently.  Now Ella’s grandmother is demanding their appearance at her home so that she can make sure that Ella is financially well taken care of.  She also intimated that Freya wasn’t a proper guardian because she wasn’t married.  Because of this Freya had an understanding with the cousin that would inherit Freya’s father’s title and lands when he eventually passed.  Freya wasn’t looking forward to the marriage but was resigned to her fate in order to keep Ella with her.

Gregory is smitten with Freya the minute he sees her.  The minutes they spend together on the journey just make him like her more and more.  Freya starts to fall for Gregory as well but she knows that she must marry her cousin in order to appease Ella’s grandmother.

As I read more of McGoldrick’s books the more I become a fan.  This story was simply romantic on all levels.  It was the kind of story that will make you sigh with wonder at how sweet it is – but not sugary at all.  Just downright a lovely story.  This is kind of a prequel to a new series that McGoldrick is putting out and I personally can’t wait for it to release.

Gregory and Freya were wonderful in the story and little Ella – that child with a personality beyond her years – was enchanting.  I liked everything about this story and highly recommend it.

 

In the end I thought this was a very good historical anthology.  A lovely compliment of authors that brought a little Christmas cheer and romance to my life.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: What a Duke Wants by Lavinia Kent.

Posted October 14, 2011 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Published by Avon, Harper Collins


Rowena’s review of What a Duke Wants by Lavinia Kent.

Hero: Mark Smythe
Heroine: Isabella Masters

What woman would refuse a Duke’s kiss?


Running from a dark secret past, Isabella Masters craves peace and stability, a life far from the prying eyes of society.

She does not dream of landing a lord.

But in the arms of a stranger with magnificent eyes, she loses herself in one breath-stealing kiss— only to discover she has been misled by a reluctant Duke.

Angered but enthralled, she dares not submit . . . though her passionate heart begs her to. He cannot wed her . . . but he must not lose her.

Only one possibility remains— one too scandalous to consider . . . yet too tempting to resist.
This book solves the mystery of what happened to Isabella Masters. If you’ve read the other books in this series that feature Isabella’s siblings than you might have been looking forward to this book. I didn’t read either of the other books and so I didn’t even know that all of the mystery behind Isabella’s past from this book was talked about in previous books. Well, I should say that going into this book I didn’t know but as I read through this book, I started picking up on the details that were screaming at me, “You’re reading this series out of order again”. Really, all I could do was sigh because that seems to be my thing these days.

Oh well, that didn’t stop me from enjoying this book. From the beginning of the book where we meet Isabella griping about the uppity duke who can’t sleep so she has to bring her young charge to the stables to quiet him down in the cold night had me laughing and when she starts griping to the actual duke unknowingly, I knew that I was going to enjoy this book.

Isabella was one of those heroines that I spent a great deal of the book trying to figure out. I knew that I liked her but trying to piece her secret together made for an entertaining way to spend reading this book. The way that her thought processes moved at a lightning speed made me smile while reading this book, she thinks fast and she talks fast and I liked her.

Mark had my heart from the moment he took Baby Joseph into his arms and held him while Isabella got some rest. From that moment on, I just knew that I was going to love him and I did. He was just so yummy. I loved the easy way he was with Isabella, I loved seeing his inner struggle with his attraction to her at first and then watching him grow to care and then love Isabella was just too sweet for words.

This book has definitely shown me that I’m missing out on not reading more Lavinia Kent. Outside of the Real Duchesses of London books, I haven’t read very many of her books. Just haven’t been in the mood for them, I guess but I hope to fix that soon. I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading many more books by this author. My only gripe with this story was that if Isabella’s story started in the other books, her reunion with her family was kind of short. I wanted more page time with her family but outside of that, this was a great historical story and I’m glad that I read it.

Grade: 4 out of 5.

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


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What I Read Last Week

Posted October 10, 2011 by Tracy in Features | 5 Comments

Hey there!

