Tag: Magic

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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Goodreads
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: Bring the Heat by G.A. Aiken

Posted August 29, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 3 Comments

Guest Review: Bring the Heat by G.A. AikenReviewer: Tracy
Bring the Heat by G.A. Aiken
Series: Dragon Kin #9
Also in this series: Light My Fire, Dragon on Top, Bring the Heat
Published by Zebra
Publication Date: August 29th 2017
Pages: 416
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four-stars

HE SAYS . . .

I, Aidan the Divine, am . . . well, divine. My name was given to me by the Dragon Queen herself! I’m a delight! Cheerful. Charming. And a mighty warrior who is extremely handsome, with a very large and well-hidden hoard of gold. I am also royal-born, despite the fact that most in my family are horrendous beings who don’t deserve to live. And yet, Branwen the Awful—a low-born, no less—either tells me to shut up or, worse, ignores me completely.

SHE SAYS . . .

I’ll admit, I ignore Aidan the Divine because it annoys him. A lot. But we have so much to do right now, I can’t worry about why he keeps staring at me, or why he always sits so close, or why he keeps looking at me like he’s thinking about kissing me. We have our nations to save and no time for such bloody foolishness . . . no matter how good Aidan looks or how long his spiked tail is. Because if we’re going to win this war before it destroys everything we love, we’ll have to face our enemies together, side by side and without distractions. But if we make it out alive, who knows what the future will hold . . .

Our story takes us to the ongoing battle between the God Chramnesind’s followers/Zealots and the rest of the world.  They’ve been taking over/killing anyone who won’t claim Chramnesind as their God and that’s anyone who gets in their way.  Annwyl, her children aka The Abominations, her husband Fearghus and his entire family are fighting along with any nation they could get to fight with them.  Despite that it seems that the Zealots are winning the fight .  Things during the opening battle start to go all wrong…Annwyl is sucked into a well that suddenly disappears, mountains start collapsing and witches are singing spells all around them.

Branwen the Awful is fighting with members of the Mì-runach when the mountain they’re standing on collapses.  They manage to get away and plan to get back to their battalions but are intercepted by Brannie’s cousin Keita the Viper.  After being told by her aunt, Queen Rhiannon, and her mother that she must go with the Mì-runach and protect Keita while she heads to the Eastlands, Brannie is pissed.  She wants to get back to her men but ends up “protecting” Keita instead.

While they travel and run into trouble after trouble we read about what’s going on at the front, on the queen’s mountain, Annwyl who’s in hell, and with other characters. Brannie and Aidan, who are great friends decide that as a diversion they’ll sleep together but it means nothing and when Brannie is done, she’s done – no questions asked.  Of course Aidan is going to agree to anything he can in order to be with Brannie (we can tell he loves her).  But when it comes time to call it all off are either of them truly ready to say goodbye?

This was another fabulous story.  I loved how Aiken made this pretty much a fight for your life with a love story thrown in.  It’s tough and gritty and there’s not a lot of romance.  I don’t expect romance, however, as I know that most of the dragons in her stories aren’t the sweet, romantic types.  If she had tried to throw sappy romance into the story I would have been greatly confused. Lol.

The battle scenes as well as the behind the scenes plotting was awesome.  The dragons of Garbhan Isle, the Iron Dragons, the Daughters of the Steppes, the Eastlanders (whatever they are) added so much to the story and made it interesting, intriguing, humorous and sexy.  If you’ve loved the Dragon Kin series then you won’t want to miss this book.  If you haven’t read the series then I wouldn’t recommend starting with this book as you’ll be damned confused.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: The Lady and the Highlander by Lecia Corwall

Posted April 5, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Lady and the Highlander by Lecia CorwallReviewer: Tracy
The Lady and the Highlander by Lecia Cornwall
Series: A Highland Fairy Tale #3
Also in this series: Beauty and the Highland Beast, When a Laird Finds a Lass, Enchanted by the Highlander
Published by St. Martin's Press, Swerve
Publication Date: April 4th 2017
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four-stars

Laire MacLeod’s father has married a mysterious widow who is a vain beauty that deals with potions and spells. Laire does not drink them with the rest of her family and is the only one who could see through her stepmother’s games. When Laire flees to find help from her Uncle the Lady’s huntsman follows her with orders to kill. Laire must survive in a dangerous new city and find the antidote to a poisonous potion before it is too late.

Iain Lindsay is cursed. He is bound for seven years to be the hunter of a Lady who uses him to bring back birds to use in her potions. When Laire MacLeod escapes the Lady’s nets, Iain tracks her to Edinburgh, where she’s found shelter with an unusual band of thieves, but he cannot bring himself to harm her. Instead, he finds himself falling in love with the MacLeod beauty.

But a Highlander’s oath is his bond, and the price for helping her is death, both his own, and of those he loves.

Laire MacLeod is frightened for her family.  She is one of 11 daughters – her father has been married 8 times.  Laire has loved all of the different women in her father’s life until he married Bibiana.  Laire knows that there is something strange going on with her.  Her sisters aren’t acting normal.  Her father is so entranced by Bibiana that he can literally not take his eyes off of her.  Laire decides that she needs to get away and seek help for her family before Bibiana does something horrible to them but Bibiana sends her huntsman after Laire.

