Tag: Margo Maguire

Review: The Highlander’s Desire by Margo Maguire

Posted July 30, 2013 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Lachann MacMillan’s watched his older brother, the laird of his clan, find a passionate marriage, but he suffers no illusions that his path will be the same–especially as the woman he loved was stolen from him years ago. He’s ready to leave his homeland and make his mark. He’ll even enter into a passionless marriage to the daughter of the Laird of Kilgorra if it means a chance at his own land…and leaving behind his painful memories. A simple enough plan until he meets Anna MacIver, a mere serving maid with the face of an angel who ignites a fire in him that is anything but angelic.

Anna has been a lowly servant in her uncle, the Laird of Kilgorra’s home, since her mother died years ago. She has no envy for her cousin’s matrimonial fate as observation of has taught her that freedom–no matter the serving chains–is far more precious that being under the command of a husband. But when Lachlann arrives to marry Anna’s cousin, she finds herself longing for something she never knew she wanted. Together the maid and the highlander may find that some things are worth having, no matter the cost.

Lachann MacMillan’s goal is to protect his home, Braemore. His family lives there and he’ll do just about anything to take care of them – even marry a woman he’s never seen before. He’s made an agreement with the Laird of Kilgorra that Lachann will be made Laird if he marries the current Laird’s daughter. The agreement says, however, that the daughter, Catriona, has to make up her own mind. Lachann does secure permission, in writing, to take measures to try and protect the island and in doing so will protect the waters that lead to Braemore, thus protecting his family. Lachan REALLY wants the lairdship and has no qualms about marrying a woman he’s never met as he got his heart broken years ago and swore to never love again. (Yeah, I’ve heard that before! lol)

Lachann doesn’t particularly care for Catriona when he arrives but he’s a determined man. He is put off by the fact that his enemy, Cullen Macauley, is also in residence at Kilgorra and is courting Catriona as well. Lachann’s eye is actually caught by a serving girl named Anna and he can’t seem to get her off of his mind, nor can he seem to stay away from her.

Anna is actually the Laird of Kilgorra’s stepdaughter but when her mother died years ago it was like she was forgotten completely by her stepfather. Catriona, being the evil girl she is, relegated Anna to the kitchens and to being a maid. Catriona also has made Anna’s life a living hell for years and when she thinks that Anna might be getting attention from Lachann, she’s livid and will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Anna is as attracted to Lachann as he is to her but as he’s slated to marry Catriona she tries to hold her feelings back –without any luck.

I’ve liked the novels that I’ve read from Margo Maguie and this one wasn’t any different. She also tells a good tale and as this one had braw highlanders in it, it was made that much better. lol I really enjoyed seeing Lachann discovering this new island he planned to call home. Getting to know the villagers, and starting the men to training for defense of the island, as well as taking care of any troubles that came up made me see him a great light. He was a kind, caring man who thought about others before himself. He knew that Catriona was his ticket to the lairdship but the more he got to know her the more he realized that he needed to get the lairdship without marrying the shrew. I was quite happy that he didn’t fall for any of Catriona’s tricks and saw that Anna would definitely be the woman for him.

Now I did have a little issue with the romantic element at first. Other than physical attraction the hero and heroine didn’t really know each other. It seemed that their feelings came out of nowhere other than lust and I had a hard time seeing where the connection was. However as the story went on I saw what brought them together and very much enjoyed their love story.

A good medieval read that’s for sure!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Margo Maguire

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What I Read Last Week

Posted July 22, 2013 by Tracy in Features | 5 Comments

Happy My-boss-is-on-vacation-day! lol I do enjoy working with my boss, a lot, but it’s always nice to have the office to myself. In this case I’ll get the office to myself for the next two weeks. Yes, I can get into a lot of trouble in two weeks but I’ll try to hold myself back. 🙂