I’m writing this lovely post straight from lovely downtown Madison, Alabama. Ok, maybe not exactly downtown but close enough. 🙂 I’m here visiting my sister before I head down to NOLA GayRomLit. I flew in yesterday and got here in the afternoon. My sister and her hubby then took me on a personal tour of United Launch Alliance (where my b-i-l works) and I got to see where the Delta and Atlas rockets are built. I actually stuck my head into a rocket that was about 90% built.

My head was in the center part near the top. lol

It was pretty freakin cool to walk through that huge place and see how each piece is made. I have to say a lot of it was WAY over my head (my brain just doesn’t work that way, ya know?) but I loved it. We then went out for some great German food and I got to eat schnitzel for the first time.

I had to get up at 2:30 in the morning to catch my 6am plane yesterday so I was asleep pretty early (for me) but now I’m rarin to go. We don’t actually have plans for the day but when we do…I’m up for it! Lol

I’m sure there was stuff that I want to tell you about this past week but frankly I can’t remember a thing right now. Lol

Since my brain’s in stall mode I’ll just get to what I read last week:

First up was Archangel’s Blade by Nalini Singh. The story continued from the last book but this one wasn’t about Elena and Raphael this was the story of Dmitri, Raphael’s second. Dmitri gets involved in a case with Honor is a Guild Hunter and they have an amazing connection. They also investigate some murders. I loved this book. I thought Dmitri was a great character and I loved seeing him in a closer way than we’ve seen him in previous books. I read this one for The Book Binge so I’ll let you know when my review posts. 5 out of 5

Next up was What a Duke Wants by Lavinia Kent. This was a great historical that I really enjoyed reading. You can read more about the book and my review here if you’d like. 4 out 5

Next up was Chicken Ranch: Hunger by Amanda Young. The story is about an 18 year old guy who comes out to his father and gets kicked out of the house. After being on the street he finds out about an all male brothel called Chicken Ranch. He decides to check it out as he’s desperate and ends up working there. He’s a virgin until Killian comes along and makes it great for him. Killian and Declan run into each other later and actually start dating though Declan is still working at CR. They have their issues but still fall in love and deal with it all. It was a great story of love and hope and I really liked it. 3.75 out of 5

Next was a free story called Once Upon a Dragon by Jambrea Jo Jones. This was a choose you own m/m story from Kris’s blog and it was a good one. It was simple, short and a destined mates story and it just hit me the right way. About shapeshifting dragons and one finds his destined mate living in a tower that he thought was deserted. 4 out of 5

My next read was If It Ain’t Love by Tamara Allen. Also a free short story, this one took place in the great depression and is about two men who meet in the Bowery and decide to share some time. That time turns into a relationship that sweet and loving. The story was quite poignant in the descriptions of the desperation felt by the people living in that time – the bread lines and need for a job – just very realistic. A great read. 4.5 out of 5

Next was Bridges by M.J. O’Shea – another free short. The story follows Dallas and Brooklyn in their hatred for each other starting in the 3rd grade. The pair grow up hating each other but then start working together after high school graduation. They find that they really can get along and end up falling in love. I loved this story so much! There was just something about the boys and their hatred turned love that really got to me and I couldn’t get enough of them. 5 out of 5

Angels of Darkness by Meljean Brook, Nalini Singh, Sharon Shinn and Ilona Andrews was a book about angels. I really liked all of the stories in this book. I adore Andrews, Brook and Singh’s writing so I knew I’d like those. Shin’s and Andrews ended up being a bit of a surprise. Shin I’d never read but I really liked the story about a blind angel and the woman who helps him deal with life. Andrews’ story was a bit of surprise as well as it was a new world that they introduced about demons and aliens and though it was different I really liked it and can’t wait to read more about it. I read this one for The Book Binge. 4 out of 5

Last on the list for the week was another book I read for The Book Binge called A Bride Unveiled by Jillian Hunter. I really liked this book. It even had some things in it that I usually don’t care for and I still really liked it. It was the story of childhood friends finding each other again. Yes, the woman is engaged when they meet but it’s like she hardly knows her fiancé. No excuse to cheat on him but it still worked for me. I’ll let you know when my review posts. 4.5 out of 5

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Serpent’s Kiss by Thea Harrison

Happy Reading!!