Ian Lindsay, once a Laird in his own right, is bound to work for Bibiana for seven years.  That time is almost up and he wants desperately to get away from the witch, for that’s what she is, a witch.  When he is sent out to find Laire and bring back her heart he doesn’t want to do it.  He was attracted to Laire and doesn’t want to hurt her but he also knows there is no naysaying Bibiana.

Ian follows Laire to Edinburgh and plans to kill her but when he gets there he starts to see the potential of a real life and not one that involves Bibiana.  Laire is determined to find something that will stop Bibiana from hurting her family and she won’t let anyone stop her, no matter what it takes.

The Lady and the Highlander was a great book.  It was magic and fantasy blended so nicely with a Scottish highland romance.  The story was a take off of Snow White but I thought the way that Cornwall wrote the story was very original.  The “dwarves” weren’t dwarves at all and were actually child thieves.  I’m not sure what it was about the story that drew me in so quickly but I thought it was a charming story.  Yes, it was nutty as we didn’t really understand what Bibiana was doing to the people until later but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the book.

Cornwall definitely has a gift for rewriting fairy tales.  I’ve enjoyed her interpretations of Beauty and the Beast as well as The Little Mermaid as well as this book.  I hope she continues writing the Highland Fairy Tale series because she’s writes them really well.

Rating: 4 out of 5  

four-stars


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Guest Review: Tempest in the Highlands by May McGoldrick

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

Guest Review: Tempest in the Highlands by May McGoldrickReviewer: Tracy
Tempest in the Highlands by May McGoldrick
Series: The Scottish Relic Trilogy #3
Also in this series: Much Ado About Highlanders, Taming the Highlander
Published by Swerve
Publication Date: December 6th 2016
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Miranda MacDonnell is on the run. When she inherited a mysterious relic from her mother, she had no idea the dangers it would bring. Now hunted by a relentless foe who will stop at nothing to find her, she has one choice: stow away on the ship of the notorious privateer, Black Hawk.

Rob Hawkins, the half-English privateer known as Black Hawk, has a mission from the Tudor king to find and kill the rogue commander, Sir Ralph Evers. To complete his quest, Hawk must find Miranda, a young woman Evers is pursuing. Caught in a tempest, he is shipwrecked with a "boy" who demonstrates an uncanny ability for saving him. Cast away on the mysterious Isle of the Dead, Hawk realizes that the "boy" traveling with him is actually Miranda MacDonnell and having her means that Evers will come to him. What begins as a ploy —using her as bait—soon changes, however, as he falls in love with her.

Ancient forces are at work, drawing the four possessors of the relic’s power to the Isle of the Dead in the Outer Hebrides for a final battle where good must overcome the forces of evil in this spectacular finale to the Scottish Relic Trilogy.

Miranda MacDonnell is on the run. When she inherited a mysterious relic from her mother, she had no idea the dangers it would bring. Now hunted by a relentless foe who will stop at nothing to find her, she has one choice: stow away on the ship of the notorious privateer, Black Hawk.

Rob Hawkins, the half-English privateer known as Black Hawk, has a mission from the Tudor king to find and kill the rogue commander, Sir Ralph Evers. To complete his quest, Hawk must find Miranda, a young woman Evers is pursuing. Caught in a tempest, he is shipwrecked with a “boy” who demonstrates an uncanny ability for saving him. Cast away on the mysterious Isle of the Dead, Hawk realizes that the “boy” traveling with him is actually Miranda MacDonnell and having her means that Evers will come to him. What begins as a ploy —using her as bait—soon changes, however, as he falls in love with her.

Ancient forces are at work, drawing the four possessors of the relic’s power to the Isle of the Dead in the Outer Hebrides for a final battle where good must overcome the forces of evil in this spectacular finale to the Scottish Relic Trilogy.

Miranda has the gift of sight.  She inherited this from her mother via an ancient relic that gives her this power.  She’s on the run from a man who wants her dead so that he can have the power of the stone.  She knows from a vision that her mother had before she died that Rob Hawkins – knowns a Black Hawk, is entwined with her future.  She stows away on his ship but when a storm sends him overboard Miranda jumps in to save his life.

The pair end up on an island and for a time Rob still believes that Miranda is a boy named Gavin.  When he figures out she’s a woman he’s stunned but it doesn’t change the fact that he admires her greatly for her strength and perseverance.  They are plagued on the island by one disaster after another which causes the two to become closer and eventually fall in love.  Unfortunately the man who wants the power of all four stones has found them on the island and will stop at nothing to get the stone from Miranda as well as two other women who hold stones of their own.

This was a much more exciting story than I expected.  I knew it was the culmination of everything that had gone on in the two previous stories but it was more fraught with danger than I anticipated.  Miranda, thankfully, saved Rob’s life a time or two and he saved hers as well – without the help of sight.  I loved that their shared circumstances brought them together.  They were perfect for each other and I loved seeing their feelings for each other grow by the day.

The parts of the story that involved the power of the stone and Sir Ralph Evers who wanted it all for himself was blended so well into the story.  I didn’t feel like there was any disconnect between the romance and the stones.  It was very fantastical and magical but done very well.  A great end to a wonderful trilogy.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-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
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
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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