Life was pretty quiet this past week. On Friday we went to a Family Night at the park where my youngest is attending summer camp (day camp). They had a potluck and then the councilors did a game rotation. It was hilarious and the kids had a ton of fun. I spent Saturday pretty much doing nothing – which was glorious, I must say – and Sunday doing a total spring cleaning of my bedroom. Every nook and cranny was attacked and cleaned out and it felt great. It’s amazing how much room I have in my night stand now that all that unnecessary crap is gone. lol

Here are a couple of random pictures I thought I’d share. This is, of course, my wonderful and crazy cat, Echo. My daughter likes to put her in strange positions when she carries her around and the cat freakin loves it. Strange cat. This one had her purring like a lion – you could literally hear it down the hall it was so loud. She looks like she’s so resigned to being treated like a rag doll but she loves it – don’t let the face fool you.

This is the tree in my front yard. Isn’t it great? I love it when it blooms because the rest of the year it is seriously one of the ugliest things I have ever seen. lol

Ok, on to what I read:

I started off the week with Forgotten Sins by Rebecca Zanetti. The story is about Josie who was married to Shane for 2 months and then he left for work one day and never came back. It’s now 2 years later and Shane is back but he has no idea who he is as he has amnesia. Josie takes him in temporarily but it’s not exactly safe for either Josie or Shane as there are people after each of them. You can read my full review here. 3 out of 5

Beauty and the Billionaire by Jessica Clare was next up and this was the second book in the Billionaire Boys Club series. The story is about Gretchen who is a ghostwriter and is commissioned to write an epistolary novel based on letters but the letters can’t leave the owners home. The owner is Hunter Buchanan and the whole thing is a set up so that he can get closer to Gretchen. He’s a scarred virgin hero so I loved that. He did act like an ass and ended up doing a fair bit of groveling but he did it well. 🙂 4 out of 5 (read for Book Binge)

Next up was The Highlander’s Desire by Margo Maguire. This is a medieval romance about a man who heads off to marry a woman he’s never met so that he can be named as the next Laird as the woman is the current Laird’s daughter. When he arrives he is met by his enemy who it appears is also courting the woman but it turns out that Lachann is more interested in the serving maid, Anna, than in the nasty daughter, Catriona. This was a good story but I did think the romance started pretty abruptly. I’ll post my review for this one next week. 3.5 out of 5

Tall, Dark and Vampire by Sara Humphreys told the story of Olivia, a vampire who owns a club. Unfortunately one of her progeny, Maya, was playing with a human and then that night the human was dead. The murder is investigated by a man who looks like Olivia’s love from 300 years ago so while she tries to figure out who the murderer is she tries to figure Doug out as well. Doug is attracted to Olivia and tries to stay professional during the investigation but when he almost dies and is turned he just wants to walk in the sun. It was a good story and the start of, hopefully, a good series. 3.75 out of 5

Elite by Rachel Van Dyken was a New Adult book that had me turning page after page. It was about a girl from a farm in Wyoming who attends a very elite school and is met by condescension and frankly people who are just plain evil. She ends up being protected by the group called The Elect but this has both its up and its downs. I could go on but I’ll post my review for this tomorrow so you can read more then. Just know, it was very good lol 4 out of 5 (FYI – there’s a giveaway going on right now for this book right here on the blog.  Go here for the post.)

Last for the week was The Lady and the Laird by Nicola Cornick. This story was about a man who would lose his inheritance if he didn’t marry a woman from a particular family. The only option – after he’s left at the altar is Lucy who has vowed not to marry because of a tragedy that occurred when she was 16. Robert isn’t about to lose though and the more he pursues her the faster he falls in love. They both have issues that they need to work out though and of course a villain’s thrown in too. It was a good story that I very much enjoyed. 4 out of 5

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Not the Leader of the Pack by Annabeth Leong

Happy Reading!! 