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Review: What A Duke Wants by Lavinia Kent

Posted October 5, 2011 by Tracy in Reviews | 3 Comments

What woman would refuse a Duke’s kiss? 
Running from a dark secret past, Isabella Masters craves peace and stability, a life far from the prying eyes of society. 
She does not dream of landing a lord. 
But in the arms of a stranger with magnificent eyes, she loses herself in one breath-stealing kiss— only to discover she has been misled by a reluctant Duke. 
Angered but enthralled, she dares not submit . . . though her passionate heart begs her to. He cannot wed her . . . but he must not lose her. 
Only one possibility remains— one too scandalous to consider . . . yet too tempting to resist.
Four years ago Isabella Masters brother was going to force her to marry a man that she did not want. The man, Foxworthy, gave her the creeps and was blackmailing the brother to boot. She ended up killing the man, retrieving the blackmail info and running for her life. Instead of the gentle life she knew she worked as a companion – but when our story begins she is working as a baby nurse for a fussy baby named Joey. Isabella is in the stable yard of a travel inn trying to get Joey to sleep when she meets a man and they begin conversing. They have a great conversation and another the next day. The man and his party – which is the Duke of Strattington’s party – seem to travel and stop at the same places (they’re all headed to London for the King’s coronation) so the pair begin meeting for a short time each night and get to know each other better as time goes on.
Eventually Isabella decides that she must seduce the man so that he can help her escape. She’s being chased but she knows not why or by whom. She assumes it’s because of Foxworthy but she really doesn’t know for sure – she just knows she needs to get away. Isabella starts her seduction but it is interrupted. She then finds out that the man she thinks of as an estate agent for the Duke is really the Duke himself.
Mark Smythe is the Duke of Strattington but he has a love/hate relationship with the Duke. He feels like he’s two people and he can’t quite mesh the two. Since becoming the Duke, which he never thought would happen in a million years, everyone has treated him differently and he’s never sure if what he’s doing or how he’s acting is the “correct” way. When he meets Isabella she treats him like a man – not a Duke. He loves talking to her because she’s honest and doesn’t try to cozy up to him or fear him because of his title. He wants to tell her the truth about his identity but he doesn’t want to give up the camaraderie that he’s built with her.
Eventually when things come to light Isabella is at a crossroads. She has no money and no where to go but the Duke is offering her a chance to become his mistress. She does care for him but she wants a home and family and a normal life, not to be someone’s plaything. She agrees but she has to head to London where she might be recognized. As time passes she realizes that she cannot stay with Mark as she feels that he is two different people and Mark doesn’t want to let her go – though he knows that he can never truly have her the way he wants her.
When the book started out I loved the verbal sparring and conversations that Mark and Isabella had. It was light and fun and though I could feel Isabella’s distress at her situation I was more aware of the playfulness of the couple when they were together. Once Isabella became Mark’s mistress the book became much more somber. Their relationship, at times, was fun and playful but the overall feel of the book was much more serious.
Isabella wanted the things that a normal woman would want at that time period – home, family, children to love and of course a loving husband. She fell in love with Mark but she wasn’t the type of woman that could be a man’s mistress and be happy. She wanted more and knew that she could never have that (with anyone) because of her past. She wasn’t honest with Mark about who exactly she was and what she had done – or the fact that men were after her. She didn’t want to cause him trouble or start a scandal but I wish she would have had enough faith in him to trust him to be able to help.
For Mark’s part he was just so conflicted. He was falling in love with Isabella (even though he wouldn’t admit that he was) and didn’t want her to leave him – but he knew that she wanted more. He wanted her to be happy but he really wanted her to be happy with him. It was a little heartbreaking. He also had no clue how to keep a mistress. He’d never done so before and was taking the advice of his valet (who was a complete ass and I wish he would have been fired during the course of the book!) which wasn’t good advice at all. I was so happy when a fellow duke pulled Mark aside and explained about being a duke. I wanted to hug that man! lol
The suspense part of the book played a role in Isabella’s decisions so I can’t say that I wish it wasn’t part of the book but it didn’t do a whole lot for me. It explained things and gave another reason for Mark to protect his woman but I didn’t love it.
There was also a part in the book that involved Annie – aka Lady Richard Tenant. She was part of the Duchesses of London series and there was some unfinished business with her and her husband. Hopefully Ms. Kent will continue that story in future books.
Overall it was a very good love story that was a bit bittersweet. I loved the hero and heroine and was quite happy when they got their HEA.
Rating: 4 out of 5


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What I Read Last Week

Posted September 5, 2011 by Tracy in Features | 5 Comments

Happy Labor Day!

I hope you all had a great weekend and for those of you in the US I hope you’re having a nice extra day off today.  I know I am!

Saturday my mom Judith and I traveled to Holly’s house for a special blogger get together.  You see Ames was visiting from Canada and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see her while she was here.  Rosie, Holly, Renee, Wendy, Judith, Lori, Rowena and Ames and I had a great time having lunch together (Nikki had to bow out at the last minute due to work – boo hoo) and then all of us but Rosie went over to Holly’s house to talk for hours and invade her books! lol  I know that we took a group picture but I don’t know who’s camera it was on so I’ll post it when I track them down.

Then Sunday after church we had a little fiesta and had a waterslide (at the church).  It was great fun and my little one was just going nuts on it.  Here she is practically falling out of the darned thing. lol (sorry it’s a little fuzzy since I took it with my phone)

Today we don’t have much planned.  I know I plan to do the laundry that I avoided yesterday. 🙂

On to what I read last week:

I started the week with The Salisbury Key by Harper Fox.  This was a book that I really liked but had some issues with.  I did love the writing though so I had some problems rating it at first.  You can read my review here for further thoughts. 4 out of 5

Next was A Midnight Dance by Lila DiPasqua.  This is a French historical romance based on the Cinderella fairy tale but it wasn’t like any Cinderella story I’d ever read.  It was pretty dark yet a really great romance.  The story is about a girl who was born to wealth but then lost everything.  She’s trying to keep her family from starving and decides to steal silver from a band of privateers.  The privateers are lead by the man she has been in love with for years but that doesn’t stop her.  The story turns in a different direction than what I expected but it was really good and definitely worth the read. 4.25 out of 5 (read for The Book Binge)

Elizabeth, the Enchantress by Lavinia Kent was next and this novella was just as good as the previous 3 novella’s in the series. This story had Elizabeth’s husband William returning home after 4 years.  William is clueless as to what happened after he left on his travels just a month after he married Elizabeth.  Can William make up for his mistakes and can Elizabeth forgive him?  You can read my mini review here. 4 out of 5

Good Girls Don’t by Victoria Dahl was my next read.  This is book one in the Donovan Brewery series about the 3 Donovan children.  This was Tessa’s story.  Tessa has issues but she’s not afraid to go after what she wants…which is to play with Luke Asher. But Tessa has some really huge problems to work through, inner problems with herself and those with her brothers.  Can a romance survive it?  You can read my review here for more info. 4 out of 5

Last on the list was Spell Bound by Kelley Armstrong.  This book takes up a day after the last book, Waking the Witch, left off.  Savannah has just investigated murders and being poisoned and now her powers are gone.  She’s trying to find out what happened as well and trying to figure what’s up with a group of supernaturals who want to come out and rule the world.  There’s a whole lot going on and the book was left without a conclusion but it was an enjoyable book that was well written, as usual.  4 out of 5 (read for The Book Binge)

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Changeling Moon by Dani Harper
Changeling Dream by Dani Harper

Happy Reading!


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