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Guest Review: The Highlander’s Desire by Margo Maguire

Posted July 15, 2013 by Judith in Reviews | 0 Comments

16065497Judith’s review of The Highlander’s Desire  by Margo Maguire

Lachann MacMillan’s watched his older brother, the laird of his clan, find a passionate marriage, but he suffers no illusions that his path will be the same–especially as the woman he loved was stolen from him years ago. He’s ready to leave his homeland and make his mark. He’ll even enter into a passionless marriage to the daughter of the Laird of Kilogorra if it means a chance at his own land…and leaving behind his painful memories. A simple enough plan until he meets Anna MacIver, a mere serving maid with the face of an angel who ignites a fire in him that is anything but angelic.

Anna has been a lowly servant in her uncle, the Laird of Kilogorra’s home, since her mother died years ago. She has no envy for her cousin’s matrimonial fate as observation of has taught her that freedom–no matter the serving chains–is far more precious that being under the command of a husband. But when Lachlann arrives to marry Anna’s cousin, she finds herself longing for something she never knew she wanted. Together the maid and the highlander may find that some things are worth having, no matter the cost.

This is one of the few books set in this time era and written by one of my favorite authors that I really had to work at liking the main guy.  Lachann was certainly a man that loved his clan and wanted what was best for them.  He also wanted a home and family of his own, and following the abduction of his fiance, he came to believe that settling for a laird-ship as well as a marriage of convenience was going to be his lot.  I have to admit that as I read the story I came to recognize that sense of impotence he felt against the odds that had played out for him, the evil that had been perpetrated against his clan and him personally, and the ancient clan rivalry that lay at the root of his sense of hopelessness at never finding someone who truly loved him and he could love in return.

This story also featured a heroine who was a woman who deserved to be treated as befitted her station.  She was a princess in her own right, but the small-minded and selfish interests of her cousin aided by the emotional retreat of her uncle after his wife’s death now found her in the position of a kitchen servant or whatever cruel task her cousin could lay on her.  The interest of the new laird-to-be only made her life more difficult and this story moved in a direction that seemed hopeless for these two.  The manipulation of powerful people in the clan, the evil interests of those who cared little for the well-being of the clan or of Anna, kept things in a stew and Lachann, still not really catching on to what was going on behind his back, only knew that his attraction to beautiful Anna kept growing and kept confusing him as to how the future was going to play out.

This is a very political novel in some ways, but it is also a study in the leadership styles that were operative in that era, the ways that good men tried to keep peace and evil men and women sought to undermine it.  It is a story that brings the reader smack dab in the middle of clan rivalries, of an evil and selfish woman’s plan and her ability to use others without regard to their feelings, and the kindness and strength of one woman to hold a clan together and display the best to be had in what it meant to be a woman of loyalty and caring.

This is one of those novels that really helped me learn more about the way Scotland grew in its governmental style, the ways that people found to live together, the kinds of living that insured the properity of individuals and families even when weather and politics conspired with invaders to overwhelm and destroy.  Ms Maguire is one of my favorite authors because she brings so much actual factual information into her stories and weaves her fictional characters in and out of those happenings.  I also appreciate her historical notes that give greater understanding of how people just like her characters could have well been present in those long-ago times.

This is not a novel that is all that easy to read, but that being said, it is one that is so satisfying to sink your teeth into.  There is a place for the fun and fluff in romance fiction but there is also a place for the substantive and educational.  I appreciate authors who have the gumption to write a really heavy-duty novel like this one.  Finishing this book was like finishing a feast, and for someone like me who loves history in the first place, this was a real treat.  I think you’ll do well to read and enjoy this book.

I give it a rating of 4.25 out of 5.

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.

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

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Guest Review: The Warrior Laird by Margo Maguire

Posted August 1, 2012 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Tracy’s review of The Warrior Laird by Margo Maguire

Haunted by horrors of his childhood, Dugan MacMillan has sworn to protect his clan at any cost . . . even if he must search for a rumored treasure and kidnap a beautiful thief to do it.

The MacMillan laird has never crossed paths with anyone quite like Lady Maura Duncanson. After he saved her from certain death, the comely vixen had the audacity to disappear with his treasure map, his only key to restoring his clan. Dugan has no qualms about taking Maura hostage, especially when he learns she is to wed a wealthy old baron who will pay him a fortune in ransom . . . a fortune his people desperately need.

But, of course, Maura has no intention of returning to her despicable fiancé. And the longer Dugan spends in the bewitching hellion’s presence, the less willing he is to surrender her to any man . . . at any price.

Dugan MacMillan is on a mission. He is the Laird of his clan but sadly doesn’t own the land that he and his clan live on. He’s told by his landlord, the Duke of Argyll that he needs to come up with three thousand pounds in 30 days or the clan will be kicked off the land. Dugan is desperate to get the money and knows that no cattle raid will get that much money for the rent. His grandfather had given him part of a map that supposedly told the location of a stash of French gold. Dugan and his men head out to get another portion of the map that will hopefully tell where the money is.

Maura Duncanson is also desperate. Her father, who cares nothing for her, has sent one of his men to ferry her off to marry a Baron who is about 50 years her senior. She’s heard about the man and knows that not only would he not be kind to her but he certainly wouldn’t take in her crippled sister, Rosie. She makes a plan to get away from her guard and head north to the highlands to get Rosie so that they can live together in peace. While in her travels Maura overhears Dugan’s man speaking about the French Gold and since she happened to have a portion of the treasure map herself she decides to take Dugan’s portions.

Of course Dugan follows her to get his maps back and though Maura is determined to get away from him to go to her sister she can’t help her attraction to the big highlander. Maura figures out, for the most part, where the treasure is located but won’t tell Dugan or his men as she fears they won’t share it with her and then she’ll have no way to support her sister. Dugan is annoyed by Maura as well as deeply attracted to her. He knows he shouldn’t be as her family played a huge part in the death of his parents and brother but he can’t seem to help it. He’s sent his men to tell her soon-to-be-groom that he’s holding her hostage and plans on handing her over to the old goat for the price of three thousand pounds. It’s a constant fight between the hero and heroine to get what they want and neither is sure who will win.

I love medieval highlander stories. Something about the huge strapping men in their kilts; their fierceness and loyalty to their clans – it just gets me going every time. This book had that in spades and kept me turning pages.

Now the worries that both Maura and Dugan had were valid. She didn’t want to be handed over to her intended and wanted to live peacefully with her sister. Dugan wanted to save his clan no matter what he had to do. But when all was said and done and the arguments were over they each realized that their wants and desires had changed to include the other person. They weren’t sure how that was going to work but they still wanted it.

I thought that Maguire did a great job of getting us involved in the story but there seemed to be a few too many repetitive thoughts in there for my liking. If the highlander thinks that a cattle raid would get enough money for the rent, then ok. But when he thinks the same thought 3 times in the first 50 pages it gets a bit old. Maura of course was pretty single minded and understandably so but that seemed to get a bit old as well.

The story was good but while the group was traveling and searching for the gold in the story it still seemed to me that there was not a lot going on. I know this was to develop the romance and I did appreciate that but it just didn’t bowl me over.

Rating: 3.25 out of 5

You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place

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 July 23, 2012 by Tracy in Features | 3 Comments

Hey guys,
Well it was an interesting week last week. It never seemed like there was that much time to read but yet I did a fair amount of it.
This weekend was a very sad one. On Saturday morning my nephew’s girlfriend died. They went hiking and she collapsed from heat exhaustion. Apparently it was too severe and her organs started shutting down and she passed away. She was just 22 years old. She and my nephew had been dating for years – planning to get married after she got out of college and of course he’s just devastated. I don’t know her family but I’m sure they are as well. If you’re the praying kind I ask that you add them to your list that they can find some peace in their grief.
On a happier note I’m only working 2 days this week as I took the last part of the week off for RWA. On Wednesday I’ll head down to Anaheim for the book signing – which will be wonderful I’m sure – and then on to a blogger get together in the bar afterward. Yay. I’ll go back down to Anaheim on Friday and stay for the weekend and make as much trouble as I can. Kidding. I’m kidding. Trouble is Holly’s job. lol
So on to what I read this past week:
First up was Murphy’s Law by Sandy James. This story is about a rich spoiled man whose father dies and leaves some strange and annoying stipulations to his will that the man is NOT happy about. You can read my review here. 4.25 out of 5
Next was a novella in the Elder Races series called Devil’s Gate by Thea Harrison. The story was about Seremela who is a medusae and is taking time off work to go retrieve her wayward niece once again. Duncan is a vampire and works for the same employers (Rune and Carling from Serpent’s Kiss). He’s got a thing for Seremela – not that she knows that – and volunteers to go with her to get the niece. The story is short but really good and I loved the experiences that Serrie and Duncan have along with their romance. Good stuff. 4 out of 5
Next up was The Warrior Laird by Margo Maguire. The story connects two people – Laird Dugan MacMillan who is looking for French gold to save his clan from eviction from their lands – and Lady Maura Duncanson who is being shipped off to marry an old man just so her family can get rid of her. The pair meet when Maura steals Dugan’s map to the gold and they end up looking for it together – kind of. The story was good but not too terribly exciting. This was more of a get to know each other while traveling type book and while a decent read just didn’t rock my socks off. Read for Book Binge. 3.25 out of 5
Forever and a Day by Jill Shalvis was next and while I read some really good books this week this one just was the absolute highlight. I’ll post my review on Wednesday.
My Tracy’s TBR Challenge read for the week (yes, I’ve been sucking on my own challenge lately!) was Moonlight Temptation by Stephanie Julian – Lucani Lovers series #4. The story is about Evie who was kidnapped in a previous book and now she’s trying to deal with the ramifications of the kidnapping as well as finding out that she has powers she never knew about. Dane is a doctor and while his mother wants him to only marry pure Lucani blood he’s got it bad for Evie. He calls his friend Ryan in to be a buffer, thinking that he can keep his feelings hidden if Ryan is there. What ends up happening is that they all fall in love but not before Evie is kidnapped again. It was a good novella with a quick and sexy love story. I wish the story was longer but what I got was very good. 3.75 out of 5
Because of You by Jessica Scott is a military romance that is so good. The story has to do with a soldier that is hurt in the line of duty and blames himself for every injury and death on his team. His nurse is a woman who has survived breast cancer and ends up being there to help him in so many ways. My review will post on Thursday so keep your eyes open. 🙂
A Sticky Situation by Kay Jaybee was an erotic novella that I read for Book Binge. The story is about a woman who does NOT like the new employee who is oh so close with the boss. She finds out that she’ll be heading to a conference with the guy. She’s more than a bit clumsy and though that aggravates the hell out of him it doesn’t stop him from wanting to lick all the food off of her chest. While they have their differences and arguments they still end up in bed together. It was a cute story but the heroine and her anger kind of rubbed me the wrong way at times. She was also getting notes from the hero (not signed) but yet thought they were from anyone but him – which seemed kinda ditzy to me. IDK – it was just an ok read. 2.5 out of 5
I went on a bit of a manga binge yesterday when I started the Yakuza in Love series by Shiuko Kano. Volume 1 is about a guy who is ends up working as a Yakuza (Japanese gangster) and quickly saves the boss’s life. He gets assigned to an underboss who is just getting out of prison and ends up having feelings for the underboss. On top of that there’s a lot of in-fighting between the boss and underboss. Good story, well drawn but a bit confusing as to which character was talking. That definitely could have been a lot clearer. 3 out of 5
Yakuza in Love Volume 2 shows us more from the characters in book 2 but deals more with the main character, Ichimura and his relationship with the underboss but also tells us more of a relationship between some other characters. Again, well drawn and definitely a lot more clear as to who is saying what. 3.5 out of 5
Last for the week was Yakuza in Love Volume 3 where all of the love/romance/sex and Yakuza infighting comes to a head. Things are worked out but I was still left with a thought that all was not as solid as it should have been for the end of the series. Very good though. 4 out of 5
My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
*crickets chirping*
Happy Reading!

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